The History of the University of Oxford [7] 9780199510115

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The History of the University of Oxford [7]

Table of contents :
v. 1. The early Oxford schools / edited by J.I. Catto. --
v. 2. Late medieval Oxford / edited by J.I. Catto and Ralph Evans --
v. 3. The collegiate university / edited by James McConica --
v. 4. Seventeenth century Oxford / edited by Nicholas Tyacke --
v. 5. The eighteenth century / edited by L.S. Sutherland and L.G. Mitchell --
v. 6. Nineteenth century Oxford, pt. 1 --
v. 7. Nineteenth-century Oxford, pt. 2 / edited by M.G. Brock and M.C. Curthoys --
v. 8. The twentieth century / edited by Brian Harrison.

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Nineteenth-Century Oxford, Part 2 EDITED BY


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Great Clarendon Street, Oxford ox2 6dp Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide in Oxford New York Athens Auckland Bangkok Bogota Buenos Aires Calcutta Cape Town Chennai Dar es Salaam Delhi Florence Hong Kong Istanbul Karachi Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Mumbai Nairobi Paris SaÄo Paulo Shanghai Singapore Taipei Tokyo Toronto Warsaw and associated companies in Berlin Ibadan Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and certain other countries Published in the United States by Oxford University Press Inc., New York # Oxford University Press 2000 The moral rights of the authors have been asserted Database right Oxford University Press (maker) First published 2000 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organizations. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this book in any other binding or cover and you must impose the same condition on any acquirer British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data ISBN 0±19±951017±2 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 Typeset by Kolam Information Services Pvt Ltd., Pondicherry, India Printed in Great Britain on acid-free paper by T.J. International Ltd, Padstow, Cornwall



Preface As was explained in the Preface to Nineteenth-Century Oxford, Part 1, the two volumes on the years from 1800 to 1914 are not entirely separate from each other. Each part is independently indexed and stands largely by itself; but, while most of the chapters in Part 2 begin where the main narrative of Part 1 ends, namely at or near the passing of the University Tests Act of 1871, a few do not observe this dividing line. Chapter 26 on the University Press, and Chapter 30 on Oxford Architecture, span the whole period, while Chapter 19 on Mathematics takes the account from 1827 to 1900. Similarly in Part 1 Chapters 11 to 14 and 18 to 21 went to 1914, and Chapter 17 to 1902. In all these cases a division would have truncated some themes and entailed duplication. The List of Contents for Part 1 will be found on pp. 877±8. As in Part 1, the footnotes and Index have been arranged in the hope of helping readers to obtain any further information which they may need. The number of people named in this volume (about 1, 700) is too large to allow the provision of biographical footnotes. An alternative method of identi®cation has been adopted, namely, giving dates of birth and death in the Index for most of those mentioned in the text. References in footnotes cannot take the place of a bibliography, if only because they may not mention the secondary work which led the contributor to the primary source cited. The Bibliography of Printed Works relating to the University of Oxford (1968), by E. H. Cordeaux and D. H. Merry, is the essential point of departure for anyone working in this area. It has been supplemented, for publications from 1977 to 1981, by the booklets entitled History of European Universities: Work in Progress, and thereafter by the `Continuing Bibliographies' in the journal History of Universities from volume vii (1988) onwards. The full title of a work is cited for the ®rst mention in a chapter unless it is in the Abbreviations list: where place of publication is omitted it is London, Oxford, or Cambridge. The University has a capital letter where Oxford University is indicated, but not where the word is used as a generic term. The plates have been arranged in a single block to give a compact visual survey of some of the major themes and personalities in the volume. An extended account of the illustrations is offered in the commentary at the front of the book. As the expressions of thanks scattered throughout the volume show, contributors and editors have met with invariable co-operation and goodwill throughout the University and indeed beyond it. They tender their most grateful thanks for all that help. This volume, like its predecessors in the




series, was made possible by generous funding from the University, the colleges, the University's higher studies and Hulme surplus funds, and the Nuf®eld Foundation. Its editors owe much to Lord Bullock, and to his successors as chairmen of the controlling committee, Sir Anthony Kenny and Sir Keith Thomas. They received wise early advice from Trevor Aston, general editor of this series until his tragically early death in 1985, and admirable administrative support from Ralph Evans until the project of®ce closed. They record with gratitude the importance of the material produced by Mary Heimann during several months of research. This volume has bene®ted from Brian Harrison's work on twentieth-century Oxford, and his help at various stages is gratefully acknowledged. The late Colin Matthew was a constant source of support and inspiration. Both editors owe particular thanks to institutions in which one or other was employed during some of their time as editorsÐto Christ Church, to the New Dictionary of National Biography, to the University of Exeter, to Nuf®eld College, and to the College of St George, Windsor. The editors also record their gratitude to those people who, in administering facilities and resources, went beyond the call of duty in making them availableÐto the library staffs in the Bodleian, the Centre for Oxfordshire Studies, Christ Church, Nuf®eld College, and the Oxford Union Society; and, in archives and libraries where it is not invidious to name a particular individual, to Pauline Adams (Somerville), Sarah Bendall (Merton), Elizabeth Boardman (Brasenose, Oriel, and St Hilda's), Caroline Brown (Rhodes Trust); Christine Butler (Corpus Christi), Julie Courtenay (Lady Margaret Hall), Judith Curthoys (Christ Church), Caroline Dalton (New College), Robin Darwall-Smith (Magdalen and University), Father Davidge and Father Groves (Pusey House), Peter Foden (Oxford University Press), Sister Carolyn Green (The Cherwell Centre, Norham Gardens), Clare Hopkins (Trinity), David Hors®eld (Ruskin College), Jill Hughes (Taylorian), John Jones (Balliol), Elaine Kaye (Mans®eld), John Kaye (Queen's), John Maddicott (Exeter), Martin Maw (Oxford University Press), Fiona Pidduck (Lincoln), Margaret Sarosi (Harris-Manchester), Tony Simcock (Museum of the History of Science), Roberta Staples (Lady Margaret Hall), David Smith (St Anne's), Lorise Topliffe (Exeter), Naomi van Loo (Pembroke), and Nick Watts (Physiology Laboratory); to Ruth Vyse, Margaret Macdonald, and Simon Bailey, successively University Archivists; to Philip Moss, who gave every facility in the University Of®ces; to Clive Payne and Martin Range of the Social Studies Faculty Computing Centre, whose computing expertise was exceeded only by their patience with the inexpert; and to Savile Bradbury (Department of Human Anatomy), Lady Colvin, David Brock, Stephen Harrison (Corpus Christi), Roger Hutchins (Magdalen), Chantal Knowles (Pitt Rivers Museum), John Sanders (Clarendon Laboratory), Ian Scargill (School of Geography), and Oliver Westall (University of Lancaster), who



helped in locating or identifying material. They are grateful, for permission to use copyright material hitherto unpublished, to the Literary Executors of the late Lord Bonham Carter (H. H. Asquith MSS) and Mrs Priscilla Hodgson (Margot Asquith diaries). They express their thanks to all those who worked with great ef®ciency on the production of this volume, and especially to Cathy Brocklehurst, Judy Godley, Pam Hopes, Margaret Hunt, Beverly Potts, and Marion Rogers; and to Ivon Asquith and Anne Gelling of Oxford University Press. It is impossible to be sure that the acknowledgements here and throughout the volume are complete: to anyone omitted an apology is tendered. Nineteenth-Century Oxford, Part 2 owes much to many helpers; its faults do not lie with them. We would like to thank all the contributors for their unfailing patience and co-operation. John Simmons generously undertook the task of looking over the entire volume at proof stage. As in Part 1 we are deeply indebted to Eleanor Brock for compiling the Index (with the expert and unstinted help of Mark Pottle); the services of an indexer who is always available to be consulted are hard to overvalue, and have saved the volume from many errors and inconsistencies. Our more general gratitude for our wives' help and forbearance goes far beyond what can be expressed here. The University depicted in this volume may look modern at ®rst glance. By the early 1880s it had shaken off its earlier dependence on the Church of England, and those who staffed it had concerns, such as achieving a balance between teaching and research, which are still recurrent and likely to remain so; but this does not mean that their Oxford resembled today's in either opportunities or constraints. Their independence of governmental decisions may seem enviable; but their present-day successors might not, for instance, relish facing, as they did, a continual shortage of well-quali®ed applicants for many of the undergraduate places available. Some of the problems of their day were almost insoluble and their efforts to grapple with these deserve respect. Oxford, February 2000

Michael Brock and Mark Curthoys




Contents Plates: list and commentary


List of ®gures List of tables

xl xli

List of abbreviations


List of contributors List of Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors

liii lv

`A Se c u l a r i z e d Un i v e r s i t y ' ? 1 A `plastic structure'

M. G. Brock


2 From the Cleveland Commission to the statutes of 1882

Christopher Harvie


3 Religious issues, 1870±1914

Peter Hinchliff


A Ne w Co l l e g i at e Pat t e r n 4 The colleges in the new era

M. C. Curthoys


5 `Balliol, for example' 6 `Training in simple and religious habits': Keble and its ®rst Warden

John Prest


Geoffrey Rowell


7 `A Scotch University added to Oxford'? The Non-Collegiate Students

Alan Bullock


8 All Souls

J. S. G. Simmons

9 Christ Church J. F. A. Mason Note. The Christ Church Common Room under Dodgson, 1883±1892 Morton N. Cohen 10 `In Oxford but . . . not of Oxford': the women's colleges

209 221 232

Janet Howarth


W. H. Walsh


Te ac h i n g a n d Sc h o l a r s h i p 11 The zenith of Greats




12 Classical Studies, 1872±1914 13 Ancient History, 1872±1914

Richard Jenkyns Oswyn Murray

327 333

14 Modern History 15 Jurisprudence

Reba N. Soffer Barry Nicholas

361 385

16 English

D. J. Palmer


17 Modern Languages and Linguistics 18 Music

Rebecca Posner S. L. F. Wollenberg

413 429

19 Mathematics 20 `Oxford for Arts': the Natural Sciences, 1880±1914

K. C. Hannabuss


Janet Howarth


21 The Pitt Rivers Collection Note A. The Medical School under Osler

William R. Chapman Charles Webster

499 504

Philip Morsberger


Note B. The Ruskin School

Note C. The pattern of examinations, 1914 M. C. Curthoys

`Th e Mu d d i e d Oa f s at Th e Goa l s '? 22 University and college sport H. S. Jones 23 Oxford and schooling



J. R. de S. Honey and M. C. Curthoys M. C. Curthoys and Janet Howarth


Janet Howarth Peter Sutcliffe

599 645

27 `Extension' in all its forms

Anne Ockwell and Harold Pollins


28 Oxford and the Empire 29 The Rhodes scholars

Richard Symonds E. T. Williams

689 717

24 Origins and destinations: the social mobility of Oxford men and women


`Ox f o r d . . . Re f o r m i n g i t s e l f ' 25 The self-governing University, 1882±1914 26 The Oxford University Press

Th e Un i v e r s i t y Re ac h e s Ou t wa r d s

contents `Ou r Bu i l d i n g s Sh a p e Us ' 30 Oxford architecture, 1800±1914

xi Peter Howell


31 The Oxford of Raymond Asquith and Willie Elmhirst 32 The Edwardian reform movement

M. G. Brock Janet Howarth

781 821

33 Epilogue

M. G. Brock


Edwa r d i a n Ox f o r d

List of Contents of Nineteenth-Century Oxford, Part 1







Plates: List and Commentary between pp. 532 and 533 1. The Marquess of Salisbury, when installed as Chancellor of the University. The Chancellor's pages at his installation (21 and 22 June 1870) were his two eldest boys, aged eight and seven. Although `said to be little pickles' they behaved `on this occasion in a most exemplary manner' (G. Battiscombe, Reluctant Pioneer (1978), 43). Like his predecessor in the Chancellorship, the Earl of Derby, and Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), who took this photograph, Salisbury was a Christ Church man. Aged forty, he was to be Chancellor for thirty-three years. Oxford's High Churchmen had succeeded in excluding the scientists Darwin, Huxley, and Tyndall, from his honorary degree list, but he de®ed their protests against two public ®gures whose insuf®ciently private lives hardly met Victorian standards. During the two days he awarded ®fty honorary Doctorates of Civil Law. His opposition to the Universities Tests Act was already doomed to failure, and he soon had little use for a University which had deserted the Church of England. By the end of his life his family were maintaining that it was against etiquette for the Chancellor to visit Oxford. 2.

Benjamin Jowett, 1871, a black chalk drawing by DeÂsire FrancËois LaugeÂe. In October 1870, at the ®rst College Meeting after Jowett had become Master, he had not merely secured the appointment of a committee to revise the college's statutes along the lines described in Chapter 1, but had managed to transfer most of the bursar's functions to the Master. The ®rst decision led to the reforms through which Balliol retained its dominant position for the next twenty years: the second was a folly for which Jowett paid by a breakdown in health. It took a little time for yesterday's insurgent tutor to adjust to the drawbacks of high place. Among the Balliol undergraduates of the early 1870s `the more advanced spirits' regarded the Master `as an extinct volcano', according to H. H. Asquith's later account (S. Koss, Asquith (1976), 5). Outside the college he was still seen by many as a foe of the Church who must not be allowed a place on the Hebdomadal Council. The volume in Jowett's left hand is appropriately titled: his translation of Plato was ®rst published in four volumes in 1871. The drawing came to Balliol in 1922 by bequest from A. V. Dicey, the jurist, who had taken a ®rst in Lit. Hum. at the college in 1858.


Mark Pattison, 1861, as newly elected rector of Lincoln. Gladstone called Pattison's Memoirs (1885) one of the `most tragic and memorable books of the nineteenth century'. Reared as an Evangelical, Pattison became for a time Newman's



plates: list and commentary disciple, and died a virtual agnostic. A champion of the college tutors in the 1850s, he had turned by the end of the next decade into the foremost critic of the college system. During the 1870s, while he championed the research ideal, he feared that it would not be realized at Oxford without an unattainable change of outlook in both Parliament and the University.


This photograph of William Stubbs comes from an album collected by Arthur Gray Butler, dean and tutor of Oriel, the college of which Stubbs was a fellow as Oxford's Regius Professor of Modern History from 1866. It probably dates from the early years of his tenure of the chair. Stubbs's political skill in that position is analysed in Chapter 1, and his in¯uence on Britain's university history courses in Chapter 14. Oxford's was by no means the only newly devised Modern History School on which his imprint lay. When G. M. Trevelyan embarked on the Cambridge Historical Tripos in 1893 the course was based `on Stubbs and on economic history' (G. M. Trevelyan, An Autobiography (1949), 12); and Stubbs's students carried his views and methods into the newer universities and university colleges. His style was not that of a dynamic leader. A dull lecturer, he complained privately in the mid-1870s, like other Oxford professors in arts subjects, that the tutors were not sending him enough men. Publicly he expressed his pleasure that his colleagues had de®ed his advice about restricting their teaching to periods earlier than 1650. He would have liked to be the Professor of Ecclesiastical History. His position and achievement were unique: none of his predecessors in the Regius chair could match his professionalism and productivity; none of his successors would have been offered a bishopric.


Thomas Hill Green was the ®rst layman to be elected a fellow of Balliol. His lectures could be so confusing that, when he was thirty-six, Jowett relieved him of some of them for fear of damage to the college in Greats. Oxford philosophy as a professional discipline began with Green; but few of his successors could have written, as he did, that his interest in the subject was `wholly religious' (S. Paget, Scott Holland (1921), 65). Between 1870 and 1914 Oxford was full of men who, while they baulked at the miraculous in Christianity, were steeped in its traditions. Green's achievement was to articulate their aspirations. For Balliol men, as one of them wrote, `Green was an elder brother, in whose society we were ashamed to be sel®sh or mean' (A. G. C. Liddell, Notes from the Life of an Ordinary Mortal (1911), 82). He died in 1882 aged forty-®ve. The posthumous three-volume edition of his works included a reproduction of this engraving by C. W. Sherborn.


This photograph of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was probably taken in May 1856, when he was twenty-four. In the previous year he had been appointed to a mathematical lecturership at Christ Church which he was to hold for twentysix years. He did not take Deacon's Orders in the Church of England until

plates: list and commentary


December 1861; but, that apart, his life's pattern had been set. When some of his early verses were published his editor asked him to devise a signature: reversing and Latinizing his ®rst two names he signed himself Lewis Carroll. On 26 April 1856 he recorded in his diary that the three small daughters of the new Dean, H. G. Liddell, had become `excellent friends' of his while he had been trying to photograph the Cathedral from the Deanery Garden (Morton Cohen, Lewis Carroll (1995), 60). Six years later, on a river picnic with the three girls, he was to tell them a story which became immortal. It begins with the second in age, Alice, following a White Rabbit down a rabbit-hole. 7.

John Ruskin, 1875. Charles Dodgson's photograph of Ruskin was taken in the year when he made over his art collection to the University. He looked back on it as the last of his ®ve years of `effective action in Oxford'. By the end of 1879 the School of Drawing had belied his hopes, and he had come to regard the University as `a mere shop of adulterated knowledge, poisoned to the customer's taste' (Robert Hewison, Ruskin and Oxford (1996), 33). His greatest in¯uence on Oxford and Oxford men came later, however. It sprang less from his views on the University than from his books fulminating against the horrors of industrialization. These helped to inspire the labour movement, as the naming of Ruskin Hall (now Ruskin College) in 1899 was to show. A few years after that Unto This Last (1860) so impressed C. R. Attlee, who had just graduated from University College, that it became the gate through which he `entered the Socialist fold' (K. Harris, Attlee (1982), 22).


Arnold Toynbee, undated photograph. When Arnold Toynbee was thirteen his father, a distinguished and philanthropic aural surgeon, died by an accidental inhalation of chloroform with which he was experimenting. At almost the same time Arnold injured his head in a fall from his pony. His mother could not afford to send him to Rugby School, as had been planned; and because of his injury he spent part of his teens studying on his own. He thus missed the classical grind undergone by his contemporaries, and at Balliol he took a pass degree. His originality of mind had not escaped Jowett, however. He was appointed to teach economics to the college's Indian Civil Service probationers and his fame as a lecturer soon spread beyond Oxford. He died aged thirty in 1883, his book, The Industrial Revolution (a phrase which he minted), being published posthumously. Toynbee Hall in Whitechapel is his memorial.


Cecil Rhodes as an undergraduate. Rhodes matriculated at Oriel College in October 1873, aged twenty, and took his pass BA and MA in December 1881. In his view of the University, as in all else, he combined idealism with earthy commercial acumen. He spoke of Oxford's `compelling in¯uences, her wonderful charm' (J. G. Lockhart and C. M. Woodhouse, Rhodes (1963), 66); but he was careful to be elected to Vincent's and the Bullingdon and to make the right


plates: list and commentary friends. A chill which he caught in his second term while rowing affected his heart and lungs (the specialist noting `not six months to live'); and in September 1877, after a heart attack, he made a will dedicating his fortune (not yet made) to `the establishment . . . of a secret society the aim . . . whereof shall be the extension of British rule throughout the world' (Lockhart and Woodhouse, 69). No other Oxford pass man has interpreted Aristotle's energeiaÐthe highest activity of the soul concentrated on the highest objectÐmore remarkably, or, in the outcome, with more ample effect.


In 1870 Merton's undergraduates seem to have been quite as unscholarly as this group look. The college allowed them to dally on Pass Moderations for up to two years. Nearly half were Etonians; and a postmaster (scholar) of the time was later unable to recall `among our commoners . . . a single genuine ``reading man''' (John Maude, Memories of Eton and Oxford (Frome 1936), 74). The ride to reform was bumpy. As the reformers soon found, deterring the idler was easier than attracting the serious student. In 1875 the college suffered from `a sadly depleted list of entrants' (E. A. Knox, Reminiscences (1934), 91).


In 1872 the members of Oxford's Convocation, Masters of Arts and Doctors who had kept their names on the books of their colleges or halls and paid the requisite fees, numbered some 4,400. The majority were non-resident and mostly clergymen. The major rail links to Oxford from other parts of Britain were by then in place, and non-residents had little dif®culty in making their votes tell on University decisions. S. P. Hall's sketch shows the arrival of `outvoters' at Oxford railway station on their way to vote in the election of A. P. Stanley, Dean of Westminster, as Select Preacher for Oxford (The Graphic 21 Dec. 1872). A year after the universities' religious tests had been abolished by Parliament, the choice of Dean Stanley for the position, with the Vice-Chancellor's sanction, gave an unmistakeable sign of the Act's liberalizing effect. In 1865, when the likelihood of this nomination ®rst became known, Pusey and Liddon had determined to ®ght it. Since then Stanley's invitation to a leading Unitarian to take Communion in Westminster Abbey had increased their objections to his churchmanship; but in 1872, though they regarded the nomination as `discreditable', they decided on inaction. Successful opposition would merely invest Stanley `with the cheap honours of a petty martyrdom' (Johnston, Liddon (1904), 241), while to fail in an attack on the liberal Vice-Chancellor, Henry Liddell, would `give a new impetus to the barren unspiritual negations' which Stanley represented. The more hot-headed High Churchmen disdained such caution and were defeated in Convocation by 349 votes to 287.


On 31 May 1873 the Graphic devoted its front- page picture to a Union debate on a motion to disestablish and disendow the Church of England. By 1908 (the date of the debate shown in Plate 13 below) only the of®cers and principal speakers

plates: list and commentary


wore formal dress for debates, but some thirty years earlier casual clothes were not worn in the Union. Sir Charles Oman recorded having seen seventy top hats on the Society's pegs on a Sunday. The ladies were equally well dressed: those familiar with the Union library will appreciate the cramped conditions under which they attended on these occasions. The disestablishment debate, which continued for three evenings and lasted through most of May, characterized the Oxford of the early 1870s. There were no guest speakers. Twenty-one members drawn from eleven colleges and from the Unattached spoke on the motion or the amendments to itÐeight for disestablishment, and thirteen against it. Balliol was the only college to supply more than two speakers or to be represented on both sides. Eight of the speakersÐfour from each sideÐended their undergraduate careers with ®rsts in ®nals. The motion was defeated by 88 votes to 40. The vote, which was taken at 11.30 p.m. on the third evening included a mere fraction of those who had attended, if only because the colleges ®ned any undergraduate returning after 11 p.m.; but there is no reason to think it unrepresentative. Nearly thirty years later an identical motion was lost in a larger, but otherwise uncannily similar, voteÐ191 to 87. In 1873 most Union members were Conservatives; but an outstanding Liberal speaker could make his way. H. H. Asquith, who had been defeated for the presidency in the preceding term, and who spoke for disestablishment on the third evening, was president a year later. 13.

The Illustrated London News employed its `special artist' to draw Mrs Fawcett commending votes for women to the Oxford Union in November 1908. As the ®rst woman ever to speak in the Union she attracted a record attendance: leave had to be given to members to sit on the ¯oor and in the gangways. She recalled (in What I Remember (1924), 196) `the generosity. . . among the young men who gave me so warm a welcome': the debate had gone off `with perfect order and good temper'. Her opponents won by a majority of 31 in a vote of 689. She was assured that the dons who were life members of the Union had turned the scale against the women. The programme for the debate illustrates how far the University was even then from being a wholly secular institution. The president for that term and both of the opening speakers had taken Holy Orders within a few years. The president became a missionary and the anti-suffrage `opener' a suffragan bishop. The women's champion, Ronald Knox (like his opposite number a future president), was to translate the Bible for Roman Catholics when in his sixties and die a member of the Ponti®cal Academy.


Butter®eld's chapel for Balliol College, which was begun in the same year as Scott's at Exeter (see below, Plate 15), proved the less popular of the two. The exterior, in alternate courses of red and yellow stone, represented an experiment in Ruskinian colouring of a kind much derided in Butter®eld's work (Ch. 30, n. 52). `I could never bring myself', Harold Macmillan recorded, `to admire the chapel, so strangely resembling a ham sandwich, with generous slices of ham'.


plates: list and commentary

Walter Morrison, a Balliol man of an earlier generation, offered the college £20,000 to demolish the chapel and substitute a copy of its predecessor. Fortunately his money was diverted elsewhere. However, the chapel's interior was reconstructed during the inter-war years. 15.

In 1837 J. H. Newman thought Tractarianism stronger among the fellows of Exeter College than anywhere else in Oxford. Nearly twenty years later their chosen architect for a new chapel was George Gilbert Scott who had been in¯uenced by the Oxford Movement and the great French churches. The resulting building was much admired at ®rst; but in 1965 a letter to the Oxford Magazine included the remark: `No one would now wish to repeat the mistake made by Exeter in demolishing their chapel to build a Victorian gothic substitute'. Since then Scott's design has come back into favour. This illustration for the Oxford Almanack for 1861, like the one of Balliol Chapel (Plate 14) which appeared on the Almanack for 1859, was a steel engraving by J. H. le Keux.


Few of Oxford's Victorian buildings escaped controversy or criticism; but William Butter®eld's Keble Chapel, pictured in this early photograph (taken by the Oxford photographer, Henry Taunt), was perhaps the most controversial of all. As Chapters 6 and 31 show, the brickwork, the East End mosaic, and the accommodation for `The Light of the World', were all questioned or criticized. The High Churchmen, who were reluctant about inviting the Archbishop of Canterbury to the opening service, succeeded in `postponing' (and, in the event, preventing) consecration of the building, since that would have brought it under the control of Parliament (p. 187). In April 1876, when the great day came Pusey's sermon was inaudible from his incessant coughing and the loud echo. The `magni®cence' of the Chapel's interior (p. 746) is, however, matched by the view of the exterior when seen from a distance across the University Parks.


Temple Moore's initial design for Pusey House, 1912. When the Pusey Memorial Library (soon known as Pusey House) was founded in 1884 its building in St Giles was fairly small. In 1910, however, it received a substantial bequest from the estate of a Leeds solicitor, J. W. Cudworth, and Temple Moore, whose work was well known in Yorkshire, became its architect (G. K. Brandwood, Temple Moore (1997), 171). He proved an inspired choice. He had been articled to George Gilbert Scott, the younger: Giles Gilbert Scott had later worked in his of®ce. Despite this stance in the centre of the Gothic revival, he followed neither precedent nor restrictive convention, but his own impeccable taste. By 1914 the ®rst part of his design had been built, and the last building to be described in Chapter 30 has proved to be one of the most esteemed.


In 1843 A. W. N. Pugin's Gothic designs for rebuilding the Broad Street front of Balliol College created the divisive dispute described in Chapter 30, and were

plates: list and commentary


then laid aside. Twenty-three years later, when Hannah Brackenbury had been persuaded to allow some of her gift to the college to be used on this project, the Pugin drawings were shown to Alfred Waterhouse, who produced an admired building, photographed here in 1885 or thereabouts. For this success Benjamin Jowett claimed much credit, little of it deserved. The main contribution of his party in the college had been to humiliate the Master, Robert Scott, by scrimping on the latter's lodgings. 19.

Magdalen's St Swithin's quadrangle, designed by G. F. Bodley and Thomas Garner and built between 1881 and 1885, has a high reputation; but their plan, as executed, entailed the demolition of Pugin's gateway (p. 736), shown on the extreme left in this plate (which shows their 1879 design); and only two of their three ranges were built. When Sir Giles Gilbert Scott was invited, in 1928, to complete the quadrangle he altered the layout on the north side.


This etching by A. Ernest Smith from the Oxford Almanack for 1892 depicts the ®rst, and probably the least successful, of the buildings which T. G. Jackson designed for Hertford College. Henry Boyd, who became principal of the college in 1877, three years after its re-foundation, admired Jackson's work. He was able to interest the Drapers' Company, of which he was Master in 1896± 7, in Oxford's science area. Grants for the Electrical Laboratory and the Radcliffe Science Library resulted. Both buildings were designed by Jackson.


The Robinson Tower of New College, which forms the centre±piece of this photograph from the Oxford Almanack for 1901, commemorates the masterful tutor and bursar of the college whose predictions to the Selborne Commission are given in Chapter 2 (p. 81). On his death friends subscribed some of the money for this last section of the college's buildings on Holywell. This photograph shows most of the range's southern face except for what were originally two tutors' houses, one at each end. The tower formed an essential part of Basil Champneys's design for the later, eastern half of the complex. His range was not as tall as Gilbert Scott's earlier one, so that he needed a dominating feature in the centre to prevent an effect of disproportion between east and west.


In 1876, after ten years of abortive efforts, and the rejection of two designs, T. G. Jackson was commissioned to build the Examination Schools at an estimated cost of £63,884. Like his four fellow-competitors he had been told to keep within £50,000, and had `set to work in Gothic . . . The thing would not come at all', he recorded; `®nally I gave up . . . and started afresh in a sort of Renaissance style, and everything seemed to go smoothly' (Recollections, ed. B. H. Jackson (1950), 134). An elaborate decorative scheme, though never quite completed, helped to raise expenditure to £107,000, exclusive of site costs of £38,000. When the debt had been paid off early in the next century interest


plates: list and commentary charges had brought the total cost to £180,000. The Non-Collegiate Students' building to the east of the Schools was started in 1886 and brought into use two years later.


S. P. Hall's conversation piece, `We pause for a reply', was originally given the title `Dominus Illuminatio Mea' when exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1895. Although the ®gures are in the dress and style of the 1890s, and the examiners represent a range of late-Victorian donnish types, the artist placed them in the setting of the Old Schools, which had ceased to be used for examinations after 1882, when the new Examination Schools opened in the High Street. The latter were designed primarily to accommodate written examinations, as a contemporary photograph of one of the writing schools laid out with desks and papers shows ( John Prest (ed.), The Illustrated History of Oxford University (1993), 70). But the viva voce continued to be an element in most examinations (see Pt. 1, 349) and even the most self-assured Edwardian undergraduate was reminded of the Day of Judgement as he approached the table of examiners (D. HartDavis (ed.), End of an Era: Letters and Journals of Sir Alan Lascelles 1887±1920 (1988), 56). Hall's `tense piece of storytelling' (K. Garlick, `Portraits with Purpose', Oxford Today Trinity 1997, 22), which may be compared with Pt 1, Plate 8, was an elaboration of a scene in the Schools which the artist had illustrated for the 1871 edition of Tom Brown at Oxford.


The Indian Institute building at the east end of Broad Street was designed by Basil Champneys in his Renaissance style and built, with funds subscribed in India and Britain, during 1882±4 and 1892±6. The old houses on the left of this late nineteenth-century photograph stood where the New Bodleian now stands. A court ruling was obtained in 1956 that the Institute building need not be used for the original purpose, but conversion to new uses presented dif®culties; and three years later the Hebdomadal Council's application to demolish it, and redevelop the site, was accepted in principle by the planning committee of the City Council. Convocation agreed to demolition by 288 votes to 270 in June 1965. In 1972, however, the building was accorded a `Grade II Listing' and the threat to it was averted. The fancy strapwork over the oriels had, however, been removed.


`Eastern Sages' from the series of caricatures published by the Oxford bookseller Thomas Shrimpton, c.1882, shows three leading scholars from the division of Oriental Languages in the Faculty of Arts, created in 1883. On the left, the Assyriologist A. H. Sayce, a pioneer in the decipherment of cuneiform inscriptions, was a vocal supporter of the movement for the endowment of research. Friedrich Max MuÈller, professor of Comparative Philology and general editor of the series `Sacred Books of the East', is the middle ®gure. To the right, James Legge, appointed to the chair of Chinese on its foundation in 1876, was

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formerly a missionary in Hong Kong and was, as a Congregationalist, the ®rst nonconformist to be appointed to an Oxford chair. He is remembered for his authoritative translations of the Chinese classics and has recently (1998) been commemorated by a memorial in Corpus. 26.

`University Extension', c.1866, was among a series of caricatures commenting on current Oxford topics drawn by S. P. Hall and circulated in photographic copies for undergraduate purchasers. Unlike most of the caricaturists who took Oxford as their subject in the earlier part of the century, Hall was a graduate of the University (Pembroke College; he took a ®rst in Lit. Hum. in 1865) and had a keen sense of the outlook and prejudices of his undergraduate audience. He indicated their likely response to poor students (represented here by an artisan or clerk, approaching the University bare-headed, carrying a bag marked `Parliamentary train', the cheap early-morning trains which railway companies were obliged by Act of Parliament to lay on for workmen) brought to the University by the schemes of the various sub-committees on University Extension. The newcomers would be looked down upon and excluded from social life by `the regular members of the University', of whom the swaggering, cigar-smoking ®gure shown here was an extreme example (S. P. Hall, Descriptive Key to the Oxford Sketches (n.d.), no. 32). This sentiment suggests why the founders of Keble College were at pains to emphasize their intention to maintain a gentlemanly tone (pp. 174±6).


`Ladies Not Admitted.' `Very sorry, Miss Minerva, but perhaps you are not aware that this is a monastic establishment', the caption to this Punch cartoon (21 Mar. 1896, 134) reads. By 1895 all British universities and university colleges except Oxford and Cambridge were admitting women to degrees; and the decisions taken during the ®rst twelve days of March 1896 in both universities against moving in that direction aroused much critical comment. In Oxford some of the women's opponents were more subtle than the cartoonist suggested. Chapter 10 shows that what the women's colleges feared most was, not the refusal of any improvements in status, but that a particular Diploma scheme might be adopted. On 10 March a resolution was put to Congregation under which a woman who had completed her `®nals' successfully, whether for honours or a pass, would receive a Diploma without having to comply with any residence requirement. The margin against this deadly boon was narrowÐAyes 136, Noes 140.


Shrimpton's caricature, `Oxford's Types: Balliol', c.1881, develops Hall's theme in Plate 26, presenting an unsympathetic view of the relative diversi®cation of undergraduate admissions to Balliol which took place during the ®rst decade of Jowett's mastership (described in Chapter 5; see also Balliol College Annual Record, 1997). Shrimpton's series was not accompanied by an explanatory text


plates: list and commentary but the extremes, from the young swell (on the left) to the mature student (far right), possibly a migrant from the body of Unattached Students (a `tosher'), are clear enough. Between them the cartoonist depicts an urchin-like ®gure (perhaps a cockney from a day school), a Brahmin, a bewhiskered, spectacled ®gure (possibly intended to be one of Balliol's Scots), and a Chinese student (the latter were not at all numerous, but topical after the recent foundation of the Chinese chair). A later, more vicious caricature, published in 1892, depicted Asiatic `Men of Belial, 1992',


`Athletics v. Aesthetics', a print by Henry Stephen (`Hal') Ludlow, a wood engraver whose work appeared in periodicals during the 1880s and 1890s. This example, which hangs in the JCR at Magdalen, offers a darker reworking of the antagonism between aesthetics and athletics, which had been the subject of an earlier Shrimpton caricature in Torpids week, 1881. The latter had Oscar Wilde as its target. Although undated, Ludlow's sketch shares the sentiments of, and may be contemporary with, the hostile skit attacking Wilde and his followers, Aristophanes at Oxford, published in Eights week 1894. The authors, L. S. Amery, F. W. Hirst, and H. A. A. Cruso, denounced `Dorian Gray, Salome, the Yellow Book, and the whole of the erotic, lack-a-daisical, opium-cigarette literature of the day' (p. vi). By presenting the two aesthetes, identi®ed as such by a sun¯ower button-hole, in unhealthy and decadent contrast to the vigorous, straight-backed oarsmen, to whom the young woman in the foreground is revealing her ankle, the artist rather ¯attered the athletes, though he did no more than follow a trend for illustrators to show the latter attracting female admiration (e.g. `Watching the Oxford crew practising at If¯ey', The Queen, 12 Mar. 1892, 403). The aesthetes had their own charms. The daughter of the principal of Jesus recalled Wilde's gallantry on the tow path during Eights week. She was wearing a dress, which she disliked, made of a `silky, woolly mixture of green and white' into which tufts of white were woven: `He did me the honour to admire it and said, ``It is like snow upon a hawthorn bush''' (Mary Roberts, Sherborne, Oxford, and Cambridge (1934), 70).


John Buchan became an Isis `Idol' (28 Jan. 1899, 132±3) when president of the Union. This cartoon, the ®rst in the Isis series, was drawn by his Brasenose friend, B. C. Boulter. The two, who had been on the same college staircase as freshmen, were then in lodgings at 41 High Street. Buchan is shown defending the cellar's contents to commemorate a much-approved stand which he had recently made against the college's drunken rowdies. They had been making life intolerable for the Principal under the impression that he was trying to turn a sporting college towards study. A Scottish son of the manse, Buchan was a model of industry. Already in Who's Who as an author, and the winner of the University's Stanhope and Newdigate prizes, he went on to take a ®rst in Greats. Within three years he had joined `Milner's Kindergarten', the group of

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young men selected to start the reconstruction of South Africa after the Boer War. 31.

`Christ Church', Colin Matthew observed on the occasion of the Gladstone Centenary Commemoration, `played a central part in nurturing a political elite uniquely successful in nineteenth-century European politicsÐthe only elite still in power and recognisably the same in 1920 as in 1820' (`Gladstone and the University of Oxford', OM, n.s. 170 (1999), 3). Many undergraduates at Christ Church could look forward to joining this governing class irrespective of the outcome of their studies at Oxford, and keeping the well-born in order, or encouraging them to scholarly application, represented a perennial challenge to the college's disciplinary resources. This example from the set of prints circulated after the disturbances in Christ Church during 1893±4, described in Chapter 9, shows dinner-suited revellers daubing slogans in Tom Quad in the early hours of 2 December 1893. Their protest was against the refusal of the authorities to waive the normal regulations about college gate hours to enable them to attend a ball at Blenheim Palace. The undergraduate sent down by the Christ Church governing body following this incident was the seventh Earl Beauchamp, who had succeeded to the title and estates on the sudden death of his father (one of the promoters of Keble College) two years earlier. His particular offence was to send `an insolent letter' to Dean Paget (pictured here in nightcap, holding a candle). Beauchamp became a member of the Liberal cabinet (1910±15) and was Chancellor of the University of London, 1929±31. But there were also young noblemen who applied themselves to their books: Lord Hugh Cecil (Univ.) and Viscount St Cyres (Merton) took ®rsts in Modern History in 1891 and 1892; Lord Warkworth (later Earl Percy; Christ Church) did so in Lit. Hum. in 1893.


A lecture-room in Magdalen College, drawn by Ernest Stamp and reproduced in A. D. Godley, Aspects of Modern Oxford (1894). The room illustrated here is on the ground ¯oor of St Swithin's quadrangle which, like other additions to college buildings undertaken in the 1880s, provided additional teaching space to meet the needs of the new system of inter-collegiate lecturing. Popular lectures continued to be held in college halls; the smaller gathering shown here (cf. the catechetical lecture of the 1840s illustrated in Pt 1, Plate 50) may be based on one of Godley's honours lectures on Homer's Iliad and Cicero, which he delivered thrice-weekly at 10 a.m. in Magdalen during the academic year 1892±3. Godley's humorous `Diary of a Don' described the attendance at a ten o'clock lecture to honours men: `Lecture-room pretty full: two or three scholars, with air of superior intelligence: remainder commoners, in attitudes more or less expressive of distracted attention. One man from another college, looking rather de trop' (Ibid. 109). No image has been found of the most important medium of instruction in this period, the `private hour'.


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The Owlets Club, Corpus Christi College, 1891. Founded in 1889 for the study and discussion of English literature (and still ¯ourishing), this club originally met on each Sunday evening during term. Shakespeare was prominent on the menu, but it extended to Marlowe, Byron, and (in translation) Ibsen. The three bearded fellowsÐCharles Plummer, Cuthbert Shields, and Arthur SidgwickÐ are mentioned elsewhere in this volume. The back row includes two young BAs, both Greats men, who became notable scholars: E. K. Chambers (extreme right), Second Secretary, Board of Education, 1921, FBA 1924, KBE 1925, proli®c author, Shakespearian, and editor of English classics; and R. G. C. Proctor (second from left), for whom see B. C. Johnson, Robert Proctor, the `Great Bibliographer' (1985). Chambers continued to publish until his eighties; Proctor died on a Swiss glacier in 1903. `Owlets' is a reference to the owls in the coat of arms of Hugh Oldham, co-founder of the college.


A Trinity College reading party, probably in the Lake District, 1891. This group represents another aspect of the easy relations between dons and undergraduates outside the lecture-room. During vacations tutors commonly took selected groups of pupils for a period of study in a venue suitable for walking or climbing during the afternoons. The party photographed here was led by a young classics fellow H. E. D. Blakiston (seated in centre wearing a black tie, though he was by then ordained). The others were (from left to right): F. W. Hall (holding a golf club), later a classics tutor and President of St John's; Laurence Binyon, the poet; F. D. MacKinnon (standing), later a judge; J. H. Thurs®eld, later a headmaster; and H. P. Plumptre, who entered the Church.


W. A. Spooner, portrayed by `Spy' (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, (21 Apr. 1898) as one of the series, `Men of the Day'. A very small, short-sighted albino, Spooner had overcome these handicaps to be elected (in 1862 and 1866) as the ®rst scholar and fellow of New College from a school other than Winchester. In 1903 he became the ®rst non-Wykehamist Warden since the college's foundation in the late fourteenth century. Oxford men such as Ernest Barker and Roy Harrod, who had known many college heads, thought Spooner the best of all. A slight cerebral dysfunction has given him lasting fame. The best-known `Spoonerisms' are transposed initial sounds, such as the complaintÐpossibly apocryphalÐto an idle undergraduate that he had `tasted a whole worm'. There was also some transposition of ideas. Spooner apparently ended one sermon by remarking that whenever he had referred to Aristotle he had meant St Paul.


Sir William Reynell Anson, drawn by `Spy' for Vanity Fair (13 June 1901) in the series `Statesmen'. When the fellows of All Souls elected Anson as Warden in November 1881 the Law of Contract had already established his distinction as a legal scholar. (The edition of this work published in 1998 was the twentyseventh). `He is', The Times recorded, `a layman, and a Liberal, and . . . under

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forty years of age'. The `Thunderer' predicted correctly that the election would prove `the turning-point between the new and the old regime'; and it listed some factors which helped to explain the support among Conservative fellows for a colleague who had stood as a Liberal in the recent general election. The new Warden was `a baronet . . . the bearer of a famous name, the grandson of a Peninsular hero, and the collateral descendant of one of the best and bravest of England's naval heroes'. The fact that he was a rich and generous bachelor presumably added the ®nal touch to his suitability. Despite his immense services in modernizing All Souls, described in Chapter 8, Anson was not, in any general sense, a radical. He became a Liberal Unionist in 1886, and chairman of the committee which helped to deny degrees to Oxford women ten years later. He held one of the University's parliamentary seats from 1899 until his death, and served under Balfour for three years as Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education. When he died early in June 1914 the Prime Minister described him privately as `very cultivated and agreeable [but] a teaching example of the futility of the don in politics' (H. H. Asquith: Letters to Venetia Stanley, ed. M. and E. Brock (1982), 82). 37.

The procession to the high table of Corpus Christi in this cartoon consists of Thomas Case, Cuthbert Shields, G. B. Grundy, F. C. S. Schiller, Robinson Ellis, Charles Plummer, Arthur Sidgwick, and J. H. F. Peile. The President of the college is followed by six fellows, with the Assistant Chaplain (and Divinity Lecturer) in the rear. All of those depicted appear in this volume. Peile was a Corpus man who held a University College fellowship. His services were needed in Corpus because Plummer, although a Deacon, did not hold Priest's Orders, and was reluctant to teach for `Divvers Prelim'. The cartoon was drawn in 1905 or 1906 by O. S. Royal-Dawson, a scholar of the college, 1903±7, who died of wounds in 1917. The drawing's titleÐNos miseri et egentes homines (the opening words of the college's Grace)Ðwas, of course, ironic. The eight look neither wretched nor needy.


When Henry John Stephen Smith was nominated as a member of the Selborne Commission in 1877 reference was made in the Commons to his European reputation as a mathematician and to `his conciliatory character [which] made him perhaps the only man in Oxford who was without an enemy'. Dogged by ill-health in youth, he none the less became president of the Union, gained a double ®rst, and won the Ireland Scholarship. He was elected to a fellowship of Balliol in 1849, to the Savilian professorship of Geometry (at thirty-three) in 1860, and to Fellowships of the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society in 1861. His scholarship, described in Chapter 19, was combined with productive committee service within the University and outside it. Much of the Devonshire Report on Scienti®c Instruction came from his pen. Worn out by the grind of the Selborne Commission he died unmarried in 1883, aged ®fty-six.


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Copies of Boehm's bronze bust, executed in 1883, may be seen in Balliol and Corpus Christi, and in the National Portrait Gallery. 39.

Like W. R. Anson (Plate 36) Henry Francis Pelham came from a well-known whig family and had independent means. Unlike Anson he was a thoroughgoing Liberal. His great services to the study of Roman history and to the University are described in Chapter 13. His researches were seriously hampered by the double cataract which damaged his eyesight from his mid-forties. When a subtle attack on the women's halls was mounted in 1896 (Ch. 10, pp. 267±8, and Plate 27 above), Pelham was their most in¯uential defender. The halls' opponents asked in Congregation what could be endangered by their proposal to grant BA diplomas to women without any residence requirement. `The proposal', Pelham replied, `if it endangered nothing else, endangered the honour and reputation of the University' (The Times, 11 Mar. 1896, 10d). In that crisis the women's halls needed a champion of Pelham's standing. Herkomer, who was Slade Professor from 1885 to 1894, painted Pelham's portrait in front of his Slade class. It was bought for Trinity College by subscription in 1907. This plate is from an engraving by Herkomer himself.


Physiology was examined as a separate branch of the ®nal honour school of Natural Science from 1887. It was one of the new undergraduate disciplines taught almost entirely outside the colleges, and the series of photographs which were taken of its ®nalists is an unusual example of departmental spirit within the collegiate university (though several of the undergraduates sport boaters with college colours). The group pictured here took the Physiology school in June 1894, undergoing two days of written work in the Examination Schools, and two days of practicals in the University Museum, followed by a viva in the Schools. Most of them entered the medical profession. They are accompanied by their teachers: the demonstrators M. S. Pembrey and J. S. Haldane (back row, centre) and beneath them the venerable ®gure of Sir Henry Acland, regius professor of medicine, who looks down upon the man he brought in to lead the new department and who was shortly to succeed him in the regius chair, J. S. Burdon-Sanderson. The affectionate handling of the puppies was perhaps intended as a retort to the anti-vivisectionists (see p. 483).


The School of Geography was established in 1899 and the ®rst examination for the new diploma took place in June 1901, when this group of teachers and candidates was photographed outside the Old Ashmolean building, where the school was initially housed (see I. Scargill, The Oxford School of Geography 1899±1999 (1999)). The teachers were: H. N. Dickson, lecturer in physical geography (back row, left); A. J. Herbertson, lecturer in regional geography (back row, right); and H. J. Mackinder (seated, right), reader in geography and head of the school. Unusually for Oxford teachers of the period, Dickson and

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Herbertson had taken research degrees. The ®rst four students to gain the diploma were (back row, left to right), Revd E. C. Spicer (New), William Stanford (Wadham), William Bisiker (Wadham), and (seated front) Joan B. Reynolds (Society of Oxford Home-Students). 42.

The ®rst students to complete the diploma and certi®cate courses in Anthropology were photographed on the occasion of their practical examination in the upper gallery of the Pitt-Rivers Museum, June 1908. Henry Balfour, curator of the museum, stands behind them (second from left). The students were (left to right): (Sir) Francis Knowles, who became physical anthropologist to the Geological Survey of Canada; Barbara Friere-Marecco, the only one of three to be awarded a distinction (she had taken a ®rst in Classical Mods at Lady Margaret Hall and became a research fellow of Somerville); and J. A. Harley, from Antigua, who had studied at Harvard before coming to Oxford.


The Prince of Wales visited Germany in the Easter and summer vacations of 1913 when an Oxford freshman. Hermann Fiedler, who had been Professor of German since 1907, accompanied the Prince on both occasions. This photograph of them, from Fiedler's own collection, was taken at Saalburg on 22 March 1913. Edward, who thought Fiedler `a jolly old chap', greatly enjoyed driving through the German forests, but was wearied by the ceremonial which visiting his relatives and connections necessarily involved (P. Ziegler, King Edward VIII (1990), 42). In Berlin, however, he would `somehow manage', as he wrote later, `to park the good Professor Fiedler in the hotel after dinner. . . and . . . join a party of friends for a night of dancing not on the Baedeker schedule'. The `parking' process could be drastic. He once escaped by locking Fiedler into the bathroom. To ensure that the incarceration lasted only while the escape was in progress he gave the porter the key, explaining that apparently `the lock of the bathroom had gone wrong' (Duke of Windsor, A King's Story (1949), 99; A Family Album (1960), 48±9). `I don't care much about the Germans', the Prince wrote in his diary after the ®rst visit (Ziegler, 44); but, as the second ended, he planned another for 1914.


Arthur Thomson (front row, left) and his assistants in the lecture theatre of the department of human anatomy, c.1890. In the foreground is the slate table used for demonstrations; the demonstrators' rubber coats hang on the wall to the left. From its opening in 1885 until 1893, the department was accommodated in a brick-built shed, with an iron-roofed extension, behind the University Museum.


This photograph of Harold Brewer Hartley in the Balliol±Trinity laboratory was one of a collection taken during the summer of 1910 of teachers, demonstrators, and recent graduates who remained in Oxford to undertake research or


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help run the laboratory. The most famous image in the series (the surviving examples of which are preserved in the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford) is that of the young physicist, H. G. J. Moseley. Under the scheme of co-operation agreed between the college laboratories in 1904, the Balliol±Trinity laboratory specialized in the teaching of physical chemistry. Hartley, science tutor at Balliol since 1901, led a small group of researchers who, in the years up to 1914, produced a `modest ¯ow' of papers on the physico-chemical properties of solutions (J. Jones, Balliol College: A History (2nd edn 1997), 236). The photographer was Hartley's pupil, R. N. Garrod-Thomas, brie¯y (1908±10) a tutor at Balliol before becoming a barrister, returning to chemistry to work on explosives in the Ministry of Munitions during the First World War, after which he made a career in chemical manufacturing. 46.

An undated photograph of Elizabeth Wordsworth, the ®rst Principal of Lady Margaret Hall and founder of St Hugh's Hall, and perhaps the most in¯uential of the early promoters of women's education in Oxford. The popular writer for girls, L. T. Meade, who visited Lady Margaret Hall in 1892, spoke of the advantages for young women of residence in the Hall. `They have not only the advantage of what is meant by that term of the age, the Higher Education of Women, but they have also the deeper advantage which must arise from constant association with a lady of re®nement and culture. Living daily under her roof, it is impossible for any girl to forget that she can never attain to anything better, greater, or richer in life than true womanliness in its all-round sense' (`English girls and their colleges VI. Lady Margaret Hall and St Hugh's Hall', Lady's Pictorial 9 Jan. 1892, 48±9).


Bertha Johnson was one of the group of dons' wives who promoted women's higher education at Oxford during its earliest phase. As Lady Secretary to the AEW, Mrs Johnson oversaw the teaching arrangements for women students until 1894, when she resigned following a challenge to her authority by Somerville (described on pp. 260±1). Thereafter her particular concern was for the Home-Students, of whom she was Principal, an honorary post. Combining home life with public duties, she set high store by `unpaid public service' (Butler and Prichard, 33).


Agnes Maitland, photographed in her of®ce during the early years of her principalship of Somerville. She was Mrs Johnson's adversary in the contentions of 1893±4. Education was Miss Maitland's livelihoodÐshe had lectured in domestic science at a training school and examined the subject in elementary schoolsÐand she promoted the position of women within the profession. During her principalship (described in P. Adams, Somerville for Women (1996), Ch. 3), Somerville pressed ahead with the appointment of its own tutors, adopted the title of `College', and raised money to build a library.

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The Principal and students of Lady Margaret Hall, May term 1882. To the left of Miss Wordsworth (seated at the centre of the middle row) is Edith Argles, who was later Vice-Principal. Mary Eleanor Benson, who became one of the founders of the Women's University Settlement in Southwark, stands at the left end of the back row; Ella Sykes, who later undertook travels in Persia and Central Asia, is third from left in the back row; her sister, Ethel, who taught in India and became supervisor of the women employees of Lloyd's Bank, is third from right (back); Irene Nichols (centre front row) read English and became a bookbinder; to her left, Elinor Lucas, one of the ®rst women to gain honours in Classical Moderations, became a teacher and worked in the Lady Margaret Hall Settlement.


Madeleine Shaw Lefevre, the ®rst Principal of Somerville, is seated (wearing a hat) in the middle row of this photograph taken in 1887. To her left is Clara Pater, and to her right, Margaret Seward, the tutor in chemistry. Eleanor Grace Powell, Somerville's ®rst tutor in modern history, is seated middle row (second from left). Next to her, at the end of the row, is Elizabeth Hodge, whose achievement of a ®rst in Classical Moderations in 1888 disarmed opposition to the opening of Greats to women. Lilian Faithfull (standing behind Hodge) took a ®rst in the women's examination in English in 1887, some years before an equivalent course of study was available to men; she later became principal of Cheltenham Ladies' College. As well as lawn tennis, the students' recreations included drives in the college's pony trap, soon to be supplanted by the bicycles which proliferated in the following decade.


Annie Moberly, the ®rst Principal of St Hugh's Hall, stands in the back row (second from left) in this photograph taken in May term 1888, when the hall occupied rented accommodation in Norham Road. It includes the ®rst four students to be admitted to the hall, Constance Ashburner (standing behind Miss Moberly) and (front row, from left to right) Charlotte Jourdain, Jessie Emerson, and Grace Parsons, the latter becoming in 1889 the ®rst woman student to sit the Botany honour school (P. Grif®n (ed.), St Hugh's: One Hundred Years of Women's Education in Oxford (1986), 27). Edith Wardale (far right, back row) took a ®rst in modern languages in the following year, and became a tutor of the college.


In 1894, when this photograph of the Principal and students of St Hilda's Hall was taken, the new foundation had not yet been recognized as an independent hall by the AEW (it was treated as a hostel and its members classi®ed as HomeStudents). It was a major achievement of Esther Burrows, the ®rst principal (seated centre, back) to overcome the suspicions of the other principals, and to gain full recognition from the AEW in 1896. She chaperoned the students and concerned herself with their dress. `Mrs Burrows was the Lady of the house, rather than the Principal', one of them recalled (M. E. Rayner, The Centenary


plates: list and commentary History of St Hilda's College, Oxford (1993), 37). Her daughter, Christine (top right), one of seven former pupils of Cheltenham Ladies' College in the ®rst year's intake of ten students, became modern history tutor and succeeded her mother as Principal in 1910.


`The Ladies' College, Somerville Hall, Oxford' from the Graphic (31 July 1880), illustrates the domestic surroundings of the college in its early years. The print shows (top row): 1. Cottages in the drive; 2. A student's room (based on the room of Mary Ellen Turnbull, one of the ®rst students); 3. View from the lawn tennis ground; (lower row): 4. Approach to the Hall and Entrance; 5. Back view of the Hall from the garden (see Adams, Somerville, xi). The Graphic had previously (16 June 1877) reproduced drawings of Girton and Newnham at Cambridge.


The `white brick' of the house acquired in 1878 when Lady Margaret Hall was founded is visible on the extreme left of this photograph. The extension in red brick and terracotta, designed by Basil Champneys, was completed in 1884, to create what is now `Old Hall' (p. 751). The combined edi®ce, occupied by `bluestockings', soon became known as `the red, white, and blue'. At this stage the Principal, Elizabeth Wordsworth, meant to limit the Hall to twenty-®ve students. Within ten years, however, she had decided on expansion. She did not want Lady Margaret Hall to fall behind Somerville and pressure from applicants was increasing; some students (`the crickets') were being housed temporarily in Crick Road. The Wordsworth building, designed by R. T. Blom®eld and occupied in 1896, brought the Hall's student numbers above ®fty. It was the outcome of bold decisions. An expanded women's college hardly ®tted with the particular Church of England tradition in which the Hall had been founded; the site and building costs had to be met largely from loans (see Plate 55); and the controversies of 1895±6 made the future of women's institutions in Oxford look doubtful (pp. 264±8). Despite this, Blom®eld was encouraged to envisage enlargement of the site and to plan the layout of further buildings. A set of handsome buildings in harmony with each other is the result. In 1914 the dormer windows in Wordsworth were replaced, when the wings were brought into line at second ¯oor level with the centre section; and most of Champneys's east end, as the photograph shows it, disappeared during the 1920s, when Wordsworth and Old Hall were linked to each other by the building named after Eleanor Lodge.


Lady Margaret Hall found raising funds for the Wordsworth building (Plate 54) very dif®cult. An appeal in 1894, though headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and A. J. Balfour, did not bring in much money. As it was impossible to include a dining hall in the building plans, the temporary dining room shown in the photograph was attached to the building's north side. Its interior provided a

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marked contrast to the arrangements in the men's colleges. The Hall's students had ¯owers and table cloths, and (visible on the end wall) an `autotype' of Raphael's Sistine Madonna presented by Mrs Romanes (Brown Book, 1896, 17). Their fare was plain, however, by undergraduate standards; and, unlike their male counterparts, they ate together in their glori®ed hut three times a day. 56.

This photograph shows how Lady Margaret Hall's library was housed from the occupation of R. T. Blom®eld's Talbot building in 1910 until 1961. Talbot is the most striking of the buildings which Blom®eld designed for the Hall; and it formed the centre-piece of the diploma work which he deposited when elected a Royal Academician in 1914 (The Builder, 8 May 1914, Supplement, 8 and Illustration III). It was opened by the University Chancellor, Lord Curzon, in October 1910, a few days before Convocation assented to the creation of a Delegacy for Women Students. By his presence Curzon made amends for his much-resented opposition as an undergraduate more than thirty years earlier to admitting women students to the Union Society's library. Since then the women's colleges had succeeded in building up their libraries which, while designed primarily for their students, went beyond examination syllabuses (Pauline Adams, ```A voice and physiognomy of their own'': the libraries of the Oxford women's colleges', OM n.s. 134 (1996), 6±10). By the early 1920s LMH was already short of book-shelving; but in 1929, when Giles Gilbert Scott had been approached to be the college's architect, Blom®eld wrote to him: `Don't alter my library; you will spoil it if you do' (Richard A. Fellows, Sir Reginald Blom®eld (1985), 87). Blom®eld's inspiration for the library vaulting may have come from Wren, and, in particular, from St James's Church, Piccadilly. He was no slavish imitator of the master, however: steel joists were used for the barrel vaults which produce such a pleasing effect (Note by Stephen Robinson, p. 14: LMHA).


Between 1886 and 1913 students at Somerville were accommodated in two buildings, the old Hall and the West Building. In a deliberate rejection of the model of the men's colleges, Somerville at that time had no central dining hall; members of the two buildings used separate dining-rooms. They also had separate JCRs, the one pictured (in about 1906) being for members of old Hall. The decoration included two pictures (far left and fourth from left) donated in 1884 by John Ruskin, an occasional guest at Miss Shaw-Lefevre's Wednesday afternoon receptions (Adams, Somerville, 112).


By 1913, when this photograph of members of Somerville was taken, the college was on the verge of a decisive expansion with the opening of the Maitland building, which included a dining hall capable of accommodating the whole college and additional student rooms. The relative uniformity of dress worn by these Somerville students, photographed outside the new library, itself suggests


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a departure from the ambience of a country house party encouraged by the college's ®rst principal. Emily Penrose, the principal since 1907, stands in the centre of the middle arch with, to her right (leaning against the arch), the Hon. Alice Bruce, the Vice-Principal, and to her left Mildred Pope, the tutor in Modern Languages. Marya Czaplicka, about to embark on her anthropological ®eldwork in Siberia, stands in the second arch from left (on the other side of the pillar from Alice Bruce). Behind her, on the back row, are four members of the Mutual Admiration Society, Amphilis Middlemore, Dorothy Rowe, Charis Barnett, and Muriel Jaeger (the Society's most famous member, Dorothy L. Sayers, does not appear in this photograph). 59.

The University Boat Club's boathouse was built in 1880 to the designs of one of George Gilbert Scott's architect sons, John Oldrid Scott, at a cost of £3,230 (excluding ®ttings and architect's fees), £2,300 being raised by loans. On 9 January 1881, when almost complete and already housing several eights, it was burned out. The University granted £100 to the rebuilding appeal (pp. 532±3), the Cambridge Boat Club contributing the same amount. The building, which could house some forty boats, was soon in service, and by 1890 the debt on it had been reduced to £1,300. A second destructive ®re (perhaps started accidentally by vagrants) broke out early on 25 September 1999. The losses included many boats and some of the Club's photos and archives. The cost of building repairs `could reach £1 million' (The Times, 27 Sept. 1999, 8d). In terms of retail (as opposed to building) prices this corresponds to about £15,600 in 1881. The foreground of this photograph includes an eight in which the coach has apparently usurped the cox's seat. By the turn of the century it was usual for coaches to operate by cycle from the footpath.


The belief a century ago that teamwork was the secret of success in the Eights represents one of the main themes of Chapter 22. Magdalen's performance in May 1894, at the head of the river for the third year running, suggests that this belief was solidly based. The New College crew, which included four blues and had outperformed Magdalen in practice, moved into second place on the ®rst evening. On the third, a Magdalen man caught a `crab' and stopped the boat after half-a-minute's rowing. A superb performance by the stroke enabled Magdalen to escape their pursuers and stay in the lead. Given con®dence by this feat, they held off New College on the three remaining evenings. At ten stone their stroke, H. B. Cotton, was two stones lighter than his opposite number in New College. Contemporary praises for his pluck and leadership were hardly exaggerated, as the tragic sequel showed. After rowing at bow in four victorious Oxford crews, he caught a chill while coaching during the ¯oods of 1895 and died of pneumonia (R. Hutchins, `Well Rowed Magdalen!' A history of Magdalen College Boat Club 1859±1993 (1993), 20±1).

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A bump in Torpids, 22 February 1910. Christ Church III are shown bumping Trinity II at the entrance to `the Gut', the narrow bend half-way along the racing course. Although ¯ooding was common during February when Torpids were rowed, it seldom affected the towpath and each college expected its undergraduates to run with its crews. Even more than Eights, Torpids demanded grit and `college spirit'. Keeping up with a Torpid did not require champion runners. The crews consisted largely of beginners, and they rowed against a strong stream on ®xed seats in clinker-built boats. In the summer eights these `clinkers', with their overlapping external planks, gave way to `shells' with ¯ush planking and sliding seats. Rowing no. 4 in the Christ Church torpid was a freshman, Eric Parker, from whose album this photograph is taken; he came up to Christ Church from St Bees to read Theology and became a clergyman.


`Cricket in the Parks' by Lancelot Speed, appeared in A. D. Godley's Aspects of Modern Oxford (1894). The lounging air of the onlookers depicted by the artist, himself a recent Cambridge graduate, suggests why critics of athleticism thought that it encouraged `spectatorism', and why advocates of the more gruelling sport of rowing viewed the growing popularity of summer games, lawn tennis in particular, with disfavour. University cricket at Oxford moved from Cowley Marsh to the Parks in May 1881 during the golden age of the amateur sport. It was probably in these practice nets that batsmen were ®rst deceived by the `googly', the off-break delivered from a leg-break spinner's action, invented during his residence at Oriel (1897±1900) by B. J. T. Bosanquet, who is to be distinguished from his near-namesake and distant relative the Idealist philosopher mentioned elsewhere in this volume. In 1999 Oxford University, in partnership with Oxford Brookes University, was designated by the England and Wales Cricket Board one of six new Centres of Cricketing Excellence.


Oxford University Association Football XI, 1892±3. Although the gap between the standards of amateur and professional soccer sides had widened considerably since the University XI won the Football Association cup in March 1874, the team pictured here were still formidable opponents; they defeated Royal Arsenal 4±0 in a match played in the Parks (C. Weir, The History of Oxford University A.F.C. (1998), 22). C. B. Fry is seated second from left; the famous centre-forward and future England captain, G. O. Smith, sits cross-legged at the front; the goalkeeper, G. B. Raikes (in blazer, back row), and full-back, W. J. Oakley (back row, far right) also became England internationals. (Sir) Farquhar Buzzard, later Regius Professor of Medicine and physician to the royal family, is in the back row, far left. One effect of athleticism, which Gladstone deplored during his visit to All Souls in 1890, was `the laxity which allows men to perambulate the streets in ``shorts''' (C. L. R. F [letcher], Mr Gladstone at Oxford, 1890 (1908), 14).


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This photograph of the Varsity rugby football match in the early twentieth century comes from the album of F. N. Tarr (Uppingham and Univ.), who represented Oxford in 1907, 1908, and 1909. The ®xture was played at the Queen's Club in December, when the ground was frequently enveloped in West London fog. The photograph shows the Cambridge pack arriving in force as the grounded Oxford man attempts to feed his scrum-half after the tackle. The shirts worn by both teams differ little from those of the 1990s: Oxford sport a dark blue shirt with a white collar and a distinctive white crown badge, and dark blue shorts. Tarr had to leave the ®eld with a broken collar-bone early in the 1909 match, a famous Oxford victory in which Ronald Poulton, making his debut, scored ®ve tries. An of®cer in the 4th Battalion, the Leicestershire Regiment, Tarr was killed at Ypres on 18 July 1915, two months after Poulton's death in action.


Lady Margaret Hall hockey XI, 1912±13. Back row (from left to right, with schools previously attended): S. G. Bryan-Brown (Laleham, Eastbourne); D. Austin (Highbury and Islington H. S.); M. D. Ward (Queen Margaret's Scarborough); E. T. Calvert (Queen's Coll. Harley Street). Middle row: M. G. Skipworth (Queen Anne's Caversham); D. L. Esdaile (Wycombe Abbey); E. M. Newbolt (St Paul's School for Girls); O. S. Horner (Roedean); E. L. Malleson (Wimbledon H. S.). Front: D. Harvey (Crescent House, Bedford); E. G. Stacey (Winchester School for Girls). Six of the eleven became teachers. The team was expected to be a strong one `but, owing perhaps to lack of matches, has failed to get rid of its old faultÐgood individual play but lack of combination' (Brown Book no. 58, Mar. 1913, 74). Women's hockey in Oxford received a ®llip in March 1912 when the United Hockey Club defeated Cambridge 3±1 in a `hard and fast game' (Ladies' Field, 30 Mar. 1912, 232), Oxford's ®rst victory in the ®fteen years since the inter-varsity women's ®xture had been instituted.


An undergraduate's sitting room in Exeter College, c.1875. The occupant of a `set' of rooms would also have a bedroom and, in some cases, a pantry in which the staircase scout could prepare and clear away meals. Breakfast and lunch would be taken here, and friends might be entertained for dessert after dinner (decanters stand on the table). In the 1870s it was usual for an incoming occupant to purchase the furniture of his predecessor at an agreed valuation; Exeter set an upper limit of £60, the norm being about half that sum. At Exeter the room rental charged in the mid-1870s ranged from £10.10s to £16.16s a year. When photographed, these were the rooms of Basil Nevinson, who became a barrister; his academic cap and gown hang by the door (his cap apparently sitting on a skull). They lack the paraphernalia of athleticismÐoars and team photographsÐwhich adorn many undergraduate rooms in photographs taken at the end of the century.

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Brasenose College Junior Common Room, photographed in 1892. By the time that the new quadrangle was completed at Brasenose in 1887, most colleges had established JCRs and a room was duly provided by the college to accommodate this new undergraduate institution. The trophies on display re¯ect Brasenose's rowing successes at Henley. The room here had not yet degenerated into the shabby and untidy state characteristic of communal areas set aside for undergraduate use.


A bump supper was held in the hall of Merton College on 27 May 1903 to celebrate the four `bumps' (Wadham, Keble, Lincoln, and Worcester) which had enabled the college eight to rise from fourteenth to tenth place on the river. Although it would be an exaggeration, as the college's historians point out, to suggest that by the turn of the twentieth century Merton had been transformed into a `reading college', there is no doubt that academic standards had risen in the generation since the picture in Plate 10 had been taken. The bump supper, presided over by the Warden and fellows, was one of the new corporate occasions which united dons and undergraduates: champagne, speeches, and tobacco, would be followed by a bon®re and ®reworks in the quad. This photograph was evidently taken at an early, decorous stage of the proceedings.


The Churchwardens of University College were photographed in June 1903 when C. R. Attlee (holding the churchwarden pipes) was their president. This was a play-reading society which, like the Corpus Owlets, had Shakespeare as its staple fare. Its members were `reading men' in that all ten in the group were working for honours: in ®nals they secured one ®rst, four seconds, and ®ve thirds. The only scholar in the group, who took a ®rst in Classical Mods and a second in Greats, became a master at Charterhouse, and endowed a scholarship to bring Carthusians to Univ. Cigarettes were not esteemed among Clem Attlee's contemporaries, to whom a cigarette smoker was a man who had not learned how to smoke a pipe. Attlee's pipe was to become a familiar feature of many Labour Party conferences.


By 1887 Oxford, Cambridge, and London universities were all organizing classes in various towns, and it was decided to invite these `extension' students to a summer meeting in one of the universities. The result was the gathering, some 900 strong, in August 1888, which inaugurated a series of such meetings. This photograph of extensionists on the lawn of Balliol College, from the album of the Delegacy, shows the August 1889 meeting, attended by 1050 students (850 women and 200 men). From 1893 Oxford and Cambridge held summer schools on alternate years. After each, many of those attending stayed on for three weeks of supervised private study. By 1900 Liberal and Labour leaders were included among the lecturers. A number of working men and middle-class


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women came to look back on attendance at a summer meeting as a landmark of liberation in their lives. 71.

This photograph shows the Vice-Chancellor (the President of Corpus) walking in procession past Oriel with the Duke of York (later George V). This was a nervous moment. Among the honorands at the back of the 1899 Encaenia procession was Cecil Rhodes. An Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law had been offered in 1892, but he had been unable to come to Oxford for the ceremony. In 1897 a House of Commons Select Committee on the Jameson Raid had referred in their report to `grave breaches of duty' by Rhodes (PP 1897, ix. 20). When, less than two years later, he came to England `to face the music', as he put it, more than ninety professors and fellows, headed by the Master of Balliol and both Proctors, signed and published a protest about the degree. It would have been unprecedented to withdraw the offer; but it was rumoured that a proctorial veto at the Encaenia had been averted only when Kitchener, another of the honorands, had stated his unwillingness to accept an honour refused to Rhodes. The Junior Proctor (H. E. D. Blakiston) was understandably critical of Rhodes. The Raid, by denuding Matabeleland of police, had occasioned a native rising in which the last survivor among his three brothers had been killed. In the event Rhodes was enthusiastically received; but in the following term the Hebdomadal Council decided to put a time limit on offers of the Honorary DCL. In 1925 one of the protesters of 1899 (H. A. L. Fisher) became a trustee of Rhodes's bequest to the University.


In September 1909, after events described in Chapter 27, Arthur Jenkins (whose son became Chancellor of the University in 1987) and twenty-six other Ruskin College students moved out and formed the Central Labour College. Ruskin had housed con¯icting aims from the start. In 1899, shortly before the ®rst students were admitted, one of its founders, Walter Vrooman, announced: `we have no ``isms'' to teach, . . . no party and no creed' (H. Pollins, Ruskin College (1984), 10). This position was not easily sustained when the trustees included outstanding trade union and labour leaders such as Ben Tillett and C. W. Bowerman. By the autumn of 1908 half of the students, with some encouragement from the Principal, saw the University's efforts to forward working-class education as an intention to enfold Ruskin in an upper-class embrace. Their deeply held suspicions should command the historian's respect; but they had perhaps overlooked a truth of which an undergraduate editor, G. D. H. Cole, reminded them in February 1910. Their `best interests are served', he wrote in the Oxford Reformer `not by deliberate instruction in party propaganda, but by fair and unbiased economic education'.


In June 1910 members of the SCRs of Lady Margaret Hall and Somerville staged a performance of the ®fteenth-century morality play Everyman in the garden of

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Radcliffe House, Somerville (Fritillary June 1910, 869). Pictured (from left to right) are: Octavia Myers (`Strength'), English tutor at LMH until her marriage; Henrietta Escreet (`Knowledge'), who had read Modern History at Somerville and become a factory inspector; Grace Hadow (`Everyman'), English tutor at LMH, later Principal of the Society of Oxford Home-Students and known for organizing social work through Barnett House; Helen Darbishire (`Good Deeds'), English tutor and later Principal of Somerville; and Evelyn Jamison (`Discretion'), librarian and later history tutor at LMH (H. Deneke, Grace Hadow (1946), 49). During that month the statute creating the Delegacy for Women Students, whose implications for the acceptance of women in the University and for the status of women dons are discussed in Chapter 10 (pp. 269±70, 285), passed Congregation. 74.

The photograph shows the Communication Company (one of®cer and 37 men) of the Of®cers' Training Corps marching past General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien during the annual inspection of the Corps at Headington Hill Park on 23 May 1913. They hold their semaphore staves, their ri¯es being slung. The parade comprised more than a thousand undergraduates, of whom the Prince of Wales was one. In his speech Smith-Dorrien called the Corps `one of the ®nest bodies of young men that he had ever seen'. Anyone who is inclined to disparage this OTC training as unrealistic should consider the judgement of C.R.M.F. Cruttwell, an Oxford historian who had served as an of®cer on the western front in 1915±16. On the Somme in 1916 the British suffered at least three times the of®cer casualties which they in¯icted. `It is astonishing', Cruttwell wrote, `that the supply of suitable of®cers was on the whole well maintained . . . The maintenance of so high a standard . . . was due to two causes. First, to the cadet-corps in the public schools and universities, fostered by Lord Haldane . . . ' (A History of the Great War, 1914±1918 (1934), 277±8). This photograph comes from the album of a member of the Communication Company, E. F. L. Taylor (Felsted and St Edmund Hall), one of the earliest Oxford graduates in Engineering Science (1913), who volunteered in August 1914 and subsequently served as a technical of®cer in the RAF. After the war his engineering knowledge was employed in irrigation projects in Egypt and land reclamation in Greece.


In the Union Committee photograph of May 1914 the middle row (from left to right) consists of Sidney Ball, the senior treasurer; Austen Chamberlain, the term's guest speaker; the president (A. H. M. Wedderburn, see p. 860); Warden Anson of All Souls, one of the University's Unionist MPs; and W. H. Moberly, the senior librarian. The president's father and W. M. Gill, the Society's steward are in the back row. The other nine are undergraduate members of the Committee, three of them (excluding the president) being Balliol men. Of the eleven in the group who were under forty, Gilbert Talbot (back row, extreme left) was killed in 1915. He was a son of the Bishop of Winchester who had earlier been


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the ®rst warden of Keble College. When an inter-denominational religious and rest centre was established later that year at Poperinghe, west of Ypres, it was named after him. Talbot House, or Toc H as it has always been called, soon became known throughout the British sector of the western front and beyond. The survivors collected a DSO, an MC, at least ®ve mentions in despatches, and a variety of war wounds. Three went into politics and ended with peerages (Harold Macmillan, second from left in the front row; Walter Monckton; and H. G. Strauss). One became British Ambassador in Rome (Victor Mallet); and another (Walter Moberly) chaired the University Grants Committee for fourteen years.

ac k n ow l e d g e m e n t s Acknowledgement is gratefully made to the following, who have given permission to reproduce illustrations: Balliol College (by kind permission of the Master and fellows): 2, 8, 28 Bodleian Library: 4 (A.G. Butler album); 25 (MS Top Oxon a. 33, p. 1); 32 (Manning 88152); 62 (Manning 88152); Fig. 10.3 (G. A. Oxon 48416, no. 904); Fig. 10.4a (G. A. Oxon 48416, no. 916); Fig. 10.4b (G. A. Oxon 48416 no 915); Fig. 10.5 (G. A. Oxon 48415 no. 699); Fig. 10.6 (G. A. Oxon 48412, no. 138) Brasenose College (by kind permission of the Principal and fellows); 39, 67 Christ Church (by kind permission of the Governing Body): 6, 11, 12, 26, 31, 35, 36, 61, Fig. 10.1. Fig. 10.2 (photos: M. R. Dudley) Corpus Christi College (by kind permission of the President and fellows): 33, 37, 38 (37, 38 photos: John Gibbons) Department of Human Anatomy: 44 Department of Physiology: 40 Exeter College (by kind permission of the Rector and fellows): 66 Lady Margaret Hall (by kind permission of the Principal and fellows): 46, 47, 49, 51, 54, 56, 65 (photos: Thomas-Photos) Lincoln College (by kind permission of the Rector and fellows; photo: John Gibbons): 3 Magdalen College (by kind permission of the President and fellows): 19, 60 (photos: John Gibbons); 29 (by kind permission of the Junior Common Room; photo: John Gibbons) Merton College (by kind permission of the Warden and fellows): 10, 68 (photos: John Gibbons) Museum of the History of Science: 45 Oxford Union Society: 13 (photo: J. Inskip); 27, 30 (photos: M. R. Dudley); 75 (photo: John Bowerman) Oxford University Archives: 70 Oxford University Press: 14, 15, 20, 21 (photos: Dean Ryan) Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive, Centre for Oxfordshire Studies: 16, 18, 22, 24, 48, 55, 59, 64, 71, 74 Pembroke College (by kind permission of the Master and fellows): 23 Pitt Rivers Museum: 42

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Princeton University Library. Morris L. Parrish Collection. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections: 1, 7 Pusey House (by kind permission of the Principal and Chapter; photo: J. Inskip): 17 Rhodes House Library (by kind permission of the Rhodes Trustees): 9 Ruskin College: 72 St Hilda's College (by kind permission of the Principal and fellows): 52 School of Geography: 41 Somerville College (by kind permission of the Principal and fellows): 50, 53, 57, 58, 73 (photos: Thomas-Photos) Taylor Institution: 43 Trinity College (by kind permission of the President and fellows): 34 University College (by kind permission of the Master and fellows): 69 (photo: John Gibbons)


Figures 4.1 Numbers of undergraduates (men) in residence in each college and hall: 1842, 1871, 1891, and 1911 10.1 S. P. Hall, `The Natural History Lecture', 1866 10.2 S. P. Hall, `The Ladies' Lecturer', 1866 10.3 An undergraduate cartoonist's view of mixed classes, 1882 10.4 (a) and (b) A caricaturist's fantasies of women students in science and mathematics, c.1880 10.5 `A Student of Somerville Hall gains a Fellowship' 10.6 `The ( John Stuart) Mill-ennium', c.1880 10.7 Oxford students and marriage: women 1881±1979, men 1930±1979 21C.1 Routes to ®nal honours in Lit. Hum., Mathematics, Jurisprudence, Modern History, Theology, and Oriental Studies, 1913/14 21C.2 Routes to ®nal honours in Natural Science, 1913/14 21C.3 Routes to ®nal honours in English, 1913/14 21C.4 Routes to ®nal honours in Modern Languages, 1913/14 21C.5 Principal routes to a Pass degree, 1913/14 23.1 Previous education of men matriculating at Oxford, 1895±8 and 1911±14 23.2 Previous education of men matriculating at Oxford, 1902±5, and at Cambridge 1902±4

123 239 239 248 254 254 255 295 512 513 513 513 514 552 554



Tables 7.1 Fathers' occupations of Non-Collegiate students admitted 1870±1879, 1891±1910 8.1 Fellows of All Souls College: decennial data, 1850±1914 10.1 Final examinations taken successfully by Oxford and Cambridge college women, 1881±1913 10.2 Principal careers of Oxford women students, 1881±1913 20.1 Natural scientists as a proportion of Oxford graduates, 1855±1914 20.2 Natural Science honours by subject, 1886±1914: men and women 20.3 Careers of Natural Science graduates from seven colleges, 1900±1914: Balliol, Corpus, Exeter, Keble, Magdalen, Merton, St John's 23.A1 The public-schools community and its periphery c.1880±1902 23.A2 Undergraduates matriculating at Oxford and Cambridge in 1818/19 and 1848/9, and undergraduates on the books in 1861 who had attended a `Clarendon' public school 23.A3 Previous education of those matriculating at Oxford, academic years 1895±8, 1902±5, and 1911±14, and those matriculating at Cambridge, 1902±4 23.A4 Leading schools by Oxford admissions, 1895±8, 1911±14 23.A5 Candidates admitted to the examinations of the Oxford Local Examinations Delegacy, the Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, and the Oxford and Cambridge Schools Examination Board, 1860±1910 24.1 Fathers' occupations of Oxford men matriculating in four academic years, 1818/19, 1848/9, 1878/9, 1897/8, and of Oxford women admitted in 1881±3, 1891±3, 1901±3, 1911±13

205 217 282 297 459 463 494 565 566 567 567

568 578





Abbreviations AA

Ashmolean Library archives

Abbott and Campbell Jowett,

E. Abbott and L. Campbell, Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett (2 vols 1897)


Association for the Higher Education of Women in Oxford


J. Foster, Alumni Oxonienses, 1715±1886 (4 vols 1887, 1888). Pagination is continuous through the four volumes.

Arnold, Letters

The Letters of Matthew Arnold, 3 vols to 1870, ed. C. Y. Lang (1996±8)

Atlay, Acland

James Beresford Atlay, Sir Henry Acland, Bart. K.C.B., F.R.S., Regius Professor of Medicine in the University of Oxford: a memoir (1903)


bachelor of arts


British Association for the Advancement of Science

Baker, Jesus

J. N. L. Baker, Jesus College, Oxford, 1571±1971 (1971)


Balliol College archives


bachelor of civil law


Balliol College Library Papers


bachelor of divinity


British Journal for the History of Science

BL Add. MS

British Library, additional manuscript


bachelor of letters


British Library Oriental and India Of®ce Collections

Bloxam, Reg. Magdalen

J. R. Bloxam, A Register of the Presidents, Fellows, Demies, Instructors in Grammar and in Music, Chaplains, Clerks, Choristers, and Other Members of St Mary Magdalen College in the University of Oxford, from the Foundation of the College to the Present Time (7 vols and index 1853±85)


British Library of Political and Economic Science


bachelor of medicine


Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society (1954 onward, as continuation of ONFRS)





British Medical Journal


bachelor of music

Boase, Reg. Exeter

C. W. Boase, Register of the Rectors, Fellows, and Other Members on the Foundation of Exeter College, Oxford (Registrum Collegii Exoniensis) (OHS xxvii 1894)


Bodleian Library, Oxford

Brasenose Monographs

Brasenose College Quatercentenary Monographs (2 vols in 3, OHS lii±liv 1909)

British Assn (1866±7)

`On the Best Means for Promoting Scienti®c Education in Schools', Report by the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1867: PP 1867±8 xxviii Pt 2. 218±30; liv. 1±16


G. C. Brodrick, Memories and Impressions (1900)

Bryce Commn

[ James Bryce, later Visc. Bryce, chairman], Royal Commission on Secondary Education; appointed 2 Mar. 1894, report signed 13 Aug. 1895 (PP 1895 xliii. 1±328. Remainder of xliii and whole of xliv±xlix consist of evidence, tables, etc.)


bachelor of science

Butler and Prichard

R. F. Butler and M. H. Prichard, The Society of Oxford Home-Students: Retrospects and Recollections (printed for private circulation, 1930). Republished as Part 1 (1879±1921) of St Anne's College (private circulation, 1957)


Christ Church archives


Oxford University Calendar, 1810± (published annually by the University)

Campbell, Nationalisation

L. Campbell, The Nationalisation of the Old English Universities (1901)


Corpus Christi College

Clarendon Commn

[George William Frederick Villiers, fourth Earl of Clarendon, chairman] Public Schools Commission; appointed 18 July 1861, report signed 16 Feb. 1864 (PP 1864 xx; evidence xxi)


Cheltenham Ladies' College


Church Missionary Society

The Collegiate University

James McConica (ed.), History of the University of Oxford iii: The Collegiate University (1986)

Cordeaux and Merry

E. H. Cordeaux and D. H. Merry, Bibliography of Printed Works relating to the University of Oxford (1968)

abbreviations CSU

Christian Social Union


Common University Fund


Cambridge University Library


doctor of civil law



doctor of divinity

Derby Papers

Papers of the 14th Earl of Derby (1799±1869), Liverpool Record Of®ce, 920 DER(14). The letters to Lord Derby have not been foliated. Citations from letters by him are taken from copies in letterbooks.

Devonshire Commn

[Duke of Devonshire, chairman], Royal Commission on Scienti®c Instruction and the Advancement of Science; appointed 18 May 1870; eighth (and last) report signed 18 June 1875 (PP 1872 xxv c. 536: ®rst and second reports; 1873 xxviii c. 868, 637: third report; 1874 xxii c. 958±95: evidence)


doctor of medicine


doctor of music


Dictionary of National Biography (66 vols 1885±1901, reissued in 22 vols 1908±9). This series, bringing the record to the death of Queen Victoria, 22 Jan. 1901, has been extended to 1990 by further volumes, and by a Missing Persons volume (1993)


Exeter College archives

Ed. Rev.

Edinburgh Review

Edwardian Youth

L. E. Jones, An Edwardian Youth (1956)


English Historical Review

The Eighteenth Century

L. S. Sutherland and L. G. Mitchell (eds), History of the University of Oxford v: The Eighteenth Century (1986)

Enactments in Parliament

Enactments in Parliament specially concerning the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and the Halls and Colleges Therein and the Colleges of Winchester, Eton and Westminster, ed. L. L. Shadwell (4 vols OHS lviii±lxi 1912)


A. J. Engel, From Clergyman to Don (1983)

Exam Statutes

The Examination Statutes (Title VI): issued annually


Football Association

Fowler, Corpus

T. Fowler, History of Corpus Christi College, Oxford (OHS xxv 1893)


Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians



Froude, Short Studies

J. A. Froude, Short Studies on Great Subjects (First Series, 1867; Second Series, 1871; Third Series, 1877; Fourth Series, 1883)


Fellow of the Royal Society


Oxford University Gazette (28 Jan. 1870± )

Gibbon, Memoirs

Edward Gibbon, Memoirs of my Life, ed. Georges A. Bonnard (1966)

Gladstone, Diaries

The Gladstone Diaries (14 vols 1968±94) i±ii (1825±39) ed. M. R. D. Foot; iii±iv (1840±54) ed. M. R. D. Foot and H. C. G. Matthew; v±xiv (1855±96, index) ed. H. C. G. Matthew


Gentleman's Magazine

Goldwin Smith, `Reform'

Goldwin Smith, `Oxford University Reform', Oxford Essays (1858), 265±87

Goldwin Smith, Reorganization

Goldwin Smith, The Reorganization of the University of Oxford (1868)

Green, Lincoln

V. H. H. Green, The Commonwealth of Lincoln College, 1427±1977 (1979)

Green, Works

Works of Thomas Hill Green ed. R. L. Nettleship (3 vols 1888); republished as vols 1±3 in T. H. Green: Collected Works ed. Peter Nicholson (5 vols 1997)


The Student's Handbook to the University and Colleges of Oxford (21 edns 1873±1914); from 19th edn (1912) entitled Oxford University Handbook


Hebdomadal Council papers (printed series Mar. 1882± )


Oxford University Herald

Historical Register, 1220±1900

The Historical Register of the University of Oxford to Trinity Term 1900 (1900)


His (or Her) Majesty's Inspector (of Schools)


Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences

Huber, English Universities

V. A. Huber, The English Universities, ed. and trans. F. W. Newman (2 vols, 2nd in 2, 1843)


Indian Civil Service

Jowett, Letters

Letters of Benjamin Jowett ed. E. Abbott and L. Campbell (1899)


Keble College Archives


Liddon Bound Volumes; papers collected or transcribed when Liddon was writing the Life of Pusey. These constitute the greater part of the Liddon Papers in Pusey House library.




Lincoln College archives


J. H. Newman, Letters and Diaries (planned for 31 vols) i±vii (1801±Dec. 1840), ed. I. T. Ker, T. Gornall and G. Tracey (1978±95); xi±xxxi (Oct. 1845±90), ed. C. S. Dessain and T. Gornall (1961±77)

Liddon, Pusey

H. P. Liddon, Life of E. B. Pusey, ed. J. O. Johnston, R. J. Wilson and for vol. iv. W. C. E. Newbolt (4 vols 1893±7). Liddon arranged material for all 4 vols and left a ®rst draft to 1856.

Lit. Hum.

Literae Humaniores (`Greats')


Lady Margaret Hall


Lady Margaret Hall archives


Lambeth Palace library


London School of Economics and Political Science

Lyulph Stanley

Edward Lyulph Stanley (later 4th Lord Shef®eld), Oxford University Reform (1869)

Macleane, Pembroke

D. Macleane, History of Pembroke College, Oxford (OHS xxxiii 1897)


C. E. Mallet, History of the University of Oxford (3 vols 1924±7, repr. 1968)

Mandell Creighton

Louise Creighton, Life and Letters of Mandell Creighton (2 vols 1904)


Magdalen College archives


Marylebone Cricket Club


C. H. O. Daniel (ed.), Our Memories (1888±95)


Monthly Notices of the Royal Astonomical Society

Mozley, Letters

Letters of the Revd. J. B. Mozley, DD, ed. Anne Mozley (1885)


New College archives


no date given


no place of publication given


Natural Science Final Honour School


Natural Sciences Tripos (Cambridge)


National Union of Teachers


Oriel College archives


Oriel College MS letters and other papers acquired before 1932, Oriel College library


Oxford Historical Society


Oxford Magazine



Oman, Memories

Charles (W. C.) Oman, Memories of Victorian Oxford (1941)


Museum of the History of Science, Oxford


Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society

Ordinances and Statutes (1863)

Ordinances and Statutes framed or approved by the Oxford University Commissioners in pursuance of the Act, 17 and 18 Victoria, Chapter 81 (1863)


Of®cers' Training Corps


Oxford University archives


Oxford University Athletic Club


Oxford University Boat Club


Oxford University Cricket Club


Oxford University Dramatic Society


Oxford University Junior Scienti®c Club


Oxford Union Society

Parl. Deb.

Parliamentary Debates. The series is brie¯y denoted, the sign for `Third Series' being `3S'.

Pattison, Memoirs

Mark Pattison, Memoirs, ed. V. H. H. Green (1988; ®rst pubd 1885)

Pattison, Suggestions

M. Pattison, Suggestions on Academical Organisation, with Especial Reference to Oxford (Edinburgh 1868)


Proceedings of the British Academy


Pembroke College, Oxford, archives


Pusey House library


Parliamentary Papers


Proceedings of the Royal Society

Pt 1

M. G. Brock and M. C. Curthoys (eds), History of the University of Oxford vi: Nineteenth-Century Oxford, Pt 1 (1997)


The Queen's College archives


Quarterly Journal of Education


Quarterly Review

Quinn and Prest

E. V. Quinn and J. M. Prest (eds), Dear Miss Nightingale. A Selection of Benjamin Jowett's Letters to Florence Nightingale, 1860±1893 (1987)

RCO (1850)

Royal Commission Appointed to Inquire into the State, Discipline, Studies and Revenues of the University and Colleges of Oxford; appointed 31 Aug. 1850; report signed 27 Apr. 1852; chairman Samuel Hinds, Bishop of Norwich (PP 1852 (1482) xxii), report and evidence



RCOC (1872)

Royal Commission Appointed to Inquire into the Property and Income of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and of the Colleges and Halls therein; appointed 5 Jan. 1872; report signed 31 July 1874; chairman Duke of Cleveland (PP 1873 xxxvii C. 856 pts 1±3), report and evidence

RCOC (1919)

Royal Commission on Oxford and Cambridge Universities; appointed 14 Nov. 1919; report signed 1 Mar. 1922; chairman, with speci®c responsibility for Oxford, H. H. Asquith (PP 1922 x Cmd. 1588)

Report and Evidence (1853)

Report and Evidence upon the Recommendations of Her Majesty's Commissioners for Inquiring into the State of the University of Oxford, presented to the Board of Heads of Houses and Proctors, 1 December 1853 (1853). Unless otherwise stated citations are to the Evidence which is paginated separately from the Report.


Melvin Richter, The Politics of Conscience: T. H. Green and His Age (1964)

Robert Elsmere

Mrs Humphry Ward (Mary Augusta Ward), Robert Elsmere (Westmorland edn 2 vols 1911; ®rst pubd 1888)

Ruskin, Works

The Works of John Ruskin ed. E. T. Cook and A. Wedderburn (39 vols 1903±1912)


St Anne's College archives


Somerville College archives

Schools and Universities

Matthew Arnold, Schools and Universities on the Continent ed. R. H. Super (1964; originally published 1868): vol. 4 of Complete Prose Works of Matthew Arnold ed. Super (11 vols Ann Arbor 1960±77)

SCOC (1867)

Select Committee on the Oxford and Cambridge Universities Education Bill; appointed 26 June 1867; reported 31 July 1867; chairman William Ewart (PP 1867 (497) xiii. 183±560), report (185) and evidence

SCSI (1868)

Select Committee on Scienti®c Instruction; appointed 24 Mar. 1868; reported 15 July 1868; chairman Bernhard Samuelson (PP 1867±8 xv. Report iii±ix; remainder of volume proceedings of committee, evidence given 23 Apr.±3 July 1868)

SC Tests (1870±1)

Select Committee of the House of Lords on University Tests; appointed 14 July 1870, re-appointed 13 Feb.


abbreviations 1871; chairman Marquess of Salisbury (PP 1871 ix. 85±676). Evidence given 25 July±4 Aug. 1870; 21 Feb.±21 Mar. 1871. Separate pagination for each year.


Peter Searby, History of the University of Cambridge, III, 1750±1870 (1997)

Seventeen Lectures

William Stubbs, Seventeen Lectures on the Study of Medieval and Modern History and Kindred Subjects, Delivered at Oxford, 1867±1884 (1886; 3rd edn 1900)


St Hilda's College archives


St Hugh's College archives

SIC (1864)

Schools Inquiry Commission (Endowed Schools); chairman Henry Labouchere, Lord Taunton; appointed 28 Dec. 1864; report signed 2 Dec. 1867; (PP 1867±8 xxvii. This volume is in 17 Parts: Part 1 contains the Report)


Society of Oxford Home-Students

Stanley, Arnold

A. P. Stanley, Life and Correspondence of Thomas Arnold D.D. (1844, 16th edn expanded 2 vols 1898)


Statuta et Decreta Universitatis Oxoniensis: issued annually

Statutes (1882)

Statutes made for the University of Oxford, and for the colleges and halls therein, by the University of Oxford Commissioners acting in pursuance of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge Act, 1877: approved by the Queen in Council (1882)

Stone, `Size and Composition'

L. Stone, `The Size and Composition of the Oxford Student Body 1580±1910' in L. Stone (ed.), The University in society (2 vols Princeton 1975), vol. i

Stubbs, Letters

The Letters of William Stubbs ed. W. H. Hutton (1904)


Southampton University library


Trinity College archives


Tutorial Classes Committee


Trades Union Congress

Tutors (1854)

Papers published by the Tutors' Association (1854)

The Twentieth Century

B. H. Harrison (ed.), History of the University of Oxford viii: The Twentieth Century (1994)


University College archives


University College London


Oxford Undergraduate's Journal (31 Jan. 1866±Oct. 1875); Oxford and Cambridge Undergraduate's Journal (21 Oct. 1875±30 Nov. 1882); Oxford Review



and Undergraduate's Journal (7 Dec. 1882±14 June 1883); Oxford and Cambridge Undergraduate's Journal (18 Oct. 1883±4 Dec. 1884) UMCA

Universities' Mission to Central Africa

UOC (1877)

University of Oxford Commission; appointed 10 Aug. 1877; chairman (±1880) Lord Selborne, (1880±) Mountague Bernard (PP 1881 lvi C. 2868), evidence, circulars, etc. Commissioners named in section 4 of the 1877 Act, which received the royal assent on 10 Aug.


Oxford University Press Archives

V. & A.

Victoria and Albert Museum

VCH Cambs. iii

J. P. C. Roach (ed.), A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely iii (1959)

VCH Oxon. iii

H. E. Salter and M. D. Lobel (eds.), A History of the County of Oxford iii (1954)

VCH Oxon. iv

A. Crossley (ed.), A History of the County of Oxford iv (1979)

Ward, Victorian Oxford

W. R. Ward, Victorian Oxford (1965)


Workers' Educational Association




List of Contributors M. G. Brock was Warden of Nuf®eld College, Oxford, 1978±88. Alan Bullock (Lord Bullock) was Master of St Catherine's College, Oxford, 1960± 80. William R. Chapman is Professor and Director, Historic Preservation Program, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Morton Cohen is Professor Emeritus, the City University of New York. M. C. Curthoys is a Research Editor, New Dictionary of National Biography. K. C. Hannabuss is Fellow and Tutor in Mathematics, Balliol College, Oxford. Christopher Harvie is Professor of British and Irish Studies at the Eberhard-Karls University, TuÈbingen, Honorary Professor of Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and Honorary Professor of History at the University of Strathclyde. Peter Hinchliff was Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History, University of Oxford, from 1992 until his death in 1995. J. R. de S. Honey is Professor in the Faculty of Education, University of Botswana. Janet Howarth is Fellow and Tutor in History, St Hilda's College, Oxford. Peter Howell was Senior Lecturer in Classics, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London. Richard Jenkyns is Fellow and Tutor in Classics, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. H. S. Jones is Senior Lecturer in History, University of Manchester. J.F.A. Mason was Student and Tutor in Modern History, Christ Church, Oxford, 1953±87. Philip Morsberger is William S. Morris Eminent Professor in Art, Augusta State University. Oswyn Murray is Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History, Balliol College, Oxford. Barry Nicholas was Principal of Brasenose College, Oxford, 1978±89. Anne Ockwell was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research. D. J. Palmer was Professor of English, University of Manchester, 1977±92. He died in 1992. Harold Pollins was a Senior Tutor, Ruskin College, Oxford, 1964±89. Rebecca Posner was Professor of Romance Languages, University of Oxford, 1978± 96. John Prest was Fellow and Tutor in History, Balliol College, Oxford, 1954±95. Geoffrey Rowell is Bishop Suffragan of Basingstoke. J. S. G. Simmons is Emeritus Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford.



List of Contributors

Reba N. Soffer is Professor Emeritus, California State University, Northridge. Peter Sutcliffe was a Senior Editor, Arts and Reference Division, Oxford University Press until 1987. He died in 1994. Richard Symonds is Senior Research Associate, Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford. W. H. Walsh was Professor of Logic and Metaphysics in the University of Edinburgh, 1960±79. He died in 1986. Charles Webster is Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford. E. T. Williams was Warden of Rhodes House, Oxford, 1952±80. He died in 1995. S. L. F. Wollenberg is Fellow and Tutor in Music, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.


List of Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors chancellors 1869±1903 1903±07 1907±1925

Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, Marquess of Salisbury George Joachim Goschen, Viscount Goschen George Nathaniel Curzon, Lord Curzon of Kedleston

vice-chancellors 1870±4 1874±8 1878±82 1882±6 1886±90 1890±4 1894±8 1898±9 1899±1901 1901±04 1904±06 1906±1910 1910±13 1913±17

Henry George Liddell, Dean of Christ Church James Edwards Sewell, Warden of New College Evan Evans, Master of Pembroke Benjamin Jowett, Master of Balliol James Bellamy, President of St John's Henry Boyd, Principal of Hertford John Richard Magrath, Provost of Queen's Sir William Reynell Anson, Bt., Warden of All Souls Thomas Fowler, President of Corpus David Binning Monro, Provost of Oriel William Walter Merry, Rector of Lincoln Thomas Herbert Warren, President of Magdalen Charles Buller Heberden, Principal of Brasenose Thomas Banks Strong, Dean of Christ Church










1 A `Plastic Structure' m . g . b ro c k

` b e t w e e n t wo wor lds ' In 1868 F. T. Palgrave saw Oxford as entering a short `plastic period, [one of] those very rare and precious epochs' when `radical changes are possible'.1 Others described the uncertainties of the 1870s in less glowing terms. Mandell Creighton, who had become a fellow of Merton in December 1866, compared his early years there to `life in a house which always has the workmen about it';2 and in 1876 the Archbishop of Canterbury referred in the House of Lords to Oxford's years of `unsettlement'.3 What the Selborne Commission achieved between 1877 and 1882 affected Oxford during the whole period to 1914. This chapter is concerned with the shifting mental climate of the 1870s and the various developments which led to the Commissioners' decisions. A general account of the University during the decade, and of the doings of both the Cleveland and Selborne Commissions, is given in Chapter 2. The arrangements established by the Oxford University Act of 1854 and the Executive Commission had done something to increase the University's educational ef®ciency, but they were incomplete and, in places, defective. Goldwin Smith, one of the Commission's two secretaries, described them as a system `such as no human being would have devised if it had not come into our hands through historical accidents of the most capricious kind. Perhaps,' he added, `not many years will have passed before people will perceive that every sort of shift has been resorted to . . . out of respect for the lingering phantom of college monkery which stands between us and the application of these unequalled endowments to the real uses of the present time.'4 The language was in¯ammatory, the prediction cautious. The perceptions, and 1 Palgrave to Gladstone, 22 Apr. 1868: BL Add. MS 44270, fo 88. Palgrave's Golden Treasury had appeared in 1861. He was Professor of Poetry, 1885±95. 2 Macmillan's Magazine, 34 (June 1876), 187. See also n. 283. 3 Parl. Deb. 9 Mar. 1876, 3S ccxxvii. 1667. For a similar use of the term in the 1881 Bampton Lectures see John Wordsworth, The One Religion (1881), 2. 4 Goldwin Smith, `Reform' (1858), 282. For the Executive Commissioners and their operations, 1854±8, see Pt 1, 699±702.



`a secularized university'?

the consequent disillusionment, came even more quickly than was usual after a Victorian institution had been reformed.5 The reformers of 1854 had made large concessions to secure the enactment of their measures.6 The crucial issue concerned the nature of the college fellowships which made up the majority of Oxford's senior posts. While these were reduced in number, they still exceeded what was needed to ®ll the tutorships and bursarships; and a proportion in every college might now be held by laymen. Gladstone, the chief author of the 1854 Bill, had foreseen that a body of `idle', non-resident, lay fellows could arouse public criticism. A clerical fellow would probably vacate his fellowship and marry as soon as he obtained a good living and became its incumbent: if he had been nonresident until then, his service as a curate in one of his college's livings might well account for his failure to reside.7 The non-resident lay fellow, by contrast, was probably working in London as a lawyer or journalist, and he could hold his fellowship inde®nitely provided he did not marry, or acquire the kind of substantial `property, pension, or of®ce' which would oblige him to vacate it.8 Thus, while the proportion of non-residents among the fellows actually declined after the reform, the `idle fellow' became a far more visible phenomenon.9 Gladstone had provided in his Bill that fellows who were not working in the University, a college, or a parish (as incumbent or curate), had to reside in Oxford for at least twenty-four weeks a year and hold `a certi®cate of study'.10 This clause, like a number of others affecting the colleges, had been dropped during the Bill's passage through Parliament. In theory, a college in need of a tutor or bursar might call a professional man back to Oxford, but in practice this power could not be exercised. Gladstone had failed to carry his `residence and study' clause because a fellowship had not been seen as a salaried post or a step in an academic career. Even those who meant to work in Oxford were unwilling to differentiate their position from that of the `idle fellows'. Despite the increasingly commercial and meritocratic tone of the age they mostly modelled themselves on the aristocracy, 5

SCOC (1867), Q 3681, (Burrows). Parl. Deb. 15 June 1854, cxxxiv. 213 (Russell). 7 Ward, Victorian Oxford, 192; Report and Evidence (1853), 79 (Pusey); SCOC (1867), Q 3080 (Scott). For the residence requirement when the 1854 Bill was introduced see PP 1854 v. 299±300 (cl. 36) 8 PP 1856 xlvi. 642 (Lincoln Coll.). See Tutors (1854), 128 (F. H. Dickinson) on this problem. For the standard property ordinance see Ordinances and Statutes (1863), 133±4 (Oriel, Ord. 7). 9 Pt 1, 165 (1842); cf. PP 1871 ix. 216±21; Goldwin Smith, Reorganization (1868), 11; SCOC (1867), 267 (Roundell); Devonshire Commn., Evidence; Pattison, 15 Nov. 1870, 242. In 1870±1 about half of the fellows were non-resident. In Oct. 1867 Jowett's ®gure for the proportion was `at least 3/4ths': J. M. Prest, `Jowett's Correspondence with Earl Russell in 1867' (Balliol College Record, Supplement 1965), 7. 10 See n. 7 above. For similar proposals see `Jowett's Bill', BL Add. MS 44743, fo 8 (cl. 18, 19) and Tutors (1854), 126. 6

a `plastic structure'


and claimed to live like gentlemen who could give up their tutorships without imperilling their fellowships in any way. To Charles Neate of Oriel, writing in 1854, the separation of the fellowship from college duties `leads the undergraduate to respect in his own tutor the spontaneous exercise of an honourable calling . . . [The latter] might live if he liked as an idle gentleman, taking his ease in his college, and borrowing from the shadow of its ancient walls, which are his property, something of dignity in his ease.'11 By the late 1860s various developments had combined to create an alarming shortage of tutors. A turn as a college tutor might not be disagreeable to a clerical fellow while he waited for one of his college's better livings to fall vacant, but, as a post which lacked promotion prospects, it had few attractions for most lay fellows. They had already delayed starting on their careers by running for their fellowships: they could scarcely afford a further delay.12 Matriculations were increasing and the new honour schools of 1850 were complicating the colleges' teaching arrangements.13 The public schools were multiplying to cater for the sons of the burgeoning professional class. A post in one of these offered a capable Oxford tutor the prospect, if not of a headmastership, at least of rising to be a housemaster, and so of securing the income and quarters needed by a married man in return for work which was little more laborious or repetitive than a tutor's.14 As early as 1858 Exeter College had tried to meet its dif®culties by allowing a tutor who married to retain his tutorship while resigning his fellowship.15 The Dean of Christ Church told the Select Committee of 1867: I ®nd it extremely dif®cult to obtain the services of tutors, and every day it becomes more dif®cult . . . Young men of ability are unwilling to stay at the University; and I am obliged to require them in most cases to pledge themselves to tutorial service for a certain time . . . they often seek to escape from it; they seldom stay beyond the time they pledge themselves to.16

Equally serious was the University's failure to attract students from families which were neither af¯uent nor high in the social scale. Gladstone 11 Engel, 65. John Conington had warned against views such as Neate's four years earlier: North British Review, 14 (Nov. 1850), 195. I owe this reference to the kindness of Dr Peter Searby. 12 Tutors (1954), 153 (E. A. Freeman); SCOC (1867) Qs 2407, 2544 (Jowett). For Goldwin Smith's prediction of shortage see Reform (1858), 279. 13 Pt. 1, 481 (Fig. 14.2). 14 Bonamy Price, University Reform (1875), 5. A professorship at a Scottish university or a new university college could also be attractive: W. H. Draper, Sir Nathan Bodington (1912), 45±61. 15 Engel, 107 n. 1. In Nov. 1870 the Rector told the Devonshire Commn. (Qs 4038, 4050) that one of the college's tutors was not a fellow, and that two of its `ablest fellows' had just left `for appointments . . . which offered greater advantage'. 16 SCOC (1867), Q 1177. The limited pledge given to Liddell during one Senior Studentship election is outlined in S. Paget, Scott Holland (1921), 49±50. See also Jowett's `Suggestions for University Reform, 1874' in Campbell, Nationalisation, 197.


`a secularized university'?

had relied chie¯y on the creation of halls, whether `private' or af®liated to colleges, where the lifestyle would be modest and the charges low. It was clear by the mid-sixties that the prospect of private halls had been illusory.17 It was equally apparent that freeing the college scholarships from the restrictions which had tied them to particular schools or localities had changed their character. Once they had been subjected to open competition they had gone very largely to boys from the public schools, the reform of the grammar schools having hardly begun.18 While colleges increased the value of their awards to attract the best candidates, it became a general presumption that most college scholars were products of expensive schooling who had no great need of the money. In 1867, for instance, one of them was a marquess's son.19 Once again the impression conveyed was more damaging than the facts warranted. The poor scholar's road to Oxford was very hard and narrow both before and after the 1850s; but the reform process had made his exclusion more obvious.20 It had also operated to increase the age at which scholars reached Oxford. The age limit for scholarships being normally 20, the schools ®lled their scholarship boards by keeping their better pupils in the sixth form as long as parents would allow. The examination reform of 1850, which established new honour courses in natural science, and in law and modern history, had lengthened the Oxford course by requiring a pass in two schools.21 This rule was modi®ed in 1864 when a minimum of a third class in any honour school gave the quali®cation for a BA; but the unity of the system, and the predominance of classics, were preserved (until 1887) in that the ®rst year, at least, had to be spent in surmounting the hurdle of Moderations. The Cambridge course was shorter: in 1870 the majority of Oxford students took four years to graduate.22 17

Parl. Deb. 24 Feb. 1876, ccxxvii. 793 (Salisbury). RCO (1850), Report, 174±5. Compare Goldwin Smith, `Reform' (1858), 276, with Reorganization (1868), 19. `Bat' Price calculated that about a third of the undergraduates came with college scholarships: this took account neither of University scholarships nor of school-leaving and City Company awards: SCOC (1867), Q 2078. On the grammar schools see ibid. Qs 36, 2558, Pattison, Suggestions, 101±2, and pp. 553±5 below. 19 Saturday Review, xxiii (26 Jan. 1867), 109; SCOC (1867), Q 262 (Roundell); Thomas Arnold, The Revival of the Faculties at Oxford (1872), 3±4; Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Q 3868 (Pattison). 20 SCOC (1867), 388±92. Pusey's statement about fewer poor undergraduates was echoed by Mallet iii.352. For the opposite view see Parl. Deb. 9 Mar. 1876, ccxxvii. 1690 (E. of Morley). For an analysis see pp. 578, 584±91 below. 21 Pt 1, 352±3; SCOC (1867) Qs 430 (Roundell), 1265 (Liddell), 2393±5 (Jowett); Goldwin Smith, `Reform' (1858), 277. 22 For the need to shorten the course see Pt 1, 499±500; SCOC (1867) Qs 1251±7, 1265, 1327, 1347±9, 1359 (Liddell), 2454, 2531 (Jowett), 3289, 3317 (Pusey): SCSI (1868) 1097±8 (Playfair), 2651, 2813±14 (Clifton), 8028±30 (Huxley); Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Qs 3897 (Jowett), 3754±80 (Pattison), Third Report, 647±8; UOC (1877), Qs 2709 (Jowett), 5381±4 (T. C. Baring), pp. 379±80 (Incorporated Law Society, MPs); Parl. Deb. 11 Mar. 1870, cxcix. 1734. The struggle for the 1864 reform is described in Ward, Victorian Oxford, 218±23. 18

a `plastic structure'


A boy who was to be trained for a lay profession or for commerce could be equipped for this at his public school. To send him to Oxford meant, apart from the expense, an unacceptably long delay in starting professional training or reaching the bank counter.23 In the industrial world most fathers, if they wanted their sons in the ®rm, never even considered Oxford. They wanted an early start in the of®ce or the works, partly because of their faith in `learning on the job', and partly to prevent their boys from being tempted to regard business as beneath them.24 `We must get out of our heads,' Matthew Arnold warned in 1868, all notion of making a mass of students come and reside three years or even two years or one year or even one month at Oxford and Cambridge, which neither suit their circumstances nor offer them the instruction they want. We must plant faculties in the eight or ten principal seats of population, and let the students follow lectures there from their own homes, or with whatever arrangements for their living they and their parents choose.25

Many Oxford fellows paid little heed. They had inherited an ecclesiastical tradition underpinned by large endowments, and they had the ways of thought of upper-class people in one of the world's richest and most stable countries. The undergraduate syllabus developed at Oxford since the early years of the century was still based largely on Greek and Latin; and it was an article of faith that no other discipline sharpened and enlarged the mind as well as the classics. An education which was the badge of a gentleman suited the aristocracy and the clergy. Fathers of noble or gentle birth were well content to show that their sons had no need to earn their bread by acquiring `useful' information, and, whether from devotion or ambition, an intending ordinand was well advised to study the Greek Testament.26 Ordinands were obliged to delay the start of their careers: no one could take deacon's orders until the age of 23.27 Even for this `clerical' cohort, who constituted some 38 per cent of Oxford's undergraduates in 1870, the length of the course presented problems. Four years at Oxford were a heavy charge on a clergy father, for the style of each college was apt to be set by its wealthiest members. But that fact did nothing to dispel a general impression that Oxford was organized to suit only two groups of peopleÐbishops concerned with the 23 SCOC (1867) Q 3801 (Burrows); UOC (1877) Qs 3415±16: Max MuÈller stressed that in Germany entry to professions depended on successful completion of a university course, but mentioned that the new `stringency' of the Civil Service Exam was changing the situation in Britain. For views from the law and commerce see previous note under UOC (1877). For trends during the 1870s see pp. 63, 589±90 below. 24 SCOC (1867) Qs 170 (Brodie), 266±7 (Roundell), 2077, 2178, 2213±15 (`Bat' Price). 25 Schools and Universities, 322. 26 SCOC (1867), Q 3284, 3320 (Pusey); J. A. Froude, Inaugural Address, St Andrew's, 19 Mar. 1869 (Short Studies, Second Series. (1871), 332); Pt 1, 15. For a discussion of `conspicuous education' see J. R. de S. Honey, Tom Brown's Universe (1977), 134±8. 27 Book of Common Prayer (1662), Preface to the Ordinal.


`a secularized university'?

supply of curates, and those who had no need to make their own way in the world. In January 1867 the Provost of Oriel was reported, to the anger of the Saturday Review, as saying that Oxford wanted, not `surgeons or solicitors, but . . . more curates'.28 Ten years later Ray Lankester suggested to the Selborne Commission: `Medical study has ceased in Oxford because the chief power in the University has been in the hands of . . . the clerical profession which has not favoured the progress of any studies which do not lend themselves to a clerical career.'29 Those who had up-to-date knowledge of the German universities were convinced that Oxford had much to learn from them, but E. B. Pusey, the leader of Oxford's Church party, showed that he wanted nothing to do with institutions so prone to question scriptural truth.30 `Outsiders' saw the gentry and the Church as allied in their efforts to keep Oxford as their preserve.31 In June 1865, when the abolition of religious Tests was being debated, G. J. Goschen told the Commons: An Oxford friend said to me, `So you are going to make a manufacturing college of Oxford.' I asked him `How?' `Why, of course,' he said, `by the abolition of Tests.' I think, Sir, this candid friend of mine has let the cat out of the bag. Theological tests are, you observe, valued as social tests.32

During the ®fties and sixties those bent on breaking down the wall which protected the clerical and classical preserve became stronger and more vocal; and the view that school and university education ought not only to improve the mind but provide some knowledge, however fractional, about the culture, institutions, and languages of the modern world, began to gain ground.33 Oxford's reluctance to accept these complaints has been mentioned. Disdain for any university course other than a classical one 28 Saturday Review, xxiii, 12 Jan. 1867, 49. See F. H. Dickinson in Tutors (1854), 116: `those intended for Holy Orders . . . seem likely to be always much the largest class.' 29 UOC (1877), Q 5217. For Henry Acland's view see ibid., Q 3107; Devonshire Commn, July 1870, Q 2950; Pt 1, 576±7. Lankester argued (UOC, Qs 5201±54) that Oxford could maintain `a practical school of medicine', since the Radcliffe In®rmary was as large as some of the hospitals supporting the London medical schools. Lyon Playfair said in 1873 that Edinburgh was conferring more medical degrees than `Oxford, Cambridge, and London . . . taken altogether': Universities in their Relation to Professional Education (Edinburgh, 1873), 25. 30 SCOC (1867), Qs 3324±44. Pusey, who had last visited a German university in 1827, did `not perceive any difference between their then system and now' (Q 3330). 31 For `anti-commercial' attitudes see Tutors (1854), 64; Ruskin, Inaugural, 8 Feb. 1870: Works, xx. 20; Liddon, Jan. 1872: J. O. Johnston, Liddon (1904), 239. 32 Parl. Deb., 14 June 1865, clxxx. 197. John Bright judged the Oxford colleges in 1869 to be `class institutions': W. W. Jackson, Ingram Bywater (1917), 4±5n. 33 PP 1854±5, xx. 40±1, H. Moseley, 9 Mar. 1854; PP 1864 xx. 40 (Clarendon Commn Report); Essays on the Endowment of Research (1876), 260 (H. Nettleship); SCSI (1868), Q 1105 (Playfair); and Lyon Playfair, Universities, 13; F. W. Farrar, Fortnightly 9 (Mar. 1868), 239±40. For Jowett on modern language study see SCOC (1867), Qs 2444, 2635. For the swing away from classics in Owens College, Manchester, see Joseph Thompson, Owens College (Manchester, 1886), 159, 195, 295, 355.

a `plastic structure'


characterized Oxford fellows of all kinds. In 1809 Sydney Smith had written in the Edinburgh Review that modern languages were not merely a useful accomplishment: they could be as exacting and enriching a university study as the classics. Sixty years later another Smith, on many issues one of Oxford's boldest reformers, showed all of his University's snobbery and anti-commercial feeling on this one. `Modern languages,' Goldwin Smith wrote, `do not form a high mental training; they are often possessed in perfection by persons of very low intellectual powers.'34 Mrs Gaskell sided with Sydney Smith. Thornton, the mill-owner in North and South and a `pretty fair classic', asking himself what preparation the classics had been `for such a life as I had to lead', answers: `None at all. Utterly none at all.'35 These defects had given Oxford a reputation which made for a shortage of applicants, despite endowments enabling it to attract about a third of its undergraduates with the `bribe' of a scholarship. The 1867 Select Committee, concerned that undergraduate numbers were still low, asked the Dean of Christ Church about this `very large relative falling off, considering the enormously increased number of men of wealth in the country'. `I can only presume,' the Dean replied, `that they do not value the kind of education which we offer.'36 By the later 1860s criticism of Oxford was reaching a climax. Its colleges, with all their resources, were undertaking at any one time the education of fewer than 2,000 young men;37 and in scholarship the University did not seem to be achieving much even in the ®eld of `classical learning when compared with the universities of Germany'.38 `Our great histories,' the Saturday Review had remarked in 1862, `come, not from university professors, but from a schoolmaster, a country clergyman, a London banker, a cabinet minister.'39 Oxford seemed slow to respond to new opportunities. When Cambridge opened its Local Examinations to girls in 1865, London followed suit, although doing so involved obtaining a supplementary charter, whereas Oxford's Hebdomadal Council lost no time in declining to open the Oxford `locals'. After this refusal Emily Davies decided that the college for girls which she planned should be a `living 34 Pt 1, 13; Goldwin Smith, Reorganization (1868), 33. For the same attitude in the schools see W. H. Holden (ed.), The Charterhouse We Knew (1950), 35 (L. Patterson); W. F. Bushell, School Memories (1962), 31. A further glimpse of Goldwin Smith's view is given on p. 415. 35 Ch. 10; in Knutsford edn (1906), 98; (®rst published in book form, 1855). 36 SCOC (1867), Q 1414. Mark Pattison told the Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, that Oxford lacked the teachers needed for `extension' (Qs 3826±7). See also Thorold Rogers, Education in Oxford (1861), 197. 37 The Cleveland Commission's careful calculation gave 1,900 undergraduates: RCOC (1872) I. Abstracts, College Returns iii (5). Earlier estimates had produced lower ®gures: SCOC (1867), Qs 1319, 1410, 3752; Goldwin Smith, Reorganization (1868), 48. 38 SCOC (1867), Q 1470, Grant Duff's phrase when questioning W. L. Newman. 39 Saturday Review, xiv, 18 Oct. 1862, 467: the banker was George Grote and the Cabinet Minister Sir George Cornewall Lewis, whose Historical Survey of the Astronomy of the Ancients was published that year. See also Parl. Deb., 5 June 1867, clxxxvii. 1615; G. Haines, Essays on German In¯uence upon English Education (1969), 97±8.


`a secularized university'?

branch of Cambridge'. She resolved to site it at Hitchin, roughly midway between Cambridge and London (whence it was moved to Girton in 1873). In 1866, when Anne Jemima Clough was seeking a lecturer for a group of Ladies' Educational Associations in northern cities, she made enquiries in both Oxford and Cambridge. It was Cambridge which supplied the lecturer. This led to Cambridge Extension Lectures with the Yorkshire College (later Leeds University), and in 1871 to the foundation of what was soon to become Newnham Hall, with Anne Clough as its ®rst Principal.40 Oxford had no equivalent to London's doctorates in literature and science, and no postgraduate science facilities comparable to the best in Germany or the EÂcole Pratique des Hautes EÂtudes in Paris.41 A Balliol man, Grant Duff, in his inaugural lecture in March 1867 as Lord Rector of Aberdeen University, put Oxford far below the German universities, and compared it to `a great steam-hammer, which it had cost £150,000 to put up, employed, month after month, in cracking walnuts'.42 Britain failed to win a decent share of the awards at the Paris Exhibition of 1867.43 `Black Friday' a year earlier had shaken commercial con®dence, and this new shock greatly heightened concern at the country's educational failings.44 People who had believed learning on the job to be the recipe for industrial and commercial success began to have doubts. England was seen to lack an essential ingredient for sustained manufacturing ef®ciency, namely managers and workmen whose education had given them some basic familiarity with scienti®c principles and problems. `Our rule of thumb,' wrote 40 SIC (1864), Pt 1, 557; HCP, 1866±79, 68 (11 Nov. 1867) OUA; R. McWilliams Tullberg, Women at Cambridge (rev. edn 1998, 1st edn 1975), 18±23, 31, 34, 38±40, 44, 53±4, 202 n. 2; C. Dyhouse, No Distinction of Sex? (1995), 14±15. For an enthusiastic report on girls taking the Cambridge `Locals' see The Times, 10 Jan. 1868, 5f. The classes established by Mark Pattison and others in Oxford at the end of 1865, for girls `of 17 and upwards', were commended by the Taunton Commission: SIC, Pt 1, 568±9, Pt 4, Qs 17799±891 (10 May 1866). Oxford opened its `Locals' to girls in 1869: Convocation Register, 1854±71, 493 (9 Dec. 1869) OUA. For the interest in the issue see The Times, 10 Jan 1870, 7d (W. S. Gilbert's play, The Princess), Viscountess Amberley, `The Claims of Women,', Fortnightly Review, 15 (Jan.±June 1871), 95± 110. See also pp. 237±9 below. 41 R. Simpson, How the Ph. D. Came to Britain (1983), 45±9. The London D. Litt. was not a `thesis degree' until 1885. See Devonshire Commn recommendations, Third Report, 1873, 693±5. 42 M. E. Grant Duff, Inaugural (1867), 31, 33. See also Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1872, Q 13571 (Salisbury). 43 15 May 1867, Lyon Playfair to Lord Taunton, PP 1867 xxvi. 266±7, and Journal of the Society of Arts, xv (7 June 1867), 477±8. For early warnings see L. Playfair, Industrial Instruction on the Continent (1852), 7, 32±3; M. Arnold, Cornhill Magazine, xiii (Feb. 1866), 159, 163. Viewing Bismarck's success, Arnold had feared Britain's decline: Arnold, Letters, ii. 465, 472. For Arnold's lack of in¯uence in Oxford see Pt 1, 716±18; for the effect of `Black Friday' Pt 1, 725±6. 44 J. A. Froude (n. 26), 326; Saturday Review, 9 Nov. 1867, xxiv. 602; 27 June 1868, xxv. 844; 15 Aug 1868, xxvi. 223; B. Samuelson to Lord R. Montagu, 16 Nov. 1867, PP 1867±8 liv. 69±124; Parl. Deb. 2 Dec. 1867, cxc. 478±506 (Russell's motion). For a response to it see Saturday Review, 23 Jan. 1868, 140.

a `plastic structure'


Matthew Arnold, in his study of continental schools and universities published in 1868, `has cost us dear already, and is probably destined to cost us dearer still.'45 Oxford's stance and performance, and its in¯uence on the country's schools, came under intensive scrutiny. The University was depicted in a series of reports as requiring nothing of those admitted except classical knowledge. There was no entrance examination,46 but those who wanted a degree had to spend the ®rst year of residence in improving the Latin and Greek they had brought from school. Oxford stood accused of two offences because of this concentration on the classics. First, it distorted school syllabuses. Secondly, while it necessarily delayed each undergraduate's start on his career, nothing was done to equip him for it. Thus Oxford was held both to injure school pupils who had little or no prospects of university education, and to waste its resources by failing to provide inexpensive courses which combined a liberal education with utility.47 The Taunton Commission on the endowed grammar schools commented: Science . . . teaching . . . sometimes . . . appears to be prosecuted with success in the lower forms, and then dropped altogether in the highest, simply because other subjects are better rewarded at the universities. We cannot wonder that when it is treated in this way it should be pronounced super®cial and incapable of disciplining the mind.48

Until Oxford instituted a multi-subject entrance examination including a science element, on the lines of London's, and gave more of its scholarships in science, the schools would neither plan to take science seriously nor acquire the university-trained staff who could make such plans realistic. The Taunton Commission made its report recommending the appropriate 45 Schools and Universities, 312. See also Parl. Deb., 2 Apr. 1868, cxci. 700; SCSI (1868), Qs 2676, 2801, 2808 (Clifton); Nature, i (10 Feb. 1870), 375. 46 Pt 1, 33±4, 356±7. For support for an entrance exam see SCOC (1867) Qs 1331 (Liddell), 2220±1 (`Bat' Price), 4442±3 (Perry); Burrows, Quarterly, cxxiv (Apr. 1868), 400±1; Goldwin Smith, Reorganization (1868), 36; Lyulph Stanley, 18. Clifton thought `the opinion . . . general' that `science should hold an equal, or at all events a considerable position' in an entrance exam: SCSI (1868), Q 2814. Playfair, who had attended Scottish universities, stressed that the multisubject test for a science student which he speci®ed related to qualifying for a degree and could be taken at any stage: ibid., Q 1098. It included Latin, but `two modern languages' could be substituted for Greek (Q 1097). 47 J. A. Froude (n. 26), 340±2. The Clarendon Commission on the public schools, when recommending the inclusion in syllabuses of science and other modern studies, and the encouragement of `modern options', had remarked that more than half of the pupils did `not go to the universities at all': PP 1864 xx. 39, 63±4. 48 SIC (1864), Report 33±4. The Commission drew attention ((Report 38, n. 1) to the recommendations adopted by the British Association, Sept. 1867. These had been drawn up by a committee which included T. H. Huxley and John Tyndall; they reached the Commons via the Association's President, the Duke of Buccleugh, in Feb. 1868, and appeared twice in Parl. Papers: PP 1867±8 xxviii, Pt ii, First Section, 218±30, liv. 1±16 (for a multi-subject entrance exam and science scholarships see liv. 7). In its Sixth Report (p. 10) the Devonshire Commn recommended that in all General School Exams (and `in any Leaving Exam') `not less than one sixth of the marks be allotted to natural science': PP 1875 xxviii. 74. According to Brodie, schools sometimes applied in vain to Oxford for a science teacher: SCOC (1867), Q 159.


`a secularized university'?

reforms in December 1867. Lyon Playfair told the Select Committee on Scienti®c Instruction a few months later that, if those recommendations could only be carried out, `the old traditions of our universities that there is no human culture except by means of Latin and Greek would sink into the errors of history.'49 Until such reforms were put in hand, Robert Lowe warned, the middle class faced a bleak educational choice: either they opted for `the narrow teaching of the so-called ``commercial academies'' or they aped the gentry and went in for a smattering of dead languages'.50 No leading public man, apart possibly from Lowe, wanted the University to move towards becoming a technological institute.51 It was generally held that intending doctors and engineers should complete their training in, or close to, the hospitals and engineering works of the big cities;52 but Lowe was not the engineers' only advocate where the universities were concerned. Mark Pattison wanted every. . . vocation in which intelligence and re®nement are applicable . . . [to] have a corresponding ``Faculty'' . . . in the University, where an appropriate trainingÐnot practical and professional but theoretical and scienti®cÐmight be had. Why should commerce and industry. . . remain under the stigma which the feudal system branded upon them, as base employments?53

Jowett's `chief hope that the cultivation of science would become more general among the students of the University' lay, as he told the Devonshire Commission in 1870, in `the degree in which it was made a preparation for the professions, particularly the medical profession and engineering'.54 Each investigation revealed how far these aspirations diverged from the current position. Oxford had spent large sums on the University Museum; but, according to a British Association report published in March 1868, natural science scholarships accounted for only 3 per cent of those awarded by its colleges.55 Enquiry soon elicited why this ®gure was so low. Classics 49

SCSI (1868), Q 1105. The Times, 24 Jan. 1868, 5 a±d (Lowe to Liverpool Philomathic Society). See Beresford Hope on Lowe's ideal university: Parl. Deb., 1 July 1868, cxciii. 435. 51 In a later speech (The Times, 24 Apr. 1871, 11 b), to the Institution of Civil Engineers, Lowe gave general offence. 52 SCOC (1867), Q 2451 (Jowett); SCSI (1868) Q 2665±8 (Clifton); Goldwin Smith, Reorganization (1868), 29; Lyulph Stanley, 21; Devonshire Commn July 1870, Q 3042 (Clifton), 3482 (H. J. S. Smith), Third Report, para. 181. For Acland, see n. 29. 53 Pattison, Suggestions (1868), 267±8. 54 Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Qs 3897, 3936. Jowett suggested the provision of University scholarships in science to promote this (Qs 3967±9). 55 Ibid. Q 3965, Jowett told the Commn: `More than £100,000 has been appropriated at Oxford during the last 12 years to buildings and endowments for physical science.' See Pt 1, 655, for the cost of the University Museum. The British Association's science scholarship ®gure (PP 1867±8 liv. 7) was probably too low: the Devonshire Commn gave 8% for 1872 (Third Report, 679). Jowett wanted half the scholarships to be given for classics, the other half to other subjects: SCOC (1867), Q 2515. Pusey thought a science scholarship one of the easiest to win: ibid. Q 3371; but Jowett wished to favour science a little in the allocation: Devonshire Commn, Qs 3944±6. 50

a `plastic structure'


remained the staple of Oxford teaching: each college still recruited its fellows chie¯y from its own scholars; and college tutorships were unpopular. A college was therefore obliged to keep up its classical awards for fear of being left short of potential classical tutors.56 Questioned by the Devonshire Commission in 1870, the Rector of Exeter said that none of the college's ®fteen fellows elected `under the new ordinances' had `obtained his fellowship on account of his knowledge of natural science', and that it had no science scholars, though free of subject restrictions in both fellowships and scholarships.57 In the same year a plea was made to Oxford, Cambridge, and London on behalf of the endowed grammar schools that Greek should no longer be required from all those working for bachelors' degrees. All three universities rejected it.58 They thus claimed (by no means for the last time) the right to in¯uence the curriculum in the secondary schools. All this tended to bear out T. H. Huxley's remark to the Scienti®c Instruction Committee two years earlier that a young man could `get competent scienti®c teaching' in the ancient universities, but only if he was willing to forgo any of their `higher rewards'.59 Huxley thought these institutions no better at diffusing elementary scienti®c knowledge than at educating science specialists. He had it on high authority that at Oxford `anyone might have taken the highest honours, and yet might never have heard that the earth went round the sun.'60 By the early 1870s these defects were thought to be detracting from national ef®ciency in all its aspects. In 1836 Thomas Arnold had not minded, as he told a friend, if his pupils at Rugby thought `that the sun went round the earth . . . the one thing needful . . . [was] Christian, and moral and political, philosophy.' In 1872 his son, Thomas, produced a pamphlet in which Britain's `breakdown at the Crimea' was attributed to `our superior education failing to illuminate the professions . . . with the light 56 SCOC (1867), Qs 1427±8 (Liddell); Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Q 4069 (J. P. Lightfoot); UOC (1877), Q 4524 (H. B. George). 57 Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Qs 3982±93: one of the fellows had a science ®rst as well as his ®rst in maths. Lightfoot recognized that the absence of science fellowships hindered school science (Q 4065). Under the Ordinances of the 1850s colleges were supposed to allot fellowships to all the `branches of learning . . . recognized in the exams of the University': SCOC (1867), Qs 19 (Brodie), 263 (Roundell). The 1854 Bill as originally proposed would have been more effective on this: PP 1854 v. 301. For the pull of the classical scholarships see E. Barker, The Father of the Man (1949), 25. 58 PP 1872 xxiv. 60±5: letter from Lord Lyttelton, Chief Commissioner, Endowed Schools. For further details see Ch. 23, n. 29. Matthew Arnold had advocated a matriculation examination about which the public authorities would be consulted: it would include compulsory Greek only for `the faculties of theology and arts': Schools and Universities, 317 n. Pattison told the Devonshire Commn that `for years' he had been urging `upon the University' to drop compulsory Greek; Jowett wished to allow an undergraduate to take classical Mods on arrival in the University: Nov. 1870, Qs 3754, 3897, 3917±23. See also n. 22. 59 SCSI (1868), Q 8027. For some con®rmation of Huxley's view see SC Tests (1870±1), Q 1701: 71 (Ince). 60 SCSI (1868), Q 8009.


`a secularized university'?

of scienti®c thought'. All this was contrasted with Prussia's victory in the war against France, which proved `the effectiveness of the German university system'.61 During the later 1860s several of Oxford's leading ®gures became very concerned about a University system which had obvious shortcomings, even if it could be kept from breakdown. `At present,' Benjamin Jowett wrote in 1866, `not a . . . twentieth part of the ability of the country comes to the University.' On this, if on little else, Mark Pattison said much the same: in his Suggestions on Academical Organization (1868) he wrote: `There is a work surely needing to be done for the social and intellectual welfare of [the] country. . . . The universities are better able to do that work than any other extant machinery. . . not as they are, but as they may be made. Will Oxford . . . seize the opportunity to . . . break the bonds that bind her?'62 Any major reforms had clearly to be preceded by an enquiry, such as the Cleveland Commission was soon, to carry out to determine what the colleges' resources actually were; but the remedies for Oxford's under-performance, and the most effective ways of achieving them, were all in dispute. Benjamin Jowett wanted concentration on teaching, Pattison on research and higher study: both were at odds with Oxford's High Church party.63 Almost any reform was liable to harm one interest or another. Increasing the number and value of the college scholarships, when many of those winning them were known not to need this support, harmed the University's reputation; but it was the way by which the weaker colleges secured some talent.64 If the best college tutors were to be prevented from taking teaching posts in the public schools, they must at least be allowed to marry while holding their fellowships;65 but Thorold Rogers thought it essential, now that the coaches were being squeezed out, for the college tutors to live in the colleges and to give tutorials at all hours. `The more married tutors there are,' he warned, `the more likely it is that the scale of the higher teaching will be 61 Thomas Arnold to W. A. Greenhill, 9 May 1836: Stanley, Arnold, ii. 32; Thomas Arnold, the younger, The Revival of the Faculties at Oxford (n. 19), 7±8. For Matthew Arnold's praise of Prussian education see Schools and Universities, 311±12. 62 To Florence Nightingale, 14 Oct. 1866: Quinn and Prest, 109. In Abbott and Campbell, Jowett, i. 377±8, the date is given as 19 Oct., the addressee not being identi®ed; Pattison, Suggestions, 5. Jowett realized that improving Oxford depended partly on improvements to the school system: SCOC (1867), 2520, 2545±59. 63 Cf. Pattison, Suggestions, 153±67 opposing Jowett; Nov. 1870, Devonshire Commn, Q 3977. For the parties see SC Tests (1870±1), Q 3158: 71 (Jowett). 64 Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Q 3802 (Pattison). The 1877 Commission set £80 p.a. as the standard for college scholarships: see UOC (1877), Q 2713 (Jowett) and 1882 Statutes. `General principles for. . . adjusting the . . . emoluments of scholars and exhibitioners to their ®nancial circumstances' were not promulgated until the establishment of the Central Scholarship Committee in 1926: see Statute XII. v promoted by the Commissioners under the 1923 Act. 65 SCOC (1867) Qs 64, 72±3 (Brodie), 264 (Roundell), 2502±3 (Jowett); Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Q 3976 (Jowett), Third Report, 684.

a `plastic structure'


lowered.'66 There were protests at the high cost of `idle' fellowships, and calls for them to be limited to a term of years.67 Jowett, while favouring that limitation, was keen to retain Balliol's in¯uence in the London world. He defended helping a man whose academic studies had delayed him in starting his professional career, and he opposed lessening the total sum spent on `prize fellowships'.68 Most of Oxford's `senior men', according to Pattison, thought that the University's `classical studies would sink' unless `a certain number of prize fellowships [were] bestowed every year'.69 The Times, which numbered an `idle' fellow among its leader writers, pronounced: `College fellowships supply the universities with their motive power, and if . . . these preferments had been depreciated in common repute, the consequences might have been beyond calculation.'70 Beneath all the proposals for reform lay a basic question. Given that it was no longer feasible for the colleges to act as a group of `small universities', was there any way in which they could become ef®cient bodies for undergraduate teaching in all the subjects now being studied at Oxford? Should `several of the smaller colleges . . . be amalgamated'? In the judgement of the committee reporting in 1866 on the proposal for a new college: `the majority of our existing colleges have no prestige of their own whatever.'71 Could colleges combine for purposes of tuition? Most of the honours teaching in science was already conducted by the University. Should the arts subjects go the same way?72 Would so massive a transfer of resources and functions mean that the colleges would cease to be educational bodies? Pattison, who provided the most systematic analysis of Oxford's ills and needs in his Suggestions, wanted each college to specialize in a particular subject; but such bold tampering with the collegiate structure seemed 66 UOC (1877), Q 2871. See also Brodrick, 169; Quinn and Prest, xxviii; Abbott and Campbell, ii. 154. 67 SCOC (1867), Q 3374 (Pusey); Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Q 4054 (J. P. Lightfoot), Nov. 1872, 13573 (Salisbury). 68 Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Q 3975, and Jowett's `Suggestions for University Reform, 1874', L. Campbell, Nationalisation, 199. Jowett repeated the view to the Selborne Commission (UOC (1877), Q 2702), although a Cambridge enquiry had suggested that it might be illfounded: Henry Sidgwick, Contemporary Review, xxvii (Apr. 1876), 679±93. For the ways in which Jowett wanted colleges to make savings see UOC (1877), Q 2713±15. 69 Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Q 3821. See also ibid. Q 4087 (J. P. Lightfoot). 70 The Times, 31 May 1871, 9c, d. G. C. Brodrick had been a fellow of Merton since 1855 and a Times leader-writer since 1860. 71 SCOC (1867), Q 1177 (Liddell); Lyulph Stanley, 26; Pattison, Memoirs, 114. Jowett was cautious about `fusion', except for `the system of instruction': SCOC (1867), Q 2410. For the discussions between Lincoln and Brasenose, Green, Lincoln, 498±9. The 1866 committee's judgementÐSCOC (1867), 274Ðformed part of a contention that a new college such as the one recommended would soon be `on a level . . . with many of the older colleges'. For the foundation of Keble College see Ch. 6. 72 SCOC (1867) Qs 264 (Roundell), 1179±88 (Liddell), 2195 (`Bat' Price), 3376 (Pusey), 2405 (Jowett, wishing to `attach the scholarships to the University and not to the colleges'); Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Qs 3840±4 (Pattison); SC Tests (1870±1), Q 586:71 (Appleton).


`a secularized university'?

impracticable.73 To turn a University which did not even control its own entrance standards into a centralized teaching organization would be a very large undertaking; and it seemed perverse to transform the colleges just when Johann DoÈllinger, a great university ®gure and Germany's foremost theologian, had said of them: `As I observed their working on the spot, [they] awakened in me feelings of envy, and led me to long for the time when we might again have something of the same kind.'74 By 1870, as Britain's professional class gained in in¯uence, the effects of the reforms initiated by the 1854 Act began to tell. A fair proportion of college fellows had been elected under the `open' system created by the Act and attitudes were changing. Even a tutor who was in orders was by now inclined to see himself more as a university don and less as a clergyman. In 1867 an Act of Parliament ended the regime under which the government of Christ Church had rested solely with the Dean and Canons, and substituted a mixed system which aligned the Senior Students with the fellows of other colleges.75 In the following year Montagu Burrows, who was a strong Tory, denounced the system under which, in tenure and emoluments of their fellowships, the non-resident and the hard-working tutor were on a par with each other. This situation was, he wrote, `almost incredible'.76 By then a handful of colleges were deciding to create a statutory class of fellows who would engage on election to be tutors, and perhaps to make it their career. An applicant for a fellowship in this new category need not be chosen by examination.77 If elected he would not be required to resign should he come into property, and under certain conditions he could be allowed to retain his position on marriage. New College took the lead by adopting these reforms in 1869, and by making provision to increase the pay of tutors and lecturers in March 1871. It had been transformed since the enactment of its 1857±8 Ordinances, none of its fellows elected since that date being obliged to take orders.78 73 Suggestions (1868), 191. Robert Laing made a similar suggestion: Some Dreams of a Constitution-Monger (1876), 7±11. See also Tutors (1854), 119; Quarterly, cxxiv (Apr. 1868), 394±9 [M. Burrows]; Devonshire Commn, Third Report, para. 175. 74 Johann DoÈllinger, Universities Past and Present, a Lecture, trans. C. E. Appleton (1867), 26±7. For J. H. Newman's defence of the college system see Pt 1, ch. 9. 75 E. G. W. Bill and J. F. A. Mason, Christ Church and Reform (1970), 180±91. 76 Quarterly, cxxiv. 414. See also SCOC (1867) Q 2116 (`Bat' Price), Goldwin Smith, Reorganization (1868), 14; Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Q 3800 (Pattison). 77 For the bad effects of fellowship examination papers on scienti®c research see Devonshire Commn, Feb. 1871, Q 5867 (Frankland), May 1872, 10741 (Thomson), Third Report paras. 159, 185±7. For later and more general criticisms, Stubbs, Seventeen Lectures, 46 (17 May 1876); UOC (1877), Q 3307 (T. H. Green). 78 H. Rashdall and R. S. Rait, New College (1901), 228; H. B. George, New College, 1856± 1906 (1906), 23±34; John Buxton and Penry Williams (eds), New College (1979), 72±106 (Alan Ryan); NCA 8589, 5±15 (Privy Council approvals 29 Apr. 1869, 24 Mar. 1871). Merton, All Souls, and Wadham were the other colleges which had no `clerical' restrictions in fellowship elections by 1870. In Lincoln fellows obliged to take orders could delay the step for ten years, in

a `plastic structure'


By May 1872 Oxford's three oldest collegesÐBalliol, Merton, and UniversityÐhad adopted even wider changes under which, after long service, a tutor could be allowed to retain his fellowship as a pension. These new fellowships went under several names: they were `fellows on the tutorial list' at Balliol, `tutor-fellows' at Merton, and `fellows elected under clause 27(a)'79 at University. All three colleges signalized the extent to which they regarded college tutoring as a layman's profession by reducing the number of their clerical fellows, that is, those who, if not in orders when elected, had to be ordained within a given time.80 Merton's governing body explained to the Privy Council how essential this feature of the changes had become: `Even those who intend to take Holy Orders do not, generally speaking, wish to pledge themselves to do so; and therefore they prefer becoming candidates for a perfectly open fellowship at another college.' This part of the scheme caused trouble. Merton's Visitor was the Archbishop of Canterbury, and he held that his of®ce compelled him to veto the college's proposed application to the Privy Council to reduce the number of its clerical fellows.81 After a long legal wrangle the Privy Council ruled in 1871 that a change in a college's ordinances made under the 1854 Act did not require the Visitor's approval.82 Balliol's Visitor, the Bishop of London, had already been advised by the ex-Master against attempting to exercise a veto.83 The impulses driving Oxford's three oldest colleges to make these changes were various. Balliol, which was abolishing compulsory chapel, and gaining a reputation for `in®delity' and academic prowess, produced the most comprehensive reforms of all: tenure of its fellowships where there was no teaching commitment was reduced to seven years, re-election for ®ve-year periods being allowed for `studies . . . likely to produce important results in published writings'.84 In Merton, where there had long been a lay tradition, Exeter for ®fteen years. For married tutors in Merton see L. Creighton, Life and Letters of Mandell Creighton (2 vols 1904), i. 87. 79

PP 1873 XXXVII Pt 1 Appendix, xxiv cl. 20 (Balliol), xxix (Merton), xxxvi±vii, cl. 27(a), 34 (University). For Jowett's plans see SCOC (1867), Q 2404. 80 Ibid. xxv cl. 25 (Balliol), xxxiii±iv, schedule (University). For Merton see next note. See also John H. Jones, Balliol (2nd edn 1997, ®rst edn 1988), 212. 81 For text of the Archbishop's letter, 26 June 1866, see SCOC (1867), Q 1434 (Roundell). The Privy Council originally rejected Merton's petition without hearing counsel or giving reasons: ibid. Qs 282±9. See also ibid. Q 2416 (Jowett); Parl. Deb., 1 July 1868, cxciii. 456 (Gathorne Hardy). Trinity had met with a similar refusal from its Visitor, the Bishop of Winchester: J. M. Prest, `Jowett's Correspondence with Earl Russell' (n. 9), 7. 82 The case concerned Cl. 40 of the 1854 Act, in the light of Merton's 46th Ordinance issued by the Executive Commission: PP 1867 lv. 49±53; Parl. Deb., 12 July 1867, clxxxviii. 1439, 16 May 1873, ccxvi. 10±13. 83 John H. Jones (n. 80), 212. Jowett had become Master in 1870, Gladstone having found a haven for Scott as Dean of Rochester: Quinn and Prest, 181. For Jowett's reputation in 1870 with the High Church see pp. 26±7, 31±2, below. 84 PP 1873 xxxvii Pt 1, Appendix, xxiv cl. 21; Abbott and Campbell, Jowett, i. 376. In Balliol's 1882 Statutes the published writings clause was III.12 (ii). For Appleton on compulsory chapel see n. 156.


`a secularized university'?

the active tutors had the powerful support of an `idle' fellow, C. S. Roundell, who was a strong Liberal.85 At University College the tutors were managing to consolidate their position before the new Master, G. G. Bradley, lately headmaster of Marlborough, could `learn the ropes'.86 As happened more than once in nineteenth-century Oxford, the reforms pioneered by a few colleges would be adopted later as the general rule.87 In this case there could be no immediate moves to make similar changes, because in 1872 the government announced that fellowship amendments would not be considered by the Privy Council until the Cleveland Commission had reported; but a few years later, the Selborne Commission took what the three colleges had done as a model and inaugurated the system under which `Fellow and Tutor' would become the title for most of Oxford's academic staff members.88 The colleges which reduced the number of fellowships tenable only by ordained men had a strong case on grounds of tutorial ef®ciency. Jowett summarized the experience of years when he wrote in 1880: `It is a bad thing both for the colleges and the clerical profession that the management of colleges should pass into the hands of inferior men because they are clergymen.'89 Tutorial needs, though pressing, were not, however, the only impulse behind the whittling down of clerical fellowships. During the 1860s Oxford experienced a decade of religious doubt. Charles Darwin's Origin of Species (November 1859), and the various contributions to Essays and Reviews (1860), reinforced the scepticism which had long been the obverse of much fervent faith, and shook the religious beliefs of many educated people. For Oxford, whose recovery from the Tractarian upheavals was hardly complete, the shock was especially severe.90 The double revelation that the Biblical accounts of creation were belied by the facts, and that, when scrutinized in the style of German scholarship, some of the Bible's many authors showed little of what a modern person could recognize as divine inspiration, caused much confusion. The old University orthodoxy, 85 SCOC (1867), Q 263 (Roundell); G. H. Martin and J. R. L. High®eld, History of Merton College (1997), 307±8. Merton's undergraduates, nearly half of whom were Etonians in 1870, had not been thought studious. By 1875 there was `not a single public school man' in a `sadly depleted list of entrants'. 86 Bradley defended the college tutor system before the Selborne Commission: UOC (1877), Q 2076. For his Mastership see p. 128 below. 87 See Pt 1, 13. 88 See. Salisbury's letter to the Lord President, 10 July 1872 and Ripon's reply, 12 July. House of Lords Sessional Papers 1873 xviii. 65. In 1877 T. H. Green drew the attention of the Selborne Commission to Balliol's arrangements: UOC (1877), Q 3316. 89 To C. S. Roundell, 6 July 1880: Jowett, Letters, 40. 90 Goldwin Smith, Plea for the Abolition of Tests in . . . Oxford (1864), 52±3. For later discussions see G. M. Young, Daylight and Champaign (1937), 107, 172±4; Victorian Faith in Crisis, ed. R. J. Helmstadter and B. Lightman (1990). For sceptical works published earlier by two Oxford men, both being brothers of prominent Tractarians, see J. A. Froude, The Nemesis of Faith (1849) and F. W. Newman, Phases of Faith (1850).

a `plastic structure'


under which practically all German philosophical and theological work was held to result from irresponsible speculations, began to crack.91 Some found all this liberating;92 but many, in Oxford as elsewhere, regarded Christian beliefs as the only adequate basis for morality; and for them an atmosphere of doubt was deeply threatening. Darwin's Descent of Man was published in 1871 while the Commune held Paris. The commentator in The TimesÐno High Church organÐwrote: `A man incurs a grave responsibility who, with the authority of a well-earned reputation, advances at such a time the disintegrating speculations of this book.'93 During the years of doubt Matthew Arnold was not alone, especially among Oxonians, in ®nding himself Wandering between two worlds, one dead The other powerless to be born.94

Those who held to the faith were naturally apt, as they looked back, to give these doubts the hues of aggressive unbelief: each agnostic appeared as something of an anti-clerical.95 Edward Talbot recalled, when Bishop of Rochester, that, dining at Merton during the sixties, he had `felt the tone there very uncongenial'.96 E. A. Knox, who had won a scholarship to Corpus in 1865, rose to be Bishop of Manchester. In the 1930s he wrote: `The Oxford to which I went up . . . had passed into the hands of the liberals in the sense that, although most of the fellows were still clergy, the anti-clerical spirit had gained the upper hand.'97 E. L. Hicks, later Bishop of Lincoln, took orders in 1870 while a young fellow of Corpus. His was a lay fellowship, and, as his biographer recorded, `it was so far from carrying with it any obligation to take Orders that he had to expect that some of his friends, Liberals in theology and politics, would regard his acceptance of Orders as a betrayal of the cause of freedom.'98 Preaching the memorial sermon in 1901 after Mandell Creighton's death Scott Holland said: He took his stand for God . . . at the extreme hour of intellectual tension, when the panic roused by the new criticism was at its height, and when the victorious ef®cacy 91 SCOC (1867), Q 3334 (Pusey); Gladstone to Acton, 10 Sept. 1873,: Gladstone, Diaries, viii. 386. J. H. Newman treated Darwin's theories calmly: LDN xxiv.77. 92 Henry Sidgwick, `The Poems and Prose Remains of A. H. Clough', Westminster Review, n s 36 (Oct. 1869), 363±4. 93 The Times, 8 Apr. 1871, 5e. For Darwin's defence see Descent of Man (1922 edn), 937. 94 `Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse' were ®rst published in Fraser's Magazine, Apr. 1855, and then reprinted in 1867 (New Poems), the year in which Arnold vacated Oxford's Poetry Professorship. 95 George, Earl of Pembroke, tried in Roots (1873) to show (p. 175) `what a sceptic really is when stripped of the slanders constantly hurled against him'. Pembroke's younger brother (and heir) was then a Christ Church undergraduate. 96 Mandell Creighton (n. 78), i. 51. One of Merton's fellows, William Sidgwick, took advantage of the 1870 Act (33 and 34 Vict., c. 91) to relinquish his orders. For Brasenose see E. W. Watson, Bishop John Wordsworth (1915), 71. 97 E. A. Knox, Reminiscences of an Octogenarian (1934), 65±6, 72; Liddon, Pusey, iv. 221. 98 J. H. Fowler, Edward Lee Hicks (1922), 31.


`a secularized university'?

of the scienti®c and critical methods appeared to have swept the ®eld. It is dif®cult for us now to gauge the dismay of that bad hour. At the close of the sixties it seemed to us at Oxford almost incredible that a young don of any intellectual reputation for modernity should be on the Christian side.99

These reminiscences are supported by some contemporary testimony. In 1871, a year after he had taken orders, Creighton told his ®anceÂe how `it was the habit in Oxford to assume that a man who took Orders must be either a fool or a knave';100 and Lord Stanley of Alderley, who `though a Mussulman was an ardent supporter of the Church of England', assured the Lords that, `of the young Oxford men that he had known, every second man was a sceptic.'101 Lord Westbury had no dif®culty in explaining Oxford's anti-clericalism during this period. Its High Church leaders, he told the Lords in 1871, had insisted on maintaining a religious test for MAs; `and now the human mind, rising up against that system, takes its revenge by inculcating a greater amount of liberality in proportion to the fetters you have imposed upon it.'102 For some of the college tutors, with whom Talbot, Hicks, and Creighton had mixed, this attitude was probably reinforced by an academic consideration. Until religious tests for MAs were abolished in 1871 open references to their religious uncertainties could jeopardize their fellowships. In the era of Darwin and T. H. Huxley this seemed an intolerable restraint on a college tutor: it invited imputations against his honesty. How could he safeguard his reputation for integrity as a teacher of philosophy or history while his livelihood was known to depend on his adherence to a particular religious creed? His assurance that his teaching was unaffected by his enforced Anglican stance would be almost worthless: he could not avoid being suspected of having omitted something from his lectures because he had not been free to say it. A lay tutor would stay under that suspicion until the test had been removed. His clerical colleague would stay under it as long as he remained in orders. J. B. Lightfoot, Hulsean Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, took the same view of the position as the fellows of Merton. He explained to the Lords' Select Committee in 1870, when urging abolition of the tests, `a ¯ood of new ideas has been poured in upon the world, and . . . at present . . . young men often do not like to pledge themselves to a very distinct form of religious belief.'103 99 Mandell Creighton, i. 75. When Scott Holland had taken orders in 1872 his tutor, T. H. Green, showed sympathy and understanding, but there was a painful break with his friend and contemporary, R. L. Nettleship: S. Paget, Scott Holland (1921), 65±6, 68. 100 Mandell Creighton, i. 75±6. 101 Parl. Deb., 8 May 1871, ccvi. 369. For Lord Stanley see DNB. Although, as eldest brother of Lyulph Stanley (n. 119 below), he knew some Balliol men, he had lived too long in the East for his testimony to be very reliable. 102 Parl. Deb., ibid. 377. 103 Parl. Deb., 14 July 1870, cciii. 222±3 (Bishop of Exeter); SC Tests (1870±1), Q1076: 70 (Lightfoot).

a `plastic structure'


The writings of W. H. Mallock, who took a second in Greats at Balliol in 1874, show how widespread this attitude was among young Oxford men as long as a good proportion of the fellows in every college were in orders. Mallock made his name in The New Republic by guying Oxford's liberals, and his religious stance was traditional.104 His view is re¯ected by a character in an article which he published in 1878. `Of course,' this person says, `we all know that if men don't believe in God . . . they won't take the trouble to behave wellÐand why should they?'105 Yet the hero of The New Republic is neither Pusey nor his lieutenant, Liddon, but Ruskin. The Oxford ®gure whom Mallock admired most was the one who was known, while believing faith to be all-important, to be beset by religious doubts.106 The reforms put in hand between 1867 and 1872 were not con®ned to a handful of colleges. In 1868, as the Liberals triumphed in the general election, their Oxford friends, with Jowett to the fore, pushed the whole University into an important reform by removing the ban on undergraduates living outside the college walls. E. B. Pusey and his followers in the Church party opposed the change on the ground that putting young men, when away from home, in premises where the household probably included girls, invited immorality. The liberals discerned in this attitude what Goldwin Smith called `the tendency to spread moral alarm as the precursor of the confessional'; but, when they pointed to the absence of evidence supporting the Church party's suppositions, Pusey retorted that the authorities had no chance of detecting what went on within a lodging house.107 The lodgings question had been to the fore throughout the discussions on `extension'. It was eventually decided by the fact that, once the private halls had failed, greater use of lodgings looked like the only way in which the University could expand quickly and attract undergraduates from less af¯uent families. In June 1868 Oxford followed Cambridge by allowing residence in lodgings, and by the end of the following year both universities had established bodies of `Unattached students'.108 The rapid initial growth and later fortunes of 104

W. H. Mallock, Memoirs of Life and Literature (2nd edn 1920), 60±1. Nineteenth-Century, iv (July±Dec. 1878), 301: these were Mallock's own views, Memoirs, 63. Disraeli put similar ones into Lothair's soliloquy: Lothair (®rst published 1870), ed. Vernon Bogdanor (1975), ch. 38. See also n. 137 below. 106 `Herbert' is Ruskin; `Dr. Seydon' is a composite of Pusey and Liddon: Mallock, Memoirs, 64±7. For Ruskin's religious position see Works, xx. 49±51; for his religious practice, J. H. Fowler, Hicks, 42. 107 Goldwin Smith, Reorganization (1868), 51; SCOC (1867), Qs 3254, 3292±300, 3386±91, 3401±2 (Pusey). Temple had come to disagree with Pusey on lodgings: Saturday Review, 2 Feb. 1867, xxiii. 133. In this passage, as throughout the chapter, the Liberals are given an initial capital letter only when the reference is to the political party and its members. 108 Convocation Register, OUA, 1854±71, 446, 11 June 1868; SCOC (1867), Qs 265, 270 (Roundell), 2405, 2466 (Jowett), 3123 (D. P. Chase); SCSI (1868), Qs 2736±43 (Clifton); Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Q 3869 (Pattison); Abbott and Campbell, Jowett, i. 424. Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, started in this way. For Salisbury's tribute, 24 Feb. 1876, to the excellent conduct of the Unattached see Parl. Deb. ccxxvii. 793. 105


`a secularized university'?

what is now St Catherine's College are described in Chapter 7. Jowett, who was establishing a Balliol hall, was not wholly disinterested in sponsoring greater use of lodgings.109 He told his mother in 1869 that the lodgings statute would enable students `to come to Balliol instead of going to other colleges. If we had a little more money,' he added, `we could absorb the University.'110 There was, however, another obstacle to the high ef®ciency of Balliol or any other college, which even Jowett could not remove by his own efforts. During the proceedings of the 1867 Select Committee on `extension', Henry Fawcett was questioning C. S. Roundell on the probable effect of allowing `unattached students' to Oxford. `Are you of the opinion,' he asked, `that you will never get the proper number of men at the universities that they ought to educate unless all religious tests are abolished?' `That,' Roundell answered, `is my ®rm and unalterable conviction.'

`a n u n di spu t ed r ig h t to t e ac h . . . in ® de l it y' The seven-year agitation to abolish the religious test attached to the Oxford MA is described in the ®nal pages of Nineteenth-Century Oxford, Part 1.111 The result of the 1868 election put the eventual success of the campaign beyond doubt. Oxford's liberals were far stronger at Westminster than on their home ground, and strongest of all on a Parliamentary issue where Nonconformist support was guaranteed. On the other hand, Gladstone and his colleagues did not want yet another struggle with the Tories led by Lord Salisbury in the Lords. Some degree of concession therefore seemed possible; and there was an opening for it because the test, once seen as a bastion against Dissenters, was now defended as one against agnosticism and in®delity. There were no fears about a few Nonconformist fellows in Oxford's colleges. The test could be taken by Wesleyans and members of the Established Church of Scotland; and the leaders of the other denominations were notoriously severe on ministers or trainees who deviated in doctrine or harboured doubts.112 The Wesleyans had to back the abolitionists, but they 109 The hall was for `exhibitioners' who had done well in `Oxford Locals' (see pp. 560, 568 below) and could not otherwise have paid for a University course. It was sited in St Giles where the Mathematical Institute now stands, and was initially in T. H. Green's charge: Green, Works, III. cvii. For an early mention of the plan see Abbott and Campbell, Jowett, i. 213. 110 Abbott and Campbell, Jowett, i. 432±3. See also SCOC (1867) Q 2389 (Jowett); Lyulph Stanley, 16. 111 The religious test for the BA had been abolished in 1854. At Corpus Christi in 1869 a Unitarian (C. P. Scott) gained a ®rst in Lit. Hum., and a practising Jew (F. D. Schloss) won a scholarship: J. L. Hammond, C. P. Scott (1934), 12±24, D. M. Lewis, The Jews of Oxford (1992), 22±3. Roman Catholics were forbidden by the hierarchy to study at Oxford until 1896: see p. 104 below. In Cambridge Nonconformists had been granted MAs since 1856, but for them the title did not confer membership of the senate or of the parliamentary constituency: 19 and 20 Vict. c. 88. 112 See SC Tests (1870±1), Q 2280: 71 (Leighton); Pt 1, 11. For Pusey's attempt to persuade the Wesleyan Conference to defend the test see The Times, 15 Aug. 1868, 10e; 17 Aug. 6f, 7a; 20

a `plastic structure'


made no secret of their misgivings. The Wesleyan Methodist Magazine saw, as `the drawback' to abolition, `that it will not only give greater facilities for the development of evangelical Nonconformity in the national universities, but also for the audacity of Rationalism, and the scheming of Popery, the two great enemies of truth.'113 Lord Salisbury was understood, as Charles Roundell wrote to his cousin Roundell Palmer in July 1870, `to seek protection, not for the Church, but for Christianity'. When Roundell put forward a compromise proposal on this basis, however, it was rejected.114 The clue to Salisbury's tactics is that he was chie¯y concerned, not about this attack, but about the next, namely the expected Liberal assault on Oxford's clerical fellowships.115 Maintaining those was far more important than the test to the Church party's position. Taking an MA involved signing a declaration, which from 1868 stated simply that the doctrine of the Church of England was `agreeable to the Word of God';116 but some of Oxford's teachers never signed. A private tutor did not need an MA: B. C. Brodie, who was an agnostic, did not take his until he had held the Aldrichian Professorship of Chemistry for ®ve years; and James Bryce, who was a determined Scottish `voluntaryist', never took one, although in 1870 he had become a DCL and the Regius Professor of Civil Law.117 Those who signed could claim great latitude; Newman had shown in 1840 how ¯exibly the Thirty-Nine Articles might be interpreted. The differences between the Church of England and other denominations seemed little, if any, greater than those between one Anglican and another.118 An extremely scrupulous Aug. 9c; 21 Aug. 4d; 22 Aug. 6f, 7a, e, 10b, c; Liddon, Pusey, iv. 201±2. For the dismissal of Samuel Davidson from the Professorship of Biblical Literature in Lancashire Independent College for heterodoxy see Quinn and Prest, 90±1. Another Independent college (New College, St John's Wood) had expelled three students for a similar offence, one of them being William Hale White, who gave an account in The Early Life of Mark Rutherford (1913), 63±9. See also W. R. Ward, Early Victorian Methodism (1976), 420±2. The Duke of Richmond led the Conservative opposition in the Lords at this time; but, as Oxford's Chancellor, Salisbury had an obvious claim to lead on this question. 113 Wesleyan Methodist Magazine, 1870, 654. For the misgivings of a prominent Roman Catholic, a friend of J. H. Newman, see Parl. Deb. 13 July 1864, clxxvi. 1405±7 (William Monsell). 114 C. S. Roundell to Roundell Palmer, 21 July 1870: LPL MS Selborne 1864 fo 62. For an instance of press comment on the `arti®cial barriers to their teaching' maintained by Oxford and Cambridge see The Times, 12 May 1870, 9c. 115 Quinn and Prest, 222; SCOC (1867), Q 2404 (Jowett); Parl. Deb. 10 Feb. 1871, cciv. 148 (Gladstone); [M. Arnold], Pall Mall Gazette, 30 Nov. 1871, 10. 116 Formula adapted from the Clerical Subscription Act, 1865, (28 and 29 Vict. c. 122); Ward, Victorian Oxford, 254. 117 SC Tests (1870±1), Q 3218: 71 (Jowett); Saturday Review, xxv, 7 Mar. 1868, 305; his wish to speak in Congregation or Convocation probably explains Brodie's eventual compliance (see p. 451 below); H. A. L. Fisher, Bryce (2 vols, 1927), i. 38. Bryce had also been a fellow of Oriel since 1862, where Ordinance 40 required him to `conform to the Liturgy of the Church of England'. 118 Pt 1, 240±4; Parl. Deb., 10 Apr. 1845, lxxix. 404 (W. D. Christie); Goldwin Smith, Reform (1858), 272, Reorganization (1868), 60, E. A. Knox, Reminiscences (1934), 66; SCOC (1867), Q 2462 (Jowett); SC Tests (1870±1), Qs 289, 345: 70 (D. P. Chase).


`a secularized university'?

aspirant might wreck his chances by refusing to sign: all others could ®nd grounds for their signatures. So conscientious a man as T. H. Green was said to have defended his by explaining that `one kiss did not make a marriage.'119 The clerical fellowships question, by contrast, was very substantial. In 1871 rather more than half of Oxford's fellows were clergymen or prospective clergymen;120 and more than half of the lay fellows were non-resident. In the group most in¯uential with the undergraduatesÐthe college heads, deans, and tutorsÐthe Church's position was even stronger. Except at Merton the heads were all clergymen, as were many of the hundred-odd college tutors.121 Unlike complete abolition of the tests, however, decimating the clerical fellowships might be achieved without the direct intervention of Parliament. Salisbury could not afford to demoralize the Conservative peers by a surrender, embodying what he called `a merely nominal compromise', on the one issue where the parliamentary struggle was sure to be decisive.122 He chose to ®ght on two points: the abolition Bill must not apply to the heads, who must remain in orders, and tutors and lecturers must declare that, while holding one of these of®ces, they would `not teach any opinion opposed to the teaching and Divine authority of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament'.123 His tactics had drawbacks. The tutors' formula, though far less objectionable than the one it replaced, attracted much mockery;124 and the longer the abolition proposals were delayed the more comprehensive they became. By the time the Bill was before the Commons in 1871 Gladstone's supporters had become so impatient that an amendment to abolish clerical fellowships received the support of more than half of 119

Parl. Deb., 23 May 1870, cci. 1250 (Denman); SC Tests (1870±1), Q 3165: 71 (Jowett); sixteen Cambridge `high wranglers' were said to have been excluded from fellowships by the test, 1860±9: ibid. 567, Appendix A. In 1869 two resignations from fellowships on conscientious grounds caused a stirÐHenry Sidgwick at Trinity, Cambridge, and Lyulph Stanley at Balliol. For T. H. Green see A. H. Sayce, Reminiscences (1923), 103, and W. A. Knight, Memoir of John Nichol (Glasgow, 1896), 141. 120 Lyulph Stanley, 6±7. Stanley counted 174 clerical and 178 lay fellows in the 1869 Calendar. He added that including `embryo clergymen' with the `clericals' would have made them a majority. The Bishop of Exeter said that half the fellows were clerical `in all the colleges': Parl. Deb., 14 July 1870, cciii. 225. 121 See the comprehensive return PP 1871. ix. 216±21. This gives for each college (except All Souls which was late with its return): total number of fellows, number (a) holding college of®ces, (b) `habitually absent', (c) `in, or moving to, Holy Orders or Divinity Degrees'. For college tutors' numbers see Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Q 3790 (Pattison); Engel 288, 292. Oxford fellows' numbers, 1815±1912, are given in Pt 1, 408 (Table 12.11). 122 Pt 1, 729. 123 Salisbury to Roundell Palmer, 31 July 1870: LPL MS Selborne 1864, fo 68; SC Tests (1870± 1), 2nd Report, 595. For High Church criticism of the proposed declaration see Ward, Victorian Oxford, 261. 124 The Times, 9 May 1871, 10a. The proposed declaration was, however, similar to the one made under the Acts of 1853 and 1859 by the principals and holders of lay chairs in the Scottish universities, for which see n. 146 below.

a `plastic structure'


them. He had a majority of only twenty-two against it even with Conservative help.125 But by obtaining a Select Committee on the Bill, with all the delay which this entailed, Salisbury gained one important advantage: he turned the spotlight onto the feature of Oxford teaching which he, and many others, distrusted most. Liddon had put his ®nger on this feature in 1868: `The question,' he wrote to a friend, `is whether the sons of Christian parents are . . . to be made over to in®del teachers of . . . philosophy, with an undisputed legal right to teach them in®delity.' To Liddon and his friends it was a `profoundly Christian truth that education without religion is worse than barbarism'.126 They noted how the philosophy papers in Greats had changed, and they condemned as `in®del' a course which, dealing with the deepest philosophical questions, had come during the last ®fteen years to do so in a way which was not speci®cally Christian. In 1830, when permission was given for candidates' answers to be `illustrated occasionally by the writings of the moderns', the Noetics, led by R. D. Hampden, brought Joseph Butler's Analogy of Religion (®rst published in 1736) into the Lit. Hum. syllabus. They regarded Butler as the foremost demonstrator of the reasonableness of revealed religion. During the Tractarian aftermath, however, and still more when Oxford felt the ®rst impact of Darwin, Butler fell into disfavour. Gladstone, foreseeing the trend, is said to have declared in 1853 that dropping the Analogy from Lit. Hum. would be worse than the loss of four colleges. In 1854, however, a liberal board of examiners which included Pattison moved it to the `recommended' list. Fairly soon it had become an option which hardly anyone took. `It is not excluded,' D. P. Chase told the Lords' Committee in 1870, `but, being an optional subject, it is one that has been discouraged.' Oxford's liberals thought a work of Christian apologetics out of place in the Greats list. They stressed that `moral philosophy, as . . . at present taught in Oxford' was `totally disjoined from religious questions'.127 In 1865 Jowett saw his own undergraduate years, when `we were fed upon Bp. Butler and Aristotle's Ethics', as a time when `almost all teaching leant towards doctrines of authority.' Gladstone was left yearning for Butler's era. `Oh, that this age knew,' he wrote in 1873, `the treasure it possesses in him, 125

Parl. Deb., 20 Feb. 1871, cciv. 509±22. Liddon to W. Bright, 28 Dec. 1868, to C. T. Redington, 24 Jan. 1872: J. O. Johnston (n. 31), 133, 240. The Tests Select Committee heard a similar view from a Cambridge fellow: SC Tests (1870±1), Q 593: 70 (Perowne). Cf. T. H. Green, 1872: S. Paget, Scott Holland (1921), 66. 127 Pt 1, 73, 75, 210, 536; Jane Garnett, `Bishop Butler and the Zeitgeist', Joseph Butler's Moral and Religious Thought: Tercentenary Essays, ed. Christopher Cunliffe (1992), 63±96; Mozley, Letters, 222±3; Pattison, Memoirs, 77: Pattison was an examiner in 1853±4 and 1870±1; SC Tests (1870±1), Q 376:70 (Chase), 550:71 (Appleton), 1990:71 (Woollcombe). Boyd Hilton, Age of Atonement (1988), 338±40, is helpful; but Pattison's 1854 examinership has been transposed to 1864. 126


`a secularized university'?

and neglects.'128 To High Churchmen an honours course which excluded Butler, and included John Stuart Mill's Logic, despite all Pusey's efforts to dislodge it, was an education in in®delity.129 In 1868 Burrows told readers of the Quarterly that Greats men were exposed `to a very probable overthrow of their faith and morals'.130 Jowett's part in Essays and Reviews (1860) had not been forgotten. His message had been condemned then by the entire bench of bishops and, almost as directly, by 11,000 of the Anglican clergy: his in¯uence, and that of his college, were regarded by many Churchmen as malign.131 In 1871 Charles Neate told the Lords' Committee: `if the Convocation . . . had been suf®ciently enlightened as to what was going on, they would have . . . rather encouraged classical and historical learning than . . . philosophical.' Before the Selborne Commission six years later Neate was more explicit. Lately, he said, `philosophy unhappily. . . has acquired very much more of a speculative character, so that the University can teach people only how to speculate and not what they are to think'; and in a pamphlet of that year he wrote: Our students have been led or driven away from the fair and fertile ®elds of ancient literature to batten upon that most barren of all moors . . . the Republic of Plato, and the adjacent bottomless bogs of German philosophy.132

These criticisms and suspicions were not con®ned to elderly Oxford fellows. There was a widespread belief that the only hope for Christianity in Oxford would be to keep Jowett's Balliol philosophers in quarantine. Edmond Warre, an in¯uential Eton master, told Liddon in December 1867 that he thought `the proposed union of Balliol and New College for lecturing purposes most disastrous'.133 His fears were echoed among Churchmen of all varieties and in both political parties. The Earl of Harrowby, the leading Evangelical on the Lords' Select Committee about the Tests Bill, was at one with the Committee's High Church originator and chairman concerning what had happened to Greats.134 In an open letter to the Vice-Chancellor, Sir Thomas Acland, then a Liberal MP, deplored the `unsettled and unset128 Quinn and Prest, 70; Garnett, `Bishop Butler', 63. Butler's place in philosophy syllabuses, c. 1919, is discussed ibid. 94±5. For the inclusion of the Analogy in Oxford's Theology honours syllabus after 1870 see p. 98 below. 129 Lyulph Stanley, 11±12. 130 [M. Burrows], Quarterly, ccxxiv (Apr. 1868), 405. 131 Pt 1, 708; Pusey to Keble, 24 July 1862: I. Ellis, Seven against Christ (Leiden 1980), 182; Quinn and Prest, 64; Parl. Deb., 13 June 1870, cci. 1951±2 (Hicks-Beach), 4 June 1877, ccxxxiv. 1284 (J. G. Talbot). 132 SC Tests (1870±1), Q 1159:71; UOC (1877), Q. 4498. See also Charles Neate, The Universities' Reform Bill (1877), 7. 133 23 Dec. 1867: Liddon Diaries, PHL. See Macmillan's Magazine, 21 (Dec. 1869), 189±90 [C. A. Fyffe], for a scornful comment. 134 SC Tests (1870±1), Qs 640±3: 71 (Harrowby questioning Appleton).

a `plastic structure'


tling' theories propagated in Greats. Gladstone's condemnation was equally emphatic.135 These were all experienced parliamentarians, eminently capable of distancing themselves from Pusey and Liddon.136 As the University's Chancellor, Salisbury was particularly well placed to recognize the current trends in Oxford. He regarded any concession to the religious doubts of the day as extremely dangerous. In an article on the tests published in 1865 he had warned: `The world has not yet seen . . . a society in which [Christian] dogmas . . . have lost their hold upon all classes and both sexes, and which yet retained its morality, or even its civilization, through two or three generations.' This fear was unusual at that date only in the stark clarity with which Salisbury stated it. Unbelievers had been among those who saw morality as depending on belief. `I want my attorney, my tailor, my servants, even my wife,' wrote Voltaire, `to believe in God: then I shall be robbed and cuckolded less often.' A great change in the intellectual climate has made Salisbury's view look to many in Britain today almost as eccentric as Voltaire's. `I love religious faith,' writes Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, `breathe it like the air itself, and long ago chose to dedicate my life to it; but morality is something wider and more universal than spirituality, and it would be neither helpful nor true to argue that in order to be good one has to ``believe''.'137 Salisbury regarded a young man's Oxford years as a time of particular peril. In his view undergraduates were too immature to be exposed to a wide range of philosophical opinions: such unsettling exposure was apt to leave them with the impression that none of the theories and beliefs about man and his universe was of great validity or importance. Like Harrowby, he thought that an undergraduate course ought to be an extension of school work. He appealed to what he saw as a widespread conviction among English parents that education which was `not scriptural' was `worse than no education at all': the School Board elections of 1870 showed this, he said, to be the prevalent attitude.138 When Matthew Arnold criticized Oxford for being a mere `haut lyceÂe', he described the University, not so much as it actually was for the honours man, but as Salisbury wanted it to be.139 135 T. D. Acland, The Discouragement of Elementary Mathematics . . . Letter to the ViceChancellor (1867), 10. Quoted critically by Pattison, Suggestions, 302±3; approvingly by Beresford Hope, Parl. Deb., 1 July 1868, cxciii. 439. For Gladstone, see p. 41 below. 136 Salisbury's relations with Pusey had not been close: Liddon, Pusey, iv. 198±200. See also n. 153 below. 137 Quarterly, cxviii (July 1865), 207. See the Appeal against abolition of the Tests by Oxford heads and fellows: `The battle is for Christian faith and Christian morals': The Times, 3 Mar. 1868, 4e. Cf. W. Berkley, `The Church and the Universities', Essays on Church Policy (1868), ed. W. L. Clay, 131±6; SCSI (1868), Q 8018 (Huxley); Quinn and Prest, 225 (Lowe); Jonathan Sacks, The Politics of Hope (1997), 240±1 (where the quotation from Voltaire is included). 138 Parl. Deb., 8 May, 13 June 1871, ccvi. 346, 347±8, 1965 (Salisbury); SC Tests (1870±1), Q 2268:71 (Leighton). 139 Schools and Universities, 319. See also Pt 1, 20; Lyulph Stanley, 4; Macmillan's Magazine, 33 (Feb. 1876), 339. For German suggestions that Oxford was `a great Gymnasium' see


`a secularized university'?

Mark Pattison had made no attempt to allay these alarms. In his Suggestions he wrote: I think the fears of the Catholic party, whether within or without the National Establishment, are substantially well founded . . . It is the school of classics (Lit. Hum.) only, and speci®cally the philosophical subjects which have developed themselves within that school, which alarm the Church party. This the party must conquer, or be content to see . . . all the minds of any promise that pass through Oxford hopelessly lost to them.

Pattison added that the clerical assault on Greats might well be successful.140 His views, as Burrows remarked in the Quarterly, were not conspicuous for internal consistency. He approved of Greats as a weapon against the Church party. Otherwise it was part of the cramming and examining machinery which he despised.141 Two years later Charles Appleton, who was his leading Oxford disciple, repeated the message still more starkly. Like his master he had little interest in safeguarding Greats as it stood. With the incautious candour of a man of 29 he told the Lords' Select Committee on the Tests: I think it is quite impossible for any man to throw himself into the system of education for the ®nal classical school at Oxford at . . . present . . . without having the whole edi®ce of belief shaken to the very foundation. At the same time, the agencies which are brought to bear upon him, the philosophical ideas and modes of criticism, not only destroy but ultimately reconstruct belief . . . The upsetting of his beliefs, and the entire loosening of them from all moorings, is an inevitable consequence of the system of education which now exists in Oxford.

It could be disastrous, Appleton stressed, if the test was put to a man `just . . . when he is beginning to reconstruct the edi®ce of belief naturally out of the ruins which had been undermined'.142 It was futile and wrong, he added, to try to curb the student's curiosity: all kinds of philosophical books and articles were available to honours men whether or not college tutors recommended them, and, as some of the greatest Christian ®gures had contended, no man could be ®rm in his faith unless he had confronted doubt in many forms. `What is very commonly mistaken for a prevalence of in®delity,' he explained in The Times, `is partly the normal action of the T. Arnold, the younger (n. 19), 28. For G. Saintsbury's protest see his Matthew Arnold (1899), 118±19. Despite the dif®culty of much of the work for Oxford honours, the phrases were used to denote a university devoted to ®rst-degree teaching rather than higher study: Pattison, Suggestions, 127; E. A. Freeman to Bryce, 17 Apr. 1883, Bodl. MS Bryce 7, fo 92. 140 Pattison, Suggestions, 298±9. Quoted in Commons: Parl. Deb., 1 July 1868, cxciii. 438 (Beresford Hope); [C. A. Fyffe], `Study and Opinion at Oxford' (n. 133), Macmillan's Magazine, 21 (Dec. 1869), 189. For Pattison's view of the Roman Catholic Church see his Sermons (1885), 190±1, 223±6. His own changing religious pattern is described by Duncan Nimmo in Religion and Humanism: Studies in Church History 17, ed. Keith Robbins (1981), 311±24. 141 Quarterly, cxxiv (Apr. 1868), 397. 142 SC Tests (1870±1), Qs 490, 527:71. Cf. Qs. 3041, 3182:71 (Jowett). Salisbury quoted Appleton's remarks in the Lords: Parl. Deb., 8 May 1871, ccvi. 344±5.

a `plastic structure'


higher education, and much more the disturbance of such normal operation by the intervention of a de®nite test at a particular time.'143 Salisbury never had much chance of a large enough majority in the Lords to persuade the government to amend the Universities Tests Bill in substance.144 His argument hardly applied either to Cambridge or to the majority of Oxford undergraduates. Those reading seriously for good honours in Greats were a select band in a University where less than half would take honours of any kind, some 30 per cent being unlikely even to achieve a degree;145 and, even after the Select Committee's revelations, many potential University parents would remain unaware of what shocks might await their sons in Oxford. But Salisbury's long, losing struggle did not result wholly from tactical calculations or miscalculations. Although, like many others, he made his diehard stand on a symbolic rather than a substantive issue, the principle involved was a basic one which virtually precluded compromise. The liberal doctrine had been stated by Mill in his St Andrews inaugural lecture in 1867: A university ought to be a place of free speculation . . . The old English universities . . . are doing better work than they have done within human memory. . . Whereas they formerly seemed to exist mainly for the repression of independent thought, . . . they are now the great foci of free and manly enquiry, to the higher and professional classes, south of the Tweed . . . A modest deference, at least provisional, to the united authority of the specially instructed, is becoming in a youthful and imperfectly formed mind; but when there is no united authority, when the specially instructed are so divided and scattered that almost any opinion can boast of some high authority, and no opinion whatever can claim all; . . . then . . . keep, at all risks, your minds open: do not barter away your freedom of thought.146

The praise which the University received from Mill at St Andrews was much more objectionable to Salisbury and Pusey than Grant Duff's criticisms of Oxford at Aberdeen a month later. In the chapter of Physics and Politics 143

The Times, 15 May 1871, 6f (Appleton's letter). Kimberley, the main Liberal speaker, who had taken a ®rst in classics in 1847, spoke as if Greats had not changed since then. He had been in¯uenced by Mansel, then Oxford's leading High Church philosopher: Parl. Deb., ccvi. 349. See also ibid. 380 (Airlie), 382 (Bishop of Manchester). 145 Pt 1, 360 (Fig. 11.1). For Cambridge see SC Tests (1870±1), Qs 668, 771±2:70 (Perowne). 146 1 Feb. 1867 (®rst published 1867): J. S. Mill, Collected Works, xxi (1984), ed. J. M. Robson, 250. John Tyndall's message, a year or two later, to London University students was similar: J. Tyndall, Fragments of Science (6th edn, 2 vols 1879; 1st edn 1871), ii. 98±9. Under Acts of 1853 and 1859 principals and professors in the Scottish universities were required to declare that they would not exercise their `functions . . . to the prejudice or subversion of the Church of Scotland': 16 and 17 Vict. c. 89; 22 and 23 Vict. c. 24. The staff of King's College, London, were subject to a religious test until 1903 when it was abolished except for staff in the Theology Department: Local Acts 3 Edward VII c. 92. The provisions of the 1853 and 1859 Acts were repealed by the Universities (Scotland) Act, 1889 (52 and 53 Vict. c. 55), section 17. Thereafter the theology professors and the principal of St Mary's College, St Andrews, were the only staff members in the Scottish universities who remained subject to a test. 144


`a secularized university'?

which ®rst appeared in January 1872 Walter Bagehot's message resembled Mill's. `Since Luther's time,' he wrote, `there has been a conviction more or less rooted, that a man may by an intellectual process think out a religion for himself.'147 As a Magdalen fellow had pointed out in 1864, to Oxford's Church party Christianity was a dogmatic system which had to be received as it stood, whereas to the liberals it represented the most important area of exploration and investigation.148 The gulf between these two viewpoints was deep. Roundell was con®dent that `liberty of thought' did not `bring about . . . unbelief'. `That the doubts and perplexities of the time should ®nd their place at Oxford is a necessity,' he wrote in July 1870. It was, however, his ®rm conviction `that the great majority' in the University were `truly religious, or at least open to, or rather yearning after, religion'.149 To Salisbury and Liddon this was not Christian faith. For the Balliol philosophy tutors there was no frontier in a University beyond which `liberty of thought' ceased to apply. In so far as abolition of the tests in 1871 entailed acceptance of this position it represented a decisive point in the University's history. Some supporters of the tests spoke or wrote as if undergraduates should be kept away from any subject in which, in Charles Neate's phrase, they could not be taught `what they were to think'. In the 1840s William Whewell, then Master of Trinity, Cambridge, had seen chemistry as the scene of a shifting struggle between contending theorists, and had wished to exclude it from undergraduate study on that ground. His view was countered by Sir Robert Peel, who told Prince Albert that nothing was more important for an undergraduate than to know the `history of error and the slow process by which it was corrected, to hear of . . . the points on which learned men differ, as well as those on which they are agreed'.150 Whewell's view appeared in crude forms in the Oxford of the sixties. One of the many persons who could be summoned to Convocation to oppose a liberal innovation was said to have con®ded his intention of voting against `that damned intellect';151 and in 1866 C. L. Dodgson (`Lewis Carroll') had written ironically of the liberals' hopes in Oxford: `Then intellect's proud ¯ag shall be unfurled.'152 That was not Salisbury's position. On many sub147 W. Bagehot, Physics and Politics (1872): Collected Works, ed. N. St John Stevas, vii (1974), 117. This essay was ®rst published in Fortnightly Review, 1 Jan. 1872. See also n. 236. 148 The Revd H. R. Bramley, An Answer to Professor Goldwin Smith's Plea for the Abolition of Tests (1864), 34±5, 41, 50. 149 SC Tests (1870±1), Q 1489: 71; Roundell to Roundell Palmer, 21 July 1870: LPL MS Selborne 1864, fos 63±4. 150 Peel to Prince Albert, 27 Oct. 1847: Theodore Martin, Prince Consort (5 vols 1875±80), ii. 118. 151 Lyulph Stanley, 5. 152 Charles Dodgson's anonymous parody of Goldwin Smith's pamphlet, `The Elections to the Hebdomadal Council: a Letter to the Revd. C. W. Sandford' (1866): The Oxford Pamph-

a `plastic structure'


jects he was as favourable to the principle of `free thought' as Peel had been. His strong scienti®c interests had led him to enrage Pusey by attempting to include the agnostic, John Tyndall, in the honorary degree list for his installation as Chancellor;153 but for him, when the instruction of undergraduates touched in some way on Christian faith, another principle applied. He accepted the axiom which Pusey had stated at the time of the ®rst reform: `The object of a university course is not simply or mainly to cultivate the intellect'; Christian faith required, in the undergraduate as in the schoolboy, `the prostration of the human understanding before the revelation of God'.154 Pattison and Appleton thus differed from Salisbury, Harrowby, and Liddon in seeing a basic difference between school and university. `Catholic schools there may be,' Pattison wrote; `but a Catholic university there cannot be.'155 The opponents of the tests held that the undeviating inculcation of Christianity had to be left to home and school. Once a boy reached the university that approach was mistaken in principle, and probably counter-productive in practice. An undergraduate needed in their view the freedom to choose among possible religious guides, and so `to think out a religion for himself'. To Appleton it was an essential feature of Greats that the element of `moral philosophy' in it should be `totally disjoined from religious questions'. Parents who supposed that a university course could be no more than a prolongation of school were deluding themselves. Compulsory attendance in the college chapel was apt, in Appleton's view, to operate against Christian faith.156 While the defenders of the tests were right to see themselves as being at issue with the Balliol tutors on a basic question, they misunderstood what was happening in Greats. Salisbury and his followers naturally made all they could of Pattison's anti-clerical tone, and some of them may not have realized that Pattison had ceased to be an important ®gure in Greats. Even Jowett, who had played the chief part in bringing the modern philosophers into the course, and putting Plato on a level with Aristotle, was not in full control of his own creation. To his disquiet, and Pattison's anger, his followers were dethroning Mill. The new philosophical guide was Hegel, lets . . . of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, ed. E. Wakeling (Charlottesville, Va., 1993), 48. For Dodgson's fame as Lewis Carroll see p. 225. 153 Quinn and Prest, 187. Tyndall became an Hon. DCL in 1873. For his religious views see his remarks (n. 146), ii. 202±3. 154 Collegiate and Professorial Teaching and Discipline (1854), 215, 73. This view had been prevalent among Cambridge Evangelicals, as among Oxford's High Churchmen: Noel Annan, Leslie Stephen (1984 edn), 155±6. Salisbury, unlike Gladstone, had no reverence for Greats. He had taken the pass course and had been awarded an `honorary fourth' for his mathematics: Pt 1, 367. 155 Pattison, Suggestions, 301. Salisbury's phrasing is revealing: `tutors . . . and . . . pupils': Parl. Deb., 8 May 1871, ccvi. 347. 156 SC Tests (1870±1), Qs 550, 597, 638±41:71 (Appleton). For the view that most parents of undergraduates were more realistic on this than the High Church admitted see W. Berkley (n. 137), 131±6.


`a secularized university'?

who, as Jowett told the Lords' Select Committee, `was, or believed himself to be, a conservative both in religion and politics'.157 Moreover, to represent Jowett as an anti-clerical caricatured him: he was essentially a clergyman, though an eccentric one. While Pusey sought to guard the traditional basis for morality, Jowett strove to establish a new one. His attempt to persuade his fellow Churchmen to help in this task by modernizing their religious ideas had been an alarming failure. Scorched by his experiences over Essays and Reviews, he had abandoned any direct assault on the literal interpretation of the Bible and had adopted an indirect approach, based on the study not of any modern, but of an ancient philosopher. This would be particularly suitable for Oxford with its pervasive classical tradition. Here was the sophisticated approach to faith and morals which a Balliol honours man might be thought to need. As F. M. Turner has explained, `what . . . some persons could achieve on the grounds of traditional Christian teachings and the scriptures, Jowett attempted to sustain through an appeal to the idealism of Plato.'158 Jowett's dif®culties in turning Plato into a model of this kind were immense. The process both cut across his proclaimed aim of interpreting the Dialogues according to the conditions of Plato's day, rather than by the nineteenth century's moral standards,159 and involved reversing impressions prevalent in Oxford. In 1868 Montagu Burrows contrasted `the Christian system' for universities with `the intellectual model . . . such as we ®nd it in the mind of Plato'. While Gladstone was convinced that the other subjects studied in Universities should be `ancillary' to classics, he was not in favour of allowing Plato to displace the Gospels. `The place,' he had told the Clarendon Commission, `of Aristotle and Plato in Christian education is not arbitrary, nor in principle mutable.'160 Plato's works spanned a long life at the end of which he would have been among the ®rst to hand Socrates the hemlock; and these later views were not the only ones which would be unacceptable to Victorian Britain if given great prominence.161 When the 157 Ibid. Q 3042:71 (Jowett); but Appleton thought `Hegel's Logic . . . one of the most revolutionary instruments . . . ever invented' (ibid. Q506:71). Hegel's views have been interpreted in many different ways: Peter Singer, Hegel (1983), 40, 44, 84. Pattison referred in a review, 2 Dec. 1876, to `the measly spiritualism of a pseudo-Hegelianism': Academy, x. 533. For Jowett's stance see Richter, 152±4. J. M. Wilson, White's Professor of Moral Philosophy, 1846±74, came to be seen as `the last of the Oxford Utilitarians': J. H. Fowler (n. 98), 39±40. For the signi®cance of this see Ch. 11 below. 158 F. M. Turner, Contesting Cultural Authority (1993), 352. See B. Jowett, Plato, Republic (3rd edn 1888), ccxxxi; Jowett to L. Campbell, 23 June 1884: Abbott and Campbell, ii. 268. For Mrs Humphry Ward's view see A Writer's Recollections (1918), 129±31; for a recent critique P. Hinchliff, Benjamin Jowett and the Christian Religion (1987). 159 See p. 61 below. Jowett had tutored Alexander Grant, whose Ethics (2 vols 1857±8) represented one of the ®rst commentaries to approach Aristotle `historically' and not as a `model': F. M. Turner, The Greek Heritage in Victorian Britain (1994 edn), 340±50. 160 Quarterly, cxxiv (Apr. 1868), 393; PP 1864 xx. 294±5 (App. F, 42±3). 161 G. Grote, Plato and the Other Companions of Sokrates (3 vols 1865), iii. 409±12.

a `plastic structure'


Oxford graduates of the 1860s experienced the intoxicating liberation produced by abolition of the test this last fact led to startling results.

` t h e d e m o r a l i z i n g mo r a l i z e r ' Walter Pater's Studies in the History of the Renaissance, published in 1873, provided the initial shock. The author was a Brasenose tutor, the holder of a lay fellowship there. His gospel combined Darwinism with the romantic attitudes of the Pre-Raphaelites.162 He wrote in his concluding chapter: A counted number of pulses only is given to us of a variegated, dramatic life. How may we see in them all that is to be seen . . . by the ®nest senses? . . . To burn always with this hard, gemlike ¯ame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life . . . While all melts under our feet, we may well grasp at any exquisite passion . . . or any stirring of the senses, strange dyes, strange ¯owers, and curious odours, or work of the artist's hands, or the face of one's friend. Not to discriminate every moment some passionate attitude in those about us . . . is, on this short day of frost and sun, to sleep before evening . . . The theory or idea or system which requires of us the sacri®ce of any part of this experience, in consideration of some interest into which we cannot enter, or some abstract morality we have not identi®ed with ourselves, or what is only conventional, has no real claim upon us.163

Like some other passages in the book this had already been in print for some years;164 but anonymous publication in a London review was one thing, a book announced as the work of a tutor and the senior dean of Brasenose quite another;165 and it would have been hard to state a doctrine which contradicted more directly the Biblical teaching of every British school and college. One of Pater's colleagues at Brasenose had lately married a granddaughter of Thomas Arnold.166 Forty-®ve years later Mrs Humphry Ward recalled `very clearly the effect' of The Renaissance `and of the strange and poignant sense of beauty expressed in it, of its entire aloofness . . . from the Christian tradition . . . It was a gospel that both stirred and scandalized Oxford . . . There was a cry of ``Neo-Paganism''.'167 For the guardians of the Church of England's position in Oxford to have remained silent before such a challenge would have gone against all precedent or prediction. John Wordsworth, the tutor next in standing to Pater at Brasenose (and later Bishop of Salisbury), made an immediate private protest, though conceding: 162 G. C. Monsman, Walter Pater (1977), [10]. For the echo of Alexander Grant's Hegelian interpretation of Aristotle's energeia see F. M. Turner, Greek Heritage, 350±5. 163 1873 edn, 210±12. For the 1877 edition the title was changed to: The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry. 164 In the concluding part of `Poems by William Morris': Westminster Review, n s 34 (Oct. 1868), 300±12. Pater had originally aired his ideas in an undergraduate society, the Old Mortality: G. C. Monsman, Studies in Philology, 67 (Chapel Hill, NC 1970), 371; Pt 1, xxv. 165 As John Wordsworth at once told Pater: E. W. Watson (n. 96), 90. 166 Thomas Humphry Ward, fellow of Brasenose, 1869, married Mary Augusta Arnold, April 1872. Resigning his fellowship on marrying, he remained a tutor of the college. 167 Mrs Humphry Ward (n. 158), 120.


`a secularized university'?

`You may take your stand on your right under the University Tests Act to teach and publish whatever you please.'168 W. W. Capes of Queen's, once one of Pater's tutors and by now a Select Preacher, condemned the new doctrine in a St Mary's sermon;169 and in April 1875 the Bishop of Oxford followed suit in his Charge to the diocesan clergy.170 The older liberals were no better pleased: Jowett called Pater `the demoralizing moralizer'.171 The new gospel was also proclaimed in a commentary on the classics. The ®rst series of Studies in the Greek Poets by John Addington Symonds appeared in the same year as Pater's Renaissance. Symonds, a former pupil and friend of Jowett who lived abroad for his health, wrote glowingly of the `phallic ecstasy' which characterized the comedies of Aristophanes, and about such features of Greek sculpture as `the frank sexuality of Silenus and Priapus'. Far more shocking than this, however, were the references by Symonds and Pater to homosexuality in Greek works.172 In the chapter on Winckelmann in the Renaissance Pater wrote: The modern most often meets Plato on that side which seems to pass beyond Plato into a world no longer pagan, based upon the conception of a spiritual life. But the element of af®nity which he presents to Winckelmann is that which is wholly Greek, and alien from the Christian world, represented by that group of brilliant youths . . . still uninfected by any spiritual sickness, ®nding the end of all endeavour in the aspects of the human form, the continual stir and motion of a comely life.

Pater quoted Winckelmann's remark: those `moved little or not at all by the beauty of men seldom have an impartial, vital, inborn instinct for beauty in art'.173 Years later Ingram Bywater commended this chapter to a German friend as `a very remarkable piece of work'. He added that in 1873 `a certain sympathy with a certain aspect of Greek life' noticeable in it had not been `con®ned' to Pater.174 168 John Wordsworth to Pater, 17 Mar. 1873: Pater, Letters, ed. Lawrence Evans (1970), (12)±14. Evans rejects the bracketed phrase in E. W. Watson (n. 96), 89±91. Wordsworth had vacated his fellowship on marrying and taking a prebend in Lincoln Cathedral, where his father had lately become the Bishop. For his later, guarded condemnation of Pater's `Hellenism' see his ®rst Bampton Lecture: The One Religion (1881), 12. 169 UJ, 27 Nov. 1873. 170 [J. F. Mackarness], Charge Delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of Oxford . . . 20 Apr. 1875 (1875), 15±16. A Merton graduate, he had been a fellow of Exeter, 1844±6. He was answered, and reassured, by William Ince, Religion in the University of Oxford (1875). 171 William Sharp, `Some Personal Reminiscences of Walter Pater', Atlantic Monthly, 74 (Dec. 1894), 811. As an undergraduate Pater had been coached for a term by Jowett: E. Gosse, Contemporary Review, 66 (Dec. 1894), 799. 172 J. A. Symonds, Studies of the Greek Poets (1873), 240±1, 243±4, 412±13. 173 Pater, Renaissance (1873), 151, 162. First published, unsigned, Westminster Review, n s 31 (Jan. 1867), 80±110. Cf. Matthew Arnold, `Pagan and Christian Religious Sentiment', Cornhill, ix (Apr. 1864), 422±35, repr. Essays in Criticism, First Series (1865), with `Christian' in title changed to `Medieval'. 174 W. W. Jackson, Ingram Bywater (n. 32), 79. The term `homosexuality' did not enter general English usage until the 1890s.

a `plastic structure'


Throughout the Victorian era the various Oxford authorities resorted to banishment, permanent or temporary, when they came to know of homosexual practices. In the spring of 1861 the Reverend Dr John Barrow, the ®rst High Church Principal of St Edmund Hall for some years, was accused of misconduct with a second-year commoner of the Hall, and admitted the offence. A few weeks later he sent his `Deed of Resignation' from Boulogne.175 Some lesser punishment might well follow on detection of possible (or probable) homosexual intentions. In 1862 a scholar of Corpus, who was a friend of Symonds, suffered expulsion, and retreated to New Inn Hall, for showing undue interest in the choirboys at Christ Church and Magdalen. Angered at being forbidden entry to Magdalen Chapel, he sent to that college's fellows extracts from poems and letters he had received from Symonds, whom they had just elected to a fellowship. After investigation the governing body exonerated Symonds; but his reputation in Magdalen was blighted.176 Dramatic performances in which undergraduates took women's parts were banned in 1871 in the aftermath of a court case much reported in the London press.177 The homosexual inclinations in ancient Greece at which Pater hinted had come squarely under the general condemnation. One of Gladstone's reasons for commending the study of Homer was that the Homeric world had escaped `those shameless lusts which [later] formed the incredible and indelible disgrace of Greece'.178 During his lectures as Slade Professor of Fine Art early in 1870 Ruskin referred to `certain . . . singular states of inferior passion which . . . arrested the ethical as well as the formative progress of the Greek mind'179 in the ®fth and fourth centuries b c . Two years later he said: The mere admiration of physical beauty in the body, and the arts which sought its expression, not only conduced greatly to the fall of Greece, but were the cause of errors and crimes . . . which must for ever sadden our happiest thoughts of her, and have rendered her example almost useless to the future.180

Both lecture courses were published immediately. 175

J. N. D. Kelly, St Edmund Hall (1989), 81±3. 24 Nov. 1862, Samuel Brooke's diary: CCC archives D 498/3; P. Grosskurth, J. A. Symonds (1964), 58±69; Memoirs of J. A. Symonds, ed. P. Grosskurth (1984), 117±32. Jowett remained Symonds's friend: Quinn and Prest, 284±5, 303±4. 177 J. G. Adderley, The Fight for the Drama at Oxford (1888), 11±12; Humphrey Carpenter, OUDS (1985), 13±14. When Jowett, as Vice-Chancellor in 1883, allowed public performances, he restricted them to Shakespeare, the female roles being played by lady amateurs. 178 Lecture, 3 Nov. 1865: Gleanings, vii (1879), 62. See also Gladstone's chapter, Oxford Essays (1857), 4. 179 Lecture iii, 23 Feb. 1870: Ruskin, Works, xx. 91. Not many undergraduates seem to have attended Ruskin's earlier lecture courses: J. H. Fowler (n. 98), 43. 180 Lecture viii, 2 Mar. 1872: Ruskin, Works, xxii. 235±6. For Ruskin's view of the Pater± Symonds school, ibid. xxv. 122±3. 176


`a secularized university'?

C. O. MuÈller's History of the Doric Race had been published, in an English translation, in 1830; but no Oxford scholar had followed MuÈller in dealing neutrally with this classical theme; and there seems no reason to suppose that, until Pater wrote, Oxford's classical and speci®cally `Grecian' bias had made it particularly suspect in the matter of male friendships. While the University had harboured its share of `shameless lusts', it had not been notorious for doing so. In so far as it had come under particular suspicions, Barrow's case exempli®ed them. They were centred, not so much on a stronghold of the classics, as on an all-male institution where the High Church was especially in¯uential.181 Such practices were associated by repute more with boarding schools than with Oxford; and in the university world Cambridge seems to have incurred reproach during the 1850s as much as Oxford. In October 1850 The Times gave much space to a scandal at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and the ancillary institution at Carshalton which sent 14-year-olds to it. In 1851 a Times reviewer, criticizing `the tone of . . . amatory tenderness' in Tennyson's In Memoriam, suggested that this was particularly objectionable when the friendship had been between two Cambridge men; and Barrow's departure from St Edmund Hall caused far less stir than the resignation eighteen months earlier, amid damaging rumours, of Charles Vaughan, headmaster of Harrow and previously a fellow of Trinity, Cambridge.182 Jowett, and other Platonists in Oxford and elsewhere, seem not to have realized what an impact Plato's artistry could have on a boy still in his teens who had been denied friendship with girls, and had encountered sexual desire only in the sordid doings of his school. They did not know that when, one evening in the holidays, the 17-year-old J. A. Symonds had read the Phaedrus and Symposium in a translation of Plato's Dialogues, he had been given a new view of his own inclinations in an intoxicating vision of homosexual love.183 181 For Evangelical and Nonconformist suspicions see Charles Kingsley, Letters and Memories, ed. F. Kingsley (2 vols 1877), i. 249±50; J. H. Rigg, Oxford High Anglicanism . . . (1895), 14, 32±3, 115, 125. For modern comments see David Hilliard, Victorian Studies, 25 (1982), 181±210; E. R. Norman, Anti-Catholicism in Victorian England (1968), 108; O. Chadwick, Spirit of the Oxford Movement (1990), 214±46. 182 The Times, 1 Oct. 1850, 4d, e; 11 Oct., 4e, f, 5c, d; 12 Oct., 5b; 28 Nov. 1851, 8b (review of fourth edition); P. Grosskurth (n. 176), 30±41. The Bishop of Oxford was told the Vaughan story at a dinner party: H. Montgomery Hyde, The Other Love (1970), 112. The passages about Eric and the older boy, Upton, in F. W. Farrar's immensely successful school story, Eric, or Little by Little (1858), while far from explicit, were not hard to interpret. Many readers would have known how Upton might do `great harm' (p. 83). For an attachment between a Rugby master (Arthur Sidgwick) and a boy which did not come to light see P. Grosskurth (n. 176), 108±9, 115. For an earlier Oxford scandal of this categoryÐthe resignation in 1826, and subsequent residence abroad, of Richard Heber (1773±1833), one of the University's MPsÐsee Arnold Hunt, `A Study in Bibliomania: Charles Henry Hartshorne and Richard Heber, Part 2', Book Collector, 42 (1993), 185±212. 183 P. Grosskurth, ibid. 34.

a `plastic structure'


It was realized, however, that the increasing importance of Plato in Greats posed problems of interpretation. Homosexual attitudes not only had a prominent place in several of Plato's Dialogues, but formed a feature of his educational and philosophical systems.184 George Grote, who was unaffected by the inhibitions of the clergy, had been speci®c about this. In a threevolume study published in 1865 he wrote: The Phaedrus and Symposium have . . . the theory of Eros as the indispensable, initiatory, stimulus to philosophy. The spectacle of a beautiful youth is considered necessary to set light to various elements in the mind.185

The Oxford tradition had been to explain away the objectionable passages. Thus William Sewell, in his Introduction to the Dialogues (1841), argued that Plato's object, where some passages in the Phaedrus were concerned, must have resembled that of the father mentioned by Addison who took his son to `haunts of vice' to produce an aversion to them.186 Jowett took a rather similar line thirty years later in his introduction to the Symposium. He suggested that Socrates, by resisting the temptation which Alcibiades personi®ed, had been presented as `a sort of saint'.187 After Grote had been at work such explanations were not very convincing and Pater's chapter on Winckelmann made them look implausible. Pater's in¯uence was damaged early in 1874 when a passionate friendship which he had formed with a Balliol undergraduate came to light.188 Jowett `rusticated' the undergraduate, and he may have made the affair known to Pater's Brasenose colleagues whose turn it was to elect a proctor. Pater was passed over for the proctorship, although, as the senior fellow eligible, he would normally have had a claim on it. Studies in the Renaissance was, however, in¯uential enough to induce Jowett to expand some of his explanatory passages about the Dialogues. In his second edition, published in 1875, he wrote of the Phaedrus that, to understand Plato We must make abstraction of morality and of the Greek manner of regarding the relation of the sexes. In this, as in his other discussions about love, what Plato says of the loves of men must be transferred to the loves of women before we can attach any 184 See, for instance, Republic, iii. 403 a±c, vi. 490a, b; in Desmond Lee's translation (2nd edn 1974; 1st edn 1955), 164±5, 284. 185 G. Grote (n. 161), ii. 223±4. See also Kenneth Dover, Greek Homosexuality (1978), 13, 164±5. 186 W. Sewell, Introduction to the Dialogues of Plato (1841), 99±100. W. H. Thompson, Master of Trinity, Cambridge, had treated the Phaedrus similarly, 1868: F. M. Turner, Greek Heritage(n. 159), 424. 187 The Dialogues of Plato, Translated (4 vols 1871), i. 486. 188 B. A. Inman, `Estrangement and Connection . . . ', Pater in the 1990s, ed. L. Brake and I. Small (Greensborough, NC, 1991), 8±9. The letters cited there had not been studied in detail when R. Ellmann, Wilde (1987) and Walter Pater: a Life Remembered, ed. R. M. Seiler (1987), were published.


`a secularized university'?

serious meaning to his words. Had he lived in our times, he would have made the transposition himself.189

A new comment on the Symposium ran: There were some, doubtless, to whom the love of a fair mind was the noblest form of friendship . . . and the friendship of man with man seemed nobler than the love of woman, because altogether separated from the bodily appetites.190

Such passages were countered in the second series of Symonds's Studies of the Greek Poets which appeared in 1876. In this Symonds followed a book by the Reverend J. P. Mahaffy of Trinity College, Dublin, which had appeared two years earlier, and maintained that `in Greece . . . even paiderastia had its honourable aspects.'191 By now both the older liberals and the iconoclasts had become targets for satire by their juniors. From June to December 1876 a London periodical, Belgravia, carried a parody of a Platonic discussion, The New Republic, in which Pater was ridiculed along with Jowett and others.192 The precious absurdities of the ®rst, and the efforts of the second to combine Christian doctrine with Hellenism, presented a large target. The parodist, W. H. Mallock, has already been mentioned. His articles were published in book form in March 1877 and proved a considerable success.193 In the same month the Vicar of St Mary Magdalen, Oxford, R. St J. Tyrwhitt, reviewed Symonds's Greek Poets and some of Matthew Arnold's works, including Culture and Anarchy, in the Contemporary Review. Tyrwhitt repudiated the Athens of Plato as any kind of model for modern Britain. Asserting that `we strive against slavery and . . . contend for purity of sexual relation,' he quoted a passage from Jowett's commentary on the Epistles regarding the `rank corruption' of the Greek cities known to St Paul. Pater and Symonds had given Hellenism a bad name.194 A vacancy in Oxford's poetry professorship was imminent, so that Tyrwhitt was virtually challenging Jowett to ensure that neither Symonds nor Pater was nominated as a candidate for the chair. Pater had presented himself 189 B. Jowett, Dialogues of Plato (2nd edn 5 vols 1875), ii. 88±9. For Jowett's discussion of these questions with Symonds, 1889, see J. A. Symonds, Letters, ed. H. M. Schueller and R. L. Peters (3 vols 1967±9, Detroit), iii. 345±7, 365. 190 Ibid. ii. 20. See also Jowett's Balliol sermon, 1873, on `Friendship': B. Jowett, Sermons on Faith and Doctrine, ed. W. H. Fremantle (1901), 338±40. 191 J. A. Symonds, Studies of the Greek Poets, Second Series (1876), 384; J. P. Mahaffy, Social Life in Greece from Homer to Menander (1874), 305±15. 192 Pater is `Mr Rose', Jowett `Dr Jenkinson'. 193 The New Republic, ed. John Lucas (Leicester, 1975). 194 `The Greek Spirit in Modern Literature', Contemporary Review, xxix. 565. Tyrwhitt's quotation is from Jowett, Epistles . . . Thessalonians, Galatians, Romans (2 vols 1859), ii. 76±7. `Chaloner', the Oscar Wilde character in Rhoda Broughton, Second Thoughts (2 vols 1880), talks the language of Arnoldian Hellenism: he yearns (i. 21) for a life `more saturated with sweetness and light'.

a `plastic structure'


as a candidate in 1876, but had withdrawn in the face of bitter opposition.195 On 3 May 1877, the Oxford and Cambridge Undergraduates' Journal condemned enjoying moments `simply for those moments' sake', and announced `there is a man's work for us to do.'196 When nomination day came on 21 May a Balliol Scot of 1840 vintage and unimpeachable respectability, Principal J. C. Shairp of St Andrews, was the only candidate.197 The second edition of Pater's Renaissance was published three days later. Something was conceded to the household of faith, the concluding chapter being omitted and the anti-Christian tone of the essay on Winckelmann softened.198 The passage on Abelard contained a new comment, however, about `the merely professional, of®cial hireling ministers' of the established system. Where `shameless lusts' were concerned no concession was made. A tale inserted in the Abelard essay told of the intense love between two French knights: in this one killed his infant children in order to cure the other's leprosy with their blood, whereupon both infants were miraculously restored to life.199 By the later 1870s some parents with Oxford aspirations and connections were becoming disquieted by reports about the teaching and tone of Greats. It could easily be represented as the honour school of agnosticism.200 Oscar Wilde, who had a ®rst in Greats in 1878, was commiserating two years later with a friend who had missed one. `A second is perhaps,' he wrote, `for a man of culture a sweeter atmosphere than the chilly Caucasus of an atheistical ®rst.'201 There were also doubts about teaching undergraduates too much about the sexual habits characteristic of ancient Athens. Abolition of the test was designed, by opening Oxford to the whole nation, to produce a heightened responsiveness to national needs and aspirations; yet the most striking of its immediate effects had been to provoke a bout of `aestheticism', one feature of which alienated most British people at least as thoroughly as any doctrine propounded by Oxford's High Churchmen. Britain's manufacturers and traders, such as those who crowded the Bradford wool exchange, may have been grasping on week-days, but it was not `any exquisite passion' 195 Academy, xi (24 Feb. 1877), 160. For the impression given by Pater in Oxford see Ellmann (n. 188), 81 (Mark Pattison's diary, 5 May 1878). 196 Ellmann, ibid. 76 n. 197 William Knight, Principal Shairp and His Friends (1888), 336±7. This was the only professorship for which the Selborne Commission retained election by Convocation. 198 Pater's explanation for omitting the Conclusion appeared in 1910 edn, 233, n. 1. It had been re-inserted in 3rd edn, 1888. For wording changes see The Renaissance, ed. D. L. Hill (University of California Press, 1980), 449. 199 Ibid. 302. In 1877 edn, for comment on Abelard's opponents, see p. 7, for Amis and Amile, see pp. 8±16. 200 See Robert Elsmere, i. 55 (the Archdeacon and Mrs Seaton). 201 [c. 4 Dec. 1880] Wilde to Rennell Rodd: More Letters of Oscar Wilde, ed. R. Hart-Davis (1985), 34. Wilde greatly admired Pater's Renaissance: see his review, Speaker, i (22 Mar. 1890), 319; W. B. Yeats, Autobiographies (1955 edn), 130.


`a secularized university'?

at which they chie¯y grasped. Nor was maintaining that kind of ecstasy recommended to them in their Nonconformist chapels on Sundays. Ephemeral as the Oxford aesthetes were, in their alienation from the national mainstream they proved to be a portent. To laicize Oxford and set it free was to make it the home of a new group, ®rst identi®ed in the 1870sÐ the intellectuals. They would soon rival, and even displace, the Londonbased `men of letters'.202 A salient feature of the modern university was coming into full view. The salaried academic, viewing the world from his layman's cloister, would have his own ideas about how to serve his countrymen. Unlike the early Victorian `man of letters' he did not depend on their favour (and a rapid pen) for his bread, and his every inclination was to question and criticize some at least of their attitudes and aims. The universities had long been engaged in condemning the `commercialism' and `materialism' of Britain. Laicizing them, far from changing all this, was adding to its resonance, since it no longer formed part of the sermon expected of any clergyman. Huxley was not much more of a commercially minded `materialist' than the Oxford clerics whom he opposed. The British Association committee which he dominated reported in 1867 that there were ®ve reasons for making science part of a school's liberal education: only the last of these was connected, even remotely, with material affairs: it concerned the effect of scienti®c knowledge on `the present position and future progress of civilization'.203 Between the quinquennium starting in 1875 and that starting in 1880 the honours awarded in Greats rose by less than 4 per cent.204 In a novel published in 1880 R. St J. Tyrwhitt returned to the charge and expressed some of the parental fears about that school. He wrote of an earlier day in which it had not been `a common practice to unsettle all a young fellow's notions at once for the fun of the thing'. In those times `vice . . . did not glide about with the polite hiss of modern days. There was coarse talk in certain sets, who had not yet been cultured into Hellenism . . . but, on the other hand, decency was considered decent.'205 One of the novel's characters expressed great distrust of those tutors who, when they had managed to unsettle `lads' minds', thought their methods gratifyingly Socratic.206 As Tyrwhitt pointed out, the parents who wanted an Oxford course which would not shake their sons' faith need have no truck with Greats 202 T. W. Heyck, The Transformation of Intellectual Life in Victorian England (1982). P. G. Hamerton's book, The Intellectual Life (1873), heralded the change. He was a friend of C. E. Appleton. In 1888 Murray's Oxford English Dictionary recognized `intellectual' as a noun. 203 T. W. Heyck, Transformation, 103; SIC (1864), Pt 2, 219. For this report see n. 48 above. See also, for Cambridge, Caroline Slemmer (later Lady Jebb) to her sister, 16 Oct. 1870: M. R. Bobbitt, Life and Letters of Lady Jebb (1960), 63. 204 Pt 1, 370. 205 R. St J. Tyrwhitt, Hugh Heron, Ch. Ch. (1880), 51, 54. 206 Ibid. 166.

a `plastic structure'


philosophy. They had an alternative to handÐthe new honours school of Modern History.207

` t h e m o s t t h o ro u g h ly re l i g i o u s t r a i n i n g ' `Almost all men in Oxford who are under religious in¯uences,' Appleton told the Lords Select Committee in February 1871, `go in for the Law and Modern History School, rather than for the Classical School.'208 Although Appleton was speaking only twenty years after Law and Modern History had become an independent honour school, the intentions of leading Churchmen in both parties suggest that his remark was not without foundation. None of Salisbury's three Oxford-educated sons read Greats, while two took honours in Modern History. One, Lord Hugh Cecil, gained a ®rst in that school,209 as did Herbert Gladstone and William Waldegrave Palmer (later second Earl of Selborne). In December 1875 W. E. Gladstone wrote to the Regius Professor of Modern History: The thorough, as opposed to the merely picturesque, study of history is a noble, invigorating, manly study, essentially political and judicial, ®tted for, and indispensable to, a free country. . . It is the truly historical treatment of Christianity, and of all the religious experience of mankind, which . . . will supply under God effectual bulwarks against the rash and violent unbelief, under the honourable titles of physical and metaphysical science, rushing in upon us.210

Gladstone added seven months later, in renewing his congratulations to Stubbs: `I am under a painful impression that the Oxford of our day has for the time damaged the great ®nal examination in the Classical School.'211 In October 1876 Herbert learned that his father doubted whether Greats deserved `nowadays' to be called the school of `more humane letters'.212 The honour school which Gladstone had commended had taken a little time to gain respectability. The course in law and modern history had been devised in the late 1840s primarily for men who could hardly be expected to achieve classical honours. In their pamphlet of 1848 A. P. Stanley and Jowett had pleaded: `The stupidest undergraduate in a Livy lecture will brighten . . . if you speak to him of the revolution in France.'213 W. L. Newman, who taught 207

Ibid. 43. SC Tests (1870±1), Q 572: 71. 209 Viscount Cranborne, a second in Modern History, 1884, Lord Robert Cecil, a second in Jurisprudence, 1886. 210 27 Dec. 1875: Stubbs, Letters, 147±8. 211 Ibid. 148. 212 C. E. Mallet, Herbert Gladstone (1932), 58. 213 [A. P. Stanley and B. Jowett], Suggestions for an Improvement of the Examination Statute (1848), 12. 208


`a secularized university'?

in the combined school, told the Select Committee in July 1867 that, as success in it did `not lead to great emoluments, the class of men who read for it . . . usually. . . would be pass men but for that school'.214 When it was launched the school had been viewed with suspicion. Fears were expressed that the offer of this easy option might tempt some able undergraduates from other subjects `where a severer discipline was required' towards modern controversies and contemporary speculations;215 and the Royal Commissioners of 1850 had echoed the widely held view that the studies of ancient and of modern history should have been united in a single course.216 In 1857 a public rebuke to the History examiners by the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors was reported in The Times: they were held to have exceeded their powers in de®ning what was required of candidates.217 The Regius Professors of Modern History from 1841 to 1866 did little to improve the standing of their subject. Thomas Arnold, who was chie¯y an ancient historian, died in 1842 after holding the chair for approximately a year; J. A. Cramer, another ancient historian, owed his tenure largely to Peel's determination to keep the Tractarians out of any preferment;218 H. H. Vaughan, though a compelling lecturer, refused to reside in Oxford;219 while Goldwin Smith invited controversy by his partisanship and was dubbed by Disraeli `an itinerant spouter of stale sedition . . . a wild man of the cloister'.220 After he had resigned from the chair Goldwin Smith confessed that he could not think Modern History `a suf®ciently solid and systematic subject to constitute by itself the substance of an academical education, or a title to the highest honours'.221 Britain was not a country whose leaders 214

SCOC (1867), Q 1439. See also UOC (1877), Q 4524 (H. B. George). The Fourth School [1849]: Bodl. G. A. Oxon c. 65 (179); Guardian, 28 Nov. 1849, 776b. For Stubbs's awareness of the danger of laxity see Seventeen Lectures, 53. 216 T. Arnold, Misc. Works (1845), 349, 396±9; Guardian, 28 Feb. 1849, 142b; RCO (1850), report, 103±4; W. Hamilton, Discussions on Philosophy and Literature, Education, and University Reform (2nd edn 1853) 782 n; M. Burrows, Inaugural Lecture [1862], 10; SC Tests (1870±1), Q 756: 71 (Liddon); E. A. Freeman, Thoughts on the Study of History (1849), 26±7, Comparative Politics (1873), 296±339, 499 n. 34; W. Stubbs to Freeman, 8 Mar. 1885: Stubbs, Letters, 264; Seventeen Lectures, 47. Mark Pattison in Oxford Essays, i (1855), 295, favoured the scheme in principle, but thought `the time . . . not ripe' for it. Ancient History is (in 1998±9) a compulsory element in Manchester University's Single Honours History Course at Level 1. 217 W. R. W. Stephens, E. A. Freeman (2 vols 1895), i. 216±19. 218 BL Add. MSS 40498 fos 217±18; 40512 fos 55±60, 40554 fos 386±92, 40556 fos 373±8. For Cramer as an ancient historian see Pt 1, 522±3. Edward Cardwell (1787±1861) had been Peel's ®rst choice in 1842 (above, fo 392). For Cramer and Cardwell on the Tractarians see Pt 1, 226, 246±7. 219 E. G. W. Bill, University Reform in Nineteenth-Century Oxford . . . Henry Halford Vaughan (1973), ch. 14. Vaughan's non-residence was said to have been the cause of the second history chair: Goldwin Smith, Reorganization (1868), 22. 220 Charles Oman, On the Writing of History (1939), 233. See also Westminster Review, n s 20 (Oct. 1861), 295±8 (F. Harrison). For advice about appointing Goldwin Smith see E. Cardwell (the elder) to Derby, 12 Mar. 1858: Derby Papers, 123. 221 Reorganization (1868), 28. 215

a `plastic structure'


were moved to encourage historical study in order to create a sense of nationhood and mitigate memories of disunion or defeat.222 In 1866, however, the University's Chancellor, Lord Derby, then Prime Minister of a minority government, did his University and the subject the best possible turn. He appointed William Stubbs to the Regius professorship.223 Stubbs's distinction as a historian and his record in the chair are analysed in Chapter 14. The notes which follow here are concerned solely with the qualities and aptitudes which made him the ideal history professor for those Church people in the 1870s, whether Oxford fellows or the parents of prospective Oxford undergraduates, who yearned for an honours course which would not `unsettle' most of those taking it. He was a High Churchman and future bishop who did `not believe that a Dissenter could write a history of England', spoke of Pusey as `the master', and referred to Charles I's execution as `the tragedy of the royal martyr . . . the sealing of the crown of England to the faith of the Church'.224 In his inaugural lecture as Regius Professor he called `the study of modern history. . . next to theology itself, and only next in so far as theology rests on a divine revelation, the most thoroughly religious training that the mind can receive'. The subject was `coextensive, in its ®eld of view, in its habits of criticism, in the persons of its most famous students, with ecclesiastical history': the two subjects were `twin sisters, so much alike that there [was] no distinguishing between them'.225 Stubbs would have liked to hold the ecclesiastical history chair;226 yet this Tory High Churchmanship did not make him a Conservative partisan. His aim, he said, was not `to make men whigs or tories, but to . . . make the whigs good, wise, sensible whigs, and the tories good, wise, sensible tories'.227 It was the other history professor, Montagu Burrows, who was interrogated during the bribery investigation in 1880 which followed the Conservative victory in the Oxford City by-election.228 Commenting on the ®nal passage in Stubbs's inaugural lecture, a young Liberal historian, J. R. Green, wrote that it gave `the old simple lesson that the world's history led up to God, that modern history was but the broadening of His Light in Christ . . . This was my clue to history onceÐI am afraid I have lost it without gaining another.' That was the comment of a 222 Peter Mandler, `Against ``Englishness'': English, Culture and the Limits to Rural Nostalgia, 1850±1940', Trans. R. Histl. Society, 6th ser. vii (1997), 161. 223 N. J. Williams, Bull. Inst. Historical Research, xxxiii (May 1960), 121±5; Bryce to Freeman, 2 Dec. 1865, 24 June 1866: Bodl., Bryce MSS 9, fos 82, 101±2; Quinn and Prest, 99. 224 Stubbs to Freeman, 3 Nov. 1859: Bodl. MS Eng misc. e. 148, fo 44; Stubbs, Letters, 21, 135. See Saturday Review, xiv, 18 Oct. 1862, 467: `Puritanism is not, and cannot be, the religion of scholars.' Ch. 9 n. 41 provides a view from Christ Church of Stubbs as a historian. 225 Delivered 7 Feb. 1867: W. Stubbs, Seventeen Lectures, 10. 226 Stubbs, Letters, 127. Mansel resigned from the chair on becoming Dean of St Paul's. 227 Lecture, 17 May 1876: Seventeen Lectures, 35; Stubbs, Letters, 135; Acton, 15, 29 Aug., 12 Nov. 1884: Letters of Acton to Mary Gladstone, ed. H. Paul (1904), 191±2, 196. 228 Pt 1, 469.


`a secularized university'?

clergyman turning 30 who was developing `doubts':229 at least one older Liberal had no such reservations, as Gladstone's approval shows. Stubbs shared Gladstone's dislike of Palmerstonian bombast and Disraelian jingoism.230 He was far too aware of England's German origins and of his debt to German scholarship to be a narrow nationalist.231 A great whig historian of an earlier generation, Henry Hallam, had judged `the long and uninterruptedly increasing prosperity of England' to be `the most beautiful phenomenon in the history of mankind'.232 Among people nurtured in such views, if not in those of Mr Podsnap, Stubbs's statements were thought to be reassuring rather than complacent. His reverence for the established order had its limits: he spoke openly about the legislative folly of which a House of Commons with a Tory majority was capable. He was just young enough to have escaped the worst of the Tractarian controversies.233 Thus his views were as popular outside Oxford, where High Churchmen were a minority in the Church, as they were within it. In every aspect of his personality and conduct Stubbs conveyed the impression that, while he could not be classed as a reactionary diehard, he was eminently `safe'. He did not challenge the supremacy of classics.234 He never lectured on a period later than 1648 because it was `not desirable to exercise the minds of young men, old enough to have strong political feelings, not old enough to exercise a calm historical judgement, on periods teeming with the very same in¯uences as those which are at work at this moment'.235 The Middle Ages, which had reminded Thomas Arnold of a `noisome cavern', were home ground for Stubbs. He was able, while avoiding modern controversies, to suggest continuities: to the undergraduates of the 1870s the medieval parliaments which he described were not wholly unlike the one in which the 1866 and 1867 Reform Bills had been debated. It was not until the Reform measures of 1884±5 divided most of the country into single-member constituences, where `one-vote-one-value' superseded the representation of communities, that the line of electoral continuity was broken.236 229



J. R. Green to E. A. Freeman, 12 Feb. 1867: Letters of J. R. Green, ed. L. Stephen (1901),

Stubbs, Letters, 173, 175, 178, 184. W. Stubbs, Constitutional History (3 vols 1874±8), I.11; Seventeen Lectures, 43. 232 Henry Hallam, View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages (1818), ii. 127. 233 N. 218 above. J. H. Newman knew how controversial was the Tractarian interpretation of recent English history: to Charles Anderson, 24 Jan. 1836, LDN, v. 212±13. 234 Seventeen Lectures, 39, 45. For the same view from an Oxford historian more than 30 years later see C. R. L. Fletcher, An Introductory History of England, I (1907), v±vi. 235 J. W. Burrow, A Liberal Descent: Victorian Historians and the English Past (1981), 98±9; Stubbs, Seventeen Lectures, 33±4. For his fears about history teaching in schools, ibid. 53. 236 Stanley, Arnold, ii. 239; P. B. M. Blaas, Continuity and Anachronism (1978), 156±86. In his second reading speech on the 1866 Reform Bill, 27 Apr., Disraeli suggested that electoral changes should conform to `the original scheme' of the Plantagenets: Parl. Deb. clxxxiii. 97. Bagehot praised Stubbs and Freeman for helping to train `the English political intellect': see n. 147. 231

a `plastic structure'


Stubbs, who had been a servitor at Christ Church, was no old-fashioned chronicler of the great.237 For him, constitutional history dealt in interpretations `that are voiceless to those who have only listened to the trumpet of fame. The world's heroes are no heroes to it, and it has an equitable consideration to give to many whom the verdict of ignorant posterity and the condemning sentence of events have consigned to obscurity or reproach.'238 His feat in leading the poll for the professorial seats in the 1872 Hebdomadal Council elections, after only six years in Oxford, speaks for itself.239 He moved, though cautiously, with the times. During a review of his ®rst ten years in the chair he expressed his relief that some at least of his colleagues had not shared all of his fears about putting modern periods into the syllabus. `It is well,' he said, `that no misgivings of mine should have acted so as to leave the treatment of modern history in this respect inadequate.' In 1884, when he gave his `last statutory public lecture', he urged that S. R. Gardiner should be `claimed for Oxford', although Gardiner had been a deacon of the Irvingite Church for ®fteen years and showed no sign of con®ning his teaching and research to the ®rst half of the seventeenth century.240 During the quinquennium when the honours awarded in Greats rose by less than 4 per cent, those awarded in modern history rose by more than 35 per cent.241 The quality of the history intake was still low: the Selborne Commission was told in 1877 that to impose a modern language requirement would halve the School's numbers.242 The new school had other weaknesses, as Chapter 14 shows, and their persistence may have owed something to tendencies which Stubbs had encouraged. But Stubbs and the other Oxford historians of the time took every chance which the fears of the Church party had given them. The modern historians did not owe their enhanced status solely to Stubbs's popularity and prestige. By pioneering the inter-collegiate lecturing system they impressed the Selborne Commission and made a signi®cant contribution to Oxford's academic development. By 1870 the tuition system erected in the opening decades of the century was creaking under the weight of the new honours schools, the division of the classical course into `Mods' and Greats, and the arrival of the `Unattached students' (`toshers'), the ®rst of 237 Gaisford, though recognizing Stubbs's merits, would not make an ex-servitor a Student of the House: Hugh Lloyd-Jones, Blood for the Ghosts (1982), 85. 238 W. Stubbs, Constitutional History, I. iii. Cf. E. A. Freeman's views, as analysed in J. W. Burrow, A Liberal Descent (1981), Ch. 8. 239 The three elected were: Stubbs, 110 votes; Mountague Bernard (Liberal High Churchman) 100; Pusey 90. Jowett secured 85 votes. 240 8 May 1884: Seventeen Lectures, 435. For Gardiner at All Souls see p. 218. 241 Pt 1, 370. 242 UOC (1877), Q 827 (Burrows). A foreign language was almost essential for high honours: ibid. Qs 1415±16 (R. Laing).


`a secularized university'?

whom had matriculated in 1868. Some tutors were allowing undergraduates from other colleges to attend their lectures. When someone attended from `beyond the walls' it was a toss-up whether the lecturer would be paid by him, or by his college, or not at all.243 Efforts to end this anarchy by agreements between colleges were meeting with varying success;244 the objections to an arrangement in Greats between Balliol and New College have been mentioned. Provost Hawkins objected to Oriel men being `exposed to . . . lecturers who may be clever teachers but unsound, and . . . Unbelievers'.245 Some of the groupings looked ¯uid and impermanent. What made the historians' arrangements unique was that they created a single, stable, comprehensive system. In 1877 C. W. Boase of Exeter told the Selborne Commission that the inter-collegiate lecturing system in modern history applied to every college `except Worcester, Hertford, and the Unattached; but any member of those three bodies may join any course of lectures by paying a sovereign. Practically, it is the whole University.'246 The history tutors and lecturers had every inducement to co-operate with each other. They were a small band struggling to establish their school.247 Their course was too new for past practice to sti¯e experiment and impede economy of effort.248 Unlike the Greats tutors they could not rely on most of their undergraduates choosing to study what were acknowledged to be `the best periods'. In some parts of the syllabus their lectures had to cover a range of options.249 While the Regius Professor's exemplary scholarship inspired them to rise to this challenge, professorial lectures offered no sort of threat to their programme. Years later Creighton wrote: With Stubbs began the scienti®c pursuit of modern history, as he impressed his views upon us younger men. We worked out among us a scheme of lectures covering the whole ®eld . . . The needs of the scheme threw upon me the ecclesiastical, and especially the papal, history, which no one else took. 243

SCOC (1867), Q 2115 (`Bat' Price). Goldwin Smith, Reorganization (1868), 21, and see his prediction, `Reform' (1858), 282; Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Qs 3798, 3887 (Pattison), 3953±5 (Jowett), 4003±4 (Lightfoot); UOC (1877), Qs 1997 (Thurs®eld, and list p. 398), 2086 (Bradley), 3627 (Salwey), 3794±818 (Papillon), 3882, 3901, 3911 (Capes); p. 453 below (mathematics). 245 Engel, 86. 246 UOC (1877), Q 1253. See also Qs 1329±40 (R. Laing), 4505±16 (H. B. George). 247 UOC (1877), Q 1274 (Boase). C. H. Robarts (Macmillan's Mazagine, 33, Feb. 1876, 335) thought that history and law had gained little from the Ordinance instructing All Souls to concentrate on those subjects; UOC (1877), Q 5501 (C. H. Robarts). According to H. B. George there were ten `college lecturers' in history in 1877: they covered `all the colleges except two': ibid. Q 4520; Seventeen Lectures, 37. 248 The new Theology School quickly started an inter-collegiate scheme: E. W. Watson (n. 96), 95. 249 Arnold, Misc. Works (1845), 396±7; SCOC (1867), Q 2440 (Jowett). Pattison commended the `options' system in modern history: Oxford Essays i (1855), 302. By 1998, 67 papers, plus an essay, were listed for Modern History ®nals, 96 for Greats: OM, Michaelmas Term 1998, 2nd week, 9, 4th week, 14. 244

a `plastic structure'


Stubbs's `lectures were hopelessly dull,' an undergraduate historian recorded in old age. `Burrows was more lively, but his politics were in advance of his historical attainments.'250 Exactly how this modern history system was established is a little unclear, since the information about its origins comes partly from one of its chief architects, Robert Laing. By 1878 overwork and unrequited love for Alice Liddell had driven Laing into a serious mental breakdown, from which he never made a full recovery; and some of his statements about the adoption of the system need to be treated with reserve.251 In February 1868 Mandell Creighton, Merton's history tutor, was authorized by his college to take part in a small inter-collegiate lecturing scheme. His collaborators in the neighbouring colleges were Laing, who was elected to a fellowship of Corpus in that year and soon became the history lecturer of ®ve other colleges, Edward Talbot of Christ Church, and an Oriel fellow who lectured in law. A History Tutors' Association was formed in 1869, its members holding a termly meeting to arrange the following term's lectures. `Soon,' Laing wrote, `the other colleges asked leave to come in. So did the professors, whose lectures were almost deserted.'252 Few as the history tutors were, they exerted, from the newness and nature of their school, a remarkable in¯uence on the treatment of their subject. As they supplied most of the history examiners they could do much to determine what was to be taught.253 The history professors complained in private but accepted the change.254 Replying to a committee of the Hebdomadal Council in December 1873, Burrows acknowledged defeat: The professors . . . appear to be limited to . . . catching what stray men the tutors are willing to send them . . . It would be undesirable to add to the number of men holding the present position of professors . . . So long as the collegiate and tutorial system is maintained, along with a system of public examinations, it would be dif®cult to devise any better arrangement.255 250

Mandell Creighton, i. 61; Philippa Levine, The Amateur and the Professional (1986), 24; M. Burrows, Autobiography (1908), 216; E. A. Knox, Reminiscences (n. 97), 79. See UOC (1877), Qs 1228±30 (Stubbs: for his letter to the Commrs, 27 Oct. 1877, see ibid. p. 75). 251 Oman, Memories, 199, 227±30. Laing's notebooks were bought by the Friends of the Bodleian, 1996: MSS Don. e. 185±9. For his later life see pp. 808±9 below. 252 Mandell Creighton, i. 60; Bodl. MSS Don. e. 186 fo 46; Reply on staf®ng requirements of Mod. History Board of Studies to the Letter of the Vice-Chancellor, 10 May 1873, and Report (1877), 52±4, 91 (the Reply had been published earlier: Bodl. G. A. Oxon. 80 124 (24) and 296 (13)); UOC (1877), Qs 1337±9, 1350, 1394±5 (R. Laing), 4505 (H. B. George). 253 P. R. H. Slee, Learning and a Liberal Education (Manchester, 1986), 22 (H. H. Vaughan, Jan. 1850). 254 Stubbs, Letters, 264, 270. The name concealed in the letter, 8 Mar. 1885, to Freeman is that of J. F. Bright: Stubbs MSS Bodl. Eng. Misc. e. 148 fos 272±3. See also Seventeen Lectures, 35±6; Oman, Memories, 105. For complaints in other subjects about tutors not co-operating with professors see SCOC (1867), Qs 116±20 (Brodie). Stubbs would have disliked an organizational role: Seventeen Lectures, 443. 255 Reply (n. 252 above), 56±7. For Burrows's support for the collegiate system see SCOC (1867), Q 3683, for Stubbs's public comments (1876), Seventeen Lectures, 36. In 1877, as in 1867,


`a secularized university'?

This development undermined the case for a great transfer of functions from the colleges to the University and put the college tutors into a commanding position. They had never been attracted by the prospect of increased University control over teaching. That might bring them under an unwelcome degree of professorial direction; besides, their strength lay in college governing bodies rather than in the Hebdomadal Council or Congregation. They were ceasing to be a body of transients waiting for rectories or public-school masterships: the changes pioneered by Balliol, University, and Merton had increased their cohesion.256 The one weakness in their position had been the suspicion that a teaching body owned and controlled by the colleges could no longer do an effective job. The history tutors had erased that suspicion.257 The Selborne Commission had only to convert the historians' arrangements into a statutory system, and to ensure that it applied to all honour schools, and, as far as the immediate future was concerned, the problem of each college behaving as a `small university' would be solved.258 Jowett soon saw the implications of the historians' achievement. In 1867 he had told the Select Committee that he favoured freedom and competition among tutors and regarded the private tutors as a valuable part of the system. While he did not wish `entirely to do away' with `the system of tutors in the colleges', he did wish `to diminish it very much'. The college tutor, according to Jowett's scheme, would provide his group of undergraduates with advice and guidance. They would then be free to seek, and pay for, whatever tuition they needed; and professors, college tutors, and private tutors would be free to compete, or co-operate, with each other in supplying this tuition.259 Ten years later Jowett's doctrine was very different. In his evidence to the Selborne Commission he accepted the college tutors' dominance, noting that professorial dif®culties had been `increased in some measure by. . . the inter-collegiate system'. The problem, as Jowett had come to perceive it by 1877, was to mitigate the professors' isolation. His solution was to `place the professor or reader in a college and get him to work as much as he could with the associated college tutors'.260 professorial complaints were not con®ned to modern history, UOC, Qs 3385±6, 3396, 3452 (F. Max MuÈller). For later plans which were expected to favour professorial in¯uence see Pt 1, 367. 256

Charles Neate, The Universities' Reform Bill (1877), 4. Although J. F. Bright was candid about the defects of the modern history system: UOC (1877), Q 1322. 258 E. S. Talbot's evidence in 1877 illustrates the college tutor's central position: UOC (1877), Q 4167. Bonamy Price, arguing for University control of teaching, realized that the undergraduate needed not only a teacher, but a `friend', and suggested (following T. Fowler) a `ViceHead' occupying a house within the college: Bonamy Price, Oxford Reform (1875), 25. See also Lyulph Stanley, 15±16. 259 Qs 2404, 2486±95, 2679±87. For professors who were also college and/or private tutors see Qs 27, 76 (Brodie). 260 UOC (1877), Q2664 (Jowett); 2564±70 (A. Robinson). 257

a `plastic structure'


Inter-collegiate lecturing ended the old-fashioned, catechetical `college lecture' (which in modern terms resembled less a lecture than a `class'). As H. B. George, New College's history tutor, told the Selborne Commission: `One can have a catechetical lecture with one's own pupils, men who all know one another more or less, and who all know the lecturer, but if . . . you have to lecture to twenty men with twelve or thirteen colleges represented . . . it is useless to attempt it, and all the lectures, therefore, become practically professorial.'261 The catechetical lecture, being based on the translation and study of a text, had never been suitable for all modern history teaching; but the change went deeper than this. The spokesman for one of the Greats groups was asked by the same Commission about the duplications which were a feature of its lecture list. Three ethics lectures were being delivered at the same hour although the group included only eight colleges.262 It would have been possible for those three lecturers to ensure that most of those attending had studied the passages being discussed; and each of them might have been able to set his class written papers and to look over the work produced. A lecturer dealing with a compulsory history paper, with an audience drawn from every college, could not possibly operate like that: the number attending might well exceed anything that most professors had ever experienced.263 There was thus a price to be paid for the historians' success, as Jowett quickly saw. Because the people attending a lecture came from nearly every college they were not treated as `a class', even when, as in H. B. George's example, they numbered no more than twenty.264 Although the `college lecture' owed its decline partly to inter-collegiate lecturing, it was being superseded by an equally important and related development, the rise of the private hour or tutorial. The process by which tutorials became the college tutor's principal means of tuition is described in Chapter 4. The trend began in the later sixties to some degree in response to student demand.265 Soon every undergraduate reading for honours sought individual advice from his college tutor on how to choose his options and bene®t from the lectures available, and, more generally, on devising a strategy suited to his capacities. Above all, tutors had to ensure that the honours man understood the concepts which he was trying to handle. This was no longer an occasional problem, soluble by visits to a coach over a brief period: it applied to the whole course. The student needed to have his work checked and corrected, and his ideas sorted out, week by week, in sessions when he 261 Q 4510. For earlier comments on `professorial lectures' see SCOC (1867), 1178 (Liddell), 2477±84 (Jowett), 3306, 3313 (Pusey). 262 Qs 1882±6, 1997 (Thurs®eld). 263 For attendances at professors' lectures see PP 1876 lix. 331±50 and p. 94 below. 264 Abbott and Campbell, Jowett, ii. 155. See also UOC (1877), Q 2564 (A. Robinson). 265 In 1867 Burrows thought that inter-collegiate lecturing would increase the private tutor's importance; he had been one himself: SCOC (1867), Q 3695, 3709.


`a secularized university'?

was alone with his tutor, so that he could be criticized without being humiliated. No group of undergraduates knew this better than those studying for honours in law and modern history, since they suffered from a shortage of college tutors. In an Oxford where many tutors were laymen, and religious tests had receded into a memory, there was no longer a suspicion that a private hour might become an occasion for proselytizing.266 The new system of long-serving college tutors, inter-collegiate lecturing, and private hours, though much scrutinized, was hard to assess, if only because the tutors' situation varied from subject to subject and changed with every year. Nearly all tutors were liable by now to spend many hours in tutorials; but, in modern history at least, their lecturing duties were no longer likely to fall outside their chosen or allotted ®eld of study: their freedom to specialize had been increased. In private hours the tutor dealt with a wide range of topics; but in those his task was to help his undergraduates to make proper use of their knowledge, rather than to display his own. Charles Neate blamed the tutors' determination to dominate the new lecturing system for adding needlessly to their burdens. They were, he wrote, `treating the professors as an over-anxious rector. . . treats his curate, whom he will never allow to preach to a good congregation'.267 To Bonamy Price, Drummond Professor of Political Economy, the arrangements could be commended only as a step towards a take-over of the colleges' teaching functions by the University. As it stood, the system tended `to consume the whole time of the tutors in communicating to their pupils the knowledge which they acquired in reading for honours when they were undergraduates'. It must result in `a very great diminution of the moral pressure upon the tutors to improve themselves'; once lecturing was on an inter-collegiate basis a college's reputation no longer rested on its tutors' effectiveness in the lecture-room.268 Thorold Rogers, Price's predecessor in the chair, was equally disparaging. The members of `the colleges', he told the Selborne Commission, `almost always constitute the examiners of the University; . . . it is an extremely vicious system . . . The college tutors audit their own accounts.'269 Others realized that college tutors operated under judgement as much as ever: the change was that their reputations rested now on their skill, not in lecturing, but in the private hours during what a witness to the 266 For earlier attitudes see Pt 1, 60±1, 237; Goldwin Smith, `Reform' (1858), 266. For the decline of the private tutor see UOC (1877), Q 991 (T. E. Holland), Q 4512 (H. B. George); Engel, 39±41. Salwey, defending the college tutor system (ibid. Qs 3355, 3359), mentioned Unattached students in modern history who migrated to Christ Church `to obtain the special attention that they desired, . . . afterwards obtaining high honours'. Burrows (SCOC (1867), Q 3691) attributed modern history's defects in `pass work' to shortage of college tutors; and see his Reply [to the Vice-Chancellor's Letter, n. 252 above] (1873, 1877), 57. 267 The Universities' Reform Bill (1877), 2. 268 Bonamy Price (n. 258), 11. See his testimony to the Selborne Commission: UOC (1877), Q 2046. 269 Q 2870. See also Robert Lowe, The Times, 6 Dec. 1871, 3f.

a `plastic structure'


Selborne Commission called the process of intellectual midwifery.270 Nor was the examining system as `vicious' as it might look. In testing the undergraduates' work the tutors were examining each other. A body of tutors critical of each other, all of whom had themselves taken high honours, would be unlikely to lower the honours standard; and if it was pushed too high some sharp-eyed statistician, such as Charles Dodgson, would soon draw attention to the anomaly.271 Few denied that the system was effective within narrow limits. Even Thorold Rogers admitted to the Commission: `If the college tutor is perpetually looking after the undergraduates, the teaching . . . always interpreted by his abilities, is likely to be as good as he can make it.'272 The trouble, as some thought, was that, although the tutors seemed to control the honours examination system, they were in fact enslaved by it. Neate, speaking for the older generation, deplored a servitude under which the most eligible colleges did their best to squeeze out the pass men.273 Thomas Fowler, one of the younger professors, told the Selborne Commission: The colleges are, in fact, so many rival schools, the main object of which is to beat one another in the competition for the classes. Hence the teaching is subordinated to the examinations, instead of the examinations to the teaching. The aim of the undergraduate is not so much to acquire a knowledge of his subject as to gain a place in the class list. And the object of the tutor is not so much to teach as to gain a class for his college.274

J. F. Bright, the history tutor of University College, and soon to be its Master, summarized the Commission's problem in his evidence to it. `Looking upon the University merely as a place of education,' he said, `the college system is the most ef®cient by far'; but it was `very injurious to learning', since the tutor had to be `occupied for many hours a day. . . with individual pupils'. The University ought somehow to aim at both effective teaching and high scholarship: `the great question is whether the two can possibly be harmonized.'275

` a p ro p e r b o dy o f un i v e r s i t y t e ac h e r s ' ? Most of the Selborne Commission's decisions, as they are recounted in the next chapter, will cause no surprise to a reader of this one. The Commissioners 270

UOC (1877), Q 3355: H. Salwey gave the phrase in Greek. See Dodgson's open letter to the Vice-Chancellor, 18 Apr. 1877, and his letter to the Guardian, 2 Feb. 1882, and circulated paper, 9 Feb.; all three papers concerned anomalies in Responsions lists: The Oxford Pamphlets . . . of C. L. Dodgson (n. 152), 127±35. See also Pt 1, 359. 272 Q 2872. 273 UOC (1877), Q 4453. 274 Ibid. Q 1531. 275 Ibid. Qs 1289±92. No two cases of `academic frustration' were (or are) the same. In retiring to a Merton living in Northumberland, 1875, Mandell Creighton sought both time for 271


`a secularized university'?

took note of the `tutorial fellowships' pioneered by a handful of colleges, and of inter-collegiate lecturing in modern history, and applied these innovations generally throughout Oxford. Inter-collegiate lecture lists became the province of the new Faculty Boards: prize (henceforward `ordinary') fellowships were limited to a seven-year tenure at £200 a year; and colleges were to contribute according to their wealth to a Common University Fund.276 Professorial pay was raised and made more adequate and uniform, and the number of professorships and readerships rose from 40 in 1876 to 63 ten years later.277 The college tutors thus gained slightly in promotion prospects and the new college statutes brought some relaxation for them in celibacy rules. There was no fundamental alteration in the balance of power.278 The colleges, and their tutors in particular, remained in complete control of the arts subjects, and retained a signi®cant in¯uence in science. The impact, ®nancial and psychological, of the agricultural depression on some of the colleges is analysed in Chapter 12 of Nineteenth-Century Oxford, Part 1. It operated to frustrate the Commissioners' scheme for University readerships; but even if there had been no such dif®culties from 1879 onwards, a massive operation putting nearly all teaching into the hands of academics appointed and paid by the University would not have been recommended, still less put into effect.279 Such a transfer would have been unacceptable to the great majority whether in the House of Commons or in Oxford.280 As Mark Pattison admitted to the Commissioners when outlining a radical change in the Oxford system to them: `To come before you with this complaint is to ask you to lay your hands on our heads and convey to us a new spirit, the spirit study and parochial experience. In Mrs Humphry Ward's Lady Connie (1916), a Reader in Classics is kept from scholarship by hours as long as any tutor's. Being a family man, he has to supplement his basic income by taking as much outside work as he can secure. Lady Connie is set in the later 1880s. 276

Statutes (1882), 14±17, 67±91. Most ordinary fellows had rent-free rooms, if resident, and free dinner at the common table, as well as £200 p.a. In Clause 16 of the 1877 Act, conferring powers on the Selborne Commission, the ®rst three sub-clauses concern the establishment of a Common University Fund. 277 G. V. Haines, Essays on German In¯uence upon English Education and Science, 1850± 1919 (1969), 106; UOC (1877), Q 1271 (Boase). 278 See Stubbs's comparison between his position and that of a professor in a German university: Seventeen Lectures, 439. The 1882 college statutes show considerable variations on celibacy. Two restrictions on married tutorial fellows predominate: (a) a minimum number must live in college in term to keep discipline, (b) seven years to be served before marriage. 279 Green, Lincoln, 474; Engel, 245±6. 280 See, for instance, Parl. Deb. 12 June 1876, ccxxix. 1735±6 (Lord F. Hervey), 1747 (Lowe), 1748 (Newdegate), 1750 (Dilke); Ward, Victorian Oxford, 297±8. Salisbury was more enlightened about scienti®c research needs than most of his party in Parliament: Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1872, Qs 13, 587±8; Parl. Deb. 24 Feb. 1876, ccxxvii. 801. The same was true of Gladstone in classics, though his concern that the universities should support the British School at Athens was no doubt reinforced by unwillingness to make a Treasury grant: Gladstone, Diaries, 1883, x. 403, 448, 465.

a `plastic structure'


of the pursuit of science and learning.'281 The minimal contributions from colleges to University which the Commissioners devised bore hardly any resemblance to such a transfer. To prevent any suggestion that they might be condoning idleness they gave the professors substantial lecturing stints;282 but, as Creighton had pointed out a few years earlier, despite this, as long as the system remained unchanged, additional arts professorships simply represented a nod towards `the endowment of research'.283 The tutors `are . . . still for professorships, and wish them to be well endowed', Charles Neate had written, `as places of ultimate retreat and provision for themselves.'284 Inevitably the Commission's moderate solutions aroused scorn in Oxford from both radicals and supporters of the status quo. In the Academy of 11 June 1881, the vehicle of the group encouraging the endowment of research, A. H. Sayce wrote: The Commissioners betray no consciousness of the claims of research upon the University; the ideal at which they have aimed throughout is a vast examining machine, managed by persons whose incomes are nicely adjusted to the amount of cramming they have to perform . . . All the evils which ®rst stirred up the agitation for reform have been simply intensi®ed and made permanent.285

The criticisms of the younger progressives are discussed in the next chapter. To Bryce in 1883 the Commissioners had `starved' the Common University Fund. `Under the existing Oxford system,' he wrote, `as reconstructed by the Commission, the college teaching must necessarily dwarf and paralyze that of the University, without being able to effect what might be effected by a proper body of university teachers.'286 To G. C. Brodrick, by contrast, the settlement `was essentially socialisticÐthe spoliation of the colleges'.287 The Commissioners would not have been thought fair had they failed to displease both Bryce and Brodrick. There was no inducement to follow the programme of the group advocating the endowment of research when the latter's `Association for the Organization of Academical Study' had broken up in disarray after a few months. Compliance with Brodrick's views would have been equally impracticable: avoiding the transfer of any resources from 281

UOC (1877), Q 4115. See also Pattison, Suggestions, 33, 134±5, 210. For Stubbs's resentment at this see Seventeen Lectures, 437±9. 283 `The Endowment of Research', Macmillan's Magazine, 34 (June 1876), 186±92. Signed. 284 `The Universities' Reform Bill', 4. 285 xix, 11 June 1881, 433. See also Sayce in Essays on the Endowment of Research, ed. C. E. Appleton and others (1876). 286 `The Future of the English Universities', Fortnightly Review, 39 (Mar. 1883), 389, 401. See also Bryce, `An Ideal University', Contemporary Review, xlv (Jan.±June 1884), 836±56 and pp. 92±3 below; Bonamy Price (n. 258), 11±19. 287 Brodrick, 169. For Jowett predicting how colleges would react see Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Qs 3958±61. 282


`a secularized university'?

colleges to the University would have involved the Commission in disregarding the provisions of the 1877 Act.288 The complaints from Sayce and Bryce were more substantial than Brodrick's; but the champions of endowing research exaggerated in their laments. Any effective organization of the system, even one which leant heavily towards teaching, was likely to help them in the longer run. The tension between teaching and research needs was endemic in the Oxford created by the 1882 statutes, as it is in every university today, and those statutes tilted the balance sharply towards teaching; but, given the tutors' power, and the fact that fairly soon most of them would be laymen who saw university work as their career, the risk of each becoming no more than a teaching drudge, or coach, was not high. It may have been regrettable that A. L. Smith and Sidney Ball published relatively little, but neither resembled a drudging coach. Nor were the future tutors likely to be greatly inferior to `a proper body of university teachers'. Colleges soon found in senior scholarships a more economical means than `prize' fellowships of giving potential tutors postgraduate training: a year or two of study on the Continent became a favoured prelude to a tutorship. The struggles between the various groups, and the concern to curtail tutorial drudgery, while maintaining teaching standards and collegiate and tutorial independence, are recurrent themes in this volume.289 Like other minorities ®ghting for recognition, Mark Pattison and his followers were not given to nicely balanced assessments. When a Commissioner put it to Pattison in 1877 that the tutorial alternatives were a college tutor or a cramming coach, the latter refused to see a signi®cant difference in attitudes between the two.290 No doubt it was true, in 1877 as later, that undergraduates hoped for examination coaching from their tutors; but to equate a college of®cer, responsible for a student's studies and welfare over three or four years, with a coach whom a student had engaged for a term before his ®nals, verged on absurdity. Bryce gave no weight to the fact that, in ®rst-degree teaching, quali®cations are not everything. While the person elected to a college's tutorial fellowship might not have the best possible quali®cations to teach a given subject, he would have a deep interest in the progress of the undergraduates assigned to him and close control over their 288 Diderik Roll-Hansen, `The Academy, 1869±79': Anglistica, viii (Copenhagen, 1957), 78±81; see n. 276 above. The Asquith Commn took Brodrick's complaint seriously: RCOC (1919), 23. 289 Engel, 259±60, 269±80; H. A. L. Fisher, History of Europe (one-volume edn 1936), 1063. Research developments to 1914 are discussed in pp. 614±22 below. For Curzon's defence of prize fellowships see p. 835. For contemporaries' views about the achievement of Sidney Ball and A. L. Smith see O.H. Ball, Sidney Ball (1923), 225 and C. R. L. F[letcher] in Mary F. Smith, A. L. Smith (1928), 312. For an assessment of Smith's published work see p. 375 below. 290 UOC (1877), Qs 4146, 4150. Cf. Pattison's more balanced judgement on this in evidence to the 1850 Commn: RCO (1850), 434. Jowett aimed to keep down cramming `indirectly by the character of the University exams': SCOC (1867), Q 2698.

a `plastic structure'


work.291 Pattison's criticisms of the collegiate Oxford which he had once extolled were countered by Goldwin Smith's second thoughts. Goldwin told the Commissioners in 1877 that his experiences since leaving Oxford had given him an increased respect for the college system. `I think we suffer,' he said, `from the want of it in America . . . The intimate personal relations between tutor and pupil in a good college are very valuable things.' These opposed views illustrate the paradox of the institution which had emerged from this second reform. The colleges made the University dif®cult to organize and slow to respond to new demands: they also gave their undergraduates an experience which was both more enjoyable and more formative than anything available from a centralized university less amply endowed.292 The losses of the Church party were of a different order: they faced annihilation and could see no future for themselves in Oxford. Under the new statutes clerical fellowships were reduced, in general, to the numbers needed for conducting services in the college chapels and giving instruction in divinity.293 Preaching in June 1882, as the settlement was about to come into effect, Liddon compared `the young Colonial Churches' to the one in Oxford. `The time may arrive,' he said, `when Cape Town, or Calcutta, or Melbourne, or Colombo, or Zanzibar may. . . mean for the Church of Christ what Oxford has meant for her in bygone days.'294 This comment showed once again how far Oxford's High Churchmen were from the Church's mainstream. Archbishop Tait, though mortally ill, replied to Liddon in Macmillan's Magazine. `I do not myself believe,' he wrote, `that Oxford is really given up to the free-thinking which this master in Israel dreads . . . Many hold that amongst Oxford undergraduates there is at the present moment more real religion, shown in a quiet, practical way, than was to be found forty years ago.'295 Introducing his Bill setting up the Commission in March 1876 Salisbury had said: `I entertain a hope that the clerical fellowships will be 291

SCSI (1868), Q 2701 (Clifton); Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Q 4073 (Lightfoot). RCO (1850), 429±36; UOC (1877), Qs 1731±2; Macmillan's Magazine, 33 (Feb. 1876), 327 n. 2. For Goldwin Smith's view of the value of `emulation' between colleges see Reorganization (1868), 13. See also H. S. Jones, `Student Life and Sociability, 1860±1930: Comparative Re¯ections', History of Universities, xiv. (1995±6), 225±46. 293 W. W. Jackson to J. A. Godley, 3, 27 June 1880: BL Add. MSS 44464 fos 200±3, 44465 fos 32±4. The draft statutes for eleven colleges had been published by the end of 1880: Guardian 8, 15, 22, 29 December 1880 (Supplements). 294 Sermons Preached before the University of Oxford, Second Series (4th edn 1887), 369. The ®rst edition had gone only to 1879. Liddon had protested anonymously in Church Quarterly Review, xii (Apr. 1881), 201±42. He retired from his professorship in 1882. The Bishop of Lincoln (Christopher Wordsworth) preached with equal gloom in Cambridge: The Future of our Universities (1882), 24±5. See Owen Chadwick, Victorian Church (2 vols 1966±70), ii. 448. 295 `Thoughts Suggested by Mr [Thomas] Mozley's Oxford Reminiscences', Macmillan's Magazine, 46 (Oct. 1882), 418±19. Liddon enlarged on his view in the preface to Sermons, ix±xv. 292


`a secularized university'?

maintained.'296 What had happened? The Liberals' return to of®ce in 1880 had made a difference, as the next chapter makes clear; but the election returns are only part of the explanation. Salisbury told John Wordsworth in November 1880 that the Commons' debates on the Bill three years earlier had convinced him of the impossibility of maintaining the number of clerical fellowships.297 The Commissioners were responding to the fact that during the last ten or ®fteen years Oxford's tutors had ceased to re¯ect clerical views and had become pre-eminently a teaching body. The tone was now set by the lay contingent who opposed any restriction likely to impede their college's teaching ef®ciency. When Gladstone spoke in 1877 against restricting a proportion of fellowships to clerics he showed that he understood what was happening. Clerical fellowships, he told the Commons, were in danger of `losing caste': although the governing bodies of public schools all insisted on a Christian education, none of them imposed a clerical restriction on assistant masterships. Gladstone realized that in Oxford colleges, as in those schools, effective teaching was the aim.298 If a clergyman did not head the applicants' list in teaching ability and intellectual standing there would be a strong wish to appoint a layman. The argument used against the tests had inevitably been revived for use against clerical fellowships. `In a scienti®c age and . . . a scienti®c society,' R. W. Macan told the Commissioners, `theologians committed in early life, and more or less all their lives long, to the pursuit, not of truth, but of reasons for established . . . beliefs authoritatively given, cannot permanently command assent or con®dence as theoretical teachers.'299 Salisbury imagined colleges like Balliol to be heading the attack on the Church of England. One of his main concerns had long been the damage which could be done by a single college if unbelievers of various kinds should secure a majority on its governing body. He did not realize how the trend towards the new-style tutor was altering views in every college. The laicizing process was hardly rapid: nearly a third of college fellows were in holy orders in 1890 and nearly a ®fth in 1912; but the change was greater than this would suggest. Unlike the clerical fellows of an earlier day, these ordained tutors of the eighties and nineties thought of themselves primarily, not as clergymen, but as academics. No more than a small fraction of them left Oxford for Church careers.300 The days when Oxford had been 296 Parl. Deb., 9 Mar. 1876, ccxxvii. 1699. The 1877 Act forbade an increase in clerical fellowships: 40 and 41 Vict. c. 48, clause 59. 297 E. W. Watson (n. 96), 116. 298 Parl. Deb. 4 June 1877, ccxxxiv. 1261±4. For the debate and vote see p. 79 below. 299 UOC (1877), Q 4658. For Macan see n. 309 below. 300 Parl. Deb., 14 July 1870, cciii. 209. By a misprint in Engel, Appendix I (p. 286) the percentage in holy orders, 1881±1900, is given as 69, whereas it should be 31. This has led to a corresponding error on p. 263. For the in¯uence of `religious lay tutors' in the 1880s and 1890s see p. 105 below.

a `plastic structure'


a staunch and in¯uential defender of the Church of England were at an end. Croke Robinson of New College had become Oxford's ®rst Roman Catholic fellow on his conversion in 1872: he rose to be a monsignor and domestic prelate to the Pope. Charles Appleton had liked to worship with the Roman Catholics, while T. H. Green's ideas were to be as in¯uential with the London Ethical Society as with the High Church Lux Mundi Group and the Christian Social Union (1889).301 The various religious views prevalent in the University, as they are depicted in Chapter 3, were soon simply a re¯ection of those held in the English professional class. The Oxford InterCollegiate Christian Union was formed, on an inter-denominational basis, in 1879, and this led to a role in the Student Christian Movement.302 A University staffed largely by laymen, in which the Church of England had lost much of its former in¯uence, was not necessarily one of diminished religious activity. `It would be generally admitted,' W. W. Jackson wrote, in or around 1914, `that there is more . . . religious life in the colleges than there was thirty or forty years ago.' By then, however, there could be no denying that the object proclaimed by the tests' opponents in the later sixties had been achieved: there had resulted, to a large degree, an `unsectarian, undenominational culture in the national universities'.303 None of the Church party's efforts to maintain their position did them any good. Keeping T. H. Green out of White's professorship of Moral Philosophy in 1874 by pushing John Eaton into it proved a ®asco.304 John Wordsworth's open letter to C. S. Roundell in 1880 describing the clerical fellowships as `bene®ces in the possession of the Church of England' was scarcely conciliatory.305 In 1882 D. B. Monro, an eminent classicist and a Presbyterian, was not prevented from becoming Provost of Oriel;306 and Salisbury's attempt to upset one of the Commissioners' statutes and make Greats once again `a training in ancient language and literature' failed in the Lords.307 A few weeks earlier the Bishop of Lincoln had used his position as Lincoln College's Visitor to have its new statutes rejected in the Lords; but 301 Alan Ryan (n. 78), 88; D. Roll-Hansen (n. 288), 74; Richter, 118±29; pp. 109±10 below. Appleton had died, 1 Feb. 1879, aged 37. For Croke Robinson's fears in 1872 see The Times, 18 Apr. 1914, 10d. When Green was invited (Oct. 1875) to be Treasurer of the Church of England Temperance Society he wondered whether its `chiefs' knew `how questionable a churchman' he was: Notes made by Mrs Green for R. L. Nettleship's Memoir: BCLP Green Papers, I.d.10. For the London Ethical Society (formed 1886, dissolved 1897) see G. Spiller, The Ethical Movement in Great Britain (1934), ch. 1. 302 Tissington Tatlow, Story of the SCM (1933), 6. For the SCM in Oxford to 1914, see pp. 108±9 below; after 1914, The Twentieth Century, 311±13. 303 W. W. Jackson (n. 32), 84; SCOC (1867), Q 2585 (Jowett replying to Beresford Hope); Lyulph Stanley, 4. 304 Richter, 149±50. 305 5 Nov. 1880, in published version, p. 9. 306 Goschen's amendment, allowing the severance of the Rochester Canonry from the Provostship was accepted without a division: Parl. Deb., 14 June 1877, ccxxxiv. 1802. 307 Parl. Deb., 20 July 1882, cclxxii. 1055±71; Quinn and Prest, 283±4.


`a secularized university'?

by that he merely subjected the college to prolonged inconvenience.308 Pusey's last victory, when he persuaded Christ Church to remove R. W. Macan from his studentship for publishing an unacceptable Hibbert Trust essay on the Resurrection, proved a pyrrhic one: Macan was elected to a fellowship of University two years later, where, by an irony, the undergraduates included Salisbury's third son, Lord Robert Cecil.309 When the parsons came by rail in 1883 to reject the distinguished Congregationalist, R. F. Horton, as an examiner in the Rudiments of Faith and Religion (`rudders'), they simply advertised Convocation's destructive defects, and showed yet again that Oxford's High Churchmen were out of touch with most of their countrymen, and, indeed, with much of their own Church.310 As clerical in¯uence declined in Oxford, so did anti-clericalism.311 In women's higher education and university settlements the Church party and those of looser religious allegiance simply distanced themselves from each other: so the plan to found Lady Margaret Hall immediately stimulated the creation of Somerville, and in East London Toynbee Hall was quickly followed by Oxford House.312 Pattison was the last Oxford worthy to deplore T. H. Green's idealist philosophy on the ground that with its arrival neo-tory sacerdotalism had acquired an innocent professorial cover.313 Jowett's dislike of Green's views seems to have stemmed less from religious grounds than from the fear that they were too complex to maximize Balliol's chances with the examiners.314 T. H. Green's generation came to terms with the possibility that they might have to organize their moral ideas without the help of orthodox religious beliefs. They underwent, in Mrs Humphry Ward's phrase, `that dissociation of the moral judgement from a special series of 308

Green, Lincoln, 500±3. The dates given for college statutes are those of parliamentary approval, not those of sealing. 309 The Trust, which had published the essay in 1877, was Unitarian in ¯avour. See also Macan's evidence to the Commission, 1877: n. 299 above. For the impression given by Pusey in old age see Robert Elsmere, i. 133. In 1916 Macan, as Master, showed no favour to one of University's undergraduate atheists: E. R. Dodds, Missing Persons (1977), 44±5. 310 Pt 1, 357. R. F. Horton, Autobiography (1917), 57±60; Jowett's `Notes on Church Reform, 1874': Jowett, Letters, 41. On such issues as `confession' Pusey was at odds with Tait, the bishops, Salisbury, and Harrowby: The Times, 5 Jan 1867, 8e; Parl. Deb., 14 June 1877, ccxxxiv. 1745±8, 1752±3; Liddon, Pusey, iv. 262. 311 E. W. Watson (n. 96), 121; Robert Elsmere, i. 67±8 (`another turn of the tide'). For this novel see n. 313 and p. 95 below. 312 See pp. 245±7, 670±4 below. 313 Pattison, Memoirs, 92. The rationalist squire in Robert Elsmere, ii. 378±9, held Pattison's view. Mrs Ward had known Pattison. Her unacknowledged `model' for some features of the novel's hero was J. R. Green (n. 229 above). She dedicated it to the memory of T. H. Green and Laura Lyttelton, and, many years later, de®ned the extent to which he had been depicted in `Mr Grey': preface, I. xli. For an assessment of T. H. Green as a philosopher see Ch. 11. 314 Richter, 137±57; Ward, Victorian Oxford, 235±6. For Green's religious views see his letter, 6 Oct. 1872, to Henry Scott Holland: S. Paget, Scott Holland (1921), 65±8; T. H. Green, Works, III, lxxxvi±cvii (Nettleship's `Memoir').

a `plastic structure'


religious formulae which is the crucial, the epoch-making fact of our day'.315 Nurtured in what were still households of faith, but becoming unsure whether Lazarus would receive his reward in a `next world', some of them concentrated with all the vigour of their evangelical forebears on trying to improve his lot in this one.316 T. H. Green might be unorthodox in religion; but in®delity was not a term which could be used of him with any justice. `It was his profound Evangelical heart,' Scott Holland wrote of him, `which made all that he taught us intellectually become spiritual and religious in its effect.'317 Green's successors took his philosophical professionalism a stage further, and gradually the agonizing over religious doubts fell away. Mrs Humphry Ward's account of those agonies had formed the theme of her most successful novel, Robert Elsmere (1888); but when she returned to it in The Case of Richard Meynell (1911), the sales for which her publishers had hoped were nowhere near realized.318 For this relief from the uncertainties of T. H. Green's day the academic grove paid a price. The more perceptive of the next generation came to see that, as the doubts had declined, so had some of the high achievement and intense social concern characteristic of the doubters. `Why,' asked J. M. Keynes in 1944, `can an age only be great if it believes, or at least is bred up in believing, what is preposterous?'319 The excitement aroused by abolition of the test soon subsided. How far Pater's brief ascendancy increased the incidence of homosexual inclinations and practices in Oxford must remain uncertain, if only because of the change in sensibilities during our century: we are not reliable in interpreting the records of male friendships among the Victorians.320 For a short time Oxford's `aestheticism' generated much smoke: this is not convincing evidence that it enlarged the ®re. Wilde was not an active homosexual at Oxford:321 315 Robert Elsmere, ii. 472; [Julia Wedgwood], `The Moral In¯uence of George Eliot', Contemporary Review, xxxix (Feb. 1881), 183; F. W. H. Myers, Essays Modern (1883), 268±9. 316 J. Morley, Gladstone (1903), iii. 471; Bryce to A. V. Dicey, 14 Nov. 1913: Bodl. Bryce. MSS 4 fos 59±60; Beatrice Webb, My Apprenticeship (1926), 143; Edwardian Youth, 248. Mrs Humphry Ward was struck (A Writer's Recollections n. 158, 133±4) by J. H. Newman not having known whether Britain had `too many drink-shops' or too few: J. H. N. to his brother Francis, `End Oct. 1867': LDN, xxiii. 363. Cf. John Percival's sermon, Trinity College (c.1885): O. F. Christie, Clifton School Days (1930), 23±4. See also pp. 109±10, 241±2, 641±2 below. Thomas Chalmers, and other natural theologians, had assumed `the balancing of moral accounts in the hereafter': Turner, Contesting Cultural Authority (n. 158), 110. 317 H. Scott Holland, A Bundle of Memories (1915), 145. 318 John Sutherland, Mrs Humphry Ward (1990), 315±17. 319 Obituary, Mary Paley Marshall (1850±1944): Economic Journal, 54 (June±Sept. 1944), 270. Keynes's father, John Neville Keynes (1852±1949), had been `bred up' in the same tradition as Mrs Marshall. 320 Richard Jenkyns, The Victorians and Ancient Greece (1980), 287±8. It was heterosexual improprieties which caused successive Proctors most worry during the 1870s: Pt 1, 280±1. For Pusey's concern over these see n. 107 above. 321 Ellmann (n. 188), 259, 261; Green, Lincoln, 494 (Pattison's diary, 2 May 1881). In Rhoda Broughton (n. 194), it is the girl who is advised not to take tea with Chaloner (Wilde).


`a secularized university'?

Pater never seems to have been one at all.322 He made his peace with the Church when Marius the Epicurean was published in 1885. ```Aestheticism'' was a very ephemeral movement here, as elsewhere,' an Oriel tutor wrote in the later 1880s; `just now Oxford . . . is in a far sterner mood, girding itself to try to ®nd an answer to the problems of democracy and socialism.'323 The prophetic books for that Oxford, both posthumously published, were Arnold Toynbee's strikingly titled Industrial Revolution and T. H. Green's Prolegomena to Ethics. `It is no time,' Green had written in the latter, `to enjoy the pleasures of eye and ear.'324 By blessing Darwinism in his 1884 Bampton Lectures Frederick Temple provided an of®cial con®rmation that Oxford men, in discussing the Christian faith, could be expected to take the scienti®c developments of the last twenty-®ve years into account.325 That position was taken by a prelate who was soon to be Bishop of London (and eventually Archbishop of Canterbury); but Temple had once contributed to Essays and Reviews. More striking perhaps is a private statement made two years earlier by the Christ Church don who had written so contemptuously in the 1860s about Oxford's liberals and `intellect's proud ¯ag'. In 1882 C. L. Dodgson wrote: I am a member of the English Church, and have taken Deacon's Orders. My dear father was . . . a `High Churchman', and I naturally adopted those views, but have always felt repelled by the yet higher development called `Ritualism' . . . I doubt if I am fully a `High Churchman' now. . . More and more, as I read of the Christian religion, as Christ preached it, I stand amazed at the forms men have given to it, and the ®ctitious barriers they have built up between themselves and their brethren.326

Greats recovered quickly from the attacks on `in®del teaching'. Between 1880±4 and 1885±9 honours awarded in it rose more than twice as fast as those in History. By 1884 even J. W. Burgon, who was an intemperate and outspoken High Churchman, had realized that its hold on Oxford's best honours men could not be broken. He therefore made a last-ditch attempt to stop the contamination spreading among the women in the two new Halls, Somerville and Lady Margaret. In a sermon preached in Oxford that year he held up as models `our modest mothers in their sweet innocence of . . . a 322 Pater, ed. R. M. Seiler (Calgary, 1987), xxx; R. Dellamora, Masculine Desire (Chapel Hill, NC, 1990), 148±9; A. C. Benson, Pater (1906), 25±6, 188. Jowett congratulated Pater on Plato and Platonism (1893): Benson, Pater, 54. 323 The Revd Arthur Gray Butler (1831±1909), contributing to William Knight (n. 197), 336 n. 1. 324 Toynbee died, Mar. 1883, The Industrial Revolution being published by his widow (memoir by Jowett) in 1884; T. H. Green died, Mar. 1882, Prolegomena to Ethics (quotation from pp. 291±2), ed. A. C. Bradley, being published in 1883. 325 The Relations between Religion and Science (1885). 326 Morton N. Cohen, Lewis Carroll (1995), 374. See also L. Campbell, Some Aspects of the Christian Ideal (1877), 63.

a `plastic structure'


creedless Philosophy'.327 Stubbs left for the bishopric of Chester in the same year: his successors in the Regius Chair were far from being bishops in embryo. By the end of the 1880s two of the originators of the inter-collegiate lecturing in modern history had also been marked out for bishoprics: they too differed from later history tutors and lecturers.328 Lord Braye told the Pope in April 1883 that fears about Roman Catholic students being corrupted by Oxford had been exaggerated. `Only a fraction of undergraduates,' he said, `attended the lectures of modernists, or went near Balliol.' The majority wanted only to pass their exams `or spent their time in sport'.329 Two years later the Jesuit Father who edited The Month wrote that at Oxford `the abolition of Tests, [and] the admission of all forms of Dissent, Judaism, [and] Paganism, tend to establish that sort of truce which men are almost compelled to make who differ in ®rst principles.'330 By then Oxford had found a place for views of many kinds. Types of Ethical Theory by the leading Unitarian, James Martineau, was published in 1885. It included a dissection of Plato's ideal rulers calculated to dissuade even Jowett's most fervent disciples from modelling themselves on Platonic `guardians'. `To the preconceived perfection of the whole social organism,' Martineau wrote, in describing the `guardian's' life, `everything is to give way,Ðnot the interests only of the individual, but his character; and, to be a patriot, he must . . . become . . . the liar, the assassin, nay, the stock-breeder, of his country.'331 Three years later Martineau received Oxford's Honorary DCL with Jowett's approval. As it seemed in the end to Evelyn Abbott and Florence Nightingale, Jowett had seen `more in Plato than was really there'.332 It is dif®cult in the face of the successful reforms of the `plastic period' to remember the limits of their effect. The largest factor in controlling the Universities' development between 1871 and 1914 was not the reforms, but the process described in Chapter 23, whereby most of the professional class took to sending their sons to `public schools', whether of the boarding or day-boy variety. By 1900 some three-®fths of Oxford undergraduates came from these schools, which were no longer quite on the model created by Thomas Arnold and admired by Salisbury and Harrowby. Arnold had wanted boys to mature quickly: they were to leave school knowing their 327

Greats by 23.3%, History by 11%: Pt 1, Table 11.A1; J. W. Burgon, To Educate Young Women like Young Men and with Young Men,Ða Thing Inexpedient and Immodest, sermon, New College, 8 June 1884 (1884), 19. Burgon wished to prevent the statute, adopted on 29 Apr. 1884 (see pp. 256±7 below), from being extended to Greats. For his sermon see also pp. 252±3 below. 328 Mandell Creighton, Bishop of Peterborough 1891, London 1897; E. S. Talbot, Bishop of Rochester 1895, Southwark 1905, Winchester 1911. 329 Lord Braye, Fewness of My Days (1927), 269; V. A. McClelland, English Roman Catholics and Higher Education, 1830±1903 (1973), 337. Lord Braye had joined the Roman Church in 1870, four years after entering Christ Church as an undergraduate. 330 The editor was Richard Clarke: McClelland, ibid. 355. 331 James Martineau, Types of Ethical Theory (2 vols 1885), i. 106±7. 332 Quinn and Prest, xxxiv, 309.


`a secularized university'?

public duty as Christians and commanding the inner discipline to ful®l it. Fifty years later the aims had been adapted. The more intellectual pedagogues now stayed in Oxford, while most of those who ran the public schools had deserted Evangelicalism and absorbed Darwin's message. To this generation of schoolmasters `boyishness' seemed natural and not to be discouraged. Team games were cultivated: piety had lost any attraction; and the `swot' had become a despised ®gure.333 The various effects on the University of this change are described in Chapter 22. It was one factor working against any dramatic rise in intellectual standards among Oxford's commoners. Family sizes had fallen among professional people; but, even so, the costs of boarding school with the University to follow represented a large burden. The colleges took care not to offend a leading school; and most of them could not afford to turn away respectable applicants whose parents could pay and who might reach degree standard.334 These were the basic determinants of the Oxford depicted in this volume. Nevertheless, the adjustments achieved during Palgrave's `plastic period', limited though they were, transformed the University. By 1880 an Oxford honours graduate who had boarded at a public school had been subjected to two powerful agencies in the creation of a united upper class. Britain's rulers had shown once again their talent for dealing with social change by assimilation. The college system put Oxford's tutors into a position to mould various future members of their country's eÂlite. Tutorial in¯uence was often enhanced by being exercised unconsciously. In 1893 even Balliol modi®ed the Jowett tradition, and made a gesture towards research, by electing Caird to the mastership.335 In the reaction against yesterday's clerical Oxford very few tutors pressed doctrines on their undergraduates.336 Yet in one way or another they left their mark on those who led late Victorian and Edwardian Britain. Some Greats tutors were Idealists in the strictly philosophical sense; but T. H. Green's followers were spread over many subjects. They all saw measures of social reform as steps towards a moral and spiritual ideal.337 They were as hostile to `materialism' as their clerical predecessors had been. 333 John Tosh, `The Making of Masculinities', The Men's Share?, ed. A. V. John and C. Eustance (1997), 47±8. 334 See pp. 124±5, 792±3, 857±8 below. 335 J. W. Mackail, Strachan-Davidson (1925), 54. For a general discussion of the theme see Reba Soffer, `The Modern University and National Values, 1850±1930', Historical Research, 60 (1987), 166±87. 336 In R. L. Nettleship, Balliol philosophy tutor, 1872±1892, who edited T. H. Green's papers, reluctance to dogmatize reached an extreme point. `I remember,' H. H. Asquith wrote, `a strenuous Scotch undergraduate . . . saying to him . . . ``Mr. Nettleship, don't you think it is the duty of a tutor of this college to make up his mind?''': H. H. Asquith to Margot Tennant, 10 Aug. 1891, Bold MS. Eng. c. 6685, fo. 45. 337 Jose Harris, `Political Thought and the Welfare State, 1870±1940: an Intellectual Framework for British Social Policy', Past and Present, 135 (1992), 116±41.

a `plastic structure'


Early in Plato's Republic the aged Cephalus says that, having enough for his needs and obligations, he is content with less wealth than his grandfather once had.338 Plato's late Victorian admirers, like Plato himself, thought that a commendable attitude. They were doubtful about any study which might smack of avarice. The reforms mentioned at the start of this chapter helped to give Oxford an infusion of fresh blood. One of the early `toshers' was a 27-year-old Canadian, G. R. Parkin, who will be encountered again in Chapter 29.339 His maiden speech in the Union impressed two of its best-known Balliol membersÐa Nonconformist from the City of London School, H. H. Asquith, and Alfred Milner, who was half-German and had been educated largely at TuÈbingen. All three became Union of®cers, Asquith and Milner both reaching the presidency although their Liberalism was the creed of a minority.340 Milner later recalled the `exciting atmosphere' and `stirring life' of the Oxford he had known as an undergraduate. `One felt oneself,' Parkin wrote, `in the midst of currents of thought which were in¯uencing the world wherever the English language was spoken.'341 This change to a more open Oxford, and one of higher standing, was re¯ected in popular novelsÐsigni®cant indicators, for all their absurdities. The college tutor ceased to be depicted as a classical pedant heading towards a rectory and became a dashing ®gure. In Christ Church Days (1867) Mr Courtenay, `the tutor and Censor', is pious and conscientious, but at least one of his undergraduates needs, besides his help, that of `three coaches' (for Greek, Latin, and Euclid respectively).342 Fifteen years later Herman Merivale painted Faucit of Balliol in very different colours. Faucit's academic prowess is matched by marvellous performances on the river. He is reckoned `the best lecturer and the jolliest don in the place, and as good a fellow with the men of other colleges as he is with his own'. His `magni®cent energy' is part of a `strong, sweet nature . . . Pupils of his could never fail to catch the infection.'343 338

Republic, i. 330 b. See John Willison, Sir George Parkin (1929), 31±2. H. H. Asquith (Earl of Oxford), Memories and Re¯ections (2 vols 1928), i. 20. Jowett thought the undergraduates at the Union's Jubilee banquet (22 Oct. 1873) `fearfully High Church and Conservative': Quinn and Prest, 248. See Verbatim Report: Bodl. Gough Adds Oxon 88 124.26. Another Nonconformist, R. F. Horton (n. 310 above), became Union President in 1877. 341 E. Wrench, Milner (1958), 41. See also the quotation in Basil Williams's article on Milner in the DNB. Willison (n. 339), 28 (Parkin's narrative). 342 [The Revd Frederick Arnold], Christ Church Days (2 vols 1867), i. 100, 125, 246. Winwood Reade, Liberty Hall, Oxon (1860) gives a very hostile view of the University: Mortimer Proctor, English University Novel (1957), 3. 343 Faucit of Balliol (3rd edn, 3 vols 1882), i. 16, 95. In 1867 two fellows (Mandell Creighton and T. L. Papillon) rowed in the Merton eight: Mandell Creighton (n. 78), i.52. Even in Tyrwhitt's High Church novel, 1880 (see nn. 205±7), the tutors represent `a new sort of don to appear in ®ction': Mortimer Proctor (n. 342), 122±3. Dons were to be depicted favourably for 339 340


`a secularized university'?

Clearly the Oxford of the 1882 statutes faced problems which did not ®t with Merivale's story. When the college tutors had been laicized and given Oxford careers, few of them were likely to be young enough at any one time to exhibit prowess on the river.344 A recognition that the Selborne Commission worked effectively carries no implication that once the new statutes had been adopted Oxford's better-advertised defects had all been removed. Any feature of the system which was acceptable to a majority in Parliament or in Oxford was left undisturbed.345 The authors of the 1854 reform had intended to con®ne Congregation to those engaged in academic teaching or study, since all other MAs could make their views felt through Convocation. A successful Conservative amendment had, however, given Congregation votes to virtually all the clergy of the Oxford parishes.346 By the Commissioners' time the agitation to oust these voters had died down. Conservatives did not want a change which would reduce the Church's in¯uence and some Liberal MPs had shown that they were not anxious for a legislative body consisting entirely of academics; so Congregation was not restricted to the academics until 1912, and even then the rights of the existing non-academic members were safeguarded.347 The most damaging of the University's de®ciencies from a modern viewpoint hardly came within the Commissioners' remit, since eliminating it did not depend on the exercise of their powers. The pressure on Oxford by 1870 to establish a multi-subject entrance exam with a science component was not effective. The resulting distortion of the schooling pattern away from science and modern studies, and towards premature specialization in classics, was serious and long-lasting. Between 1850 and 1914 a series of worthies stretching from the Prince Consort to Gore, Percival, and Curzon tried to counter this distortion.348 None succeeded; indeed, as the reform of the grammar schools gathered pace, the malign effects of Oxford's `compulsory Greek' several decades. In Horace Bleackley's Une Culotte (1894) a don rescues two foolish girls who have disguised themselves as young men: Proctor, 73±4. 344 UOC (1877), Q 2078 (Bradley). See the comparison, in ages of college tutors, between 1874 and 1900 in Engel 294. 345 See the Commission's Statement, 26 Apr. 1878. Transfer to the University of `the whole, or the chief part of the teaching work now done by the colleges' is ruled out in Section I A: Gazette, viii. 341±4. 346 PP 1854, v. 294 (cl. 16); Parl. Deb., 11 May 1854, cxxxiii. 190±200; 17 and 18 Vict. c. 81, cl. 16; SCOC (1867), Qs 296, 301, 303 (Roundell), 1175 (Liddell), 1552±60 (W. L. Newman), 2411 (Jowett), 3077 (Scott); Goldwin Smith, Reorganization (1868), 10. 347 Parl. Deb. 9 Mar. 1876, ccxxvii. 1689, 1700; 3 May 1877, ccxxxiv. 285±96; 4 June 1877, ibid. 1240±2; The Twentieth Century, 27, 31. 348 N. Ball, `Education for Life: Plans for Wellington College', Journal of Educational Administration and History, Jan. 1980, 18±24; D. Newsome, History of Wellington College (1959), 75; J. A. Froude (n. 26), 335±42; Parl. Deb., 24 Feb. 1876, ccxxvii. 803 (Duke of Devonshire). For the Edwardian reformers, and effective pressure on Oxford by Eton in 1914, see pp. 564, 630±1, 836±7, 857±8 below.

a `plastic structure'


and preponderance of classical scholarships may have actually increased, despite all the countervailing efforts of London, Manchester, and the new university colleges to exploit the opening which Oxonian intransigence had given them.349 The injury seems to have been more serious for the schools than for Oxford itself. As Chapter 20 shows, the University's comparatively stiff requirement in Greek (which endured until 1920) constituted only one element in the complex reasons for Cambridge's lead in science by the turn of the century. There were, as always, excuses for Oxford in the entrance examination issue. As the weaker colleges feared that any such obstacle to entrance might impede them from ®lling their rooms, it was dif®cult for the Hebdomadal Council to do more in the 1870s than support the new Oxford and Cambridge Schools Examination Board, while the stronger colleges increased the pressure on their men to take Responsions before they came up.350 Beneath such reasons for inaction lay the fundamental one: the culture of Oxford was ®xed in a rigid classical mould. It took a man of exceptional imagination and ability to break through that mould. Arnold Toynbee achieved this; but he might not have done so had his health and family circumstances allowed him to reach the classical sixth of a public school.351 As some abortive proceedings in 1879±80 showed, the years of extolling the classics as the essential educational instrument had been all too effective. The offer to drop compulsory Greek for scientists, while retaining it for all others, was rejected. To the Wayn¯ete Professor of Chemistry this looked like a scheme designed to brand a scientist `to all the world [as] a man who had received an illiberal education'.352 In this view he had the support of the President of the Royal Society, a Balliol star of the 1840s. Jowett's statements to the Devonshire and Selborne Commissions about his wish to see engineering studied in Oxford do not seem to have been reechoed in his private letters. In September 1874 he told Lewis Campbell: `We have the battle of the classics always to ®ght against the aesthetic and scienti®c tendencies of the age.' Ten years later, when he was Vice-Chancellor, he repeated: `All those . . . entrusted with the care of ancient studies have a hard battle to ®ght against the physical sciences which are everywhere 349 W. H. G. Armytage, Civic Universities (1955), 219±22; Ward, Victorian Oxford, 290. Manchester achieved university status in 1880. Oxford was not the only offender; the Prince Consort's plans for Wellington College were frustrated by a Cambridge classic, E. W. Benson: David Williams, Genesis and Exodus (1979), 17. For the `classical side's' syllabus at Dulwich College, c.1882±92, see G. E. Moore's `Autobiography': The Philosophy of G. E. Moore, ed. P. A. Schlipp (3rd edn 1968), 5. Moore wrote in 1942. 350 See pt. 1, 356±7 below. 351 When he was 13 he suffered a head injury and his father died soon afterwards: A. Kadish, Apostle Arnold (Durham, NC 1986), 13±14. 352 The Times, 23 May 1879, 9d, e, 10e (William Odling). For the continuing saga see pp. 630±1, 837 below.


`a secularized university'?

encroaching.'353 The alarms of the later 1860s about scienti®c and technological training led to developments of the greatest importance in British higher education; but their impact was smaller in Oxford than almost anywhere else. The University was more than thirty years behind Cambridge in founding a chair in engineering.354 `Jowett's Greats', the course depicted in Chapter 11 which formed the apex of his system, deserved its fame. Salisbury's criticisms of it have long been forgotten, but a very different one may still be advanced. This is that the embryo politicians, civil servants, and professional men of the 1870s would have bene®ted from some systematic instruction about the world in which they hoped to operate. The Union debates and the rest of the `informal curriculum' gave them something, and they would pick up a good deal during their political or of®cial apprenticeships; but despite this the overwhelming strength of Oxford's classical tradition and the fear of contemporary studies had left them with gaps in their equipment.355 To have modernized Greats philosophy was not enough. From April 1908 to December 1916 one of the leading Greats men from Jowett's prime was Britain's Prime Minister. In mental equipment few statesmen have equalled H. H. Asquith; but he might have been even more impressive had he known as much about his own country, and the others with which he dealt, as he did about the Greece of the ®fth and fourth centuries b c . That theme must be left for the last chapter of this volume. 353 Devonshire Commn, Nov. 1870, Qs 3897, 3936, 3970; UOC (1877), Q 2640. Cf. Jowett, Letters, 190; Abbott and Campbell, Jowett, ii. 268; R. L. Archer, Secondary Education in the Nineteenth Century (1966; ®rst edn 1921), 42. 354 See pp. 476±9 below. The Cambridge chair was founded in 1875. For Oxford's in¯uence during the 1870s on higher technological education in Britain see Eric Ashby, Technology and the Academics (1958), 62±6. For the university colleges, 1867±98, see W. H. G. Armytage, Civic Universities (1955), ch. 10. 355 Looking back, Asquith recalled (Memories n.340, i. 8±9) that he had learned something of Britain's `modern political history' in the Guildhall Library during his years at the City of London School; but the long historical passage in his Inaugural as Lord Rector of Glasgow University, 11 Jan. 1907, concerns the age of Hadrian.


2 From the Cleveland Commission to the Statutes of 1882 c h r i s to p h e r h a rv i e

t h e c l e v e l and com m is s ion With the passing of the Universities Tests Act in 1871, Gladstone's involvement in the politics of Oxford diminished. Attempts by dons, Liberal and Conservative alike, to involve him in the outcome of the Royal Commission into University and college ®nances, which he had set up in October of that year under the Duke of Cleveland, awoke little response.1 Demitting the Liberal leadership on 13 January 1875, almost a year after his government fell on 17 February 1874, Gladstone became preoccupied with his Homeric studies; further stimulated by Schliemann's excavations in Asia Minor, he issued the results of his researches throughout 1876 in the Contemporary Review. Shortly, more urgent news from that quarter was to reactivate his political energies in the Eastern Question agitation. Although he intervened in the Oxford and Cambridge Bill debates in 1877, speaking in favour of Goschen's amendment to remove clerical restrictions on fellowshipsÐthis was narrowly lost, 138 to 147Ðthe fate of Oxford was now marginal to his interests. Gladstone's place was taken by the Chancellor, the Marquess of Salisbury, a ®gure akin to him in Churchmanship and high seriousness, and viewed by Conservatives and Liberals with much the same mixture of con®dence and apprehension. He was the choice of the right in 1869, true, but as a `reading' man, known to be interested in natural science, he had the con®dence of some senior Liberals to whom Gladstone had always seemed baf¯ing and unreliable. Yet, while Gladstone had followed his own line in University affairs, hesitating until the last moment to take tests abolition under the government's wing, Salisbury was a Conservative party man, and was expected to behave as such. This contrast was re¯ected in the correspondence of the two men. Where Gladstone was constantly being adjured to take a principled position on some piece of legislation or theological controversy, the realities of Conservative politics show through most of Salisbury's letters 1

C. S. Roundell to Gladstone, 4 Sept. 1874, BL Add. MS 44444 fo. 243.



`a secularized university'?

from Oxford correspondents dealing with University affairs. Osborne Gordon, his old tutor, wants a Westminster canonry; Montagu Burrows, Chichele Professor of History and the strong man of Oxford Toryism, wants a Foreign Of®ce post for his modestly quali®ed son.2 Six years later Osborne Gordon complains of `the late government taking no notice of me' despite his service on the Selborne Commission, and so on.3 Perhaps as a result of his membership, while still Lord Cranborne MP, of Ewart's Select Committee in 1867, Salisbury had de®nite views on a University reform which would stabilize the system and restrain the growth of the atheistic liberalism which he feared, or the sort of ideas ventilated by the Reform Essayists of 1867; but he was checked by his party at the University. Realizing that it had lost the main battle, Oxford Toryism soon became more concerned to protect and enjoy the clerical patronage that remained than to sustain Salisbury's intelligent but not always consistent strategy. `We have really nothing of our Collegiate system round which we can rally,' Edward Woollcombe wrote to him from Balliol in 1871, `and upon which we can build in time to come.'4 Yet such expressions of despair overestimated the Liberal triumph. The winners had their problems, in that the solution of the tests issue, around which all their energies had been concentrated, opened up a range of organizational and pedagogical problems on which Liberal unity could not be maintained and Liberal expertise was lacking. Numbers of undergraduates were rising: 400 had matriculated in 1860, 500 in 1870, boosted by the new class of Unattached students. By 1877 there were 300 of these.5 But was the undergraduate body the right one? `We are now obliged to keep ourselves full', Bartholomew Price of Pembroke had told the Ewart Committee in 1867, `and sometimes we are obliged to take almost idiots', while Thomas Fowler of Lincoln remarked that it would require a very wide extension of the term indeed to say that a passman acquired an education at all.6 This was while the demand for higher education in provincial cities and for middle-class women was energetically being voiced, and even acted upon, with Balliol, now at last with Jowett de jure as well as de facto its Master, making its ®rst grants to Bristol in 1872.7 Charles Roundell had told Ewart's Committee that he guessed the combined income of University and colleges to be in the region of £500,000 plus per year, and 2 Osborne Gordon to Salisbury, 26 Jan. 1875, Burrows to Salisbury, 23 July 1879; Salisbury MSS, Hat®eld House. 3 Osborne Gordon to Salisbury, 29 Aug. 1881, Salisbury MSS. For this complaint see also n. 105 below. 4 Woollcombe to Salisbury, 5 June 1871, Salisbury MSS. For Essays on Reform (1867), see Pt 1, 726±7. 5 UOC (1877), Q. 2577. See pp 197±8. 6 SCOC (1867), Qs 2217 (Price); 2319 (Fowler). 7 Abbott and Campbell, Jowett, ii. 61.

from the cleveland commission to 1882


that much of this growing revenue was going on prize fellowships. Merton's fellowships, having fallen by six to eighteen after the 1854 Commission, were now back to twenty-four. He took that to be `typical . . . of what is going on in other colleges', and, moreover, argued that the solution of using fellowships to promote new studies would be `a dead letter'.8 Although Cranborne (as Salisbury was then) voted with the Conservative and `clerical Liberal' majority on the committee against a further enquiry into college income, these two points were not lost on him.9 It was evident as early as 1868 that the Liberals' unity was wearing thin. In that year Roundell and the Oxford reformers had wanted a bill carrying, besides the abolition of tests, various detailed measures affecting college and University governmentÐthe more drastic among them being buoyed up by Mark Pattison's Suggestions on Academical Organisation, which had just appeared. They were sharply brought to heel by Henry Fawcett, who was both the leading Cambridge Liberal and, since 1865, a radical MP. Such a measure, he argued, would detract from the main campaign against the tests. But in 1871 the position was reversed. Just after tests abolition was ®nally carried Gladstone promised a ®nancial enquiry, and Fawcett presented a Cambridge petition against it: such a step would be `productive of much delay and postpone unnecessarily the full consideration of these reforms to which such an enquiry could only be regarded as a preliminary'. Instead, the petitioners demanded an executive commission `with power, in conjunction with the University and the several colleges, to frame statutes for those bodies'.10 Fawcett's motives were twofold: ®rst, to get reform through before the Gladstone government (already looking shaky, not least because of his own agitational efforts) collapsed, second, to interdict the pressure which was building up among his erstwhile allies for a fundamental shift towards University organization and a teaching and researching professoriate.11 Coleridge advised Gladstone that a ®nancial inquiry would have to precede an executive commission, but that he might `empower the commission which is to inquire into the ®nances to make recommendations also as to their application'.12 Legislation would be needed to end College Visitors' vetoes on statute reform and to alter the terms of trusts and closed scholarships, but it would be necessary to gauge the dimensions of the ®nancial situation before any successful alteration in the university±college balance could be made. Sir Benjamin Brodie had told the Ewart Committee that, in relation to enlarging and remunerating the professoriate, `not above one half' 8 9 10 11 12

SCOC (1867), Qs 262, 263. Ibid. viii (proceedings of 31 July 1867). Petition, n.d., enclosed in BL Add. MS 44138, J. D. Coleridge to Gladstone, 11 Dec. 1871. See Leslie Stephen, The Life of Henry Fawcett (1885), 114±15. Coleridge to Gladstone, 11 Dec. 1871, BL Add. MS 44138 fos 126±7.


`a secularized university'?

of what had been provided for in the ordinances of the 1854 executive commission had been achieved.13 The implication was that other reform proposals, not backed up by accurate information, would share the same fate. In the event the new Commission was so heavily weighted in favour of expertise in landownership and ®nance that detailed inquiry into university government was ruled out, at least in the case of Oxford. The chairman, Cleveland (Eton and Oriel), was an elderly, obscure Duke who owned 100,000 acres in nine counties. He was ¯anked by the twentieth Baron Clinton (Eton and Christ Church) and Lord Frederick Cavendish MP (Trinity, Cambridge), younger son of the Duke of Devonshire and husband of Mrs Gladstone's niece. John Strutt (Trinity, Cambridge) was also a substantial landowner, although a distinguished scientist, while Kirkman Hodgson MP, a wealthy banker, had never been to university. There were only two academics, W. H. Bateson of St John's, Cambridge, and `Bat' Price. All, except Clinton and Strutt, were Liberals. The Cleveland Commission was appointed by the Home Secretary, Henry Austin Bruce, on 5 January 1872. Roundell was its secretary and two months later he sent from its London of®ce a circular of enquiry to the ViceChancellor and heads of houses, who had already promised Gladstone full co-operation the previous autumn. The intention behind the circular was to examine property, the charges on it, and the uses to which the pro®ts were put. The ®rst eighteen questions covered external income, inquiring as to property owned and the actual and prospective income from it, the charges to which it was subject, and prospective liabilities. The remaining seven covered internal income from room rents, entrance and graduation fees, annual dues, pro®ts of kitchens, caution funds, and so on. Further letters despatched in March and April covered more detailed aspects of income and payments of professors, and also the halls and the University Press. 1871 was to be used as the test year.14 Apart from its questionnaires, the Commission seems to have conducted most of its business in conclave (although it received evidence from Cambridge relative to speci®c projects of academic reform) and spent most of its time trying to reconstruct college ®nancial accounts on a comprehensive and comparable basis, the landowners presumably double-checking the real property and the two academics the internal income. From a letter of Cleveland's written in 1876 Price seems to have played the leading role in Oxford: `It is to yourself,' the Duke wrote, `that the Commission was indebted for any success in its efforts.'15 The ubiquitous and energetic `Bat', known to millions of children through Lewis Carroll's `Twinkle, twinkle, little bat, / How I wonder what you're at,' had already been 13 14 15

SCOC (1867), Q. 15. RCOC (1872), Pt 2, iii±vii, xi, xiii±xiv; and see above Pt 1, Ch. 12. Cleveland to Price, 7 June 1876: Bartholomew Price MSS, PCA.

from the cleveland commission to 1882


Secretary to the Press Delegates for some years, and was more likely than anyone else in Oxford to bring an element of order into college accounts, `He ought to have been a businessman,' wrote a Pembroke colleague. `He would have built up a huge concern and died a millionaire.'16 College accounts had always been idiosyncratic as to internal income, and were even more tortuous as regards external income. The latter was largely derived from rents on agricultural land which, if linked to prices, ought to have gone up by 25 per cent since the reforms of the 1850s. College property had traditionally been held on `bene®cial leases', granted in a ¯at-rate arrangement, usually for seven years, and topped up by `®nes' at renewal, these latter being equivalent to something like two years' annual value. But there had been a great change since the 1850s and about half was now held on a rackÐor commercialÐrent.17 This was more advantageous to the college in the long term, but in the interim the fellows had to be compensated for the absence of income from ®nes, so money was borrowed for this purpose as well as to improve the estates. The combination of old bene®cial leases, new rack-rent leases, and loan charges created potential confusion. This was overcome by estimating all such `external' income on what the corporate lands held in 1871 would get if rack-rented, less the associated loan-charges: an annual sum of around £260,000. If this brought some logic into the situation, it also underestimated external income from sources other than agricultural land, such as property development (admittedly calculated at only £22,000 in 1871, plus a further £4,700 from house property owned by college trust funds).18 Internal income revealed further problems. The contribution which it made varied greatly from college to college: in Exeter it provided 67 per cent of total disposable income. When the full picture was seen considerable disparities seemed to emerge between what some colleges received from all sources and the service they gave their undergraduates.19 When Cleveland reported in October 1874, Charles Stuart Parker (Balliol) and George Brodrick (Merton) punched the message home, respectively in the Social Science Association and in The Times. Two colleges were credited by the Commission with identical numbers of undergraduates; yet, when external income was added to internal, Christ Church, at £49,000, was shown as enjoying six times the income of Balliol at £8,000: If the work done during recent years by the latter college can be accomplished on so moderate an income, it is too obvious that, however well the estates of the ®rst named college are managed, the revenue from them must, in some way, be misapplied.20 16 17 18 19 20

`Oxford Memories', p. 8, John Mitchinson MSS, PCA. Pt 1, 377±90. Ibid. 379±83, 417, 429. Ibid. 392±3, 414. The Times, 7 Oct. 1874, 9d (second leader).


`a secularized university'?

The result was an explosive and embarrassing set-to. On 15 October Godfrey Faussett, the Treasurer of Christ Church, protested that the Commission had calculated Christ Church's internal income as gross and Balliol's as net, and had failed to point out that the House's gross income was liable to charges which had nothing to do with the University, such as the cost of running the Deanery (£13,250) and the Canons. If these were taken into account, its income fell from £49,000 to £12,000.21 No sooner had Roundell replied, referring sceptics to the abstracts of college accounts in the Evidence, rather than to the synopses in the Report, than he was assaulted by L. J. Lee, the Bursar of New College, the one college which had refused to ®ll up the Commission's questionnaire. Meanwhile Faussett asked if the tables could not be so constructed as to ful®l the ordinary conditions of a synopsis, why should they have been compiled at all? The relative ef®ciency, not to say conscientiousness, of the College bodies in administering the funds entrusted to them has been called in question, and impressions as mischievous as they are unjust have been fostered in the public mind.22

W. Baillie-Skene, the Estates Bursar of All Souls, then accused the Commission of overestimating the college's annual disbursements to its fellows. Roundell replied brusquely that relations with New College had been broken off because of Lee's `discourteous tone' and Baillie-Skene's All Souls ®gures had been `illegible': `And yet he has the temerity to bring against the members of a public Commission a charge of breach of duty for nonpublication of this slipshod, blurred and hastily jotted scrawl.'23 After another assault from Faussett, Roundell rested his case: The work of the Commission will stand or fall according as it stands the test of a fair and fully informed criticism. The Commissioners, I feel assured, will be content to leave their work to the mature judgement of the two Universities, and especially to that of the College Bursars, to none of whom were they more indebted than Mr Faussett himself.24

But this only brought a broadside from eleven Bursars, more than half the Oxford total. Liberal and Conservative alike, from the socialistic C. J. Faulkner, William Morris's partner, at University, to the ultra-Tory Washbourne West at Lincoln, they stated, in condemnation, `that important portions of the Report are inaccurate and likely to mislead, and that they will not stand ``the test of a fair and fully-informed criticism'''.25 Then, on 21 21

Ibid. 15 Oct. 1874, 11c. Ibid., 22 Oct., 5f; 26 Oct. 1874, 6f. 23 Ibid., 10 Nov. 6f; 13 Nov. 1874, 5c. For Lee's attitude see J. Buxton and P. Williams (eds), New College (1979), 90. 24 The Times 2 Dec. 1874, 7e. 25 Ibid. 16 Dec. 1874, 9f. 22

from the cleveland commission to 1882


December, G. G. Bradley, the Liberal Master of University, in a sense summed up. He was ¯attering about Roundell's `unfailing courtesy and promptitude' but he pointed out for instance that, in the Report, University's payments to its fellows were given as £270 per annum `exclusive of allowance for rooms'. When the College had vetted the draft this rubric had not been present, rooms being included in the £270 per annum.26 This was enough. Roundell may have let things slide from being distracted by getting married, and building a large country house in Sussex (Oeborne, near Haslemere), a venture which at least indicated a faith in agricultural incomes. The Cleveland report, articulated by him, sounded closer to ideology than statistics, and perhaps the most persistent of the University Liberals of the 1860s left the scene for six years. No one stepped in to defend Roundell, despite an appeal to Cleveland and, through him, Price; which suggests that 1874 may have been a year when Oxford, like the country as a whole, lost patience with Liberalism in general, and the `young monkeys at Balliol' in particular.27 In February 1874 the Conservatives gained real power for the ®rst time in thirty-three years, and ripples of this Liberal setback reached Oxford. In August, despite vehement Liberal protests, the `clerical' college of Hertford received statutory recognition; and in October, when the Cleveland Report was published, the Liberals were faced with the prospect of a reform sponsored by a Conservative government.28

l o r d s a l i s b u ry le g i s l at e s In Easter Term 1873, over a year before Cleveland reported, the Hebdomadal Council, which had now a fairly secure 11 to 9 Liberal majority, created a Committee `to consider the questions connected with the extension and better endowment of the Professoriate'.29 The six Boards of Studies created by the Council to supervise the new honours syllabus were questioned about staf®ng requirements, and their replies were circulated in May 1874. In Michaelmas Term 1874, after Cleveland, the Colleges were asked how much they were prepared to contribute towards this, with generally negative results; but early in 1875 an estimate of requirements for new University buildings and restorations was presented to Council, a report being published on 8 June. Finally, in 1876±7 when a Commission was imminent, further enquiries were made so that all University needs for new posts, professorial salary increases, and buildings might be listed, the outcome 26

Ibid. 21 Dec. 1874, 6f. Cleveland to Price (enclosing Cleveland to Roundell) 18 Dec. 1874, Price MSS; and see Freeman to Bryce, 20 Oct. 1867, Bryce MSS, Bodleian Library. 28 See pp. 117±19 below. Convocation voted for the Hertford College Bill (2 June 1874) by 122 votes to 31. 29 Statement of the Requirements of the University adopted by the Hebdomadal Council on the 19th of March 1877 (1877), 2±4. This passage gives a convenient summary of the successive developments from 1873 to 1877. 27


`a secularized university'?

being published on 24 April 1877. It was estimated that capital expenditure of £109,300 would be required, in addition to some fourteen professors and eighteen readers. Even excluding demonstrators and lecturers, this promised an annual expenditure of not less than £15,600. Despite the evident reluctance of the colleges to contribute, the resulting annual charges of around £20,000, although huge in comparison with University revenues of only £32,000, seemed minimal when set against college revenues which (even allowing for Cleveland's mistakes) gave £30,543 to heads of houses and £101,171 to 332 college fellows (or an average of £305 per annum).30 In faraway Toronto, Goldwin Smith read Cleveland and regretted that Gladstone had not got a move on and legislated in the previous session; in Oxford, Jowett was guiltily relieved that the Liberals were no longer in power.31 Too much interest in college landowning practices might have served as a red rag to the radical bull, not to speak of his old friend Robert Lowe, who had strong views about endowmentsÐ`throw them awayÐanywhereÐinto the sea!' Yet Jowett must have viewed with some concern Cleveland's impact on the University's Chancellor, now Secretary of State for India. Salisbury had always been beleaguered in Oxford; now, although he was yoked to a premier he distrusted, he could command a parliamentary majority. What would he do?32 Apprehensive about this but armed with some notion of University requirements, the Liberals made the ®rst move. In January 1875 Dean Liddell of Christ Church was roused and chaired a meeting of thirteen Liberals, including Jowett, `Bat' Price, Henry Acland, and Henry SmithÐ though not Pattison. Smith had been a member of the Devonshire Commission on Scienti®c Instruction since 1870, and was in great part responsible for its survey of the universities.33 He could at least be reassuring to some degree about Salisbury, who had been very positive about research in his evidence to Devonshire, but Salisbury was leery about committing himself: `I think myself it is quite possible that we shall propose to legislate,' he wrote to Acland, `[but] any interference at the instance of one party only would be fatal to the peace of the University.'34 Less than six weeks later a coalition of twenty-three Tories and High Churchmen (some of whom, like H. P. Liddon and Warden Talbot of Keble, were Gladstonians in national politics) petitioned in favour of such traditional Liberal aims as an enlarged professoriate, better salaries for University teachers, and more money for research. 30

See RCOC (1872), Report, 34. Goldwin Smith to Gladstone, 20 Oct. 1874, BL Add. MS 44303 fo. 194; Abbott and Campbell, Jowett, ii. 121. 32 Lowe quoted by James Bryce in `An Ideal University', Contemporary Review, xlv (June 1884), 843. For Salisbury's evidence to the Devonshire Commn see Ch. 1 nn. 67, 280. 33 See Ch. 1, n. 280. The Third Devonshire Report, on universities, was signed on 1 Aug. 1873, the Eighth, and last, on 18 June 1875. 34 Salisbury to Acland, 3 Feb. 1875, Bodl. MS Acland d. 74, fos 46±7. 31

from the cleveland commission to 1882


But they also requested more scholarships for `poor students', limitations on the powers of colleges to change their statutes (Balliol had done so, quite drastically, in 1871), the retention of clerical fellowships, and reductions in the number of non-resident fellows.35 There was no possibility of legislation in 1875. Cleveland had reported far too late in 1874 and parliamentary time was occupied by complex tradeunion and local government bills. But legislation was urgently needed. The troubles of the late 1860s outlined in the last chapter had not gone away. Bonamy Price, Professor of Political Economy, wrote in a pamphlet that `on every side a University career is dwarfening in comparison with the brilliant prospects held out by the endless pursuits spread through the national life.' The true purpose of university life, `the promotion of Research', was being eroded by tutoring for the examination mill.36 His discontent was echoed by a much younger man, Nathan Bodington of Lincoln, who wrote to his father in 1876: `what will come out of the crucible of university reform no one can tell: something I trust which will make the work here a career for life, not a mere temporary affair. Everyone just now seems to be trying to get away from Oxford.'37 A major reason for this urgency was the sheer drudgery of preparing students for examinations. This was wearing down potentially talented scholars like Richard Lewis Nettleship of Balliol and causing others to quit university teaching for masterships at public schools, which were much more highly paid and where the prospect of their own `house' positively encouraged them to get married.38 In May 1875, early in the long saga summarized in Chapter 28, the colonial administrator Sir Bartle Frere told Acland that it was `most disastrousÐI was almost saying disgracefulÐto all parties concerned that it should be so dif®cult for a man to enter the Indian Civil Service without sacri®cing his university career'.39 Such pressures encouraged both liberals and clericals, and by the end of the 1875 session it was apparent that a Bill was imminent. Salisbury cleared his Bill with the Cabinet on 25 January 1876 and on 24 February it was read for the ®rst time in the Lords.40 As drafted it came much closer to the proposals of the Oxford Conservatives than to those of Liddell's Liberals. The 1854 Commissioners had operated to a tight remit prescribed by Parliament. The 1876 Commissioners would have a far greater degree of autonomy in making statutes both for the University and for the colleges. Although colleges were to be given eighteen months in which to 35 Copy of Petition dated 17 Mar. 1875, Salisbury MSS. For Balliol's statutes see above pp. 17±18. 36 Bonamy Price, Oxford Reform (1875), 5. 37 W. H. Draper, Sir Nathan Bodington (1912), 47. 38 Engel, 128. 39 Bartle Frere to H. W. Acland, 12 May 1875, quoted in Atlay, Acland, 359±60. 40 The Diary of Gathorne Hardy, 1866±92, ed. Nancy E. Johnson (1981), p. 260 (entry for 25 Jan. 1876) and see Parl. Deb. 3S cclxxvii. 791±806.


`a secularized university'?

modify their statutes before the Commissioners would step in, it was obvious that the last word rested with whatever formulae for college government the Commissioners decided to apply, and that the overall approach involved the colleges yielding some ground to the University.41 After a poorly attended Second Reading on 9 March, when the `burden of discussion' was borne, according to Earl Granville, by Oxford's ®rst-class honours men, the Liberals held ®re until the identity of the Commissioners would be revealed, which Salisbury promised to do on 27 March.42 The Commissioners were as Conservative as could be equated with `balance'. The Chairman was certainly a Liberal, Lord Selborne, the previous Lord Chancellor, but he shared Gladstone's Anglo-Catholicism and had, as Roundell Palmer, proved even more reluctant than his master to come to terms with Liberal Oxford in the 1860s. Salisbury virtually blackmailed him into his position: The changes to be made do not involve any political doctrineÐat least they need not and ought not to do so. But each side will suspect the other of trying to work the Commission for its own bene®t . . . If you refuse, I know not where to look. I shall be compelled to take some Chairman with strongly marked `proclivities' and coming from us that leaning must be on the Tory side.43

Of the others, Mountague Bernard, the Chichele Professor of International Law, was another Liberal High Churchman, while Sir Henry Maine, Corpus Professor of Jurisprudence, was only nominally a Liberal. Mr Justice Grove had the almost unique distinction of being a famous chemist and physicist as well as a lawyer. Lord Redesdale and Matthew White Ridley MP were Tories, as were the two Secretaries, T. Vere Bayne and the Public Orator T. F. Dallin. The last regarded himself as being acceptable to `the other side'.44 De®nitely unacceptable was J. W. Burgon, an energetic High Church propagandist (whose line on Petra, `a rose-red city, half as old as time', remains the only thing out of an Oxford prize poem that anyone can remember). C. H. O. Daniel, then Bursar of Worcester, wrote to the Chancellor that he did not think `Dr Burgon's friendsÐI have myself the pleasure of his acquaintanceÐwould claim for him the quality of temperate judgement.'45 Burgon was a disastrous choice, as prejudiced against Liberal Oxford as it was against him. It re¯ected a certain naõÈvete on the Chancellor's part to have got as far as nominating him. Nevertheless Salisbury got the full slate carried (60 to 30) on 31 March, defeated an amendment of Granville's which would have come close to abolishing clerical fellowships (57 to 40), 41

Ibid. 1700. Hardy, Diary, 267 (entry for 23 Mar.). 43 Salisbury to Selborne, 8 Mar. 1876, Selborne MSS 1866 fos 201±2, LPL. 44 Dallin to Salisbury, 14 Feb. 1876, Salisbury MSS. 45 Daniel to Salisbury, 31 Mar. 1876, Salisbury MSS. Both Burgon and Daniel were in holy orders. 42

from the cleveland commission to 1882


and defended clerical headships, 55 to 44.46 The bill passed the Lords on 5 May, and three days later Gathorne Hardy introduced it in the Commons, where on 16 May it was joined by a cognate measure for Cambridge, with a much more acceptable list of Commissioners.47 The Commons debate must have brought much satisfaction to Salisbury as he sat in the Peers' Gallery. The Conservatives had only to keep quiet and watch the opposition tear itself apart. Robert Lowe assaulted endowments, and Sir Charles Dilke, George Goschen, and Sir William Harcourt, from left, right, and centre of the Liberals, defended prize fellowships and poured scorn on the endowment of research and professorial instruction, while Mountstuart Grant Duff, well-meaning but lightweight, played into the hands of the philistines by quoting Max MuÈller to the effect that `no less than seven additional professorships would be needed to form a real school of Comparative Philology.' The Commons con®rmed the Commissioners, Burgon et al.48 More worrying was the fact that the Bill had not been given priority and not enough time remained for the Committee stage. It was withdrawn on 31 July. By this date some of the lines on which the Commission would have to work were reasonably clear. The question of clerical restrictions on fellowships was bound to prove very controversial. By contrast, there would be general support in both Oxford and Westminster for reducing the colleges' expenditure on items such as prize fellowships. That would allow enough to be extracted from them to prevent a breakdown in those services which could be provided only by the University itself. This process would not entail weakening the powerful position of the fellows who also held college tutorships; and, as the proceedings since January 1873 showed, it would arouse little objection from either the Liberals or the Church interest.49 To go beyond this, and take honours teaching away from the colleges, would be both politically and organizationally impracticable. The small band who yearned for such a radical development were able and articulate; but a Commission with the will and authority to enforce a massive transfer of funds, or to turn the colleges (on Pattison's plan) into specialized departments, was hardly on the cards; and there were as many radical plans as radicals.50 Their common feature was an invitation to the forthcoming 46 A `clerical fellowship' denoted in the 1870s not one actually held, but one which had to be held, by a clergyman. The Archbishop of Canterbury and ®ve bishops had voted for allowing the possibility of lay heads of colleges, and on 2 May Salisbury yielded to this: Parl. Deb. ccxxviii. 1950. 47 Parl. Deb. ccxxix. 101±2; 204; 774. For the Bill as it reached the Commons see PP 1876 vii. 511±26. 48 Parl. Deb. ccxxix. 1713±1750. 49 Ibid. ccxxviii. 796±7 (Salisbury) 50 See, for example, R. Laing, Some Dreams of a Constitution-monger: A Paper on University and College Reforms (1876).


`a secularized university'?

Commissioners to march into at least one of the surrounding mine®elds. Not all of the radical Utopias were forward-looking. Thomas Fowler wanted (as the Commission soon learned) to lessen the grind of honours examinations by forbidding tutors to take tutorials: they were to revert to the functions ful®lled by their predecessors `thirty or thirty-®ve years ago'.51 While some Liberal commentators therefore wished to extend Salisbury's plans drastically, they did not dismiss his Bill out of hand. James Bryce, Regius Professor of Civil Law, wrote in the Fortnightly Review that it was `a creditable instance of the willingness of English statesmen to accept accomplished facts and treat them as a point of departure of further reforms'.52 But he insisted that the adumbration of plans for the University ought to take precedence: `For till it is settled what shall be the number, the duties, the emoluments of the University teachers . . . it would be impossible to determine how many tutors or lecturers are wanted in each college.'53 This could be accomplished by a brief preliminary enquiry lasting for six months and involving about twenty sittings, producing a report which could serve as an agenda for the executive commission. Salisbury consulted on the details of the Bill with the Hebdomadal Council and the colleges, whose prevailing lineÐfar more conservative than Bryce'sÐwas for purely collegiate reforms to be carried out without reference to the University (thirteen out of twenty colleges), and for laicization of headships to be included in the remit of the Commissioners (which gained the support of twelve). There was also a general feeling that the expected duration of the Commission was too long.54 Salisbury was also able to resolve another problem: Burgon. In defence of his collegiate ideal, Burgon had launched a series of charges against lodging-house keepers, accusing them of employing servant girls with dubious backgrounds who would corrupt undergraduates. Regarding the Oxford Commission as needing `strength without expansion', Gathorne Hardy wrote to Salisbury suggesting tactfully that Burgon be dropped. Burgon went, though not quietly.55 Combined with the Cambridge measure, Hardy reintroduced the Bill in the Commons on 10 February 1877. The Second Reading on 20 February was `a scrambling talk' but the Bill got through to Committee, with a modi®ed list of Commissioners. Salisbury replaced Maine, who had gone to Cambridge as Master of Trinity Hall, by Henry Smith of Corpus, Professor of Geometry and a more reputable Liberal, and Burgon by President 51

UOC (1877), Q. 1531. James Bryce, `A Few Words on the Oxford University Bill', Fortnightly Review, xix (1 May 1876), 771. 53 Ibid. 773. 54 Memos in University Correspondence, 1877, Salisbury MSS. 55 Hardy, Diary, 298 (entry for 29 Nov. 1876). The Liberals had wanted to substitute `Bat' Price for Burgon: Goschen to Price, 5 May [1876], Price MSS, PCA. 52

from the cleveland commission to 1882


Bellamy of St John's. This promised a good hearing for the claims of science, given Justice Grove's interests and Smith's membership of the Devonshire Commission. There were continual troubles for Hardy in Committee: these ranged from Liberal suspicions that their opponents, in de®ance of a pledge previously given by Salisbury, might try to reintroduce tests for fellowships, to Arthur Balfour forwarding feminist ideas on behalf of his sister Eleanor and her husband Henry Sidgwick.56 On 4 JuneÐ`the House was small and the Opposition whip strong'Ðthe Liberals counterattacked and came near to winning on the abolition of clerical fellowships. Looking more formidable than in 1876, they now had the support of Gladstone, and the narrowness of the vote, 147 to 138, was applauded as a sign of Liberal recovery.57

the selborne commission The Bill became law on 10 August 1877. It authorized the Commissioners to make statutes `enabling or requiring the . . . colleges . . . to make contributions out of their revenues for University purposes, regard being ®rst had to the wants of the several colleges in themselves for educational and other collegiate purposes'. The Hebdomadal Council's anticipatory `Statement of Requirements', published in April and mentioned above,58 provided the agenda when on 22 October the Commissioners held the ®rst of eleven meetings in the Clarendon Hotel at Oxford to interview assorted notables about the requirements of the University: their ®rst steps on a road which was to prove gruellingly hard. Salisbury had assured Selborne that the work was unlikely to be too heavy and that he would have Maine as an ef®cient legal deputy.59 Selborne did not get his deputy, and the Commission's activities were punishing. There were 15 meetings in what was left of 1877, 34 in 1878, 49 in 1879, 88 in 1880, and 37 in 1881. By the end of 1883 Smith, Dallin, and Bernard were dead, and the `overwork and lack of exercise' cited to explain Smith's death at 57 probably owed much to his Commission commitments.60 Redesdale, albeit 81, died in 1886. Ridley and Bellamy, who were less punctilious in their attendance, lived on for years. At the initial sessions the dons who were interviewed, and those who communicated by letter, repeated a good deal of the evidence given to Ewart 56 Hardy, Diary, 307 (entry for 20 Feb. 1877). Leonard Courtney had tried to obtain access to university exams, and licences for medical practice, for women. Balfour tried to gain them degrees. Parl. Deb. 3 May, 17 May 1877, ccxxxiv. 296±303, 1128±30. 57 Hardy, Diary, 324 (entry for 5 June 1877); Parl. Deb. 4 June 1877, ccxxxiv. 1270. Sect. 59 of the Act was inserted in response to Liberal suspicions about Tests. For Gladstone's argument on 4 June see p. 56 above. 58 See n. 29 above. 59 Salisbury to Selborne, 8 Mar. 1876, Selborne MSS 1866 fo. 202, LPL. 60 C. H. Pearson, `Biographical Sketch' in W. L. Glaisher (ed.), The Collected Mathematical Papers of H. J. S. Smith, (1894), vol. 1, p. xxx. Cf. the Franks Commission which met on 189 days between 28 Apr. 1964 and 26 Mar. 1966; but its members were all resident in Oxford.


`a secularized university'?

a decade earlier.61 They were, however, more divided than at that time between `university' and `college' partisans. There were fewer complaints than in 1867 about the ineducable passman; private tuition was claimed to have died out; but there was more concern that, in order to `socialize' the undergraduates, too much was being conceded to athletics and the examination mill. According to James Bryce, `Our examination system has quite outrun its original purpose, and is now exericising a pernicious in¯uence on teaching and study.'62 Thomas Fowler echoed him and quoted the German authority, Dr Wiese: Twenty-®ve years ago I found at Oxford much more undisturbed devotion to study, and a real interest in the subjects; at present, go where you like, you will ®nd few men belonging to the University who are not actively or passively engaged in some examination.63

Both agreed that the solution required a professor-based organization, and that the professors were currently very ill-provided for. College lectures were scheduled at prime times and professors' lectures had to be squeezed into awkward hours (where they competed with each other or the claims of the pitch and the river).64 Their of®ces were inadequate, their administrative duties excessive.65 The remedy suggested was compulsory attendance at professors' lectures and an examining role, and the development of an intermediate range of personnel at the reader or research professor level, who could painlessly be attached to existing colleges. This arrangement would yield salaries of £800±£900 a year, enough, given an interesting and less strenuous job, to be an alternative to £1,500 a year as a housemaster at a public school.66 Benjamin Jowett took a predictably different line. He was not against professorships, indeed he thought up three new ones in Classics,67 but he implied that the case for research had been oversold: `there are very few persons quali®ed for carrying it on, and therefore not much money would be required for it.'68 To him the two main problems were to extend the University's reach far beyond Oxford, and to create an alternative career structure for those who used to teach and then go into the Church. For the ®rst: 61 UOC (1877), Pt 1, minutes of evidence (witnesses appearing in person) 23 Oct. 1877 to 25 Feb. 1878, 1±373; supplementary evidence and appendix (written submissions), 374±403; Pt II, certain circulars (replies to questions circulated by the Commissioners), 1±187. The Commission heard many more witnesses than the Ewart Committee. For a notable reversal by Jowett, see p. 48 above. 62 UOC (1877), Q. 1519. 63 Ibid. Q. 1527. 64 Ibid. Q. 1544. 65 Ibid. Qs 1473, 1545. 66 Ibid. Q. 1563. See also Engel, 179±88, for the various plans for readerships. 67 Ibid. Q. 2677. 68 Ibid. Q. 2653.

from the cleveland commission to 1882


`We ought not to allow a great movement to slip entirely out of our hands, and become what I may call a mechanics' institute movement, instead of a real extension of such an education as the University would wish to see given.'69 For the second, he saw the reader as being a superior sort of college tutor, with some University responsibilities, a career structure, and the prospect of a pension. The con¯ict between the positions exempli®ed respectively by Fowler and Jowett was exacerbated by the competition for funding. This tension was lessened by the performance of Alfred Robinson, as Bursar the strong man of a half-reformed New College. He believed that Cleveland had seriously underestimated the likely increase in agricultural rents. They would rise by over £100,000 p.a. by 1900, instead of 1912, as Cleveland had anticipated.70 (This had some basis. Dunbabin shows that college income did in fact rise by 22 per cent between 1871 and 1883).71 If the University's income was managed as well as that of the colleges, Robinson insisted, it should be able to attain all its goals in regard to buildings, professors, etc., without despoiling them. Nevertheless he was prepared to be generous and envisage college funding of more University teaching and a greater role for professors in the colleges, as well as on examining boards and in the University.72 The Commission's formulation of the reforms to be undertaken was published in the Oxford University Gazette on 26 April 1878. This began with a declaration in favour of `the extension and proper endowment of the professoriate', and of many professors becoming, `by virtue of their of®ces, members of the governing bodies of the colleges to which they belong, or from the funds of which their emoluments are derived or augmented'. The Commissioners added, however, that they were `unable to adopt the views of those who would desire to transfer to the University the whole, or the chief part, of the teaching work now done by the colleges'. They recommended, apart from increased stipends for many existing chairs, eight new chairs and nine readerships.73 Pensions, Unattached students, research, extra-mural teaching, and examinations for secondary-school pupils were tidied into an alarmingly comprehensive category E. It was obvious that the colleges were going to be handled with great tact, and their claims as teaching institutions and even as suppliers of prize fellowships respected; but these fellowships were to be made terminable. Taxation for University purposes, and speci®cally for the University readerships, was envisaged as claiming not more than 1.5 per cent of annual college revenue.74 69 70 71 72 73 74

Ibid, Q. 2646. Ibid. Q. 2531. Pt 1, 401 (Table 12.9). Ibid. Qs 2544, 2564. Gazette, 26 Apr. 1878, viii. 341±4. Ibid. 343±4.


`a secularized university'?

No sooner had the Commissioners returned to their of®ce at No. 5 Craig's Court, off Whitehall, than Grove (who had not attended a single session) resigned. Salisbury plucked Osborne Gordon, once a ®gure of some importance in the Tutors' Association, out of rural obscurity to succeed him. The Commission emerged from time to time for an excursion to Oxford or (innovatively) for joint sessions with their Cambridge colleagues, where they discussed fellowships, married fellows, clerical fellows, and scholarships.75 The bulk of its business would deal with the colleges. By sections 8±10 of the Oxford University Act, their statutes were to be discussed and ®nalized by a joint body of Commissioners and fellows. Colleges were granted until 31 December 1878 to submit `resolutions' for revised statutes for consideration by the Commissioners. Thereafter new statutes would be drawn up by a group consisting of a minimum of four Commissioners, plus two or three members of the governing body, referred to as commissioners but not able to outvote their of®cial counterparts.76 While waiting for college resolutions, the ®rst of which would, of course, act as precedents for subsequent statute drafting, the Commissioners intended to consider whatever proposals for University organization and activities were submitted to them, subject to the fact that, where funding was concerned, they would be able to act only when they had an overall view of the college position. Proposals and memorials soon started to come in. On 20 March 1878 140 Liberal MPs, with Gladstone's support, had sent a memorial in favour of a shorter period of residence, as something which could ease the doubts and purses of middle-class parents, and correspondents pressed for an opinion with regard to the vexed question of medical education.77 In July Merton put forward a scheme for a chair in English Language and Literature, and later in that month Wadham became the ®rst college to submit the resolutions for its new statutes. They were approved by the Commissioners on 8 August. Wadham moved early perhaps because it was a liberal college. Warden Grif®ths was a Liberal and the majority of the fellows seem to have been similarly inclined (the college showed an overall majority for H. J. S. Smith in the Burgess election of November 1878).78 Although Balliol submitted its actual statutes in early March 1879, and consideration of these was brisk, they had already been amended in 1871. Wadham may well have been 75 Oxford University Commissioners under the Act of 1877, Minutes of Meetings, 7 Nov. 1878, 2 July 1879. OUA WP 17/15±16. Gordon was another who hardly outlived the Commission (d. 1883). 76 An Act to make Further Provision respecting the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, 40 and 41 Vict. c. 48, sections 8±10. 77 Commissioners' Minutes, 20 Mar. 1878. See Pt 1, 576±8. 78 Minutes, 10, 25 July, and 8 Aug. 1878. Like New College, All Souls, and Merton (see p. 16 above), Wadham had been left by the ®rst reform with no obligation to elect clerical fellows.

from the cleveland commission to 1882


foregrounded by the Commissioners as an example of what a full-scale revision entailed.79 The Wadham draft statutes were considered, the three college commissioners being present, on four days between 21 February and 5 March 1880. They ran to thirty pages and consisted of sixteen clauses. The ®rst seven dealt with the Foundation and its membership: I vested the constitution in the Warden and Fellows, II and III speci®ed the quali®cations, mode of election, and income of each of these, IV applied such criteria to Scholars, V related to (optional) Divine Service, and VI and VII to the Of®cers and Government, powers to make by-laws, and required majorities. The next ®ve concerned ®nance: VIII dealt with trusts founded before 1837, IX with current funds for tuition, exhibitions, pensions, etc., X with the University chair (Experimental Philosophy) which Wadham undertook to ®nance, XI with the building fund, and XII with the management of estates and property. The next four clauses covered the provisions by which the foregoing could be abrogated: XIII through the Visitor, XIV through the University, and XV through the college (i.e. in regard to suspending fellowships). Clause XVI repealed all the existing statutes. The fate of the headship, which at Wadham had £1,400 settled on it, was symbolic of the course taken by an otherwise rather conservative body of Commissioners. What had been, save at Merton, a prosperous clerical bene®ce (it could still pay £1,000 to £1,800 a year, not much less than a Cabinet Minister) was laicized but not given any educational or research function.80 This happened in all colleges save (for obvious reasons) Christ Church, whose dean was also dean of the Cathedral, and Pembroke, which was too poor to lose the associated canonry at Gloucester. The fellowship question was more contentious. Wadham had fourteen in 1878; these were to be reduced to ten and could be further reduced to eight. This would leave ®ve or six `Of®cial Fellows' and three `Ordinary Fellows'. All members of the `New Foundation' would receive a ®xed fellowship stipend of £200 a year, plus rooms and a 2s 6d daily allowance towards Common Table. This replaced a ¯uctuating dividend on college income (which in 1878 varied between £350 at Lincoln and £200 at Pembroke). The Of®cial Fellows would have tenure beyond seven years because of their University or college duties.81 The `Ordinary'Ðci-devant prizeÐfellows were denied this longer tenure; they could be elected only after the fellows on the old foundation had died off; in 1886 there were still ®ve of these left, aged between 50 and 70, so effectively prize fellows could no longer be elected.82 The issue of 79 Minutes, 12 Mar. 1879. The revision of Balliol's statutes was completed on 26 Oct. 1880, subject to `further consideration of certain reserved clauses' if necessary. 80 Statutes (1882), 661±4; Commissioners' Minutes for 25 July. 81 Statutes (1882), 664±70. 82 List from Calendar, 1886.


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scholarships saw practically a complete victory for the conservatives, and for the system established by the 1854 Commission, against the Pattisonian line that they should be used to endow research. There was to be an `Exhibition fund', to support undergraduates `in need', and a new pensions fund, largely supplied through the sale of advowsons.83 (Pensions of £250±£300 were to be awarded to Of®cial Fellows after twenty-®ve years' service as lecturer, tutor, or bursar).84 Such new funds were supplemented by a speci®c tuition fund, to pay the Of®cial Fellows who held tutorships of the college their tutorial stipends; and a building fund. Pending the completion of a formal system of University contributions, an annual supplement of £200 would go to the Professor of Experimental Philosophy as well as his fellowship.85 In this way a broadly comparable system of accountancy would replace the annual cake which the fellows (as co-proprietors, resembling pre-1835 borough councillors rather than anything to do with education) had cut for themselves. The Wadham statutes may have served as a paradigm because they were relatively straightforward and the college was very small (sixteenth out of twenty in terms of both income and student numbers).86 Matters got much more complicated when the number of fellows was far out of proportion to student needs (as with Magdalen and New College), when a large number of scholarships were tied to a nation or region with a mind of its own (as with Jesus and Queen's), and when considerable revenue surpluses might possibly accrue for University purposes.87 By late 1880 the Commissioners were locked in a complex lawsuit with the Welsh parties to the Meyricke bequest which funded scholarships at Jesus, an issue which played a notable part in stimulating Welsh academic nationalism. The legal action continued after Jesus's statutes were approved, on 29 November 1880, and indeed outlasted the Commissioners themselves.88 The lawsuit was handed over, with the rest of the Commission's legal business, to the Treasury Solicitor.89 The younger Jesus dons mutinously continued, albeit in Welsh, the Mazzinian radicalism of the 1860s from which their seniors were generally in retreat. After the beginning of 1879 the Commission's activities shifted into a different and, as matters turned out, a dif®cult stage. Consideration of resolutions and drafts of college statutes continued. There could be a long interval between consideration of draft statutes and communication of the ®nal version to the Privy Council. In Balliol's case, for instance, the statutes 83 Commissioners' Minutes, 2 Aug. 1878. For Wadham's business with the Commissioners after 5 Mar. 1880, see Minutes 17, 21 Apr., 8 Dec. 1880, 30, 31 Mar. 1881. 84 Statutes (1882), 681. 85 Ibid. Qs 679±80; 682; 682±3. 86 Financial Returns of University of Oxford, cited in Whitaker's Almanack, 1880. 87 See Commissioners' Minutes, 31 Oct. 1879 et seq. 88 See also Kenneth O. Morgan, Wales in British Politics (Cardiff, 1966), 47±9. 89 Minutes, 8 July 1881.

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®rst considered between 1 and 12 March 1879 were not sent forward until 28 April 1881.90 Other colleges managed these processes at variable speeds. Not all were like Pembroke, for whose last, brisk `revision day' (after earlier consideration on the 6, 12, and 13 March 1880) the Commission recorded in the minutes of 9 March 1881: `Two of the Commissioners representing Pembroke College, Prof. Barth. Price and Mr Barton, attended, and the revision of the Statutes of that College was begun and brought to an end, subject if necessary to the further revision of certain clauses.'91 Two problems were involved in this period. The ®rst stemmed from the requirement, contained in Clause 31 of the Act, that all college statutes containing `provisions relative to the University' would go to the Hebdomadal Council, at which forum the possible level of college contributions for University purposes would be determined. Connected with this was the second element, the elucidation of resources liable for such purposes within collegiate income. Both proved contentious, particularly since agricultural incomes were now falling. J. R. Magrath's history of Queen's makes patent the sharp clashes between the Commissioners and the college representatives, who included himself, over property valuations, fellowships, and scholarships, which dragged on from March 1879 to July 1881.92 The background to this was concern about the agricultural dif®culties encountered by 1880. Although, as J. P. D. Dunbabin points out, these were not as catastrophic as many believed at the time, they destroyed the climate of con®dence. By January 1881 ®fteen colleges, in the shape of their commissioners, were pressing for discussions about their burden, which fell exclusively on external income.93 Moreover, among the more Liberal element in the University there can have been little inducement for urging the Commissioners towards a quick settlement. By late 1878, the more political dons realized what Gathorne Hardy already feared in 1877. `Possibly,' he wrote after the Universities Bill's Second Reading, `our decadence is beginning.'94 The laurels Disraeli (by now Lord Beacons®eld) won at Berlin in 1878 withered in the following year in Afghanistan and South Africa; shortly Gladstone would be addressing tens of thousands of enthusiastic Scots. The Liberals were coming back, and with them such academic MPs as Bryce, Thorold Rogers, C. S. Parker, and Roundell, who would make it their business to check whatever gains the Church party might have made, and insist on such reforms as a drastic reduction in clerical fellowships. It was also likely that Selborne would go back on the Woolsack, and thus enable the Commission to be shifted to 90 91 92 93 94

Minutes, 12 Mar. 1879; 28 Apr. 1881. See n. 79 above. Minutes, 9 Mar. 1881. J. R. Magrath, The Queen's College (2 vols 1921), ii. 199±202. Pt 1, 401±9. Hardy, Diary, 309 (entry for 2 Mar. 1877).


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a more Liberal position before it came to consider the statutes for professors and examinations. Parliament was dissolved on 24 March 1880, and by the time that Gladstone's triumph in Midlothian was announced on 5 April 1880 the general election had given the Liberals a majority. The last meeting Selborne chaired was on 29 April, and on 28 September he formally resigned, the new member named a month later being G. G. Bradley, the Liberal Master of University.95 This change in personnel had a direct effect on the constitutions of the more conservative colleges, such as Magdalen, St John's, and Christ Church, whose draft statutes envisaged a number of clerical fellowships. On 5 July 1880 Roundell presented a petition against these, signed by 131 residents, including six heads of houses, ®fteen professors, and seventy-two fellows, and went on, with Bryce, to move their total abolition in the Commons.96 Although they did not succeed in carrying their resolutions, its terms were conveyed to the Commission which, by a majority of only one, cut the clerical quota at Magdalen down to two, at St John's to two, and at Christ Church to three.97 The Commissioners were by that date well into the consideration of University development and its funding. On 23 June 1880 the issues of Unattached students, a visitatorial board, public teaching, and the professoriate had been tabled, and the resulting draft statutes were laid before the Hebdomadal Council by November. The Council's response was critical, particularly of the stress on teaching rather than research in professors' duties and of the vagueness about ®nance for the new facilities. This indicated a con®dence in its ability to in¯uence the Commissioners and, indeed, the ®nal settlement re¯ected many of the University's recommendations.98 This was hammered out between 13 January 1881, when the issue of `taxation of colleges' was ®rst considered, and 10 February, when the business moved on to the Visitatorial Board, the proposed Faculty Boards, and University readers.99 By 3 March statutes for all these had been revised and sent to the Hebdomadal Council, although in the meantime `taxation' had modulated to `College Contributions for University purposes' to be paid into a new Common University Fund.100 These were to be assessed on net revenue. A basic 2 per cent levy would be payable by all colleges from 1 January 1883. From 1885 a graduated income tax would also take effect by instalments over ®fteen years, colleges with £5,000 (such as Trinity, Lincoln, 95

Minutes, 29 Apr.; 5, 27 Oct. 1880. Parl. Deb. 9 July 1880, ccliv. 102; Campbell, Nationalisation, 211. At Christ Church not fellowships, but Studentships. 97 Ward, Victorian Oxford, 312. 98 Minutes, 23 June 1880; Gazette, 17 Dec. 1880, xi. 68±70; 173±6. 99 Minutes, 13 Jan. and 10 Feb. 1881. 100 Minutes, 24 Feb., 3 Mar. 1881. 96

from the cleveland commission to 1882


Balliol, University, Oriel) per year eventually paying £100; those with £15,000 (Queen's, St John's, Merton) paying £1,000, and two with £24,000 (Christ Church, Magdalen) paying £4,000. Out of these contributions would come resources for the professoriate, and for research and laboratory facilities, freeing the University's existing funds for a building programme.101 It had, however, become evident by 1879 that agricultural depression was falsifying Alfred Robinson's con®dent forecasts. The new chairman, Mountague Bernard, was unable to estimate likely available income, given the decline in rents and continuing loan charges.102 Cash payments by the colleges to the University probably represented between 7 and 8 per cent of its general revenue account income in 1884 and 16 per cent in 1913; but total college payments for `University purposes'Ðmostly to professors and the like in ful®lment of the college taxation schemeÐwere signi®cantly larger, the equivalent of 39 per cent and 54 per cent of this general revenue, though (being directly made) they mostly bypassed the University's accounts. Their increase did, at least, far outweigh the decline in revenue from the Press.103 Arthur Engel, in his study of the profession of tutor in Oxford, From Clergyman to Don, writes that `The Commission of 1877 took as its primary task the reallocation of endowment income to establish an academic profession for college tutors.'104 This judgement seems to distort the priorities as they were conceived and proclaimed at the time. While he is right to dismiss the `Endowment of Research' party as inconsistent, inept, and unin¯uential, it is dif®cult to attribute consistency to the Commissioners, and easier to see them pushed off course by circumstances. In particular, the replacement of Grove by Osborne Gordon, a Conservative and a highly respected former Oxford tutor, may well have shifted the Commissioners away from the natural sciences, and the sort of endowment they would have required, towards the traditional college system. Yet the outcome was scarcely satisfactory to Gordon, who wrote bitterly to Salisbury that `I was taken out of my place, and under the circumstances, I cannot help feeling that I have been marked down for contempt.'105 Some contemporary observers at least thought the Commissioners' decisions incoherent. As two college tutors wrote anonymously in an open letter in December 1880: `The Commissioners are with one hand creating a system of University teaching, which implies . . . that the collegiate instruction of undergraduates is a very subordinate element in the work of a university; with the other they sanction the 101

40 and 41 Vict. c 48, sect. 16 (1); Statutes (1882), 110. Mountague Bernard, A Letter to the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone on the Statutes of the University of Oxford Commission (1882), 13. 103 Pt 1, Appendix 12.1, 432±5. 104 Engel, 200. 105 Osborne Gordon to Salisbury, 29 Aug. 1881, Salisbury MSS. 102


`a secularized university'?

establishment of a collegiate organization on a scale which nothing but the absence of all other teaching could justify.'106 It is perhaps more satisfactory to see the Commission as caught up in a political situation which none of the parties involved could hope to control. In this case, as in so many others, intentions cannot be inferred from effects. The Liberals, who were now in a majority in most of the colleges, were very suspicious of at least one aspect of its ostensibly non-interventionist policy. Jowett criticized it in 1879 for letting each college `do as they liked' about clerical fellowships, and `settle the matter by a chance majority'. He saw this as dividing the University into clerical and anti-clerical colleges. `When the colleges are nearly divided,' he added, `the Commission appears to throw its weight into the clerical side.'107 Jowett and the clerical conservatives had University extension in common, when the term `extension' is used in its older and wider sense, and on that basis, by 1877, they had reached a sort of modus vivendi. Jowett wanted a rationalization of endowments to enable colleges to acquire indigent but intelligent young men to leaven his aristocratic clients.108 The conservatives could claim that, if they had not held the University, they were still entrenched in some wealthy colleges, and had added Hertford and the large new foundation of Keble, by 1881 the third largest college in the University.109 The consequence was that the University element in the Commission's activities was pushed to the back of the timetable, and was ®nally undertaken against a depressing background of falling rents. The resulting statutes, on Faculty Boards, professors, and Examination Boards, seem to have been cursorily drafted and and redrafted. The Faculty Boards were made responsible for lecture timetabling and elections of delegates to examining boards and the Common University Fund, but little more. The professors were committed to a schedule of forty-two public lectures a year, regardless of the nature of their subject. This combined the worst features of the Scottish system (though too few undergraduates ever turned up to cause the uproar which frequently occurred in Edinburgh or Glasgow) with the continuation of professorial impotence. Students were not compelled to attend professorial lectures, as Edward Freeman found when he returned to Oxford as Regius Professor of History in 1884.110 Hensley Henson, the founder in the same year of the in¯uential Stubbs Society, had never actually attended any of Stubbs's lectures.111 Through the creation of committees to nominate 106 [H. F. Pelham and W. W. Jackson], A Few Words on the Proposals of the Oxford University Commission, by Two College Tutors (1880). 107 Quoted in Campbell, Nationalisation, 211: date not given. 108 See Peter Hinchliff, Benjamin Jowett and the Christian Religion (1987), 146. For the changing connotations of `extension' see Ch. 1 n. 108 above. 109 Calendar 1881; Ward, Victorian Oxford, 266±7. 110 W. R. W. Stephens, Life and Letters of E. A. Freeman, (2 vols 1895), ii. 278ff. 111 Owen Chadwick, Hensley Henson (1983), 28.

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examiners, an issue on which much of the University thought that the Commission had exerted powers which were ultra vires, the professors gained a slightly greater say in the curriculum, but the weight of in¯uence still rested with the college tutors.112 The Commissioners' one attempt to turn the professoriate into a really signi®cant element in the University's teaching proved abortive. By the terms of draft statutes promulgated on 2 November 1880 each professor had to be `ready to give private instruction to such students . . . attending his lectures who might desire to receive it . . . and . . . to test [their] knowledge'. These tutorials were to be given without charge to students of the college (if any) supporting the costs of the chair. For other tutorials he might charge a fee to be ®xed by University statute. At the end of each term he was to examine those who had attended his lectures; and college heads would have the right to require a report from him on their students' performances in this new examination. The Faculty Board was given authority to vet his lectures and a new Visitatorial Board was to be established and empowered to `admonish' him if he defaulted on any of these duties and to deprive him of of®ce if the default should be serious.113 The resulting outcry was immediate and general. Oxford's professors, The Times thundered on 9 November, `are to be . . . subjected to restrictions which the humblest privatdocent in a German university would repudiate as fatal alike to his independence and self-respect'.114 The professors were outraged, and seventy-four college tutors, signing a memorial, wanted it made clear that it was `not part of a professor's statutable duty to give separate instruction to individuals'.115 In their comments sent to the Commission on 14 December the Hebdomadal Council echoed these objections and produced redrafting suggestions. The Commissioners retreated: their new draft, published on 8 March 1881, followed the Council's line. A professor was now merely required `to give to students attending his ordinary lectures assistance . . . by advice, by informal instruction, by occasional or periodical examination, and otherwise, as he might judge . . . expedient'. The Faculty Board was restricted to making `recommendations' about a professor's lectures.116 The Commissioners escaped humiliation by securing their new system of nominating committees for examiners. Here the diehards gave con¯icting messages. Many Oxford residents saw the old system, whereby the ViceChancellor and Proctors made the nominations, as a safeguard for the rights 112 See `Case and Opinion concerning Nomination of Examiners' in Gazette, 10 June 1881, xi. 510±11. 113 Gazette, 2 Nov. 1880, xi. 68±73. 114 The Times, 9 Nov. 1880, 9c. 115 Ibid. 8 Dec., 6c±d. 116 Gazette, 17 Dec. 1880, xi. 173±6; 8 Mar. 1881, xi. 286±95.


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of colleges. Oblivious of the newer subjects, they argued that the old system had helped in creating the renown of Greats.117 Salisbury's position was the reverse of this. He wanted the Faculty Board to be kept out of nominating to save Greats from still further immersion in in®del philosophy.118 When the Commission had ®nished its work Mountague Bernard explained to the Premier: `A professoriate at Oxford works under some peculiar disadvantages, from which, while the colleges exist, it can never be entirely free.'119

the secular university? In May 1880 John Henry Newman alighted from the broad-gauge train at Oxford's Great Western Station and made a triumphal return to the university he had once convulsed. One of his former High Church followers, the Reverend Frederick Meyrick, commented: At dinner his health was given by Professor Bryce who congratulated Newman on having brought about a state of theological liberalism or indifferentism in Oxford, the one thing which from the beginning of his life to its end he abhorred . . . It was his own enemies, whom he had fought aÁ outrance, and whose principles he hated now from the bottom of his heart, who ¯ocked round him as their champion, and thanked him for what he had done in demolishing the power of the Church of England in Oxford.120

Oxford was now de®nitely `lost to the Church of England'. The clerical fellows who had given it its character were reduced to a beleaguered, ageing minority. Yet did the victory rest with such energetic, secularizing dons as Professor Bryce, now approaching middle age butÐat lastÐoccupying a safe Liberal seat since the April general election? Another revenant from the 1840s, Principal Shairp of St Andrews, one of the Arnoldian Broad Churchmen who had fought Newman and his followers, noted that not Liberalism but `aestheticism was just now rife in Oxford.'121 It was at this stage dif®cult to avoid Oscar Wilde, but his style was derived from the lectures of Ruskin as Slade Professor of Fine Art from 1869, which found a place for catholicism in a way unacceptable to veteran Liberals. The Rector of Lincoln felt himself under attack both from this `socialism and sacerdotalism' and from the Selborne Commission, which after the failure of his initiatives, he did his best to ignore: `I only served to give a decent appearance to the light-handed proceedings of the Commission who treated me and our college with 117

N. 112 above and Petition to Privy Council, Sect. 30: Bodl. G. A. Oxon. 80 c.107(76). Ch. 1, n. 307 above. 119 Bernard, Letter to Gladstone, 24. 120 Frederick Meyrick, Memories (1905), 26. For an earlier expression of liberal admiration for Newman see Goldwin Smith, Plea for the Abolition of Tests (1864), 56n. 121 William Knight, Principal Shairp and his Friends (1888), 336. For Shairp's election to the Professorship of Poetry see pp. 38±9 above. 118

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supreme contempt, taking at the same time all they could squeeze out of us for their claptrap professors.'122 Pattison was to die of cancer in 1884, visited on his deathbed by the Cardinal, but there was no conversion. His last testament, the Memoirs dictated to his niece, was to provide Oxford rationalism's pendant to the Apologia: the record of a pilgrimage into doubt. The last irony was that his wife, Emilia Francis, locked to the ageing scholar in circumstances so painful they were said to have inspired Dorothea Casaubon's predicament in George Eliot's Middlemarch, went on to marry her apparently platonic companion, Sir Charles Dilke MP, the most vociferous critic of `endowment of research' in the debates of 1876.123 A heroic age seemed to have come to an end in the early 1880s. Pusey died in 1882; now Pattison was gone. That religious issues remained important was shown by the University Press publication of the Revised Version of the New Testament in May 1881, which `Bat' Price made into the publishing event of the centuryÐa million copies were despatched on publication day, 17 May. At the end of the decade, in 1889, Oxford Idealist philosophy was wedded to the social commitment of the revived High Church in Lux Mundi. But religion was no longer institutionally central to the life of Oxford. Liddon saw rightly that the reassurance from Tait cited in the last chapter did not meet this point. In another twenty-®ve years, he gloomed to his old opponent Max MuÈller, `the Church, already a very feeble and discredited force in the University, will be literally nowhere.'124 What faith now ruled? Three deaths in the early part of the decade seemed to indicate another terminus. In 1882 T. H. Green died; in the following year his young disciple, Arnold Toynbee, and the hard-working committee man Henry Smith. `It does indeed seem as if all that was characteristic and great in Oxford were dying out, and there were nothing to take its place,' Green's biographer R. L. Nettleship wrote to Bryce in 1883, thanking him for a donation to Smith's memorial fund.125 Benjamin Jowett, who had become Vice-Chancellor by rotation in 1882, had the task of commemorating pupils whose radical energies mightÐhad they been given the chanceÐhave gravely embarrassed him. Oxford's commemoration took the explicit form of an engagement in the task of social reconciliation, given urgency by revelations of the dangerous situation in the East End of London by Andrew Mearns and Samuel Barnett in 1883. The result was the founding of Toynbee Hall in Whitechapel in 1884: if the movement to establish the Museum in the Parks three decades earlier had been Oxford's attempt to come to terms with the revolution in the natural sciences, Toynbee Hall, was to provide a much 122

Quoted in Green, Lincoln, 474; his evidence is in UOC (1877), 255±9. LDN xxx. 282±93. See also John Sparrow, Mark Pattison and the Idea of a University (1967), 9ff. 124 Liddon to Max MuÈller, 21 Dec. 1882, Max MuÈller MSS, Bodl. MS Eng. c. 2806/1 fo. 88. 125 R. L. Nettleship to Bryce, 2 Mar. 1883, Bodl. MS Bryce 110 fo. 105. 123


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more ef®cient laboratory for its involvement in democratic politics and collective reform.126 Where the young Alfred Milner went, William Beveridge and Clement Attlee would in due course follow, but this solution to Oxford's political problems still left the question of the content of Oxford education open, and far from satisfactory. The middle path taken by the Selborne Commissioners on the academic issues did not arouse the enthusiasm of a Balliol philosophy tutor still in his thirties who, besides being devoted to T. H. Green's memory, was the younger brother of a leading `Endower of Research'. R. L. Nettleship's letter to Bryce went on: I have just been reading your article on the universities in the Fortnightly. You have expressed very much of what I feel, and what I believe a good many people here feel, as well as outsiders. I am alternately inspired by the thought of our magni®cent opportunities and crushed by the weight of our otiose traditions. Whenever one tries to move a hand, one seems to be hampered by innumerable threads, each contemptible in itself but collectively as strong as iron. I feel the evils, they strike one in the face at every turnÐbut living in the midst of them, and almost on them, it is very hard to get a point of departure from which to attack them. A few of us are trying to bring about a little personal cooperation in teaching. Combination by colleges is almost a failure but individuals might do something, and unless they do do something we shall have the worst results of the college systems strengthened and intensi®ed.127

Bryce had tried, in several addresses and articles, to go back to basics and establish a number of propositions about the role of universities in a democracy, something brought home to him by his research for The American Commonwealth, which was to appear in 1888. In the USA the universities were one of the most potent and bene®cient agencies in developing the intellectual life of the nation, making it by far the most generally cultivated and active-minded community of the modern world, in enabling it to work, on the whole successfully, a very democratic system of local institutions.128

But if this function was accepted, it implied de®ning the university de novo, as a body of persons teaching the highest knowledge, that knowledge which is of most worth to man, either because it deals with their highest interests, appeals to their noblest feelings, evokes their ®nest powers, or because it is at the root of their practical achievements, forms the basis of their control of Nature, supplies the 126 See Asa Briggs and Anne Macartney, Toynbee Hall: The First Hundred Years (1984), 4ff, and pp. 670±4 below. 127 R. L. Nettleship to Bryce, 2 Mar. 1883, MS Bryce 110 fos 105±6. For Bryce's Fortnightly article see p. 53 above. Nettleship's attitude to inter-collegiate schemes was more characteristic of a Greats tutor than of a modern historian. 128 James Bryce, `An Ideal University', Contemporary Review, xlv (June 1884), 846.

from the cleveland commission to 1882


explanations of the phenomena of their own life, guides them in the path of moral and social advancement . . . Every branch of knowledge which can be treated in a scienti®c manner, reduced to order and expounded as a body of correlated principles is proper for a university.129

Oxford had only begun, during the 1870s, to measure up to this, with passmen being chased away from the more progressive colleges, such as Balliol, Corpus, New, and University. The generation matriculating in the mid-sixties had brought an important change. From the time that they quali®ed for their degrees those taking honours outnumbered the pass degree men decisively.130 Numbers matriculating had gone up by a third, and there had been some innovation as regards the subjects taken by the reading men. Yet the `arts' subjectsÐGreats, jurisprudence, modern history, and theologyÐcontinued to account for 86.4 per cent of all honours awarded in 1880, a situation which ®gures like Jowett could be expected to defend with unyielding tenacity.131 In 1870 the Hebdomadal Council, now with a Liberal majority, abandoned the last vestige of the system under which Lit. Hum. had to be combined with another subject to give the quali®cation for a degree. From 1872 there were honours schools in Greats, Modern History, Law, Theology, Mathematics, and Natural Sciences. Effectively this con®rmed the domination of the humanities. The Boards of Studies had been made up of the relevant professors and an equivalent number of college tutors. These had settled such matters as prescribed books and special subjects, but had not nominated the examiners.132 The Selborne Commission took this cryptofaculty organization and converted it into four actual (but in terms of undergraduate numbers, grossly unequal) facultiesÐTheology, Law, Natural Science, and Arts. Examiners were to be nominated on an honour schools basis by a committee consisting of the Vice-Chancellor, the two Proctors (the trio who had traditionally exercised this power), and three members elected by the Faculty Boards. This induced Salisbury (now out of ministerial of®ce) to rally the Conservatives in the Lords in 1882 for a ®nal protest. Revealing the fears about Greats which have already been outlined, he argued that the change would transfer power from the colleges to the professoriate, but failed to overturn the new statute by thirteen votes.133 In the event the in¯uence of the professors was so indirect, and the faculty structure so remote from the actuality of Oxford studies (with the Faculty of 129

Ibid. 839. Pt 1, 360 (Fig. 11.1). For a complicating factor in the calculation see ibid. 352±3. Some of the matriculation increase came from the unattached (non-collegiate) students, who tended until 1882 to perform less strongly than the members of most colleges. 131 See pp. 65±6 above. 132 C. H. Firth, The Faculties and their Powers (1909), 6. 133 Ward, Victorian Oxford, 309; p. 57 above. 130


`a secularized university'?

Arts containing nearly two-thirds of the Honours candidates) that the new nominating procedure brought no great change. Lord Francis Hervey, a Tory MP, asked for a return in 1876, showing when professors lectured and what audiences they got. The results were at best mediocre. The stars were Acland and Ruskin, who could draw a hundred or more, chie¯y `the bonnets'Ð female audiencesÐwhom the latter affected to despise; the divines of Christ Church averaged 45, the lawyers 30, the classicists 21, and the scientists 18. The rest gained negligible audiences.134 `The inde®nite extension of the professoriate', might not have had all the consequences Hervey had predictedÐ` . . . a number of luxurious residences, children in perambulators wheeled about in the Parks, picnics in Bagley Wood, carriages, champagne, and the abandonment of celibacy and of culture'.135 The modest extension of the professoriate actually achieved was no more effective than had been expected. In the early 1870s Salisbury had been able to present the Oxford Greats tutor to his party as a Positivistic radical bogeyman, a variant of the `wild man of the cloister' whom his chief had sketched in Lothair, and who was generally supposed to be Goldwin Smith.136 Episodes such as the compulsory Greek deÂbaÃcle in 1880, mentioned in the last chapter (p. 65), countered the Salisburian caricatures and the efforts of romantic novelists, and restored an image of tetchy conservatism, more than con®rmed by the split in the Liberal ranks over Gladstone's policy of Irish Home Rule in 1886. That made Goldwin Smith himself a ®re-eating Unionist, like most of his donnish contemporaries, only more so.137 By the late 1880s the tutors would be seen as harassed, greying men who had settled down to a rota of prodding undergraduates through the necessary exercises for the BA, making sure their energies were kept hygenically exhausted in college sports, and their debts within reason.138 Informal progress was still possible, but had shifted away from the University mainstream, towards issues like extension, social work, and women's education. In the last case voluntary efforts, supported not only by Liberals but by High Churchmen, had steadily developed during the 1870s, to the stage where two Halls, Somerville and Lady Margaret, were opened at the beginning of Michaelmas Term, 1879. At one level this development was bound to happen, as the new generation of secular dons married and raised families in the Gothic Revival villas which began to spread along the Woodstock and Banbury RoadsÐmuch to the bene®t of St John's. At another, the competition from 1884 between bright female stu134

See PP 1876 lix. 331±50. Parl. Deb. 12 June 1876, ccxxix. 1735. For this debate see p. 77 above. 136 Parl. Deb. cciii. 196±232; and see Charles Oman, On the Writing of History (1939), 233, and Benjamin Disraeli, Lothair (1870; ed. V. Bogdanor 1975), 77, 379. 137 See C. T. Harvie, The Lights of Liberalism (1976), ch. 9. 138 On `teaching drudgery', see Engel, 269±72, and pp. 359±60 below. 135

from the cleveland commission to 1882


dents and the undistinguished mass of Oxford men might have led to invidious comparisons being made. The fact that women could not matriculate, so that Oxford honours results were published separately for women and men, all classes being listed in alphabetical and not merit order, allowed male amour propre to be preserved.139 On 24 February 1888 there was published, in an edition of only 500 copies, a novel by one of the young dons' wives who had played a central role in setting up Somerville Hall. Mary Augusta Ward, granddaughter of Thomas Arnold of Rugby, ®rst secretary to Somerville and one of that harem of young women who had, rather unhealthily, hovered around the Pattison meÂnage, wrote Robert Elsmere to commemorate the theological struggles of the generation which had died with Green and Pattison. `A tremendous book' was the verdict of her uncle, Matthew Arnold, on the eve of his own unexpected death.140 Gladstone joined in with a lengthy and penetrating review in the Nineteenth Century in May, regretting the fact that Mrs Ward had so stacked the cards in favour of Elsmere's rationalist religion that `a great creed, with the testimony of eighteen centuries at its back, cannot ®nd an articulate word to say in its defence.'141 By the end of the year sales in Britain were running at 4,000 a month, while 200,000 had been sold in the United States in the ®rst year of (largely pirated) publication.142 But to Henry Sidgwick, struggling against the ebbing of the reform tide at Cambridge, the book was a study of the past, not a forecast for the future.143 It was a matter for ironic re¯ection that American homesteaders were, for the sum of four cents, treated to an account of the battle of belief in midVictorian Oxford, by an intelligent and dynamic woman whose sex disquali®ed her from taking part in the life of the University.144 Yet those homesteaders, had they persevered with Mrs Ward's less than alluring prose, would probably have acquired more knowledge of Oxford's intellectual life than ever came the way of the mass of undergraduates, the sons of `Verdant Green', the fathers of the `good eggs' of Compton Mackenzie's Sinister Street, trampling across muddy football pitches, or sweating along the Isis in the darkening cold of a November afternoon, before sherry and dinner in Hall. The voice of the schoolmasterÐor the dominieÐmight have been heard in the land, but the young barbarians were still at play. 139

Vera Brittain, The Women at Oxford (1960), chs 2±4. See also pp. 257±8, 265. Basil Willey, `How Robert Elsmere struck some contemporaries' in Essays and Studies (1957), 56; John Sutherland, Mrs Humphry Ward (1990). 141 Willey, 64; Nineteenth-Century, xxiii. 769. Mrs Ward had been obliged to cut most of Elsmere's defence of his Anglicanism: Sutherland, 121. 142 Ibid. 57; and see William S. Peterson, Victorian Heretic: Mrs Humphry Ward's `Robert Elsmere' (Leicester University Press, 1976), esp. ch. 4. 143 Henry Sidgwick, diary-letter to J. A. Symonds, 6 Aug. 1888, Sidgwick MSS, Trinity College, Cambridge. 144 Appendix B of Victorian Heretic, 121±2, details the sales of Robert Elsmere, without con®rming Willey's four-cents story, but records of pirated editions are inevitably incomplete. 140




3 Religious Issues, 1870±1914 peter hinchliff In the 1860s and 1870s `catholic' and `liberal' Anglicanism in Oxford had been represented by Edward Bouverie Pusey and Benjamin Jowett respectively, on opposing sides of virtually every religious issue which disturbed the university. Each was, in his own way, a frightening opponent.1 Pusey was always absolutely unyielding on any point where the truth, once delivered to the Saints, was at issue. Jowett, though a reluctant religious disputant, was an equally determined ®ghter for the truth arrived at by free enquiry. Pusey died in the autumn of 1882 and was succeeded as Professor of Hebrew by S. R. Driver, a moderate critical scholar. Admired and loved though Pusey had been, he was a survival from an earlier generation and his death removed a powerful conservative force. That Jowett became ViceChancellor almost as Pusey died might have meant the triumph of liberal theology in Oxford, but the of®ce seems to have diverted his attention to other matters. Frederick Temple's Bampton Lectures on science and religion, which made Darwin's hypothesis respectable in the Church of England,2 were delivered in 1884 yet the biography of Jowett by Abbott and Campbell contains no reference to them. One gets the impression that much of the heat had gone out of the old controversies. The creation of a theology school had been one of them. As early as March 1848 Jowett and A. P. Stanley had published, but anonymously, a pamphlet which argued that any projected reform of the University should include the creation of such a school.3 They pleaded, in a phrase which Jowett was later to make notorious in Essays and Reviews, for a syllabus that would treat the Bible `like any other book' and thus revitalize theology. But Pusey was opposed to any such proposal: theology was too sacred to be studied simply academically. He objected not only to the critical study of the Bible but also 1

108. 2

A. Livesley, `Regius Professor of Hebrew', in P. Butler (ed.), Pusey Rediscovered (1983),

O. Chadwick, The Victorian Church, Part II (1970), 23. Suggestions for an Improvement of the Examination Statute, and see Campbell, Nationalisation, 74. 3



`a secularized university'?

to the history of dogma, since the existence of such a subject seemed to imply that the faith had not been unchanged through the ages.4 In the 1860s, however, they had both shifted their positions. Pusey still regarded Jowett as an embarrassing heretic.5 But the liberals were losing ground and he was con®dent that the supremacy of conservatives would ensure that teaching and examining would be in the hands of the orthodox. So he began to support the introduction of a theology school and it was Jowett's turn to argue that theology was too sacred a subject for examination.6 To Jowett, therefore, the creation of the school in 1870 had seemed to be a defeat, as his treatment of theology in his own college indicates. In the very year of Pusey's death he appointed W. H. Fremantle as chaplain and theology tutor at Balliol. Fremantle, a solemn and not always perceptive man, was an ardent admirer and former pupil of the Master's. He had turned down preferment elsewhere at Jowett's insistence, but his attempts to develop theology in the college were consistently snubbed.7 Though Fremantle never understood this, Jowett was sulking. He had appointed a liberal tutor to ensure that Balliol men should not be taught Tractarian theology. But he was also determined not to acknowledge publicly the existence of the school. It was only natural that, in its earliest phase, the school should re¯ect the conservatism of its creators. The emphasis was on knowledge of the subjectmatter of all the Pauline epistles as well as the four Gospels and Acts and of four books of the Old Testament. The other subjects were dogmatics (in 1873 the texts were the catechetical lectures of Cyril of Jerusalem, Irenaeus Adversus Haereses, III, the Articles, and the ®rst two books of the seventeenth-century Bishop Bull's Defensio Fidei Nicaenae); the history of the early Church; apologetics (Butler's Analogy, Tertullian's Apologia, and Book I of Hooker); liturgy (including the Book of Common Prayer as well as the ancient liturgies); and textual criticism. But for candidates not desiring `high honours' the examiners indicated that they would be content with much less than this.8 Most of the candidates in the honour school were Anglican ordination candidates: the information in the theology section of the University's handbook is clearly aimed at such men.9 The changed relationship between the University and the Church was the cause of this preponderance. Before the reforms, mere attendance at Oxford had been regarded as suf®cient formal training for clergymen if followed by a course of theological reading prescribed and tested by the bishop's examining chaplains. Now the theology 4

I. Ellis, `Pusey and University Reform', in Butler, Pusey Rediscovered, 300. BL Add. MS 44281, fos 218ff., Pusey to Gladstone, e.g. 13 Oct. 1869, fo 362. 6 Ward, Victorian Oxford, 250ff. 7 Recollections of Dean Fremantle, chie¯y by himself, edited by the Master of the Temple (1921), 102ff. 8 Handbook (1873), 156ff. 9 Handbook (1891), 186ff; Handbook (1913), 161f. 5

religious issues, 1870±1914


degree was regarded as a vocational quali®cation. At the same time the proportion of ordinands who had taken other schools was declining and colleges such as Keble with a signi®cant number of men reading theology were making good the general de®ciency. This is not to say that an Oxford degree in theology was very highly regarded. Bishops were more and more inclined to insist on a period at theological college and a publication which, though written by senior members, has something of the ¯avour of the modern Alternative Prospectus, claimed that: If a man has the faintest chance of obtaining a moderate class in Classics or Mathematics, he had better leave Theology alone, for the greater prestige and practical value of a class in Classics or Mathematics is well worth the slight extra work it will entail. The average man who takes up Theology aims at a Third Class, and generally gets it with a very moderate amount of work, perhaps an average of three or four hours a day.10

Statistics suggest that this advice would have been worth heeding. Of the eleven future Anglican bishops who read theology at Oxford in the 1880s, only two were to be English diocesans and one of those (Swayne of Lincoln) had a second in Greats before getting a ®rst in theology. The other nine became English suffragans or colonial, American, Scottish, or Welsh bishops. But no less than eight future diocesans at Oxford in the same decade (including Lang, William Temple, and Hensley Henson), did not read theology but took some other school (usually Greats or history). It is also the case that a surprisingly high number of Oxford theology graduates of the period obtained thirdsÐthough it has to be said that, in order to get a ®rst or second one had to have mastered Hebrew as well as Greek.11 The poor quality of the candidates is further suggested by the fact that in the summer of 1895 about 40 per cent of those reading theology failed the examination.12 In the early days the examination placed the same stress on factual knowledge as the statutes. A favourite question asked what urim and thummim were and how they were used. Candidates were asked to write about the geography of Palestine, the design and contents of Solomon's temple, and even `The private life and arrangements of St Paul during his journeys.'13 Apart from an occasional question which admitted doubt as to whether Paul had written the Epistle to the Hebrews, `higher' critical issues were ignored. 10 A. M. M. Stedman, Oxford: Its Life and Schools (1887), 335. The section on the theology school was written by `M', the only contributor not identi®ed in the preliminary pages of the book. 11 Stedman, Oxford, 335 12 H. Legge, `The Religion of the Undergraduate', Nineteenth Century, xxxviii (Nov. 1895), 861. 13 Examination papers of the Honour School of Theology, Trinity Term 1873, New Testament II, question 4.


`a secularized university'?

Such issues ®rst made an appearance in the apologetics paper and candidates were expected to refute the theories of the critics. In the examination set in Michaelmas Term 1874 no fewer than three questions required a knowledge of the arguments advanced by Dr W. H. Mill against a `mythical' interpretation of the Gospels. In the Trinity Term of the following year there was for the ®rst time a question about the relationship between the synoptic Gospels, and in 1879 a question in the Old Testament paper asked for the arguments for and against the Mosaic authorship of Exodus. Otherwise it was simply assumed that the Bible was to be understood in the most literal sense and that doctrine had been unaffected by historical development. Pusey's con®dence in the conservatives' ability to control the appointment of examiners seems to have been justi®ed in these years. In 1875 the examiners were Thomas Espin, Edmund Ffoulkes, John Nutt, and George Rawlinson. The ®rst two had been fellows of colleges twenty years before but Espin had become warden of the Queen's College in Birmingham and rector of Wallasey. Ffoulkes was rector of Wiggington and shortly to become vicar of the University Church. They were both therefore among the usually conservative non-resident clergy whom reformers thought to exercise far too much power in the University. (Ffoulkes had actually become a Roman Catholic in 1855 and had only recently been readmitted to the Church of England). Nutt, sub-librarian of the Bodleian, was primarily appointed to examine in the language papers. Rawlinson, the Professor of Ancient History, had delivered the Bampton Lectures of 1859 (the year of Darwin's Origin of Species and the year before Essays and Reviews) on the `truth of the Scripture records'. The impression of conservatism conveyed by the Schools' questions is therefore likely to re¯ect accurately the examiners' beliefs. It is less easy to classify the examiners of later years in terms of the conservative and liberal parties of the Church as those had been during the 1860s and 1870s. In 1882 the examiners were the eccentric but critical Old Testament scholar, T. K. Cheyne; the non-resident Edward Bernard; and the High Churchman, John Wordsworth, about to become the Oriel Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture. Wordsworth had produced a critical edition of the Vulgate but was very conservative in his approach to higher criticism. Nevertheless in this year candidates were invited to discuss whether the Fourth Gospel and the Apocalypse were by the same author,14 though they were also expected to be able to `disprove the proposition that a miracle is unworthy of God'.15 In the autumn examination of the same year they were asked to `deal with' objections to the Pauline authorship of certain 14 Examination papers of the Honour School of Theology, Trinity Term 1882, Apologetica II, question 1. 15 Ibid., Apologetica III, question 9.

religious issues, 1870±1914


epistles. But the question speci®cally excluded consideration of Hebrews and the Pastoral Epistles as though their non-Pauline provenance were conceded.16 In 1892, when Charles Bigg (whose 1886 Bampton Lectures on the Christian Platonists of Alexandria by no means treated patristic theology as unchanging) was an examiner, one is not surprised to ®nd candidates asked whether they detected an `Alexandrine in¯uence' in the Epistle to the Hebrews. But in the previous year, when Bigg had also been an examiner together with John Nutt again and Liddon's biographer J. O. Johnston, a variety of critical questions had been asked. Candidates were expected to be able to argue `the most probable theory of the relation of St Mark to St Matthew and St Luke'.17 And there was even a question on Acts which seems to assume a knowledge of the theories of F. C. Baur, published ®fty years earlier.18 Oxford theology might be said to be moving cautiously into the nineteenth century. In 1892 Bigg and Johnston, with Francis Woods, the vicar of Chalfont St Peter (who had a ®rst in theology in 1873) authorized a very daring question on the criteria to be used in determining the date of a psalm. The conservatism of some examiners was no longer a guarantee that critical questions would not be raised: mere passage of time seems to have made such issues respectable. In 1889, of course, Lux Mundi19 had been published, not exactly a sign of diminishing con¯ict between liberals and conservatives but an indication that the battle lines no longer coincided with party divisions. The obvious signi®cance of the volume was that it was an attempt by a group of young Oxford Anglo-Catholics to combine traditional orthodoxy with critical scholarship. The way they attempted to do this was less obvious but even more signi®cant: the IncarnationÐthe classic Christian statement of the relationship of the human to the divineÐwas the key concept which they hoped would enable them to reconcile two quite different views of theological truth. Tractarians had held that it was given in revelation with divine authority: liberals maintained that, like all truth, it was a proper subject for critical enquiry. The contributors to Lux Mundi believed they could justify a position which recognized the validity of human reason and maintained the divinely guaranteed truths of the catholic faith. Charles Gore contributed an essay on `The Holy Spirit and Inspiration' which attracted most hostile attention and, in a sense, diverted it from the more fundamental issue. Though his approach was one of almost in®nite 16 Examination papers of the Honour School of Theology, Michaelmas Term 1882, Apologetica II, question 4. 17 Examination papers of the Honour School of Theology, Trinity Term 1891, St Mark and St John, question 4. 18 Ibid. Acts of the Apostles, question 3. 19 C. Gore (ed.), Lux Mundi: Studies in the Religion of the Incarnation (1889).


`a secularized university'?

caution, his essay raised the question of critical Biblical scholarship. He argued that the Biblical records might contain factual errors (because the inspiration of the writers did not consist in a miraculous communication to them of the facts as they originally happened), but that they were, in a general way, `really historical' and that it was the spiritual truth they contained which was important. Therefore he could accept what was said by the moderate critics about much of the Old Testament, though he was more conservative about the New. Older Tractarians such as H. P. Liddon, the spiritual heir and successor of Pusey, regarded the volume as a kind of treason. Gore bore the brunt of the attack which was conducted in public,20 was deeply hurt by it, and considered resigning the principalship of Pusey House.21 But he was not prepared to yield.22 Pressure from the guardians of the Tractarian tradition did not shake the determination of younger men to adopt some of the beliefs of the liberals. Jowett, whose pupil Gore had been, was somewhat dismissive of the volume, but he acknowledged that it displayed a new and friendlier attitude to liberalism.23 In some theological circles far more advanced work was being done. The Oxford Society of Historical TheologyÐ`historical' was intended to declare that there were to be no dogmatic preconditionsÐprovided a critical but sympathetic audience where those who are now recognized as important ®gures in the history of modern theology and Biblical scholarship were able to try out their ideas.24 There are also reminders in the society's records that new kinds of theological `liberalism' had begun to emerge, notably that which concerned itself with religion rather than Christian theology. Max MuÈller, for whom the chair of Comparative Philology had been created in 1868 after his failure to become Professor of Sanskrit eight years earlier, was president of the society in 1893/4. His presidential address argued that a properly historical theology ought to concern itself with all sacred writings of whatever reli20

e.g. Liddon in the Spectator, 5 April 1890. G. L. Prestige, The Life of Charles Gore (1935), 102ff. and 112ff. He was, however, prepared to make certain corrigenda (actually minor modi®cations of his argument) which were reported in a variety of newspapers, e.g. the Ecclesiastical Chronicle, 23 April 1890. 23 Abbott and Campbell, Jowett, ii. 378 24 Abstracts of the Proceedings of the Oxford Society of Historical Theology: e.g. Hastings Rashdall, `A Note on Medieval theology', 26 May 1892; F. C. Conybeare, `A Newly Found Paulician Prayer Book and Catechism', 26 Nov. 1896; W. R. Inge, `Permanent In¯uence of NeoPlatonism on Christianity', 2 Dec. 1897; George Buchanan Gray, `The Hebrew Ecclesiasticus', 11 Mar. 1897; Kirsopp Lake, `Notes on a Recent Visit to Mount Athos and on Some Manuscripts There', 26 Oct. 1899; G. H. Box, `Jewish Antecedents of the Eucharist', 23 May 1901; F. C. Burkitt, `The Origin of the New Testament Peshitta', 7 Feb. 1902; R. H. Charles, `History of the Interpretation of the New Testament Apocalypse', 5 Nov. 1908; B. H. Streeter, `Special Characteristics of Q and the Synoptic Gospels', 28 Jan. 1909; and D. C. Simpson, `Literary and Religious Af®nities of the Book of Tobit', 30 Nov. 1911. 21 22

religious issues, 1870±1914


gion.25 Three years later Edward Caird, the new Master of Balliol, devoted his presidential lecture to the question which had been left open by Jowett and the earlier liberalsÐif the New Testament is not an absolutely reliable historical account of Christ's life, in what sense can Christianity be a matter of `following Christ'? Caird attempted to use the methods for the `scienti®c' study of religions set out in his Gifford Lectures, in which he had argued that it was neither in its most primitive beginnings nor in its most developed form, but in its continuously developing life, that one was to look for the essence of a religion.26 The Unitarian Manchester College, which moved to Oxford in October 1889 and of which CairdÐthough himself a lay member of the Church of ScotlandÐbecame Visitor, was important in the development of this new approach, `combining the broadest liberality with the most distinguished scholarship'.27 There, in 1905, L. R. Farnell (fellow of Exeter and Rector from 1913 to 1928) delivered the Hibbert Lectures on the anthropological study of religion.28 And Farnell with Estlin Carpenter (a regular contributor to the Oxford Society of Historical Theology) were the organizing secretaries when the Third International Congress of the History of Religions met in Oxford in September 1908. This appears to have provided the opportunity for an exchange of ideas between anthropologists, archaeologists, philologists, Orientalists, and theologians: theology was ceasing to be a protected discipline.29 Many of the leading Oxford theologians were not Anglicans and the Free Church presence in the university as a whole was growing steadily. By 1882 there were estimated to be some 200 Nonconformist undergraduates and a handful of dons.30 At that date R. F. Horton, a Congregationalist and the leading Free Church personality in Oxford, provided pastoral care for Nonconformists who would otherwise have been dependent on Evangelical Anglican clergymen, and there was indeed some fear that there might be 25

Ibid. F. Max MuÈller, `On the Proper Use of Holy Scriptures', 3 Nov. 1893. Ibid. E. Caird, `Christianity and the Historical Christ', 22 Oct. 1896 and cf. E. Caird, The Evolution of Religion (2 vols, Glasgow, 1893), esp. I, 42. 27 The phrase quoted is taken from a statement of the reasons for the move to Oxford. For the early history of the college see V. D. Davis, A History of Manchester College (1932), esp. 188; Truth, Liberty, Religion: Essays Celebrating Two Hundred years of Manchester College, ed. Barbara Smith (1986). The buildings were opened, and the chapel dedicated, on 18±19 Oct. 1893. For the previous four years the college had been housed in no. 90 High Street. 28 `Oxford Notes', Athenaeum, no. 4039 (25 March 1905), 370. Farnell also gave a second series of Hibbert Lectures in 1911 on `The Higher Aspects of Greek Religion'. 29 Ibid. no. 4233 (12 Dec. 1908), 761. The contributor of the notes, R. R. Marrett, was an anthropologist and close associate of Farnell's. 30 A. Peel and J. A. R. Marriott, Robert Forman Horton (1937), 104; E. Kaye, Mans®eld College, Oxford. Its Origin, History, and Signi®cance (1996), 51n, considers that James Bryce's estimate of 100 (in the Nonconformist and Independent, 19 Apr. 1883) was probably a more accurate ®gure. 26


`a secularized university'?

many conversions to Anglicanism.31 By the turn of the century, however, numbers had grown to about 500 and a signi®cant group of Rhodes Scholars were among them.32 By this time fears of Anglican proselytizing had diminished and Nonconformists felt that they were able to play a full part in college life (though many were Non-Collegiate students). Mans®eld College, which moved to Oxford in 1886 and whose new buildings were consecrated in 1889, provided them with a centre and the Sunday morning service there was `a kind of Nonconformist parallel to the of®cial university sermon at St Mary's'.33 In some cases men were positively encouraged by their colleges to enter the Free Church ministry34 and Free Churchmen had been reading theology for some time. By 1891 the handbook had found it worthwhile mentioning Manchester and Mans®eld, along with Anglican theological colleges, as places where teaching was provided.35 And by 1904 it could be pointed out that, of 58 ®rsts in the previous 17 examinations in the Theology honour school, 9 had been taken by Nonconformists.36 In spite of the abolition of religious tests the hierarchy forbade Roman Catholics to enter Oxford until 1896, though there were always some who ignored the ban.37 Many bishops felt that the University had become a dangerously secular place: a Catholic college or even a separate university seemed preferable. But by 1883 there were ten Roman Catholic undergraduates and by 1895 a majority of bishops was prepared to allow what was already happening. Permission was, at ®rst, grudging and accompanied by warnings about the dangers. A house was acquired for the chaplaincy and Father Kennard appointed chaplain. By 1908 some sixty Roman Catholic undergraduates were scattered among the colleges, and were `distinctly recognised as a factor in the university life.'38 In the same year the Jesuits opened a private hall, followed three years later by the Benedictines. Originally established by personal licences issued to individuals, both these institutions became permanent private halls in 1918. Another signi®cant consequence of Oxford reforms affected college chaplains. When virtually all fellows had been clergymen, one of them had been responsible for what actually happened in chapel. Pastoral care of under31 R. K. EvansÐquoting T. H. GreenÐ`The Present Religious and Ecclesiastical Situation in Oxford', Mans®eld College Magazine, VII (Dec. 1910), 55. For the circumstances in which Horton left Oxford in Jan. 1884 see p. 58. 32 Ibid. 56. 33 Ibid. 72. For the 1889 ceremonies see Mans®eld College: Its Origin and Opening (1890). 34 H. W. Horwill, `Religious Life at Oxford', Methodist Review, 86 (Jan. Feb. 1904), 70. 35 Handbook (1891), 191. 36 W. C. Allen, The Clergy and the Honour School of Theology (1904), 4. 37 According to the future Cardinal Manning a dozen Roman Catholics were up at Oxford between 1854 and 1863. (I am indebted for this and other information about Roman Catholics at Oxford to information supplied by Dom Alberic Stacpoole, OSB, published as `The Return of the Roman Catholics to Oxford', New Blackfriars, 67 (1986), 221ff.) 38 D. O. Hunter-Blair, `Oxford As It Is', Catholic University Bulletin, XIV (1908), 636.

religious issues, 1870±1914


graduates was the duty of the tutorsÐalso, of course, usually clergymen. In cases in which laymen could be appointed to tutorial of®ce it was natural that they should assume the spiritual duties associated with it. Thus Arthur Hugh Clough, fellow of Oriel from 1841, held a tutorship in that college where the tutorial relationship was especially strongly developed. But he resigned in 1848 because he could not reconcile his religious doubts with tenure of the of®ce.39 Even after the reforms of the 1850s there were some notable lay tutors who continued to function in the old style. In Jowett's Balliol, for instance, it was said to be possible `for a tutor without taking Orders to be virtually a minister of religion'.40 The Act of 1871 which abolished religious tests for MAs required colleges to provide religious instruction and the daily recitation of Morning and Evening Prayer in chapel. Within the next decade fewer fellows were clergymen and the growth in the number of honour schools meant that it was normal for a fellow to be elected in order to be a tutor in a particular subject. There were well known `religious lay tutors' in the 1880s and 1890s but their religious in¯uence was extrinsic and accidental.41 Quite apart, then, from any requirement in college statutes, it was necessary to appoint a clergyman to perform the liturgical duties of chaplain and to make him responsible for the pastoral and spiritual care of the undergraduates, previously shared among the tutors. After the passage of the Oxford and Cambridge Universities Act of 1877, Commissioners examining college statutes with the general intention of reducing the number of fellows required to be ordained had nevertheless to ensure that the provisions of the 1871 Act could be ful®lled. They solicited and received a great many con¯icting opinions on how the freeing of fellowships should be combined with the maintenance of chapel services and religious instruction. Information they received about what was actually being done at the time reveals a transitional phase. In some colleges (University, Oriel, Brasenose, and Jesus) the liturgical functions were shared by those fellows who happened to be in holy orders, an echo of the old system. In those colleges (Christ Church, New College, and Magdalen) where there were more elaborate services there were teams of chaplains who were not fellows. Exeter and Pembroke each had one fellow speci®cally designated as chaplain: St John's and Trinity each had two (at Trinity the second chaplain was Gore). At Corpus, Wadham, and Worcester the chaplain was a fellow 39 P. G. Scott, `A. H. Clough: A Case Study in Victorian Doubt', in D. Baker (ed.), Schism, Heresy and Religious Protest (Studies in Church History, 9, 1972), 387. 40 Campbell, Nationalisation, 131. 41 `Let those who knew them remember Sir John Conroy or Mr H. O. Wakeman, and thank God' (`Religion in Oxford', Church Quarterly Review, lv (Oct. 1902), 15). Conroy was one of the very ®rst tutors in natural sciences at Balliol and a man of Tractarian churchmanship. Wakeman was bursar and then tutor of Keble and a historian with a particular interest in the Church of England. Both had been undergraduates at Christ Church.


`a secularized university'?

and was assisted by a non-fellow, foreshadowing the later practice of appointing a young clergyman speci®cally for pastoral work. (But at Queen's and Merton it was the other way round and the junior chaplain was a fellow, though the senior was not.)42 The statutes drawn up by the Commissioners in 1882 provided speci®cally that every college should have at least one clerical fellow who would be responsible for the conduct of services and for religious instruction. A certain amount of variety was maintained in college appointments. Sometimes, as in Fremantle's case, the chaplain might also be tutor in theology, but it gradually seems to have been accepted that his chief function was pastoral care of the undergraduates. When Jowett invited Cosmo Gordon Lang to succeed Fremantle in 1893, he described the job as that of making `young men as good as young men can be made'.43 The resultant class of young fellows whose purpose in life was to be `clergymen in colleges' was not universally welcomed. There were still those who feared lest `lay tutors should cease to consider themselves to have moral and spiritual care of all their pupils, and should leave this most vital part of their business to their ordained colleague or colleagues'.44 It is not easy to assess the religious condition of the University at the turn of the century. William Temple, attempting to do so as a young don at Queen's, wrote, The people of whom a man sees most in Oxford are of course those who are to some extent akin to him mentally or spiritually: it is only their views that he hears either frequently or candidly expressed . . . what is said here will not, I hope, be positively false, but it will certainly be inadequate and will be equivalent to falsehood if treated as a full account of its subject.45

A similar problem exists for anyone trying to reconstruct the picture a century later: memoirs and biographies are often selective and subjective if not deliberately apologetic. It seems, however, that in the last decade of the nineteenth century, college religion left much to be desired. Chapel services are described as `simply disgraceful' and clerical dons as `utterly indifferent to the spiritual welfare of men under their care'.46 And even one of the more objective observers described chapel services as dull and formal and unlikely to satisfy the soul of the religiously minded undergraduate.47 This impression is con®rmed by 42 Certain Circulars addressed by the Commissioners to the University and Colleges: Answers to Circular No. 9ÐCollege Of®ce Holders in 1878, UOC (1877), Part II, 91±102. 43 J. G. Lockhart, Cosmo Gordon Lang (1949), 101. 44 `Religion in Oxford' (n.41), 15. 45 W. Temple, `The Religion of the Undergraduate', Oxford and Cambridge Review, no. 1 (June 1907), 45. 46 Legge, 266±7. 47 R. W. Gent, `The Religious Life', in Stedman, 145.

religious issues, 1870±1914


a young Frenchman's account of a year spent as an undergraduate: he found it quite unnecessary to mention the college chapel at all. Those aspects of Oxford religion which seemed to him worth remarking upon were open-air evangelistic preaching in St Giles,48 `Christian socialism',49 and, above all, the University Sermon which plainly excited him.50 By the early twentieth century, when the new system had had time to establish itself, college religion was less open to criticism though it appears that very little religious instruction was provided, in or out of chapel.51 The University Sermon seems also to have lost its popularity, undergraduate fashion preferring the evening sermon in the University Church.52 Most signi®cant, perhaps, was the growth of what might be described as sectarianism, though in a loose sense of that term. Religious observances in unreformed Oxford, however formal and dull, had been acts of the University or the colleges. Reformed Oxford retained some remnants of these, but religion had become the private business of individuals. Just as Free Churchmen and Roman Catholics attended their own places of worship, so parish churches in the city, whether Anglo-Catholic or Evangelical, drew support from undergraduates which largely depended on the reputation of the clergymen concernedÐLang at St Mary's, for instance, the future Bishop Chavasse at St Peter-le-Bailey, or A. W. M. Christopher at St Aldate's. The strength of the parties is dif®cult to estimate, though in the early part of the twentieth century there seems to have been a growth in the in¯uence of liberal Evangelicals at the expense of Anglo-Catholics.53 `Dr Pusey's Library', later `The Pusey House', was founded in 1884 to promote (Anglo-Catholic) theological study and Christian life and Gore, its ®rst Principal, was an in¯uential ®gure in Oxford. Wycliffe Hall, which had opened in 1877, already served something of the same purpose for Evangelicals.54 It provided a residence for graduates who intended to be ordained but also served a wider range of undergraduates, particularly after the appointment of Chavasse as Principal. St Stephen's House too, which was 48

J. Bardoux, Memories of Oxford, trans. W. R. Barker (1899), 73. Ibid. 23f. 50 `The preacher often turned towards the seats kept for the undergraduates, where they were gathered together, looking like a body of happy young priests' (ibid. 86). Though the sermon itself, preached by Bishop Percival of Hereford, does not seem particularly exciting in the printed version (see L1. J. M. Bebb (ed.), Sermons Preached before the University of Oxford (1901), 351ff.) Gent's account of religious life in Oxford also describes university sermons in glowing termsÐ`the whole audience is ®xed in hushed and rapt attention' (Stedman, 149). 51 `Religion in Oxford' (n.41), 5ff. 52 Ibid. 7 and Temple, 47. 53 `Clerical Changes in Oxford', The Guardian, 18 April 1906. The author curiously attributes this in large part to the founding of Pusey House. 54 R. B. Girdlestone, Four Years' Work at Wycliffe Hall, pamphlet dated 1882, p. 1, and also another (undated) pamphlet by the same author, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford: Its Nature and Objects. 49


`a secularized university'?

also founded to train graduate ordinands, had considerable in¯uence in the University generally, especially through W. R. Inge at the turn of the century. Cuddesdon, the oldest of Oxford theological colleges,55 was too far removed to be a centre of this kind, though it had many links with the University and its staff were part of the Oxford theological scene. Since it was now the case that the undergraduate `need not come to chapel unless he likes, and very many of his contemporaries come at any rate very seldom',56 college congregations also consisted of those who chose to be there. It was easier, no doubt, to go to chapel than elsewhereÐand some did bothÐbut essentially all forms of religion in Oxford became voluntarist groupings of more or less like-minded individuals. To attract undergraduates the clergy, including college chaplains,57 had to provide an effective ministry: religious societies for Roman Catholics, Free Churchmen, and different kinds of Anglicans came into existence as various interests competed for undergraduate support. Oxford religion in the period seems to have exhibited an attitude which was paradoxically both optimistic and eirenical. Though commentators frequently congratulate themselves on the fact that religion had survived both `Darwinism' and secularization,58 the chief threat was perceived as coming not from `liberals', nor from rival parties within the Church of England, from dissenters or even Roman Catholics, but from agnosticism or indifferentism.59 Again and again commentators of the period say that undergraduates who have doubts, have doubts about the fundamentals of belief.60 All this provided a good reason for growing friendliness between different kinds of Christians. By the end of the nineteenth century the Oxford Intercollegiate Christian Union, supported by Nonconformists and Evangelical Anglicans, was a committed, compact, but not very in¯uential61 society. In 1896 the High Church, even less effective, Church Union had been founded by Lang.62 About ten years later all the most active members of each of these societies joined the other,63 a manoeuvre promoted by the ecumenical Student Chris55 For the early history of the college see O. Chadwick, The Founding of Cuddesdon (1954)Ð the ®nal chapter contains some brief references to the period considered here. 56 Temple, 46. 57 See e.g. S. Charteris, `Religion in Oxford: an interview with the Rev. W. H. Hutton', Treasury, 8 (Mar. 1907), 530ff. for a description of what a college chaplain provided. 58 e.g. Stedman, 142 and 155. 59 Legge, 264 and see Bardoux, 105. 60 e.g. `Religion in Oxford' (n.41), 4 and Temple, 54. 61 Temple, 49. A great many sources agree that the Evangelicals, though ardent and devoted, were for that very reason rather apart from the generality of undergraduatesÐsee e.g. `Religion in Oxford', 13 and Stedman, 151f. 62 Temple, 49 and `Religion in Oxford', 13f. 63 E. A. Burroughs, `Oxford and Evangelicalism in Relation to the Crisis in the Church', Churchman, 6 (Oct. 1911), 763.

religious issues, 1870±1914


tian Movement, which OICCU had previously represented in Oxford. The new Oxford SCM, though much larger and more in¯uential than the old OICCU, did not satisfy leading Evangelicals in the university.64 The union could not last. The strongest unifying factor was a widespread enthusiasm for implementing the social implications of Christianity. This derived from the teaching of T. H. Green, widely recognized as the greatest single religious in¯uence in Oxford in the second half of the nineteenth century.65 Green had been an undergraduate at Balliol, where Jowett had introduced him to the thought of Hegel, though Jowett was as disapproving of the thoroughgoing way Green took up metaphysics as he was proud of the fact that Balliol provided the opportunity for Green to work out his somewhat unorthodox religious views without having to resign his fellowship.66 The British Idealist school of philosophy, founded by Green and his close friend, associate, and former pupil Edward Caird (who was eventually to succeed Jowett at Balliol), is often described as `Hegelian'; but Green and Caird themselves were always insistent that the proper approach was to begin with Kant and to proceed from there along lines, parallel to but not identical with Hegel's metaphysics.67 They transformed Kant's epistemologyÐthe mind has the inherent capacity to impose structure on phenomenaÐinto a metaphysicÐall existence is structured because it is the product of the eternal mind. This metaphysic enabled them to advance what seemed to that generation an impressive defence of an immanentist and panentheistic theism, arguing that the universe is God's self-expression.68 But the Idealists tended also to divest Christianity of its historical roots and turn the `events' of the Gospel into `eternal truths', so that the Incarnation became the belief that God and man are one, and the Resurrection the belief that true life comes from death to self. This had the advantage, from their viewpoint, of making Christianity no longer vulnerable to historical criticism. And Green ceased altogether to believe in the miraculous, which in his view meant believing that the divine `reveals itself in annulling the order in which it is implied'.69 But the way the divine became actual in history was, for Green, at least partly a matter of moral social action by individuals, so that religion acted as a link between his metaphysics and his politics. He was the ®rst modern 64

Ibid. 754f. `Religion in Oxford', 1; Temple, 54: Stedman, 156; C. C. J. Webb, `Re¯exions on the Changes in Theological Outlook within the Writer's Recollection', Abstract of the Proceedings of the Oxford Society of Historical Theology (1938/39), 37ff. and esp. 41f. 66 Both these points are implied in Jowett's memorial address on Green's death, published in B. Jowett, Sermons: Biographical and Miscellaneous, ed. W. H. Fremantle (1899), 210ff. 67 See e.g. E. Caird in A. Seth and R. B. Haldane (eds), Essays in Philosophical Criticism (1883), 5. 68 P. Hinchliff, Benjamin Jowett and the Christian Religion (1987), 175ff. 69 Green, Works iii. 128. 65


`a secularized university'?

Oxford don to immerse himself in local civic politics: that was an expression of his deepest beliefs.70 But there is a paradoxical feature of Green's religious in¯uence, that the very aspects of his thought which seemed to him all to spring from a single and coherent system, were borrowed by others in an eclectic way. There were those who accepted his political and social concerns but not their religious basis. There were those, like the contributors to Lux Mundi, who were immensely encouraged by his defence of theism but would not follow him in rejecting miracles or the historicity of the gospels. Gore, the editor of Lux Mundi, was among Green's disciples in political affairs, and gave encouragement, as an in¯uential senior member of the University, to the Christian Social Union. The young French undergraduate previously quoted said that what his friends feared most was the growth of `Christian Socialism':71 certainly a large number of both senior and junior members belonged to the Christian Social Union, worked with settlements in London like Toynbee Hall, Oxford House, or the Oxford Medical Mission, or supported the Workers' Educational Association. Oxford theology, however, had begun to be less in¯uenced by Green and the Idealists (who had treated religious ideas as universal and constant) and to emphasize the particularity of ®rst-century Christianity and its eschatology.72 By the end of the Edwardian era the faculty seems to have accepted completely the liberal critical approach. In the 1911 examination such questions as `What is the bearing of the Prologue and Epilogue upon the argument of the Book of Job?'73 or `Consider the sources and historical value of the narratives of the Nativity'74 demonstrate this very clearly. And the latest trend in Oxford theology was represented by the statement candidates were asked to consider, `In the series Q, Mark, Matthew, there is a steady development in the direction of emphasizing, making more de®nite and even creating, sayings of our Lord of the catastrophic Apocalyptic type.'75 Though there had been pressure for some time for theology to be treated like any other discipline, the original character of the school was still represented by two restrictions: examiners had to be clergymen of the Church of England and so did candidates for the BD and DD degrees. In 1894 the Theology Faculty Board proposed new regulations to raise the academic standard of the BD. When the proposal came before the Hebdomadal Council `liberals' proposed that the clerical restriction on candidates 70 See D. M. Mackinnon, `Some Aspects of the Treatment of Christianity by the British Idealists', Journal of Religious Studies, 20 (1983), 134ff; Pt 1, 466. 71 Bardoux, 23. 72 Webb, 46. 73 Examination papers of the Honour School of Theology, 1911, Old Testament II, question 6. 74 Ibid. New Testament: Life and Teaching of Our Lord, question 1. 75 Ibid. New Testament: General, question 1.

religious issues, 1870±1914


be removed also. The faculty board preferred to drop the matter. Almost ten years later, in November 1903, Council received a petition from members of Congregation arguing that the other restriction (on the appointment of examiners in the Theology honour school) should be removed. In spite of the inevitable counter-petition, a statute to effect the change was passed by Congregation in February 1904 but defeated in Convocation by 676 votes to 278.76 Again there was a pause of nearly a decade, but in January 1912 the theology professors and the Dean of Christ Church (T. B. Strong), headed by Scott Holland, the Regius Professor, formally asked Council for the abolition of both restrictions. Statutes were passed by Congregation, with a small dissentient vote in each case, but overwhelmingly rejected by Convocation.77 These controversies reveal the variety of attitudes covered by the term `liberal'. The desire of some, that theology should simply be studied as an academic subject, was re¯ected in the faculty board's proposal that theologia should cease to be described as sacra. The higher degrees were `to be awarded as a test of scienti®c knowledge only' and the University was no longer to act for the Church in requiring a formal profession of belief in a particular view of revelation.78 Others were simply concerned that Nonconformists should not be excluded any longer, hence a successful amendment in Congregation on 28 January 1913 that the BD thesis should be on some subject of Christian theology. And the divisions cut across the old liberal and conservative party lines. Thus Scott Holland (who was an AngloCatholic, had been a contributor to Lux Mundi, and became more conservative as he grew older) supported the change but A. C. Headlam (a leading New Testament scholar and himself a future Regius Professor, Bishop of Gloucester, and ecumenist) opposed the proposal, arguing that theology ought to be a training for the ministry of a particular Church and that the way to include Nonconformists was to have two theology schools.79 The same variety among liberals can be perceived in Foundations, another volume of Oxford essays designed to relate Christianity to contemporary thinking, which appeared in 1912.80 Most of the contributors belonged in the tradition of liberal Anglo-Catholicism. William Temple did not, though he had begun to be much in¯uenced by Gore.81 The editor (B. H. Streeter) was most obviously the odd man out, less concerned with restating traditional 76

See Gazette, xxxiv (1 Mar. and 17 May 1904), 394, 593. Gazette, xliii (5 Mar. and 30 Apr. 1913), 553, 708. The voting ®gures in Convocation were 860 to 434 in the case of the examiners and 763 to 334 in the case of divinity degrees. 78 Theological Degrees and School: Reply from the Board of the Faculty of Theology to Hebdomadal Council, 24 October 1912, HCP 93 (1912), 121±2. 79 A. C. Headlam, `Degrees in Divinity', Church Quarterly Review, LXXVI (July 1913), 364ff. 80 B. H. Streeter (ed.), Foundations: A Statement of Christian Belief in Terms of Modern Thought (1912): satirized by Ronald Knox, in `Absolute and Abitofhell' in OM, 28 Nov. 1912, 110±11. 81 See e.g. F. A. Iremonger, William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, (1948), esp. 488. 77


`a secularized university'?

beliefs and much more in¯uenced by the new eschatological emphasis in theology. Streeter's own essay on the historic Christ owed much to Albert Schweitzer's The Quest of the Historical Jesus and was sceptical about the possibility of reconstructing an accurate account of the Jesus of history. The introductory chapter describing `The Modern Situation' was written by Neville Talbot, junior dean of Balliol, not himself a product of the Jowett/Green school but fairly typical of the Christian socialist, Anglo-Catholic tradition. Self-consciously post-Victorian, he argued that all belief in the inevitability of progress had collapsed and that the world was a much less secure place than it had seemed in Green's day.82 But most of the contributors, including Temple, whose essay on the divinity of Christ was still strongly in¯uenced by Idealism, strove to recapture something of the optimism as well as the immanentism of the older generation. There was an obvious dissonance between this and Talbot's pessimistic insistence upon the morbidity of contemporary society, and nothing in the book suggests that Oxford theology was equipped to understand the destructive war that was about to break out. 82

Foundations, 8.







4 The Colleges in the New Era m . c . c u r t h oy s * If the rise of the undergraduate college was originally consolidated in Tudor Oxford,1 its revival was achieved during the late nineteenth century. At the centre of this renewal was the tutorial system which, as refashioned in the decades after 1860, strengthened the collegiate ideal of undergraduate education. Not only did the colleges demonstrate their ef®ciency as teaching institutions, preparing students for degrees, but they reinforced the claims of a residential university to provide a training in `character'. Many of the developments discussed in this chapter had close parallels in Cambridge,2 and it was during this period that the colleges of both universities came to be seen as standing at the apex of a reorganized educational system in England. They drew a substantial proportion of their students from the public schools, which underwent a similar process of renovation. To the Executive Commissioners who set about remodelling the Oxford colleges after the passage of the 1854 Act, the key to reform lay in creating properly constituted governing bodies. As these bodies became puri®ed by the effect of open elections to fellowships, it was hoped that public spirit would displace the vested interests which had previously discredited the colleges in the eyes of educational reformers. By 1858 most of the colleges had received new ordinances, modifying and adding to the statutes laid down in preceding centuries by their founders.3 A standard clause laid down that the head and fellows of each college were to hold at least two stated general * I am extremely grateful to the following college archivists for their help: Elizabeth Boardman (Brasenose); Christine Butler (Corpus); Judith Curthoys (Christ Church); Caroline Dalton (New College); Robin Darwall-Smith (Magdalen and University); and Clare Hopkins (Trinity). I also wish to thank Brian Harrison for his valuable comments on an early draft. My principal debt is to Michael Brock for his suggestions, encouragement, and guidance throughout the preparation of this chapter. 1

The Collegiate University, esp. ch. 1. See C. N. L. Brooke, A History of the University of Cambridge, vol. iv, 1870±1990 (1993). I should like to thank Professor Brooke for his suggestions on a preliminary version of this chapter. 3 St John's, which held out against the Executive Commissioners, did not receive its new ordinance until 1861. Three colleges, Corpus, Exeter, and Lincoln, had voluntarily drawn up new codes of statutes in advance of the Commissioners and these came into effect in 1855. The rest were sealed in 1857 or early in 1858. 2



a new collegiate pattern

meetings a year, where decisions were to be made by simple majority of those present, and `any statute, rule, or usage' which had previously prevented any matters being brought before the governing body was to be void.4 At Magdalen the president's veto, which had enabled Dr Routh to fend off change, was abolished, while at Brasenose the distinction between senior and junior fellows, reserving many powers to the former, was removed, placing them all in a position of equality in college meetings.5 The resident fellows of Trinity who had drawn up a detailed plan in 1853 to reform the educational practice of their college and had been rebuked by the president for their presumption, now had the opportunity to bring their schemes to fruition. At a series of stated meetings during the winter of 1857±8, they carried through new regulations for the chapel, the library, the buttery, tuition, and residence.6 Their zeal was matched by other governing bodies who, within the space of a generation, reconstructed the college system. Constitutional change, which had called the new governing bodies into being, eroded many local peculiarities. The long-term process by which the colleges were `levelled up', often in response to the example of Balliol (see Chapter 5), was well advanced by 1900, even though the ®nancial resources of some were squeezed by the agricultural depression.7 Having functioned for three centuries without statutes, Christ Church was, after 1858, `in a state of Heraclitean ¯ux',8 receiving two ordinances and a set of statutes in the course of twenty-®ve years. How the House adapted to these interventions, which threatened, as one of the Students on the old foundation apprehended, to `degrade Christ Church to the level of a College', is described in Chapter 9.9 Over a century after its establishment on the site of an existing hall, Worcester's full collegiate standing was ®nally acknowledged by admission in 1858 to the cycle for electing proctors. Its `ancient celebrity' as Oxford's Botany Bay had, to J. W. Burgon's regret, already been lost by the coming of the railway: Worcester was now the ®rst college, rather than the last, to be reached by the traveller to Oxford.10 Lincoln alone was shielded from a second phase of statute reform in 1882, when each college received a new code prepared within a common format, hastening the tendency towards formal convergence.11 The 4 Ordinances and Statutes (1863), 40±1. An exception was Christ Church, where the Dean and Canons retained ultimate power until 1867. 5 VCH Oxon. iii. 200, 213. 6 Trinity College Order Book, 1852±1884, TCA A. 4, 105±6, 112±13, 117. For the earlier scheme, addressed to the Visitor, see Papers relating to Bishop Sumner's Visitation, 1853, TCA Statutes B. 7 G. C. Richards, An Oxonian Looks Back (privately printed, 1960), 1; on the effect of depression on college ®nances see Pt I, 401±8. 8 J. Foster, Oxford Men and their Colleges (1893), 394. 9 E. G. W. Bill and J. F. A. Mason, Christ Church and Reform 1850±1867 (1970), 173. 10 H. Shaw, The Arms of the Colleges of Oxford (1855). 11 Green, Lincoln, 500±3. The new foundations of Hertford and Keble were also unaffected by the commissioners.

the colleges in the new era


apparently anomalous position of All Souls as a college which had virtually no undergraduates was preserved (see Chapter 8), and it played an increasingly important role as a point of contact between the academic world and public life. Within Oxford it represented the sole example of an attempt to associate a college with a faculty on the lines proposed by Mark Pattison, though its association with law and modern history was not as exclusive as Pattison's schemes envisaged. All Souls provided a possible model for accommodating natural science within the collegiate system. The idea of allocating a college to the sciences came before the Royal Commission on Scienti®c Instruction in the early 1870s, but was rejected in its report on Oxford, largely drafted by Henry Smith, which argued that science `should rather be regarded as running through the whole of human knowledge', and that `it would be better both for science and for learning that they should be intermingled together in the different colleges.'12 Seizing a college for the bene®t of science was, anyway, reckoned to be too revolutionary a proposal to be practical, though Robert Laing identi®ed Wadham, on account of its historic association with the Royal Society and its proximity to the University Museum, as appropriate for the purpose.13 The wider aspirations expressed in the commission's report meant, however, that science never in this period enjoyed the particular encouragement from college endowments which All Souls offered to the study of modern history and jurisprudence, and was dependent upon whatever share of resources individual colleges chose to devote to it. After 1860 two new colleges came into being. Keble College, founded by public subscription to provide an inexpensive university education on de®nite Church of England principles, was incorporated in 1870 (see Chapter 6). Four years later Hertford College, which had been defunct since 1805, was revived following the dissolution of Magdalen Hall whose site and trust property Hertford acquired.14 It owed much to the shrewdness, ambition, and instinct for fund-raising of Richard Michell, Magdalen Hall's last principal and long-standing adversary of Mark Pattison. Seeing that the days of the independent, unendowed halls were numbered, Michell began in 1873 to raise money to cover the legal costs of transmuting the hall into a college.15 Lack of endowment had brought about the demise of the original Hertford College, but the fortuitous appearance of a benefactor, T. C. Baring, a partner in the merchant bank and a Member of Parliament, ensured that the new foundation received a full complement of fellowships and scholar12

Devonshire Commn 3rd Report, lii±liii. R. Laing, Some Dreams of a Constitution-Monger (1876), 7. 14 Gazette, v (2 June 1874), 208. 15 C. R. Cruttwell, `The New Foundation, 1874±5', Hertford College Magazine, 21 (Apr. 1932), 57±61. R. Michell, Orationes Creweianae, ed. E. B. Michell (1878), appendix C, 175±7, indicates some tension as between the claims of Michell or Baring to be regarded as the `founder' of Hertford. 13


a new collegiate pattern

ships. Unlike the Keble subscription, which was ploughed into buildings, Baring's money funded personnel, though on terms which had previously (February 1874) caused his old college, Brasenose, to decline the offer of his bounty.16 `A staunch Conservative and strong Churchman', who was a muni®cent supporter of church building in his home county of Essex,17 Baring stipulated that the bene®t of his gift should be restricted to members of the Church of England, a limitation which was criticized when the Hertford College Act (1874) was debated in Parliament, and unsuccessfully challenged in the courts by the Cambridge Nonconformist A. I. Tillyard. The ruling of the Court of Appeal in 1878 showed that the 1871 Act repealing university tests did not prevent the future endowment of colleges limited to particular denominations.18 Lord Salisbury, the Visitor of the new foundation, welcomed the evidence both that `the race of Great Founders is not extinct: and that the modern Church of England is able to show one of the greatest', though Baring himself shunned publicity.19 By 1881 eighteen fellowships and thirty scholarships had been created, batches of stock amounting to over £100,000 having been transferred by Baring for the purpose. At ®rst, Hertford necessarily re¯ected Magdalen Hall's moderately Evangelical tone when Michell (admittedly only `an elderly and passive evangelical in¯uence')20 and Robert Gandell, the Arabist, joined its governing body. In exercising the right, which he had made a condition of his gift, to nominate the ®rst holders of fellowships, Baring (the son of an Evangelical bishop) showed a preference for Low Churchmen. But intent that the college should not be limited to any particular party within the Church of England, he nominated men identi®ed with both wings of the Church, including the Low Churchman F. H. Jeune, the future judge, who handled the legal matters involved in its constitution, and J. H. Maude, a Tractarian, who taught classics. A fondness for whist, port, and cigars distanced Henry Boyd, the principal who presided over the college during its formative years, from abstainers among the younger fellows, and identi®ed him with the tastes of Oxford's older clerical establishment, but he actively supported Low-Church causes such as Wycliffe Hall.21 Purely classical scholars also predominated among the early fellowship. Rendering ancient writers into 16

Vice-Principal's Register, 5 Feb. 1874, Brasenose College Archives. The Times, 8 April 1891 (supplementary obituary). I am grateful to Dr John Orbell, archivist of ING Barings, for biographical references to Baring. 18 S. G. Hamilton, Hertford College (1903), 141±6; Hertford College Act, 1874, in Enactments in Parliament iv. 43; the college's statutes were con®rmed by the Visitor, Lord Salisbury, in February, 1875, PP 1875 lxviii. 234; VCH Oxon iii. 314; Ward, Victorian Oxford, 266±7. 19 Salisbury to F. H. Jeune, 3 Feb. 1875, Hertford College Archives 3/1/1/128, cited in A. Lawes, `A catalogue of the archives of Hertford College, Oxford' (typescript 1985). 20 J. S. Reynolds, The Evangelicals at Oxford 1735±1871 (1975), pt 2, 6. 21 UJ 2 Feb. 1882, 195; ibid. 16 Feb. 1882, 234 for Boyd's presence at one of Canon Christopher's missionary breakfasts. H. G. Mullinger, Arthur Burroughs: A Memoir (1936), 19; Richards, An Oxonian, 7. 17

the colleges in the new era


English verse was Baring's recreation, but he may have had a larger purpose. At a time when the philosophical content of Greats was alarming conservatives (see Chapter 1), he might have wished to reinforce the old course of study, narrowly con®ned to the classical languages. His in¯uence was conservative in almost every sense, and the college which he endowed was not associated with innovation. By contrast, Keble which, after its buildings were erected, had to pay its own way, pioneered new developments in collegiate education and enthusiastically embraced the extended curriculum of honour schools. The absorption of Magdalen Hall heralded the disappearance of all but one of the independent halls. During the 1850s and 1860s they had enjoyed something of a resurgence by reducing the costs of residence at a time when the colleges as a whole had done little to address this long-standing problem. But their historic decline appeared inexorable; D. P. Chase, Principal of St Mary Hall since 1857, acknowledged that no one who could gain admission to a college would chose to go to a hall.22 Under-endowment prevented the halls offering scholarships to raise their academic standards, while after the introduction of lodgings, and the foundation of Keble, they ceased to offer the cheapest means of residence. Accordingly the Selborne Commission provided for their eventual incorporation within the existing colleges, who thereby acquired additional undergraduate accommodation. Merton speedily annexed St Alban Hall, removing a long-standing source of irritation: the hall, whose premises adjoined Merton, had traditionally harboured `under the very shadow of our own Warden's lodgings' reprobates excluded from the college for disciplinary reasons.23 New Inn Hall fell into Balliol's hands after the death of its principal in 188724Ðcontemporaries were entertained by the prospect of the reputedly none too studious members of the `Tap' being suddenly subjected to the rigours of Balliol's academic disciplineÐand St Mary Hall was absorbed by Oriel on Chase's death in 1902. In 1903 St Edmund Hall's days as an independent entity also seemed numbered, since the anticipated retirement of the Principal, Edward Moore, opened the way for the partial union with Queen's provided for in the Act of 1877. But Congregation threw out Provost Magrath's rash attempt to effect a complete take-over by Queen's. Oxford opinion, it was reported, had `come round to the view that the extinction of small Societies is not in itself desirable',25 though it was not until 1913 that St Edmund Hall's right to self-determination, supported by the Chancellor, Curzon, was ®nally con®rmed. 22

UOC (1877), evidence, Q. 615. G. H. Martin and J. R. L. High®eld, A History of Merton College, Oxford (1997), 321; E. A. Knox, Reminiscences of an Octogenarian (1934), 97. 24 J. Jones, Balliol College: A History 1263±1939 (1988), 320. 25 OM 25 Feb. 1903, 243, cited in J. N. D. Kelly, St Edmund Hall: Almost Seven Hundred Years (1989), 99±100. 23


a new collegiate pattern

In the hope of providing an inexpensive alternative to the colleges the 1854 Oxford University Act had permitted MAs, under licence from the ViceChancellor, to open private halls for the education of undergraduates. They were also intended to meet the needs of parents who were suspicious of the comparative lack of supervision in the public schools and colleges, and wished to entrust their sons to a more domestic type of institution. A decade later the experiment was said to have `entirely failed'.26 One small establishment, however, ®lled a niche in the market by receiving idle or incapable students removed from the colleges. For nearly thirty years W. H. Charsley presided over a hall in Parks Road whose members, though few in number, were distinguished for their athletic prowess.27 In 1880 H. J. Turrell, a private tutor who claimed to got have got more than 1,700 men through the pass schools, obtained a licence to open a hall, and purchased a large house across Magdalen Bridge for its premises. He identi®ed a potential demand for an institution which would admit boys at a slightly lower age than was usually accepted at the colleges, so as to qualify them for Oxford degrees and the start of professional life before they reached adulthood. This idea never caught on but, claiming by 1895 to have been reduced to `pauperism and beggary', Turrell blamed the loss of his investment on malicious changes in the University's lodgings regulations.28 Charsley's house, meanwhile, was taken over in 1892 by the Revd C. A. Marcon, who continued to receive migrants from the colleges until 1918, when this curious relic of Victorian Oxford ®nally closed its doors. Towards the end of the century private halls acquired a more serious function as the means by which non-Anglicans could establish their own denominational institutions within the University. When in 1895 the Catholic hierarchy rescinded the ban on Roman Catholics attending the University, halls supervised by clerics seemed to offer the necessary precautions for protecting the faith and morality of Catholic students at Oxford. Fr Richard Clarke SJ was licensed master of a Jesuit hall which opened in 1896 and which on Clarke's death was perpetuated by Fr John O'Fallon Pope SJ; a Benedictine hall under the mastership of Dom Oswald HunterBlair followed in 1899.29 Pope's emphasis on hard study produced some notable results in the class lists, exempli®ed by the spectacular undergraduate career of C. C. Martindale, and brought the hall to favourable 26 Parl. Deb. 3S clxxxvii. 1642 (5 June 1867); on one short-lived hall, see Josephine E. Butler, Recollections of George Butler (Bristol, 1893), 108. 27 A. D. Godley, Aspects of Modern Oxford (1894), 13. 28 See the series of published letters, 1887±1895, in Bodl. G. A. Oxon. 4 100. Turrell, like Charsley, was in holy orders. 29 V. A. McClelland, English Roman Catholics and Higher Education 1830±1903 (1973), 405; A. Stacpoole, `The Return of the Roman Catholics to Oxford', New Blackfriars, 67 (1986), 226± 7; A. Cramer, `The foundation of St Benet's Hall', in H. Wansbrough and A. Marett-Crosby, Benedictines in Oxford (1997), 245±8.

the colleges in the new era


notice.30 The institutions established in Oxford by the Protestant Free Churches took a rather different form. Although anxious lest their young men might drift away from their ancestral faith, they preferred not to remove them from the existing colleges. Their own colleges were nonresidential: the new buildings for Mans®eld and Manchester colleges, opened in 1889 and 1893 respectively, did not originally provide accommodation for undergraduates.31 Allowing men in lodgings to matriculate as members of the University without belonging to a college or hall (see Chapter 7) had appeared in 1868 to be a radical break from established practice. Experience soon showed the unattached students to be neither wealthy libertines beyond the reach of college discipline, as some opponents of the scheme had feared, nor a turbulent mass of rootless youths given to riot and radical politics, which other critics apprehended from the experience of university cities on the continent. The Censors to the University Delegacy charged with their supervision reported that only two of the 130 unattached students in residence had been out of their lodgings after twelve o'clock on any night during the whole of Michaelmas term 1872, con®dent that the statistic was founded upon an extremely effective regulation of lodging houses.32 The NonCollegiate students (as they were termed after 1884) rapidly sought collegiate af®liations. The opening in 1888 of a new building to house the Delegacy convinced the Oxford Magazine of the futility of all efforts to break up ``the College system''. Commissioners and newspapers and public opinion gave us Students Unattached to any College or Hall . . . but Tutors have been appointed, St Catharine's Clubs have been formed, the University has been compelled to build the Non-Collegiate Students a College.33

Instead of breaking Oxford's college monopoly, the Non-Collegiate scheme tended if anything to strengthen it with infusions of new blood. NonCollegiates who showed academic promise were lured away with scholarships and exhibitions offered by the colleges, who were also not above poaching promising sportsmen from the Delegacy. Gladstone's remark, quoted by the Non-Collegiate Students' Magazine in 1896, that he looked favourably upon `the Non-Collegiate body as a standing reserve established in favour of the colleges',34 was undoubtedly true, though not regarded as 30 Educational Times, 1 July 1903, 287, commenting that the majority of undergraduates at Pope's Hall had obtained ®rsts in classical or mathematical moderations; P. Caraman, C. C. Martindale (1967), 90. 31 E. Kaye, Mans®eld College, Oxford (1996), 79; V. D. Davis, A History of Manchester College (1932), 168. In 1900 Manchester College acquired a lodging house in Holywell Street licensed as a private hall under Revd W. E. Addis. 32 RCOC (1872), Pt II. 166. 33 Cited in R. R. Trotman and E. J. K. Garrett, The Non-Collegiate Students and St. Catherine's Society, 1868±1962 (1962), 10. 34 Non-Collegiate Students' Magazine, Oct. 1896, 3; Jan. 1897, 26.


a new collegiate pattern

a compliment by the magazine's editors. At the turn of the century, however, the Non-Collegiate scheme was seen to be ful®lling an important purpose, but not as fully as some wished,35 in providing an institutional af®liation for graduate students, and especially for those from overseas. In practice the most powerful competitive pressures came from among the colleges themselves. Once undergraduates were permitted to live in lodgings, the arti®cial protection enjoyed by the weaker colleges was removed at a stroke.36 Previously, when colleges could admit only as many students as they could accommodate within their walls, the best were obliged to turn away well-quali®ed commoner applicants who, critics alleged, were driven to seek admission at those colleges where the teaching and other arrangements left much to be desired. Lodgings now offered ambitious and prestigious colleges the possibility of almost limitless growth, encouraging Jowett's visions of Balliol absorbing the rest of the University.37 As was soon apparent, however, the moment when a single college could achieve such hegemony had passed. Two of the wealthiest colleges, Magdalen and New College, now permitted under the ordinances of 1857±8 to admit commoners, took full advantage of the opportunity for expansion. From being two of the smallest colleges in terms of undergraduate numbers before 1850 (see Figure 4.1), New College had by 1911 become the largest, while Magdalen expanded more than tenfold in the ®fty years to 1891. Almost as remarkable was the dynamism of St John's, a clerical stronghold which made a virtue of obstructing statutory reform, and rejoiced in a reputation as `a College of survivals'.38 Yet, during the presidency of James Bellamy, a Norfolk landowner and leader of the Conservative party in the University, the college astutely developed its North Oxford estate while rapidly expanding its student numbers. For the under-endowed and unfashionable colleges the picture was less bright. Lack of resources prevented Wadham, which had enjoyed a high reputation earlier in the century, from adding to its accommodation to match expansion elsewhere;39 Exeter and Worcester, which had admitted large numbers of commoners in the pre-1850 period, also lost out to better-placed rivals. During the 1870s some of the smaller colleges looked to be going the 35 L. R. Farnell complained in 1914 that the `collegiate spirit' embraced by the Censor of Non-Collegiates was an obstacle to the admission of this type of student, An Oxonian Looks Back (1934), 283±5. 36 W. A. Pantin, Oxford Life in Oxford Archives (1972), 14. 37 Abbott and Campbell, i. 433. 38 Foster, Oxford Men, 470; on the college's dealings with the Executive Commissioners see W. C. Costin, The History of St John's College, Oxford, 1598±1860 (1958), 255±78. It also held out against electing married fellows, with the perhaps not unforeseen result of excluding two radical members of the college's teaching staff, Sidney Ball and T. C. Snow, from its governing body; W. H. Hutton, S. John Baptist College (1898) 232; T. Hinchcliffe, North Oxford (1992), 76, 166. 39 C. S. L. Davies and Jane Garnett (eds), Wadham College (1994), 46.

the colleges in the new era


f i g u r e 4.1 Numbers of undergraduates (men) in residence in each college and hall: 1842, 1871, 1891, and 1911 Sources: Pt 1, 159; RCOC (1872), vol. I; OM 4 Feb. 1891, 188; OM 23 Feb. 1911, 220.


a new collegiate pattern

way of the halls. Possible scope for achieving savings by having a single head, and a single bursar, led to negotiations in 1877/8 between Lincoln and Brasenose with a view to amalgamation, though the project, like similar proposals at Cambridge to merge Emmanuel and Christ's, and King's with St Catharine's, was eventually abandoned.40 Inter-collegiate lectures subsequently proved crucial to securing the viability of the small colleges unable to maintain extensive teaching staffs, while, as the case of St Edmund Hall showed, there was a renewed sentiment in favour of preserving diversity.41 Jesus, for long tainted with an unfashionable provincialism by its closed Welsh endowments, achieved a resurgence. In 1857 it had extracted a concession from the commissioners, and was made an exception to the general policy of openness, half of the fellowships and all but two of the scholarships being protected for natives of Wales and Monmouthshire.42 By 1873, when it had slipped to the position of the smallest, the college was represented in the undergraduate press as a centre of `pig-headed conservatism', and attacked for its isolation and its failure to make a respectable showing either in the class lists or on the river.43 Two decades later, its position as the national college for Wales, which an `Anglicizing' party on the governing body saw as an anachronism, proved instead a source of strength, particularly when the reform of Welsh secondary education produced an enlarged supply of quali®ed applicants.44 During the principalship of John RhyÃs, whose election in 1895 represented a victory for those who wished to develop the connection with Welsh Nonconformity,45 Jesus became one of the most progressive colleges, admitting teacher-training students attached to the Day Training College, research students from the Welsh university colleges, and a signi®cant number of overseas students. To reaf®rm the point, in 1910 the principal and fellows elected David Lloyd George to an honorary fellowship.46 Despite some variations in the experience of individual colleges, the thirty years after 1860 were a period of overall expansion, as a surge of candidates came forward principally from the enlarged community of public schools. There was a lull during the mid-1890s; at Christ Church, which suffered from the bad publicity following the Blenheim and Bullingdon `rows', there were up to ®fty sets of rooms lying empty and depriving the scouts of 40 V. H. H. Green, Oxford Common Room: A Study of Lincoln College and Mark Pattison (1957), 298±301; Brooke, Cambridge, 44. 41 H. E. P. Platt, A Plea for the Preservation of Lincoln College (1878), 5. 42 E. G. Hardy, Jesus College (1899), 197±8, 207±8. In 1882 the restrictions on fellowships were modi®ed to allow tutors and half the scholarships to be elected by open competition. 43 UJ 5 June, 19 June, 23 Oct. 1873; H. Ll. Browne, Jesus College College, Oxford. A Letter to G. Osborne Morgan (1870), 5. 44 K. O. Morgan, Rebirth of a Nation: Wales 1880±1980 (1982), 100. 45 H. Thomas (ed.), Father and Son: Memoirs of Thomas Thomas and of Llewelyn Thomas (1898), 146. 46 Gazette, xl (3 Aug. 1910), 904.

the colleges in the new era


expected income.47 A well-informed observer of the school sixth-forms in England which fed the University, Percy Matheson of New College, reckoned in 1894 that the limit of boys quali®ed for, and whose parents were able to afford, an Oxford education had been reached, and that any foreseeable increase was likely to come from overseas students.48 This proved a substantially accurate prediction during the following twenty years, when undergraduates from abroad were largely responsible for swelling the total number of men in residence to over 3,000.49 It did, however, fail to take account of the potential for expansion from within the United Kingdom, and in particular from Scotland, indicated by the prominence of Scots in the Oxford rugby football XV during the early 1880s.50 Matriculations from Scotland more than doubled between 1885 and 1910 and among these, former pupils of Scottish schoolsÐmany in¯uenced by the English publicschool modelÐwere as numerous as those who came up by the more traditional route of study at a Scottish university associated with the Snell exhibitioners who passed from Glasgow to Balliol.51 The old ideal of `the frugal student buried in his books and working by himself in austere lodgings', which had inspired the Non-Collegiate scheme in mid-Victorian Oxford,52 was in decline: Scottish parents had become increasingly willing to give their sons an English collegiate education. In response to the pressure of numbers, the colleges undertook ambitious building programmes, and succeeded in stabilizing the proportion of undergraduates obliged to live in lodgings at about a third. To critics like Mark Pattison the drive to accommodate more undergraduates had reduced tutors to boarding-house keepers and prevented colleges from serving as `retreats for study',53 while the demolition of historic vernacular buildings to make way for new student rooms led William Morris in 1885 to deliver his famous castigation of `modern commercial dons'.54 The priority given to undergraduate education in the `reformed' colleges, and the `commercial' spirit which this could engender, was most powerfully demonstrated by the annual competition for college scholarships. Redistri47



Memorial from the Christ Church scouts to the Steward, Nov. 1897, CA S. xxxi.a.2, fo.

Bryce Commn, v. 201. See below, Table 23.A3. 50 R. McWhirter and A. Noble, Centenary History of Oxford University Rugby Football Club (1969), 42. 51 Stone, `Size and Composition', 101, table 9. Of boys admitted to ®ve leading Scottish schools, 1895±9 (all of which happened to have Oxford graduates as headmasters in 1900), 81 went on to Oxford: The Edinburgh Academy Register 1824±1914 (1914); The Fettes College Register 1870 to 1922 (1923); The Glenalmond Register, 1847±1929 (1929); The Loretto Register 1825 to 1948 (1949); Merchiston Castle School Register 1833 to 1950 (1952). 52 R. D. Anderson, Education and Opportunity in Victorian Scotland (1983), 328. 53 Essays on the Endowment of Research (1876), 10. 54 `The Vulgarization of Oxford', Daily News, 20 Nov. 1885, repr. in The Letters of William Morris to his Family and Friends, ed. P. Henderson (1950), 242±3. 49


a new collegiate pattern

bution of college endowments after 1854 considerably increased the number of scholarships; by the early twentieth century there were some 500 in all, nearly 400 of which were open to all-comers who chose to compete for them, except that candidates must not have exceeded the age of 19 (and must, of course, be male).55 Although some were awarded for Mathematics, Natural Science, and Modern History, the great majority (about 300) were in Classics. In elections to the latter the rivalry between the colleges, anxious to attract the pick of the classically educated sixth-formers, was ®ercest. With large ®nancial resources available (by the early 1870s some £25,000 was applied to this purpose), larger and wealthier colleges, such as New College and Queen's, awarding open scholarships for the ®rst time, were tempted to try to outbid those colleges who had pioneered scholarship competitionsÐ Balliol, Corpus, Trinity, and WadhamÐliterally by offering more money to successful candidates. The Selborne Commission put a stop to this in 1882, ®xing an £80 annual maximum value for scholarships. For the next thirty years the colleges manoeuvred to hold their examinations at the most favourable position in the academic year, to sweep the cream `like some piratical milkman, from our scholastic pans before it had time to come to the top' as H. B. Gray of Brad®eld College complained, in one of the many colourful denunciations of the colleges delivered from the platform of the Headmasters' Conference.56 Combinations among colleges helped to reduce the number of examinations and disruption of the school year. Queen's negotiated with Brasenose to hold a joint examination in 1870,57 Pembroke joined with Merton in 1877. By 1885 thirteen colleges examined in three groups, who agreed to space their competitions evenly around the year, rotating year by year and so spreading the opportunities to enjoy the prime time in Michaelmas term.58 Rotation soon broke down, and the strongest group, Corpus, Magdalen, and New College took the unprecedented step of seizing the ®rst week in November 1891 as a direct challenge to Balliol which, claiming `ancient usage', held aloof from combinations and insisted on its right to recruit scholars at this most favourable moment.59 The ensuing committees, negotiations with the Cambridge colleges and the headmasters, alliances, and treaties, followed by breakaways and recriminations, made for an intricate and unedifying narrative of competition in the collegiate world.60 Balliol was identi®ed as the main obstacle to agreement, but other colleges, who set equally high store by the traditions of their scholars, were 55 G. N. Curzon, Principles & Methods of University Reform (1909), 77, 81. About 120 were still subject to local and school restrictions. 56 Journal of Education, Jan. 1897, 70. 57 J. R. Magrath, The Queen's College (2 vols 1921), ii. 190. 58 Papers relating to combined examinations for college scholarships, 1885±1900, Bodl. G. A. Oxon. c. 212. 59 Journal of Education, Jan. 1893, 62. 60 OM 2 Dec. 1903, 114±15.

the colleges in the new era


content to watch the headmasters' ideas for closed seasons and large combinations of colleges fall to the ground. `Better the thing should break down over Balliol,' a Wadham tutor con®ded to his Trinity ally about one proposal which they privately opposed, the two colleges having acted in concert for a number of years.61 Wadham had particular grounds for being wary of change, for in the early 1890s scholarship elections had brought it a particularly brilliant crop of entrants, whose celebrity helped to raise the college from the doldrums.62 The emphasis which colleges now placed on selecting the scholars who were to uphold their academic reputations ensured that the headmasters' complaints remained unresolved before 1914. To the suggestion, in 1909, that scholarship examinations `should be less wasteful of time and energy' the Corpus governing body, which was justi®ably proud of its long history of competitive elections, observed that they did not regard the exercise an excessive burden, `considering their [scholars'] great importance to the success of the College.'63 Corpus was unusual in having a large number of scholars in relation to its size (30 out of about 75 resident undergraduates at the turn of the century). In most colleges scholars, who were `elected', were considerably outnumbered by commoners, who were merely `admitted'.64 The latter procedure simply involved making an application to the head of the chosen college, producing testimonials of good conduct, and sitting whatever examination a college chose to set (though, increasingly, candidates were exempt from this if they had passed a school examination equivalent to Responsions). Commoner admissions were some of the most signi®cant remaining responsibilities of the heads who, in their dealings with parents and schoolmasters of prospective undergraduates, could play an important part in creating the `tone' of their respective colleges. In other respects, the heads had been left in an uncertain position by the new ordinances of the 1850s. Educational councils or tutorial committees reduced their power to organize teaching, while their traditional prerogatives in the appointment of tutors also came under challenge.65 Fellows were no longer willing to allow heads undisputed responsibility in matters of undergraduate discipline, as Pattison discovered when he ®nally assumed the headship of Lincoln.66 Even in the minor affairs of college administration the heads could no longer rely upon their customary powers; in 1862 the President of Trinity faced moves by the fellows to usurp what he claimed to 61

H. P. Richards to H. E. D. Blakiston, n.d. [1899], TCA. C. Ellis, C. B. The Life of Charles Burgess Fry (1984), 15. 63 HCP 84 (1909), 367. 64 Scholars and exhibitioners made up in total about a third of undergraduates, though the exact proportions varied between colleges. 65 Jones, Balliol, 210; SC. Tests (1870±1), Qs 4±5, 15. 66 Green, Oxford Common Room, 268±9. 62


a new collegiate pattern

be his right to appoint college laundresses.67 Some heads found themselves reduced to ciphers. College government at Merton had almost entirely passed out of the hands of Bullock-Marsham, the ageing warden. Provost Hawkins of Oriel (whose position has been described in Part I Chapter 6) and Warden Symons of Wadham, accustomed in the pre-reform era to autocratic rule, became isolated ®gures. In the radical mood of the 1860s, some reformers questioned the need for headships at all. Many of their customary duties, W. L. Newman of Balliol contended, were being carried out by other college of®cers.68 In smaller colleges, Thomas Fowler statedÐ some years before he became President of CorpusÐ`the duties of the head are almost merely nominal.'69 One model for the regeneration of the of®ce was presented by the headmasters of the reformed public schools, who combined teaching and moral leadership with the ordinary executive duties of headship. Jowett drew an explicit parallel with Dr Arnold's successors: `I should attach educational duties to the headships; like the head of a great public school, the head of a college should teach.'70 This precept was to be enthusiastically carried out by G. G. Bradley, who had been Master of Marlborough before his election in 1870 to the mastership of University College. The transformation of Marlborough from a near breakdown of discipline and the verge of bankruptcy in the early 1850s to a ®rst-rank public school in the following decade, was reckoned one of the striking successes of Victorian upper-class education, and Bradley set about achieving a similar transformation in his Oxford college which, during the long years of Dr Plumptre's headship, had settled into a leisurely, if gentlemanly, routine. His ®rst address to the undergraduates had a decidedly headmagisterial tone, and was described as `mealy' by a diarist among them, whose ®rst impressions of the new Master were not favourable.71 Educated under Arnold at Rugby, and in¯uenced by A. P. Stanley when an undergraduate at University in the early 1840s, Bradley brought in two other Marlborough men sharing his Broad Churchmanship, J. F. Bright, who taught modern history, and the classicist, S. H. Butcher. Bradley himself undertook a signi®cant amount of teaching, `lecturing at least once daily on classical and theological subjects'.72 Together they swiftly raised academic standards and attracted sons of both Gladstone and Salisbury. His rule ended, however, in disharmony, and he accepted with some relief Gladstone's offer of the deanery of Westminster in 1881. The fellows had found an interventionist head not to their liking, and the under67 68 69 70 71 72

Trinity College Order Book 1852±85, 158±9 (18 Mar. 1862), TCA. SCOC (1867), evidence, Qs 1507±9. SCOC (1867), evidence, Q. 2306. SCOC (1867), evidence, Q. 2404. A. Cree (ed.), 1871: An Oxford Diary (1974), 14. RCOC (1872) Pt II. 201.

the colleges in the new era


graduates staged a highly publicized college `row' in 1879.73 Jowett's hand was detected in the election of another headmaster, John Percival of Clifton, to the presidency of Trinity in 1878. Already controversial as an outsider to Trinity (he was a graduate and former fellow of Queen's), Percival compounded matters by immediately embarking on a heavy-handed drive to root out undergraduate idlers.74 A similar unwillingness to tread carefully in matters touching the independence of college fellows, and lack of sympathy on his part for the growing importance which they attached to scholarly research, made for a turbulent governing body. Finding university life uncongenial, he departed in 1887 for the headmastership of Rugby. `Some scenes at college meetings have left a painful impression on my memory,' Robinson Ellis, one of the fellows, regretted.75 There was also friction at Jesus where H. D. Harper, formerly headmaster of Sherborne School and one of the founders of the Headmasters' Conference, was Principal from 1877 to 1895. He probed into every area of college life, analysed class lists, marked collections, kept records of chapel attendance, drew up the kitchen tariff, and even supervised the furnishing of undergraduates' rooms.76 His ceaseless interference was allied to a bluff manner adjudged, by an admittedly hostile witness, `better suited to a school than to a university. . . He treated undergraduates like school-boys, and dons as subordinates.'77 Subsequent elections suggested that fellows had become wary of headmasters in their midst. University's preferred choice as Bradley's successor was the scientist, T. H. Huxley (who declined the offer);78 on the death of Provost Hawkins in 1882, Oriel passed over its successful tutor and dean, A. G. Butler, a former headmaster of Haileybury College, in favour of the distinguished Homeric scholar D. B. Monro. Nevertheless, the dire position of Pembroke in the 1890s, `small, slenderly endowed and unadvertised',79 caused the college to look to John Mitchinson, formerly head of King's School, Canterbury, in an attempt to restore its fortunes. Some of the entrepreneurial abilities displayed by headmasters were increasingly expected of college heads, much as W. R. Anson, observing developments from the relative sanctuary of All Souls, might deplore a new breed who `advertised their educational wares as though old colleges had turned bubble companies'.80 In the new competitive climate heads were obliged to keep their 73 OM 6 May 1903, 307±8, and S. H. Butcher, `The Late Dean Bradley', Fortnightly Review, 80 (1903), 111±12. 74 He was lampooned in a Shrimpton caricature: Bodl. G. A. Oxon. 4 415, no. 627. 75 W. Temple, Life of Bishop Percival (1921), 91; J. Potter, Headmaster. The Life of John Percival, Radical Autocrat (1998), chs 19 and 20. 76 J. N. L. Baker, Jesus College Oxford 1571±1971 (1971), 74±82. 77 G. Hartwell Jones, A Celt Looks at the World, ed. Wyn Grif®th (1946), 34. 78 L. Huxley, Life and Letters of T. H. Huxley (2 vols 1900), ii. 31±2. 79 D. Macleane, Pembroke College (1900), 256. 80 H. H. Henson (ed.), A Memoir of Sir William Anson (1920), 15.


a new collegiate pattern

societies in the public eye. Promoting good relations with old members formed a growing part of their duties.81 After the end of Bullock-Marsham's long tenure of of®ce at Merton (1826±81), the fellows elected George Brodrick, who could be expected to repair its weakened connections with the wider world. Three instances of resignation, an act rarely heard of in the earlier age of digni®ed sinecuristsÐSamuel Wayte of Trinity (1878), John Grif®ths of Wadham (1881), and Albert Watson of Brasenose (1889)Ðsuggested the new pressures which went with the of®ce. Not the least of these was an expectation that heads would take a lively interest in undergraduate enthusiasms. Heads became familiar ®gures on college barges, along touchlines, or in cricket pavilions. Even J. E. Sewell of New College, known to generations of undergraduates as `The Shirt' on account of what they regarded as his rather old-fashioned stiffness of deportment, genially presided over the rowdy celebrations which followed the college's success on the river in 1887.82 The venerable ®gure of Sewell provided a valuable symbol of continuity at New College, reconciling older generations of Wykehamists to the drastic breach with the past resulting from the opening up of the college during his wardenship.83 Elsewhere younger men came to the fore. T. H. Warren, perhaps the most prominent head of his generation, was elected President of Magdalen in 1885, at the age of 32. A pupil of Percival at Clifton and then an undergraduate at Balliol, Warren carried out in many respects Jowett's ideal of headship, continuing to teach after his election and serving as a University examiner. Warren's methods closely resembled those of the ill-fated headmaster heads, but with an important exception. Bradley gave offence by his schoolmasterly use of sarcasm with both pupils and colleagues, and Percival did so by his blunt outspokenness; Warren, by contrast, unfailingly exhibited an elaborate courtesy, which sometimes invited parody, and made conciliation an article of policy. His manner was a public acknowledgement that a college head, unlike his school counterparts (who, under the Public Schools Act of 1868, enjoyed the power to dismiss their teaching staff), was only a ®rst among equals.84 Increasingly colleges looked to heads who had made substantial contributions to learning. The statutes of 1882 included, as a general quali®cation for a headship, ®tness to preside over the college as a place of `religion, learning, and education'. All Souls omitted `education'; Queen's and St John's added `research'. Jesus, Corpus, New College, and Exeter had further stipulations that the head should be `distinguished for literary or scienti®c attainments'.85 81

Brodrick, 372. C. F. Cholmondeley diary (copy), 25 May 1887, NCA. 83 The Times, 8 Jan. 1903, 7. 84 An exception was Keble, whose charter conferred upon the Warden absolute power in internal matters, pp.179±80. 85 Statutes (1882), 405, 326, 593, 622, 497, 369, 249. 82

the colleges in the new era


Corpus, which had voluntarily revised its own statutes in 1855 in advance of the Executive Commissioners, con®rmed its commitment to university reform by electing a succession of heads (J. M. Wilson, Thomas Fowler, and Thomas Case) who were, or had been, professors.86 In other respectsÐ partly determined by the generation to which late nineteenth-century heads belongedÐtradition proved remarkably persistent. A majority of those elected between 1882 and 1914 (®fteen out of twenty-eight) were in holy orders, and only two of those who held of®ce in that period (setting aside the early elections to Keble and Hertford) had not previously been members of the colleges over which they presided.87 Open elections to fellowships, especially during the heyday of competitive examinations between 1857 and 1882, had more rapid and far-reaching effects. At a time when Balliol's academic position among the colleges was rivalled only by Corpus, its graduates enjoyed disproportionate success in fellowship examinations. Jowett's men almost literally colonized other colleges; of the 238 college fellows in 1878 who had been elected since 1860, over a quarter (65) had been Balliol undergraduates. Merton represented a very different effect of openness, for none of its fellows in 1892 had been an undergraduate of the college.88 In a few cases the working out of vested interests delayed the full impact of competition: the last Magdalen demy elected under the old statutes retained his position until 1877, while St John's congratulated itself that as late as 1898 ®ve of its twelve fellows had been elected under the conditions of the old (pre-1861) foundation.89 By 1876, however, fellows elected under the reformed ordinances were in a majority at most colleges.90 College government could very rapidly fall into the hands of comparatively young men (in 1878 over 40 per cent of fellows were aged under 35). Mindful of the ease with which some colleges freed themselves from the clerical restrictions written into the ordinances of the 1850s, the founders of Keble and Hertford created unusual constitutional arrangements to secure the position of those two colleges as, in John Wordsworth's bleak expression, `places of refuge' for religion in the face of secularizing liberalism.91 At Keble College government was ultimately vested in an external council, on which the tutors (there were no fellows) were denied an of®cial place.92 Although the Principal and fellows constituted the governing body at Hertford, Baring protected his endowment for denominational education by placing it in the hands of trustees, beyond the reach of any radical dons. 86

M. Schalenberg, `How the Professors came to Corpus', Pelican Record, xxxix (1994), 12±22. Thomas Fowler of Corpus, an undergraduate at Merton and a fellow at Lincoln, and John Percival of Trinity. 88 Foster, Oxford Men, 93±5. 89 Hutton, S. John, 232. 90 J. R. Magrath, University Reform: Two Papers (1876), 6. 91 J. Wordsworth, Keble College and the Present University Crisis (1869), 14. 92 Mallet iii. 428. 87


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A limited check upon the younger fellows was provided by the professors whom the Selborne Commission `billeted', as contemporaries saw it, upon the colleges in the 1882 statutes. Although the ordinances of 1857/8 had charged individual colleges with ®nancing chairs, they had not generally required that their holders should be elected to fellowships at the colleges which paid for them. During the 1870s some sought to place professors on to governing bodies in order to strengthen what Thomas Fowler called `the older and more experienced element' as a counter to the impulsiveness of the juniors.93 Honorary fellowships, created by the executive commissioners in the 1850s, had been intended to have something of this effect and during the following two decades distinguished outsiders were occasionally brought into contact with college life. Robert Browning, who was not an Oxford graduate, made regular visits to Balliol after Jowett had secured his election to an honorary fellowship there; and Corpus brought Ruskin into its society in the early 1870s. At Queen's, two overseas scholars, the archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann and the Egyptologist Gaston Maspero, sharing the research interests of one of its fellows, A. H. Sayce, were elected in 1883 and 1887 respectively.94 Such honorands could not, however, participate in college government, unlike the professor-fellows, though the in¯uence of the latter was always limited to a minority voice on bodies dominated by tutors. Chapters 1 and 2 have described the emergence of the tutorial (or `of®cial') fellow, no longer obliged to enter holy orders and now free to retain his position after marriage.95 This was accompanied by a signi®cant transfer of resources in favour of undergraduate teaching, at the expense of holders of fellowships to which no duties were attached.96 These latter, the `prize' (or to their critics `idle') fellowships represented nearly 60 per cent (some 220) of all fellowships in 1872.97 Twenty years later the number of fellows not undertaking teaching or administrative duties had fallen to about 125 (41 per cent), and among these barristers and journalists in London, the bane of commentators in the 1870s, had ceased to be the major element: the total included those who retained their fellowships after retiring from teaching, fellows holding posts at other universities, extension lecturers, masters at public schools, as well as a few clergymen undertaking parochial work at home or as missionaries overseas, and young men undertaking advanced study in Oxford or at continental UniversitiesÐas colleges increasingly encouraged them to doÐbefore embarking on academic careers. The latter accounted for a substantial number of holders of the `ordinary' fellowships, 93

The Academy 23 Mar. 1878, 259; Devonshire Commn 4th Report, Q. 13, 737. D. A. Traill, Excavating Schliemann (Atlanta, Ga., 1993), 230. 95 The ®gures cited in Engel, Clergyman to Don, 263, 287, indicating that the majority (69%) of college of®cers during 1881±1900 were clergymen, have been corrected in A. Haig, The Victorian Clergy (1984), 97 n. 71; 31% were in orders. 96 The ®nancial aspects are charted in Pt 1, 408±9. 97 Devonshire Commn 3rd Report, xliv.; Magrath, University Reform, 17. 94

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with a ®xed tenure of seven years, created in 1882. As a result of these developments, the phenomenon of non-residence was much reduced. In Michaelmas 1905 all the fellows of Trinity were reported to be resident `and taking part in the work of the College', the ®rst time that this had been the case, it was believed, since the end of the seventeenth century.98 Some indication of the total manpower now occupied in college teaching can be gained by looking in detail at the position in Michaelmas term of 1892, when there were 304 holders of fellowships.99 Setting aside the 125 who had no duties, together with the 34 fellows who were University professors and readers, and 12 who were college of®cers not involved in teaching (mainly bursars), there were 129 fellows holding teaching posts as tutors or lecturers in their own or other colleges. The subjects they taught can be determined only approximately, either because this was frequently not speci®ed or because an individual might teach two or three honour schools (in which case an attempt has been made to establish their main ®eld of interest), but the following indicates the general picture: 81 fellows taught principally in the general area of pass and honour classical moderations and Lit. Hum.; 11 taught Mathematics; 8, Natural Sciences; 3, Jurisprudence (the teaching for which was still mainly in the hands of University professors and readers); 13, Modern History; and 13, Divinity and Theology. In addition to these, the colleges, halls, and Non-Collegiate delegacy between them employed a further 40 tutors and lecturers who did not hold fellowships (roughly distributed between Lit. Hum. 14; Mathematics 3; Natural Sciences 5; Jurisprudence 5; Modern History 6; Theology 7). In all, nearly 170 college teachers were employed in teaching about 2,400 resident undergraduates. A major achievement of the late Victorian generation of dons was to institutionalize the method of individual tuition which was known to its early practitioners as the `private hour', but which became more familiar to the later twentieth century as the `tutorial'. In 1897 W. J. Ashley, who had read Modern History at Balliol (1878±81) and remained in Oxford until 1886, described the system to a readership in America, where he held a chair: As a rule, each undergraduate has a regular appointment with his tutor every week; he is alone for half an hour or three-quarters, and exhibits a piece of work, usually in the form of an essay, which is then and there read and criticised; and these weekly pieces of work are so arranged that the undergraduate may acquaint himself, during the whole allotted time, with the whole ®eld on which he proposes to be examined.100

Although the weekly meeting described by Ashley became central to the educational process in Oxford, its introduction and evolution have left little 98

Trinity College Annual Report, 1904±05. These ®gures are based on Foster's Oxford Men and Their Colleges (1893) and the Calendar for 1893 (effectively Michaelmas 1892). 100 `Jowett and the University Ideal' repr. from Atlantic Monthly (July 1897) in W. J. Ashley, Surveys Historic and Economic (1900), 449±50. 99


a new collegiate pattern

trace in the formal administrative records which comprise college archives. Some college tutors earlier in the century did see their pupils individually,101 but the practice of listening to and commenting on an essay read by the student was particularly associated with the private coaches. Alexander Grant of Oriel, whose tuition was sought by Greats men in the early 1850s as the most authoritative in Oxford on Aristotle's Ethics, was remembered as a candid, but always encouraging, critic of essays, whose informal mannerÐ he tilted backwards in his chair, pipe in mouth, when discussing his pupils' workÐanticipated later evocations of the of®cial tutorial system and the twentieth-century aphorism that an Oxford education consisted of `being smoked at'.102 Gradually, and informally, college tutors (many of whom in the 1860s and 1870s would have had experience of private tuition both as pupils and teachers) introduced the technique into their of®cial duties. A classical tutor at Wadham, G. E. Thorley, who had graduated in 1852, witnessed the change. `What was done by some tutors, and was looked upon as a very exceptional thing, when I was an undergraduate,' he told the Selborne Commission in 1877, `is now done by all tutors.'103 Testimony from the 1860s illustrates the beginning of the transition. T. H. S. Escott, who matriculated at Queen's in 1861, gave a favourable account of the college teaching of the time, but for individual teaching he had to seek private coaches.104 By the second half of the decade, however, Thomas Humphry Ward of Brasenose was taking essays as a matter of course to his college Greats tutor.105 Such meetings now became the principal call upon tutors' time. E. A. Knox, tutor at Merton from 1875 to 1885, gave intercollegiate lectures in Modern History twice a week in addition to lectures to his own college's passmen, but he described the bulk of his work as being `private instruction both in Honour and in Pass Work'.106 W. L. Courtney, a classical lecturer at New College, was required in 1876 to give six hours of lectures and twelve hours of `private work' a week.107 Later in the century the balance had shifted even further. H. A. L. Fisher, tutor at New College from 1891, lectured twice a week, but devoted at least eighteen hours to individual pupils.108 Colleges could now monitor students' progress, on the lines of the Balliol practice of tutors' meetings every Friday afternoon `going through the men', while teachers had regular, personal opportunities to keep their charges up to the mark.109 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109

See Pt 1, 152±3. Quasi Cursores (1884), 8±9. UOC (1877), evidence, Q. 2185. For early examples see Pt I, 60, 152. National Review, 24 (1894), 236±7. T. H. Ward, `Brasenose, 1864±1872', Brasenose Monographs, ii Pt ii, 76±7. Knox, Reminiscences, 99. NCA MS 9647, Minutes of the Warden and Tutors 1866±1882, 568. D. Ogg, Herbert Fisher, 1865±1940 (1947), 38. H. W. C. Davis, Balliol College (1899), 215.

the colleges in the new era


This intensive teaching effort virtually extinguished the demand for private coaching, at least among men reading for honours. In 1866 the Oxford Undergraduate's Journal could point to the example of the leading colleges, Balliol, Corpus, and New College, where the teaching was so effective that few undergraduates had to seek outside tuition, and called upon the other colleges to appoint more tutors so as to dispense with the need for coaching altogether.110 Those reading for the newer honour schools in colleges which had not yet appointed specialist tutors felt the lack of such guidance. Randall Davidson of Trinity, who took a third in the Law and History school in 1871, thought the inter-collegiate lectures no substitute for a `friend or tutor'. His college did not provide the tutor, who could have taken him `more thoroughly in hand' and given advice on what to read, and how.111 In 1875 a commoner reading Jurisprudence at Magdalen, which then had no law tutor, took matters into his own hands after being sent to a reluctant lecturer at another college who proved to be, in the student's estimation, `a drivelling idiot'. He approached Sir William Anson of All Souls after the latter's lecture on English real property law `and told him I should like to write for him'. Anson duly arranged a meeting, set an essay title, and sent him off with a list of books to consult.112 In the Jurisprudence and Theology honour schools, both of which had strong traditions of professorial lecturing, a shift to tutorial teaching was associated with the increased importance attached to essay work.113 This had developed rather earlier in Greats, particularly in the study of philosophy, and it is notable that the pioneers of the new tutorial system were generally the specialist philosophy tutors who, as Chapter 11 points out, began to be appointed in the mid-1860s. In a classic account of the work of a teacher of philosophy, A. C. Bradley described how R. L. Nettleship of Balliol, when discussing his pupils' essays, `attacked the matter as if it were something perfectly new, into which he was making his way for the ®rst time'. The key to Nettleship's teaching was advancing the student's understanding: `At the end of two years a pupil might have heard not a sentence from him about some of the most famous controversies, yet he found himself familiar with the points really at issue.'114 Other tutors adopted a more direct approach, criticizing the essay-writer's style, or challenging the writer to defend his conclusions; recollections of the late nineteenth-century tutorial system 110

UJ, 24 Oct. 1866, 77. G. K. A. Bell, Randall Davidson (1952), 24. 112 Diary of L. C. Cholmeley, 1872±5 (copy), 21 Jan. 1875, 26 Jan. 1875, MCA MS 1102/2, pp. 258±9, 262±3. 113 UOC (1877), Q. 991; Statement of the University of Oxford Commissioners, Gazette, viii (26 Apr. 1878), 341; F. H. Lawson, The Oxford Law School, 1850±1965 (1967), 56±8; W. Wand, Changeful Page (1965), 33. 114 `Biographical sketch' in R. L. Nettleship, Philosophical Lectures and Remains, ed. A. C. Bradley and G. R. Benson (2 vols 1897), i., p. xxxix. 111


a new collegiate pattern

abound with accounts of peppery reactions to pupils' written offerings.115 One pupil recalled the interjections of his history tutor, Arthur Johnson, as he read out his essay: `This is all absolute rubbish!' or `I never heard such rot in my life.'116 Johnson liked his pupils to argue back, as did another history tutor of the period, O. M. Edwards, whose aim was rather to `provoke a debate or suggest an inquiry than dictate answers which might be useful in the schools'.117 Pressure from pupils to provide `coaching' for the schools must, however, have been hard to resist, and at the turn of the century misgivings were raised on this account by well-informed critics, including the modern historian, Hereford George of New College. The ancient historian Warde Fowler of Lincoln considered that individual tuition was becoming too intensive and that undergraduates were being `over-taught', though he acknowledged that his view that essays might as readily be discussed in classes as individually was `heretical'.118 An anonymous attack on `the worship paid to the ``fetish'' of the ``private hour''', pointing to the extravagance of spending `six hours telling to six men separately what could be told in an hour to the six sitting in a row', drew from a philosophy tutor the ®rm reply that the object of the individual meeting was not the delivery of a lecture `but the discussion of problems arising out of a pupil's essay'.119 Personal tuition was also adopted in the natural sciences. At ®rst the colleges had seemed willing to cede the task of teaching scientists to the professors; on the opening of the University Museum in 1859, Balliol allowed its laboratory to fall into disuse and Christ Church, at Henry Acland's suggestion, moved its anatomical collections to the new centralized facility. During the following decade, however, college appointments in science began to be made, and laboratories were established, in the face of suspicion from the professors in the University Museum, who resented the college teachers as being outside their control, and viewed their laboratories as `rival' establishments.120 Here, the tussle during the 1870s between the professoriate and the colleges for authority over honours teaching, described in Chapter 2, had immediate relevance. Magdalen maintained and encouraged its own Daubeny Laboratory for the use of its science lecturers, Christ Church ®tted up a new laboratory for its readers in Chemistry (appointed in 1860) and Physics (1869), Balliol reopened its laboratory in 1877, shared with Trinity from 1879, and a small laboratory was erected in the garden of Keble (a short distance from the Museum) in 1885 by Sir John Conroy, 115

W. S. Swayne, Parson's Pleasure (1934), 64; S. Tallents, Man and Boy (1943), 123. H. S. Furniss, Memories of Sixty Years (1931), 51. 117 A. T. Davies, ``O.M.'': a memoir (1946), 48. 118 Times Educational Supplement, 3 Jan. 1911; W. Warde Fowler, An Oxford Correspondence of 1903 (1904), 72±4. 119 Times Educational Supplement, 3 Oct. 1911, 132; 7 Nov. 1911, 140. 120 Pt 1, 674±5; UOC (1877), evidence, Qs 476, 2958. 116

the colleges in the new era


the college's science lecturer.121 Christ Church vigorously defended the independence of its three Lee's readers, one of whom insisted in 1877: `I cannot see how science can be successfully cultivated in Christ Church without teachers who are bound to look after its own men.'122 Edward Chapman, who was elected to a Natural Science lectureship at Magdalen College in 1869, urged that science teaching should not be left to the Museum departments and that science students should receive from their colleges the same amount of attention given to classicists.123 Carrying out a recommendation of the Devonshire Commission, regulations at Magdalen for tuition in Natural Science, drawn up in 1873, required that the college teachers should provide lectures, classes, and `individual instruction given to individual students'.124 Since numbers reading for the Natural Sciences school remained small, not all colleges were willing to appoint science tutors. Before 1911, when its ®rst science fellow was elected, teaching arrangements at Oriel seem to have been haphazard. An undergraduate at the college who took the Physiology school in 1898 remembered being assigned to L. R. Phelps, whose interest in political economy was thought to make him the best quali®ed among the Oriel tutors to deal with a `modern' subject. Phelps referred him to the Museum professors for guidance on his course work. Their tutorial relationship seems, however, to have been fruitful. In later life the pupil recalled with appreciation being made to write weekly essays for Phelps on such topics as `party government' or `is the good always the beautiful?' and accompanying his tutor on Sunday walks to Otmoor.125 Developments in teaching practice had been accompanied by major changes in college discipline. A gradual tightening of college requirements concerning university examinations ensured that a higher proportion of undergraduates than previously were kept at their books. By 1873 Balliol, Corpus, New College, and University College required that all undergraduates should read for honours; New College also expected its members to take the examinations at the ®rst opportunity. Not all yet felt able to apply this rigour to their commoners: in 1873 Merton allowed its members two years to get through Pass Moderations; Exeter was prepared to permit its members to keep trying, if necessary, into their third year; while members of Worcester were only obliged to remove their names from the college books in the event of a ®fth unsuccessful attempt at surmounting this rather modest hurdle.126 But by the end of the century, though there remained marked 121 Tom Smith, `The Balliol-Trinity Laboratories' in J. Prest (ed.), Balliol Studies (1982), 195; Keble College Occasional Papers, V (1887), 3. 122 UOC (1877), evidence, Qs. 3359, 4841. 123 Letter of 2 Nov. 1870 quoted in UOC (1877), evidence, Q. 565. 124 Presidents' Note Book, 1872±77, p. 124 (5 Dec. 1873), MCA PR/2/5. 125 C. J. Martin, `Arthur Edwin Boycott', ONFRS 2 (1936±8), 562. 126 Handbook (1873), 22±3.


a new collegiate pattern

differences between the colleges in the proportion of passmen they admitted,127 the variation in academic practice and standards had narrowed. One outward sign of the new seriousness was the exclusion of dogs, whose nocturnal howlings had occasionally disturbed the peace of the unreformed colleges; Warden Sewell carefully enforced the rules against them at New College in the early 1860s, while George Bradley made their removal an issue at University College. Supper parties, a long-standing target for moral reformers, were suppressed at Trinity during 1857 and 1858 by the dean, Frederick Meyrick, who detested their `noisy and ill-conducted' proceedings, `gross language', and `®lthy songs'. Gatings and rustications were imposed on attenders at rowdy wine parties in the following decade.128 At Queen's the transition to a more ordered regime was carried through by J. R. Magrath, tutor from 1864 and chaplain until 1878, who coached the college eight and was active in the University ri¯e corps.129 Magrath was secretary of a committee of senior tutors established in 1867 to consult upon matters including undergraduate discipline; its existence coincided with moves to extract more work from students during the summer term.130 StrenuousnessÐand not exclusively of an academic sortÐwas exhorted, and `slacking' loudly condemned. Hereford George of New College, one of many donnish Alpinists in this period, was free with his criticisms when he detected lack of effort, intellectual or physical.131 A college sermon by L. G. Mylne, senior tutor of Keble between 1870 and 1876, took the theme of `Energy' and its application both in the schools and on the river: Mylne drew satisfaction from the effect of his preaching on the morale of the college boat, which subsequently achieved fourteen `bumps'.132 Vigour in all areas of college life was seen as the antidote to the luxury and materialism which Lord Salisbury, visiting Keble in 1876, condemned in national life. Gladstone brought the point closer to home when, addressing Glasgow students during his Midlothian election campaign in 1879, he contrasted their seriousness of purpose with the many idlers at Oxford and Cambridge who treated university life as an opportunity to `lounge'.133 This blunt message coincided with, and perhaps inspired, Percival's endeavours to shake up Trinity. Some saw promising results from the new mood of reinvigoration. Henry Scott Holland, junior Censor of Christ Church, told the university branch of the Church 127

See Pt 1, 372, Table 11. A3. Trinity College Decanal records, 1854±1882 (25 Nov. 1857, 15 Mar., 17 June 1858; 28 Apr., 18 Nov. 1864), TCA A. 2. 129 R. H. Hodgkin, Six Centuries of an Oxford College (1949), 182±3. 130 Minute Book of the Tutors' Committee, Queen's College Archives. 131 Alpine Journal, xxv (May 1911), 530±6. 132 An Account of the Proceedings at Keble College on the Occasion of the Opening of the Chapel (1876), 49, 70. 133 W. E. Gladstone, Midlothian Speeches, 1879 (1879; repr. Leicester, 1971), 231. I am indebted to Professor Colin Matthew for pointing out this reference. 128

the colleges in the new era


of England Temperance Society, that the recent `improvement in the condition of Oxford life' was the result of `the great variety of pursuits which now kept men constantly employed'.134 As proctors during 1882±3, Scott Holland and A. L. Smith of Balliol conducted a purge against prostitution in the town, declaring their priority to be `protecting the Undergraduates from needless temptation by vigilantly attending to the public decency of the streets'.135 Their actions, which coincided with the successful mission to Oxford by the American revivalists, Dwight Moody and Ira Sankey,136 were reinforced by the University branch of the Church of England Purity Association, founded in 1883, whose 800 members in 1887 included about 30 per cent of all undergraduates in residence. Scott Holland, Warden Talbot of Keble, and A. G. Butler of Oriel were among the organizing committee. Membership at Keble, where the association seems to have originated,137 was almost universal; Oriel and Worcester also provided substantial support.138 Sexual vice was thereafter a diminishing concern among disciplinary of®cers; entering a college after hours, though still an offence, ceased to be automatically associated with gross moral turpitude, and `climbing in' over the college walls could become a relatively good-natured test of ingenuity. In other matters it proved more dif®cult for college deans to to take concerted action. L. R. Farnell, Sub-Rector of Exeter from 1882, complained of their failure to agree a common policy towards college bon®res, undergraduate celebrations usually of sporting victories, which threatened to get out of hand in the mid-1880s.139 Some colleges treated them as occasions for licensed uproar, like bump suppers (previously disreputable occasions but which became sanctioned as of®cial college events). These provided essential outlets for the violent energies of the young men con®ned within college walls. During the restoration of the Bodleian, when the Schools tower was covered in wooden scaffolding, rockets, bombs, and sparks from a vast bon®re blazing in the nearby front quadrangle of Hertford, in celebration of the college going head of the river in 1881, presented an alarming prospect. The con¯agration, `fed with tables and chairs by a mad set of undergraduates who were chie¯y occupied in dancing insanely about it', had the permission of the Senior Proctor.140 A Harvard 134

OM 14 Nov. 1883, 372. Report to the Hebdomadal Council by the Proctors, presented 20 Jan. 1883, HCP; S. Paget (ed.), Henry Scott Holland (1921), 108. 136 UJ 16 Nov. 1882, 96, 23 Nov. 1882, 111. 137 Keble College Occasional Papers, no. III (Oct. 1882), 10±11. 138 The Church of England Purity Association. List of Members, Lent Term 1887 (1887). At Balliol and Brasenose, perhaps for differing reasons, membership was negligible. 139 L. R. Farnell, An Oxonian Looks Back (1934), 138±9. Six leading colleges failed to send representatives to a meeting of college deans which proposed to suppress bon®res; see circular, 23 May 1889, in Bodl. G. A. Oxon c. 153. 140 A. Goudie (ed.), Seven Hundred Years of an Oxford College: Hertford College, 1284± 1984 (1987), 48. 135


a new collegiate pattern

graduate visiting Queen's witnessed Provost Magrath looking on benignly at a bon®re circled by undergraduates variously hanging from trees or bashing tin baths.141 Spectacular breakdowns of control, widely reported in the press, showed that the establishment of a new order in the colleges was not uniformly smooth. Rapid expansion in student numbers during the 1860s placed additional strains on the colleges' disciplinary resources. An early sign of trouble was the gating of the whole of Merton College following a bon®re in the college on 5 November 1865.142 All the undergraduates at Trinity were threatened with rustication in Hilary term 1867 after a succession of incidents, including the blocking up of a passageway with snow to prevent access to morning chapel and the cutting of the chapel bell-rope.143 The same sentence was threatened at University College in March 1868 after a fellow had been `screwed up' (i.e. shut in his rooms by the insertion of screws into his outer oak door), and the rooms of an undergraduate vandalized, apparently in the wake of an unpopular decision of the governing body.144 At the end of November 1868, the governing body at New College actually carried out the sanction of mass rustication when the undergraduates refused to give up the names of those responsible for smashing an unpopular student's windows.145 The culmination of this turbulent period was the Christ Church library riot, described in Chapter 9. Further outbreaks occurred at the end of the 1870s. Discipline broke down in Wadham after eights week in 1879 when the authorities prohibited the holding of a college concert.146 In the following summer Bradley rusticated the whole of University College after the undergraduates refused to incriminate those responsible for screwing up the oak of a tutor, who was also Senior Proctor; they were subsequently taken back when the culprit owned up.147 An upshot of the rows was to hasten the building of houses for tutors and their families adjoining or near to the colleges, to ensure that responsible disciplinary of®cers were on hand at night. Young married tutors who could not be so accommodated were required to sleep in college rooms during term.148 Another effect was to strengthen the case for dispensing with examinations in elections to teaching fellowships. Colleges increasingly followed the lead of New College which, in 1869, gained the Privy Council's 141 O. Burnett and E. H. Goddard, Edward Perry Warren: The Biography of a Connoisseur (1941), 57. 142 L. Creighton, Life and Letters of Mandell Creighton (2 vols 1904), i. 19. 143 TCA, A.2 (22 Mar. 1867). 144 UCA, Minute book 1837±1877, 96±9. 145 NCA, MS 8561, p. 173; The Times, 2 Dec. 1868, 7; 3 Dec 1868, 5. 146 Davies and Garnett, Wadham, 46±7; The Guardian, 19 May 1880, 645. 147 Typescript history of the sending down of the undergraduates in 1880, UCA P45/MS/1; The Times, 13 May 1880, 9. 148 C. Colvin, `A Don's Wife a Century Ago', Oxoniensia, 50 (1985), 267±78.

the colleges in the new era


permission to do so, leaving the college `as free as possible to get the best men available for its actual business'.149 When this practice was applied generally by the statutes of 1882, selection procedures sometimes became highly informal and helped to produce an inward-looking tendency in college appointments. Recent graduates or even undergraduates about to take schools were marked out for tutorships as a premium became attached to potential teaching ability and the elusive quality of `getting on with the men'.150 For, ultimately, undergraduates had to be won over to change. The zeal of a prominent Evangelical, E. A. Knox, as principal of the postmasters (i.e. dean), to transform Merton into a reading college by a rigid enforcement of college discipline, was not an unquali®ed success. His punishments provoked formal student protests in 1880 and 1884; the historians of Merton record that when, after accepting a college living, Knox appeared in chapel for the last time, `the hymn ``Now thank we all our God'' was sung with particular enthusiasm by the undergraduates present.'151 During the 1890s two clerical deans, the cricketer H. M. Burge at University, and the oarsman Michael Furse at Trinity, enjoyed considerable in¯uence in their colleges, partly by virtue of their muscularity. Neither, however, had an academic vocation, and both left for other ®elds. Discipline tended to pass to laymen, for whom the exercise of a con®dent urbanity could achieve the desired result. `Let those who can take those who can't to bed,' was the injunction by which a Christ Church Censor, F. J. Haver®eld, the historian of Roman Britain, dispersed a late-night gathering of drunken revellers.152 The successes as a disciplinarian of R. W. Raper, Vice-President of Trinity, entered legend. `Gentlemen coming from homes where Bread throwing at the dinner table is habitual,' a notice which Raper produced at the turn of the century read, and ®nding a dif®culty in conforming suddenly to the unfamiliar ways of a higher civilization, will be permitted to continue their domestic pastime, on a payment of 5/a throw, during their ®rst year. After that the ®ne will be doubled.153

Schoolboy punishments of written impositions and admonitions, common in the pre-1850 period, were replaced by a more frequent use of ®nes and gatings; though in 1893 one experienced tutor reckoned that few measures had so immediate an effect as the threat to send a letter to an errant undergraduate's parents.154 149

Coker Adams to Lord President of the Council, 24 Oct. 1868, PRO PC1/2764. M. Bernard, A Letter. . . on the Statutes of the University of Oxford Commission (1882) 33; OM 10 Mar 1910, 258. 151 Martin and High®eld, Merton College, 313. 152 PBA ix (1919±20), 480. 153 Copy in Trinity College Archives DD32; cf. G. B. Grundy, Fifty-Five Years at Oxford (1945), 82. 154 `Oxford and Oxford Life', Church Quarterly Review, xxxvi (Apr. 1893), 164. 150


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Tutors such as Raper or Alfred Robinson of New College, another bachelor layman, with either private means or secure college incomes,155 stood in an altogether more independent relation to their charges than their predecessors earlier in the century. Impermanent tenure and even the hope of receiving ecclesiastical preferment from their pupils undermined the position of many of those called upon to teach undergraduates in the `unreformed' colleges; hence F. W. Newman's comment in 1843 that tutors could not exercise moral in¯uence until the tutorial of®ce was freed from its servile `semi-plebeian associations'.156 Raper, by contrast, was well-connected, and undergraduates famously sought his assistance when embarking on their careers.157 Much was also made of Robinson's disinterested service to his college, for he chose to devote his life to tuition and bursarial duties despite possessing a large private fortune and the ability, contemporaries believed, to have made a greater career in the outside world.158 The need for tutors to be seen to be independent lent urgency to efforts to permit married men to hold fellowships. In the early 1870s, when several distinguished married tutors continued to hold teaching positions after vacating their fellowships, they did so without the authority which came with a fellowship and membership of the governing body, and as a result were in some places dubbed `the college servants'.159 With permanence of tenure and a measure of independent standing, it became easier to make the pastoral aspect of the tutorial of®ce a reality. Several future tutors were in¯uenced by the example of John Conington who, in the early 1860s, as a fellow of Corpus and professor of Latin, organized reading parties for the ablest students throughout the university, whom he treated as personal friends.160 Some of the younger dons in that decade adopted the practice of addressing their pupils by surnames only, with `no Mr-ing or Sir-ing on either side', which was taken as a sign of the new informality.161 A pupil recalled of a conscientious tutor at Pembroke, who died in 1860, that `I do not think it occurred to him to exercise any in¯uence over us outside the lecture-room.'162 To the succeeding generation duty demanded that, as Nathan Bodington, elected a fellow of Lincoln in 1874, put it, they should `get hold of the men', inviting them to breakfasts or 155 The 1858 ordinances having relaxed or, in the case of of®cial fellowships, removed property disquali®cations attached to fellowships. 156 Huber, The English Universities, ii. pt 2, 518. 157 T. Weston, From Appointments to Careers: A History of the Oxford University Careers Service 1892±1992 (1994), 23. For an example of Raper's panache as a writer of testimonials see J. Hatcher, Laurence Binyon (1995), 37. 158 The Times, 23 Feb. 1895, 10; 29 Mar. 1895, 12. His will was proved at nearly £60,000. 159 E. W. Watson, Life of Bishop John Wordsworth (1915), 88. 160 Ibid. 24±5; J. W. Mackail, James Leigh Strachan-Davidson, Master of Balliol (1925), 26. 161 L. Ragg, A Memoir of Edward Charles Wickham, (1911) 53; E. S. Talbot, Memories of Early Life (1924), 31; Watson, John Wordsworth, 81. 162 Macleane, Pembroke, 481.

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afternoon walks, sharing their sporting interests, and taking them on reading parties in the long vacation.163 These closer relationships enabled Alfred Robinson, for example, to make a personal appeal to the young Richard Verney (later Lord Willoughby de Broke), to read for honours rather than devoting all his energies to hunting; Verney was forcibly reminded of the duties of the hereditary landowning class and challenged to justify his ancestral Conservative political beliefs. Robinson was no less concerned to dissuade a scholar, a clergyman's son from a minor public school, from wasting his talents (as his tutor saw it) by becoming a hack journalist.164 Christ Church men invited to join a reading party in 1890 led by Thomas Strong and W. O. Burrows, unmarried clerical dons who shared a determination to show that religious ideals could survive in a secularized University, came away with `the intimate revelation of a singularly simple, sincere, and strenuous character, the keynote of which was service'.165 Though the leisurely Oxford routine of the surviving life fellows was still kept up, as T. V. Bayne of Christ Church recorded in 1886,166 this was giving place to the teaching grind evoked by A. D. Godley's description of a ®ctional day in the life of a harassed tutorial fellow, published in 1894.167 C. C. J. Webb, a philosophy tutor at Magdalen for thirty years after his election in 1890, kept a detailed record of the new pattern.168 One volume of his diary, covering 1898±9 when he was still unmarried and living in college, documents the major themes.169 Although a layman, Webb began his days as a matter of course with college prayers. His ®rst pupil sometimes arrived at 9 o'clock with an essay. On three days a week at 10, he delivered an intercollegiate Greats Philosophy lecture. Twice a week in Michaelmas term 1898 he lectured on his special ®eld, the Philosophy of Religion, to a solitary regular attender. Further pupils came at 11 and 12, and again at 5.30, before dinner, and ®nally, after dining, two more might call in at his rooms at 9 and 10 in the evening. Tutorial duties included patrolling the college on bon®re night to ensure that ®res were dampened down; braving the college barge on a grey afternoon in February and dutifully noting that the Magdalen second Torpid had achieved a `bump'; joining with his colleagues on the tutorial board in deciding the fate of an undergraduate who had gone absent without leave before being tracked down to a Parisian hotel; or patiently listening late 163 W. H. Draper, Sir Nathan Bodington, First Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds (1912), 49. 164 Lord Willoughby de Broke, The Passing Years (1924), 149±51; Swayne, Parson's Pleasure, 64. 165 M. Moore, Winfrid Burrows (1932), 63. 166 See p. 230. 167 Godley, Aspects of Modern Oxford, ch. vii. 168 On Webb, see J. Patrick, The Magdalen Metaphysicals: Idealism and Orthodoxy at Oxford 1901±1945 (Mercer, 1985), ch. ii. 169 Bodl. MS Eng. Misc. e. 1145.


a new collegiate pattern

at night in his rooms to a pupil who had unexpectedly declared an intention to enter the Church. Committee work, an aspect of self-governing Oxford which Max MuÈller had noticed as unfamiliar in his native Germany, occupied much of Webb's time. In addition to the Tutorial Board and the college governing body, whose proceedings might occupy a working day, there were meetings of the college servants' committee to attend, one of which received disturbing reports of `great quarrels and dissensions' among the kitchen staff,170 or meetings of the university delegacy which regulated lodging houses. A regular attender at meetings of the university's legislative bodies, Webb was one of nearly 200 who turned out to vote in a hotly contested election for a vacant curatorship of the Bodleian which turned on the question, close to Webb's heart, of maintaining the library as a place of serious scholarship. Although he began teaching within two years of taking Schools and without embarking on a formal course of research training of the type increasingly considered necessary in university systems in¯uenced by the German academic model, Webb was a productive scholar and an active member of various inter-collegiate groups of scholars, informally constituted and independent of faculty control, which met regularly to hear and discuss papers.171 During term Webb's activity was located within a common life, which often began with a walk in the company of a colleague around the Magdalen Walks after morning chapel. Afternoons were devoted to longer expeditions by bicycle or on foot. One excursion, characteristic of donnish civic activism, took him to the Oxford workhouse with L. R. Phelps in connection with the Charity Organization Society. Then came dinners, either in Magdalen or as a guest at other colleges. On one occasion the diners heard Ingram Bywater recount `a stream of good stories, new and old . . . Oxford yarns, principally' of the sort which circulated as the oral traditions of Oxford's senior common rooms.172 On another, Webb noted a Brasenose don at the Tutors' Club dinner quite `done up' under the strain of coping with that college's notorious disciplinary problems.173 After collections on the last Saturday of Michaelmas term Webb remained in the Magdalen Smoking Room into the small hours, among a gathering of his colleagues, who vented some irritation at President Warren's interference with the Mods tuition. Webb's diary suggests how far the demands of undergraduate education had come to dominate the `reformed' colleges; ®fty years earlier, undergraduates at MagdalenÐthen an admittedly extreme caseÐhad been outnumbered by fellows, for whose bene®t (and comfort) the college had been 170 171 172 173

Bodl. MS Eng. Misc. e. 1145 fo. 15 (4 June 1898). On this point see pp. 619±22. Bodl. MS Eng. Misc. e 1145 fo. 88 (5 Dec. 1898). Ibid. fo. 88 (7 Dec. 1898).

the colleges in the new era


mainly run. In the constitutional language of statutes the word `college' was still taken to mean the governing body but, in ordinary parlance, when someone spoke of `the college' they were increasingly likely to be referring to the undergraduates, their expectations, and their achievements.174 One result of the new emphasis was that the freshman coming into residence during the last decades of the century found many more of his wants provided for within his college than his predecessor of Verdant Green's generation. Since more attention was paid to him by the authorities, he would also have found his life more closely controlled, with less unoccupied time at his disposal than his predecessors had enjoyed. He also entered a more homogeneous student world, in which a majority of his peers had undergone the shared experience of a public-school education (see Chapter 23). Common concerns found expression in the emerging undergraduate press; in its early years the Oxford Undergraduate's Journal, begun in 1866, took up the questions of chapel attendance, the management of sports clubs, and college catering.175 For their part, governing bodies set about trying to cut the costs of living in college. In 1868 Pattison, who regarded the residential system as `a social luxury, like the ®rst-class carriage in a railway, for those whose fortune warrants their having the indulgence', thought the cause hopeless, and he was not altogether disproved by subsequent developments.176 Domestic arrangements, formerly devolved to cooks, butlers, and manciples, were brought more closely under college control. In 1867 the fellows of Trinity took the management of the kitchen out of the hands of the manciple, transferring the accounts to the overall supervision of the fellow bursar.177 Similar steps were taken at Pembroke and Merton.178 Undergraduates supplied some of the momentum for change. They petitioned the governing body of Balliol in 1864,179 and a scathing list of complaints was drawn up by the junior members of University College. `The cook has contrived to secure the universal disapprobation of the college. It is generally agreed,' they continued, `that his puddings and potatoes are bad, his vegetables scanty, and his coffee often undrinkable.'180 Criticism of college catering came to larger prominence in the celebrated `Bread and Butter row' at Christ Church in 1865, whose outcome was the appointment of a salaried Steward.181 In many colleges the customary perquisites enjoyed by college servants were 174

Hodgkin, Six Centuries, 192. UJ 28 Oct. 1868, 321. 176 Pattison, Suggestions, 77. 177 TCA Trinity College Order Book, 209 (17 June 1867). 178 Macleane, Pembroke, 502; Creighton, Mandell Creighton, i. 59. 179 Memorial to the Master and Fellows of Balliol, Bodl. G. A. Oxon c. 269. 180 A Petition of the Resident Bachelors and Undergraduates to the Master and Fellows of University College, Oxford (n.p., n.d.), Bodl. G. A. Oxon c. 288. 181 Bill and Mason, Christ Church and Reform, 136, 141. 175


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cut back. In 1864 at University they were forbidden to charge for cleaning materials used on staircases and their customary right to purloin the remains from hall dinners was ended in return for a monetary payment by way of compensation. As a result, the college was able to consolidate and ®x the charges it made to undergraduates for service.182 In the following year, New College bought out many of the servants' customary privileges.183 Scouts lost much of their independent status as they became formal employees of the colleges, subject to college regulations, though they gained bene®ts such as annuity schemes, sports facilities, and social events. At the same time, they ceased to be regarded as a hazard of college life and, indeed, were even celebrated as one of its distinctive features. If Balliol practices inspired the development of the tutorial system, the Keble experiment in providing a collegiate education at an all-in charge was the example for cheapening and extending colleges' domestic facilities. Many colleges adopted the Keble plan of supplying wine and dessert from the buttery, and opened college stores to reduce the dependence of undergraduates on outside tradesmen and the credit the latter provided. New College was one of the ®rst to provide furniture for rental; it also ®xed the price for hall dinners, and reduced the caution money chargeable to those undergraduates prepared to pay their bills weekly.184 The more the colleges provided, of course, the more effectively they could monitor students' spending; and by making battels inclusive of most essential items, the colleges made it easier for undergraduates and their parents to estimate and regulate the costs of college residence.185 Not all of the savings made possible at Keble, for example, by taking all meals in common in the college hall, were achievable elsewhere. What was thought suitable for the economical education of would-be parsons was unlikely to ®nd ready acceptance in colleges where commoners intended for lucrative lay occupations might have large allowances from their parents. This was the chief obstacle to any further economies, and in the long run even Keble costs edged upwards.186 There was some debate as to how much had been achieved. Joseph Wells of Wadham took a pessimistic view. Writing in 1892, he reckoned that most men's battels came to between £90 and £110 a year, and that the overall annual cost of residence for a careful man was around £160.187 Controversially, he went on to assert that Oxford expenses had actually increased. Though criticized by reviewers, he stuck by his statement in later editions of 182 UCA University College Minute Book, 1837±77, 58±61 (18 and 19 Mar. 1864); 86±7 (20 Mar. 1867). 183 NCA Minute Book 1865±75, 228±30 (15 Oct. 1868). 184 H. B. George, New College, 1856±1906 (1906), 82. 185 Handbook (1906), 66. 186 Mallet iii. 430n. 187 Wells, Oxford and Oxford Life, 52. His estimate is corrobated by the detailed accounts of a scholar who spent £672 during his four years at Jesus (Oct. 1879 to Dec. 1883), Baker, Jesus, 78.

the colleges in the new era


his guide to Oxford life, but without making clear over which period he considered the increase to have taken place.188 His own ®gures were generally lower than those published by the Royal Commission in 1852.189 Tuition fees rose slightly from an average of £21 a year in 1866 to about £24 in 1906, but the need for private tuition, which usually cost £20 a term, had in the meantime been largely eliminated. Increases in room rents were attributable to the inclusion of furniture rental; in general, battels at the turn of the century covered many more items than they had in 1850.190 Detailed evidence from one college, Lincoln, suggests that total college charges remained stationary.191 Economical reform had undoubtedly failed to effect a substantial cheapening of an Oxford college education, yet expenses had been contained and the scope for unof®cial personal spending, the cause of ruinous debt to some undergraduates in the earlier part of the century, had been curtailed. The Oxford picture looks very similar to what is known about the stable pattern of Cambridge expenses in this period.192 A college education remained a luxury, though its cost had been brought reliably within the pockets of the professional middle class. A similarly quali®ed conclusion must be drawn about the attempts to adapt college chapels and college libraries to new undergraduate needs. After the repeal of religious tests in 1871 non-Anglicans could no longer be compelled to attend acts of worship, but for the rest attendance depended upon whatever regulations governing bodies chose to make. Some colleges introduced a secular alternative to weekday morning chapel attendance as a means of getting undergraduates out of bed.193 In the 1890s secular rollcalls, amounting to `going to the Hall and taking your hat off to the Dean, when the porter marked you off ', were the norm.194 Most colleges, however, continued to expect attendance on Sundays at a united act of worship, except in cases of conscientious objection, and this bare minimum represented the last vestige of compulsion.195 At the same time, religiously committed students expected more inspiring forms of observance. Men in¯uenced by High Anglican practices at their public schools often found that college 188

Oxford and Oxford Life (2nd edn 1899), 57n. RCO (1850), report, 32±5. These in turn had been criticized as over-stating the average costs in order to reinforce the commissioners' case for admitting students unattached to the colleges. Few commentators were strictly neutral on this point; see the different slant given by the reports of the sub-committees on university extension, SCOC (1867), 283, 289. 190 Handbook (17th edn 1906), 66. 191 Green, Lincoln, 588±9. 192 S. Rothblatt, The Revolution of the Dons (1968), 75. 193 S. C. Tests (1870±1), evidence, Q. 690; appendix, 360. By 1870 Balliol, Corpus, Merton, and New College had made attendance voluntary. 194 D. W. Carmalt-Jones, Diversions of a Professor in New Zealand (Wellington, NZ, 1945), 125. 195 UCA, Minute book 1837±1877, 122 (28 Oct. 1872); Handbook (1873), 21; Handbook, (1881), 25. Cf. Brooke, Cambridge, 111±21. 189


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chapels in the 1860s left much to be desired. At Pembroke in the last years of Dr Jeune's mastership some were distressed by the absence of `warmth' of devotion in chapel worship, the lack of music, and the single, termly celebration of Communion in which even the most notoriously depraved students were forced to take part: after the chapel doors were shut and locked, the Sacrament was brought to the seats of all those present as was standard Low Church practice. A student memorial to the Pembroke authorities was organized in 1863, requesting that Communion be more regularly celebrated, but no longer compulsory, and the Sacrament received at the altar. Weekly Communions were introduced there in 1877, though it took until 1893 for hymns to be regularly included in services.196 Other colleges proved more amenable to change. Hymns Ancient and Modern was adopted at University College in 1863, when music was introduced into the chapel.197 The future botanist W. T. Thiselton-Dyer was party to a memorial from the junior members of Christ Church in 1865, which persuaded the Dean and Chapter to introduce weekly celebrations of Holy Communion in the Cathedral. A special 10 o'clock service on Sundays was instituted in 1869 with a short sermon particularly intended for undergraduates among the Cathedral congregation.198 Another impulse for change was the responsibility felt by colleges to raise the standard of Church music. Some endowed organ scholarships to support promising young musicians who were reading for degrees. Exeter founded a scholarship for its organist in 1859, when the new chapel opened, and was followed by Keble in 1876. The interest taken by two heads, T. B. Strong of Christ Church and John Mitchinson of Pembroke, in the state of music in their colleges has been described elsewhere (see Chapters 9 and 18). But despite the undoubted improvements in college religious observances during this period, it proved dif®cult, as Chapter 3 has shown, for college chapels to hold their own against the alternative centres of worship which sprang up in the University and city; hence R. W. Macan's stark assessment that the half-century prior to 1914 had witnessed `the disintegration of the college as a religious institution, in any ordinary sense' was not inconsistent with other evidence of a resurgence in voluntary religious activity among dons and undergraduates alike.199 In 1878 the bibliophile E. C. Thomas, a recent graduate of Trinity, criticized the colleges for neglecting their libraries, from which he claimed undergraduates continued to be excluded. His comments were supported 196 W. C. E. Newbolt, Years that are past (1921), 54±5; Macleane, Pembroke, 368, 502; UJ 17 Feb. 1876, 213. 197 UCA Minute Book 1837±77, 58 (20 Apr. 1863); MCA CP 1/5 (20 July 1869). 198 W. T. Thiselton-Dyer to C. M. Blagden, 3 June 1909, CA GB xiv.c.1; H. L. Thompson, Henry George Liddell DD (1899) 153±4, 159; for a similar petition at Balliol, and the institution of weekly Communion at Lincoln and Worcester, see S. R. Brooke diary, 1 Apr. 1865, CCCA D498/6. 199 R. W. Macan, Religious Changes in Oxford during the Last Fifty Years (1917), 32.

the colleges in the new era


by a Balliol graduate who recalled his own dif®culties in obtaining access to the library.200 Both men were principally concerned to promote the abortive project for turning college libraries into specialized holdings open to outside researchers,201 and they overlooked the creation over the previous decade in every college of designated undergraduate reading rooms, with lending collections tailored to the requirements of examinations.202 Falconer Madan, the librarian of Brasenose, enthusiastically promoted this new development. He wanted to make libraries more serviceable to college members, providing works of reference and acquiring multiple lending copies of texts needed by undergraduates, rather than amassing rare books and manuscripts. His ideal was that the library should become `a centre of literary information' within a college.203 Yet undergraduates tended to seek this sort of facility elsewhereÐnot least in the UnionÐwhile college authorities proved unwilling to be generous in their expenditure on book acquisition for undergraduate use. Nor, with certain exceptions,204 was suitable accommodation provided for undergraduate readers. For many years the undergraduates' library at Christ Church was housed in an unsupervised and musty room in Tom Quad.205 Some of this of®cial parsimony stemmed from a sense that corporate funds should not subsidize what individuals ought to provide for themselves. A Christ Church history tutor, Arthur Hassall, took the argument further by suggesting that lending facilities were positively damaging, for they offered students an excuse not to buy books. In his view, every man reading for honours should possess his own small library, for this was the key to a good class: `books must be bought, marked, and pored over.'206 Whatever their shortcomings in providing facilities for worship or study, the colleges more than ever became the focus of undergraduate leisure. Organized sport was only one elementÐthough the most visibleÐof a much broader trend. College debating societies, founded in imitation of the Union, and often used by members as a preparation for entry into that larger arena, sprang up during the 1860s. At Pembroke the debating society was established on a permanent basis in 1864 by a group of prominent 200 H. R. Tedder and E. C. Thomas (eds), Transactions and Proceedings of the ®rst annual meeting of the Library Association of the United Kingdom, held at Oxford, October 1, 2, 3 1878 (1879), 26, 28, 125. 201 On the 1871 scheme for subject specialization see P. Morgan, Oxford Libraries outside the Bodleian (1980), xii±xiii. 202 Handbook (1881), 45±8. 203 F. Madan, `The Library of Brasenose College, Oxford', Notes and Queries, 6th ser. ii (Oct. 1880), 321±2. 204 The new quadrangle at Trinity (1885±7) contained `a handsome room' for the undergraduates' reading room and library, H. E. D. Blakiston, Trinity College (1898), 239, though it soon proved too small for its purpose. See also OM 28 Oct. 1885, 329. 205 W. G. Hiscock, A Christ Church Miscellany (1946), 107±9. 206 OM 17 Oct. 1912, 16.


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reading men.207 A meeting of twenty-eight undergraduates in rooms at Exeter brought the Stapeldon debating society into being, in 1869, with rules which were characteristic of similar societies in other colleges. Membership, like that of college sports clubs, was open to the whole college and, since coffee was the only refreshment offered, subscriptions were low.208 By the 1880s, when the Trinity debating society regularly attracted nearly half the college, their vigour may account for a correspondingly quiet period in the Union's own history.209 A majority of the members of Corpus turned out in November 1889 to hear a debate on Liberal Unionism opened by two dons, Arthur Sidgwick and H. D. Leigh.210 Earlier in the term sixty-seven members of the New College discussion society had crammed into an `inconveniently crowded' room to debate the abolition of music-halls, whose censorship by the London County Council was a favourite topic for college debates, probably because of the opportunity for ribaldry which the subject afforded.211 Friday evening debates at Hertford considered such questions as whether smoking for ladies was `bene®cial or desirable', or the relative merits of Association and Rugby football, while the more sober and select Tyndale debating society, meeting in that college on Sunday evenings, argued over the results of Biblical criticism, or the effect of the High-Church revival on the Church of England.212 Only in the larger or more divided colleges, such as Balliol which had three competing societies (the Dervorguilla, the Brackenbury, and the Arnold), did it prove impossible to organize a single, open society. Debating societies were the model for and even the origin of the most inclusive college institutions of all, the Junior Common Rooms. `There is no more distinctive feature of modern college life than the J.C.R.,' proclaimed an undergraduate magazine of that name in 1897.213 Some junior common rooms had a long history: the New College JCR dated from the 1680s and the Pembroke JCR celebrated its centenary in 1894. Yet at mid-century their future lay in the balance. Constituted as private clubs, they were regarded by the authorities as a source of extravagance and idleness. The Corpus JCR was dissolved in 1852, at the same time as the fellows of Magdalen contemplated closing down the common room used by the demies.214 To the New College dons of the 1860s, the JCR represented an obstacle to their plans for 207

Macleane, Pembroke, 488. W. K. Stride, Exeter College (1900), 244. The 1878 rules of the Brasenose debating society stipulated that membership should be unlimited and subscriptions restricted to 2s 6d a term, Bodl. G. A. Oxon c. 271 (40). 209 OM 28 Feb. 1883, 113. 210 OM 20 Nov. 1889, 96. 211 OM 6 Nov. 1889, 58. 212 OM 30 Oct. 1889, 41; 4 Dec. 1889, 130. 213 The J. C. R. 1 (1897), 3. 214 Fowler, Corpus, 322; PP 1854 1. 290. 208

the colleges in the new era


expansion. They pointed to the expensive annual subscription (6 guineas) which was beyond the means of poorer students, and the inappropriate style of social life which the JCR encouraged, illustrated by damning statistics of champagne consumption.215 Matters came to a head after the disturbance and rustications of November 1868. Forti®ed by the legal opinion of Lord Chief Justice Erle, an old member of the college, concerning the ownership of the JCR's property (which included a considerable quantity of port), and having sought the views of John Conington and Jowett, the governing body decided to shut down the common room inde®nitely.216 Their action, however, provoked the JCR of®cers into a spirited defence of a facility which, they argued, reduced the need for individuals to hold private parties, brought `minor comforts' within the reach of all, and helped to integrate freshmen into college life.217 These considerations evidently weighed with Alfred Robinson who began instead to draw up a plan to revive the New College JCR, subject to of®cial control and economical management. Following the precedent of the Magdalen JCR, which had been reconstituted in 1867 on the basis of open membership,218 the common room was reestablished but with lower subscriptions which were to be incorporated into college battels and supervised by the Junior Bursar.219 In a process which mirrored that undergone by sports clubs, described in Chapter 22, JCRs became an established element of college life. At St John's the creation of a JCR was one of the innovations carried through by the Greats tutor Sidney Ball.220 Most offered the types of amenities at a modest subscription, kept in check by a don acting as senior treasurer, for which mid-Victorian undergraduates had been obliged to resort to the Union. As well as providing `some common ground on which all members of the House could meet', the Christ Church JCR, founded in 1886 by a committee of undergraduates who had obtained the sanction of the governing body, took in newspapers and magazines, and supplied writing materials and tea and coffee `at reasonable prices'.221 By 1890 Corpus was `almost unique among Colleges' in not having a common room, though some of those in existence failed initially to thrive.222 In every college the intellectual eÂlite created its equivalent to the celebrated essay societies which drew in members from across the University 215

A. Robinson to F. B. Harvey, 26 Aug. 1869, NCA MS 11741. NCA MS 11738. 217 Memorial from members of New College JCR, 9 Oct. 1869, NCA MS 11741. 218 `Rules of the Magdalen College Junior Common Room' (1867) Bodl G. A. Oxon c. 279; Magrath, Queen's ii. 191. An exception was Hertford, which inherited from Magdalen Hall a JCR which remained a `close and exclusive wine club'; The J. C. R. 1 (1897), 3. 219 NCA MS 11726. 220 O. H. Ball, Sidney Ball (1923), 15, 19, 54. 221 Circular in Bodl. G. A. Oxon c. 272, p. 46. 222 Pelican Record, 2 (1893), 2; C. M. Blagden, Well Remembered (1953), 81±2; Jones, Balliol, 241. 216


a new collegiate pattern

from the 1840s until the demise of Old Mortality in 1866. Again, a pioneer of this new form of college institution was New College, where an essay society was founded in November 1868. Its constitution was typical: membership, limited to ®fteen, was elective (generally comprising men reading for Greats), and essays were read in a member's rooms every Saturday evening.223 In some colleges donnish involvement reduced the danger of the gathering degenerating into a dining club or a clique. A. E. Housman was invited by his tutor at St John's to the weekly `Sunday-Night Essays'.224 Herbert Warren and other dons attended the weekly papers read to the Magdalen College Wayn¯ete Society, which had twenty members.225 Playreading societies were popular during the 1870s, when dramatic performances were still of®cially prohibited; while a tutor at University College, Bernard Bosanquet, started a Shakespeare Society.226 Smoking concerts (`smokers') and other entertainments given by college musical societies became regular events in the 1890s.227 Keble claimed one of the ®rst subject-based societies, the Tenmannetale, comprising ten members reading for Modern History honours.228 College Church societies heard papers on subjects of interest to members of the established Church, who now met without any hint of pressure from above.229 The `mushrooming' of clubs and societies catering for an immense variety of political, philosophical, literary, musical, and religious interests, and a general `quickening of literary tastes' noted by an observer in 1883, is apparent in undergraduate letters and diaries.230 They suggest how broad the enthusiasms of both scholars and commoners were and how, in particular, participation in literary activities and sport overlapped. The historian of Jesus points to undergraduates in the early 1880s who were keen oarsmen and cricketers, as well as reading papers to the college's Elizabethan Society and playing instruments in the philharmonic society; similarly a scholar at Corpus during 1883±6 was both a prominent contributor to the college debating and essay societies and an energetic member of the boat club.231 A commoner in residence at New College during the same period, whose enthusiasms were primarily athletic, nevertheless attended college meetings in support of Oxford House at Bethnal Green, took part in play-readings at the Shakespeare Society, and debated in the college discussion society, bring223 New College Essay Society minutes, vol. i (1868±73), NCA MS 3557. For the Old Mortality see Pt 1, 710 and Plate 58. 224 H. Mass (ed.), The Letters of A. E. Housman (1971), 12. 225 MCA MS 758. 226 H. Bosanquet, Bernard Bosanquet. A Short Account of his Life (1924), 33. 227 See Ch. 18. 228 OM 24 Jan. 1883, 9. 229 OM 3 Nov. 1886, 332; cf. V. H. H. Green, Religion at Oxford and Cambridge (1964), 320. 230 OM 28 Feb. 1883, 113. 231 Baker, Jesus, 78±9, 84±5; A. Kadish, The Oxford Economists in the Late Nineteenth Century (1982), 22.

the colleges in the new era


ing forward a motion in May 1885 against the proposed Channel tunnel.232 The diary pages of a passman at St Edmund Hall between 1885 and 1888 `abound in graphic accounts of outings in pairs or fours' on the river, but he nevertheless `rarely missed' a meeting of the Hall's debating society.233 Older patterns of sociability thrived in the sometimes long-established dining or wine clubs. Most adopted colours of some sort: members of the King Charles club at St John's dined in blue and yellow smoking jackets, the Trinity College Claret Club, founded in 1870, prescribed a dark blue dinner jacket with claret facings. At Wadham's Olympic Club, a member recalled, `we all wore tails, with the distinctive badge of a light blue silk waistcoat with gilt buttons, and a white tie.'234 Penalties were exacted for breaches of decorum; the Claret Club ®ned members for `talking bawd', swearing, not passing the wine, leaving the table before other members, or failing to wear club dress.235 A signi®cant characteristic, which was prominently advertised in a series on `famous college clubs', published in the Bystander magazine in 1909, was their exclusiveness. Two black balls excluded candidates from the St John's Archery Club forever; one black ball was suf®cient to disqualify from the Exeter Adelphi club, which also excluded exhibitioners from membership. This tendency `to hold aloof from and look down on the society of the rest of their college' was criticized by a former Union president, writing in 1892, as `out of keeping with the more democratic character of modern Oxford'.236 In place of the exclusiveness, whether of `sets' or social ranks, which marked undergraduate life earlier in the century, the late Victorians attempted to create institutions which involved all members of a college. That they had some success is indicated by the testimony of comparative outsiders who found ready acceptance within their colleges.237 Scholars could, and were expected to, play a full and equal part in student life; since scholarships were awarded purely on merit, tenable equally by those who had substantial means and by those who had little, their holders were never stigmatized as recipients of charity.238 Americans noticed the ease with which freshmen generally found their place; a system in which senior men 232

Diary of C. F. Cholmondeley (New College 1883±7), copy in NCA. Diary of C. H. Fullmer (St Edmund Hall 1885±8), cited in Kelly, St Edmund Hall, 96±8. 234 T. A. Cook, The Sunlit Hours: A Record of Sport and Life (1925), 50±1. 235 Claret Club minutes 1870±4, TCA. 236 J. S. G. Pemberton, `Social Life at Oxford' in J. Wells (ed.), Oxford and Oxford Life (1892), 108±9. 237 W. Grif®th, Thomas Edward Ellis, 1859±1899 (Llandybie, 1959), 13; L. S. Peake, Arthur Samuel Peake: A Memoir (1930), 95; J. G. Lockhart, Cosmo Gordon Lang (1949), 31; S. P. B. Mais, All the Days of My Life (1937), 24; an undergraduate who had been educated at home made a similar point, J. St L. Strachey, The Adventure of Living: A Subjective Autobiography (1922), 144. 238 W. J. Ashley contrasted their position at Harvard, Surveys Historic and Economic (1900), 465. 233


a new collegiate pattern

vacated their rooms and moved into lodgings to make way for the new intake of freshmen was viewed with some surprise by observers familiar with types of student life based on `years' or `classes' and the hierarchies which they implied.239 A freshman still had to be careful not to violate conventions which forbade him to address himself to a senior manÐthe ®rst move must come from the latter. This was not likely to be long in coming. One of the ®rst calls was certain to be from the Captain of Boats with an invitation to row; the nearest to a college initiation ritual, apart from the time-honoured freshmen's wine party, was the subjection to `unpleasant truths' bellowed from the tow-path by the rowing coach at those being `tubbed'.240 Sport provided common ground and the simplest means of ensuring college unity. Captains of boats, football, and cricket were elected at open meetings held in JCRs.241 Corpus undergraduates assembled in Michaelmas term 1886 to deliberate upon the colours of the college's rugger jersey and to organize a smoking concert, matters in which the whole college might be presumed to take at least a passing interest.242 Arrangements to enter a boat at Henley, to hold a Commemoration Ball, or to organize a college mission in the East End of London were equally occasions to bring all the undergraduate members of a college together.243 An ethos which promoted public spirit in all its forms could be intolerant towards those who were thought not to be joining in the common effort. Critics argued that unity had brought with it conformity and the tyranny of `good form'.244 In a University Sermon on college life, delivered in 1882, Thomas Fowler, president of Corpus, criticized `sets' and exclusiveness, but urged that college feeling should mean something more than the shared pleasures of college successes on the river or in the class lists; it should bring about `widening sympathies' and exposure to `wider contacts', founded on a genuine mutuality and tolerance.245 Fowler's comments followed the suppression of the aesthetic movement, in the face of what one tutor euphemistically called `corporate disapproval'. Blue china and other ornaments symbolic of the movement's followers had been smashed up.246 The occupant of a set of rooms, the symbol to the early nineteenth-century undergraduate of his independence and emancipation from boyhood, might now be subjected to `ragging', a phenomenon discussed in Chapter 31, or suffer 239 Burdett and Warren, Warren, 58; J. Paul Getty, My Life and Fortunes (1964), 52; E. B. Poulton, John Viriamu Jones and other Oxford Memories (1911), 111. 240 W. J. Gordon, `New Oxford', Leisure Hour (1895), 387. 241 OM 28 Oct. 1885, 329; Wadham College Gazette, no. 3 (1898), 48. 242 OM 24 Nov. 1886, 384. 243 The Christ Church mission in Poplar, dating from 1881, was the ®rst; this was followed by the Trinity mission at the Great Eastern Railway works, Stratford, East London. 244 Fraser's Magazine, 23 (May 1881), 628. 245 UJ 23 Nov. 1882, 111±12. 246 T. L. Papillon, `University Amusements', The Guardian 16 April 1884, 578; W. Sichel, Sands of Time (1923), 119; Aestheticism and Intolerance: A Protest (1882), 6, 8.

the colleges in the new era


the humiliation of `de-bagging', a sanction popularized in this generation. Peer pressure to conform was strong. A rather timid freshman from a Nonconformist family, admitted to Exeter in 1891, justi®ed to his father his immediate purchase of a boating cap, sweater, and blazer, which `everybody who is not an anti-recreation swot wears'.247 Radical or unconventional views might be aired at college debating societies, but were barely tolerated in other circumstances, especially if they were promoted in such a way as to violate the accepted norms of conduct. In the early 1890s an undergraduate at Trinity who was active in the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union was struck in the face by one of the rugger `bloods' who objected to him preaching in the street.248 Outside visitors whose presence was thought damaging to the reputation of the college within the wider undergraduate community received a hostile reception. After William Morris had delivered his lecture on `Art and Democracy' in University College Hall, the undergraduates presented a petition to the Master in protest against the association of the college with any `pronounced form of party politics'.249 In 1886 Michael Davitt, founder of the Irish Land League, was mobbed in his bedroom when staying overnight in the college as a guest of an of®cer of the Russell Club. A Catholic convert accused of proselytizing, Hartwell de la Garde Grissell, had to be escorted from Pembroke in 1883 under a hail of missiles hurled by a crowd of undergraduates shouting no-popery insults; and in 1892 a socialist meeting at Magdalen attended by George Bernard Shaw was broken up and the host's rooms wrecked.250 Jowett was not alone in his observation, made to the Balliol freshmen in 1885, that although there was `more knowledge and steady industry' than formerly, the youth of forty years earlier had shown, among other things, more `originality'.251 This was perhaps an inevitable result of the more intense organization of both study and leisure which the colleges had brought about in the intervening period. The urgent demands of social reform and empire, and the ideal of public service, now placed a premium upon active virtues; this generation was considered to have less interest than its predecessors in broad speculation and critical re¯ection. Aestheticism seems to have attracted fewer adherents. `Art has not the barest representation,' the Indian poet, Manmohan Ghose, who came up to Christ Church in 1887 complained. `Indeed it would grieve the soul of an artist to see in this place of culture the stupid want of taste which mocks us from the walls of 247

J. T. Carkeet to J. Carkeet, 22 Oct. 1891, Carkeet MSS, ECA. C. E. Padwick, Temple Gairdner of Cairo (1930), 36. 249 OM 21 Nov. 1883, 386±7. 250 UJ 1 Mar. 1883, 285; 8 Mar. 1883, 313; Oxford Times, 20 Mar. 1886; 27 Feb. 1892, 5; OM 24 Feb. 1892, 191; Bernard Shaw: The Diaries 1885±1897, ed. S. Weintraub (2 vols 1986), ii. 796. 251 B. Jowett, College Sermons, ed. W. H. Fremantle (1895), 35; cf. G. W. Kitchin's comment, Pt 1. 285. 248


a new collegiate pattern

Oxford rooms.'252 Five years later, a Harvard professor whose experience had been at Balliol, one of the more cosmopolitan colleges, nevertheless warned of a dangerous parochialism in Oxford student life. In contrast to their counterparts at French and German universities, he contended, Oxford undergraduates encountered only men whose backgrounds and school experience were broadly the same as their own.253 `The perfect brotherly equality which College life and College rooms make peculiarly possible to us', evoked by T. H. Warren in an address to Magdalen undergraduates in 1885,254 was founded upon the fact that the colleges continued to recruit their students from a comparatively narrow social range (see Chapter 24). OutsidersÐwhether non-Anglicans, overseas students, or former pupils of elementary schoolsÐwere never suf®ciently numerous to threaten the majority. After 1900, when admissions became more diverse with the arrival of substantial numbers of overseas students, the ®rst graduate research students, and holders of local authority scholarships, the homogeneity which the late Victorians took for granted was undermined, and signs of fragmentation and division appeared.255 Corporate unity remained, for the moment, the dominant force. Selfconsciously promoted by the men's colleges, it replaced the old attachments of locality and religion which university reform had weakened. College life was seen to mitigate the corrosive, individualist tendencies of open competition and the class lists, and to counter the divisiveness of academic specialization. Despite occasional breakdowns, relations between dons and undergraduates were generally reckoned friendly,256 while professors, dons' wives, and servants were in varying degrees incorporated within the new college communities. Relationships with those who had gone out of residence were also signi®cantly rede®ned. Traditional college feasts, which appeared anachronistic in 1863 `in these days when everyone has everyday a good dinner', and which were abolished in at least one college, found a new function as a means of entertaining old members.257 Gaudies and London dinners, frequently held in the week of the Varsity cricket match, became common in the 1880s.258 Keble was again a pioneer, claiming to be the ®rst college to treat gaudies as reunions, and to issue reports of its doings to 252 M. Ghose, Collected Poems, ed. L. Ghose (5 vols Calcutta, 1970), i. 170; cf. J. Russell, A Portrait of Logan Pearsall Smith (privately printed, 1950), 46. 253 L. Dyer, `The danger of athleticism', Educational Review, iii (Dec. 1892), 80. 254 T. H. Warren, College Unity (1885), 8. 255 See Ch. 31; there were similar developments at Cambridge, J. Twigg, A History of Queens' College, Cambridge, 1448±1986 (Woodbridge, 1987), 251. 256 See Cosmo Lang's comparison of Oxford with Scottish university life in OM 30 May 1883, 266, and James Bryce's comments in The American Commonwealth (3 vols 1888), iii. 452. 257 C. C. Clerke to H. G. Liddell (Copy), 29 Oct. 1863, CA DP.ii.c.3; E. G. Hardy, Jesus College (1899), 235. 258 Magrath, Queen's, ii. 189; Jones, Balliol, 218; Macleane, Pembroke, 488; F. Madan, `Brief Annals of the College', Brasenose Monographs, i. 10.

the colleges in the new era


former students.259 Honorary fellowships provided a more formal relationship with distinguished old members. Trinity and Worcester, for example, used this device to restore the brothers J. H. and F. W. Newman to their books in 1877 and 1883 respectively. But the number of graduates with whom contact was lost, compared with the high degree of alumni attachment achieved by American universities, pained one far-sighted bursar.260 More immediate anxieties pressed at the end of the nineteenth century. Had the success of the colleges as teaching bodies been achieved without suf®cient regard being paid to higher learning and research? Balliol, the leading exemplar of the new system, was seen to be peculiarly well adapted for educating men of affairs, but `the long and distinguished list of its men of mark' was judged to include `not many scholars of the ®rst rank'.261 There were further doubts whether the colleges could meet the imperial needs envisaged in Cecil Rhodes's will, signed in July 1899, the demands for `national ef®ciency' following Britain's humiliating reverses in the Boer War, or the drive for working-class higher education in the aftermath of the Liberal electoral triumph in 1906. These form some of the major themes in later chapters of this volume. 259

OM 2 May 1883, 190; Keble College Occasional Papers, 1 (1879), 2. Wells, Oxford and Oxford Life (2nd edn 1899), 36n. 261 R. L. Poole, `Balliol', in A. Clark (ed.), The Colleges of Oxford: Their History and Traditions (1891), 58. 260




5 `Balliol, For Example'* j o hn p re s t When `the old Master', Richard Jenkyns, died in 1854, there were two candidates to succeed him, Benjamin Jowett and Robert Scott, and Scott won by a single vote. The new Master was a former tutor of the college and a distinguished lexicographer, who had married in 1840 and taken a college living. Ten years later, when the Commission of Inquiry was appointed, he was far away in South Luffenham. He was not altogether out of touch, but he shared the diehards' view of the endowments of the University and the colleges as private property, belonging to the Church. He disapproved of the reform, and his rule began with a clumsy and unsuccessful attempt to frustrate the will of Parliament and reimpose a religious test.1 Scott was, as Jowett said, `a very good and conscientious man, but narrow'.2 For twelve years the Master was able, with the help of Edward Woollcombe, the senior fellow, and Henry Wall, one of the two Bursars, to retain a majority in meetings of the governing body. But elections to fellowships gradually changed the outlook of the collegeÐthat of T. H. Green in 1861 especiallyÐand in 1866 Scott lost control to Jowett. Analysis of the composition of the college in the decade 1854±633 shows that, for all the new building carried out in Jenkyns's time, Balliol was still a very small college. In ten years, 241 men, seventy-two (30 per cent) of whom were the sons of clergy, came into residence. Thirty-®ve (14 per cent), a large number, stemmed from homes in Scotland, ®ve (2 per cent) from Ireland, and seven (3 per cent) from outside the United Kingdom. The 241 had been educated at ®fty-four different schools and universities, but sixty (25 per cent) of them had been to Eton, thirty-nine (16 per cent) to Harrow, and twenty-®ve (10 per cent) to RugbyÐthese three schools between them supplying over half the total entry and winning most of the open scholarships. Two other schools, Cheltenham and Marlborough, reached double * Robert Lowe, Parl. Deb., 5 June 1867, clxxxvii, 1633. 1 J. M. Prest, `Robert Scott and Benjamin Jowett', supplement to the Balliol College Record 1966, 3±4. 2 Quinn and Prest, 307. 3 Sir Ivo Elliott, The Balliol College Register, 1833±1933 (1934).



a new collegiate pattern

®gures. Glasgow University, through the Snell Foundation, sent thirteen. Sixteen of the 241 migrated (with awards) to other colleges, and three died. Among the 222 who remained, 162 (73 per cent) took honours (the university average at this time was about 25 per cent), and sixteen achieved honours in two schools of study. Out of the 178 classes obtained, 112 were in Lit. Hum. (44 ®rsts), 42 in Law and History (10 ®rsts), 18 in Mathematics (8 ®rsts), and 6 in Natural Sciences (4 ®rsts). The remaining sixty undergraduates read for pass degrees. When the cohort went down and chose careers, seventy-three men (33 per cent) turned for a time at least to the law, and sixty-four (29 per cent) took holy orders. One practised medicine. Twentyseven (12 per cent) were, or became, landowners, and seven entered the regular army. Twenty-three (10 per cent) followed careers in university teaching, and ®fteen (7 per cent) in schoolteaching. Two were selected for the diplomatic service, thirteen for the Civil Service, and six for the Indian Civil Service. Nine became businessmen; one an engineer. According to the College Register, ®fty-three (24 per cent) subsequently published books. Jowett was an educational enthusiast who believed in `the endless possibility of improvement in all human creatures during the ®rst years of life'. Unlike Scott, he looked upon the universities as national property, and detected guilt `in the neglect of education'.4 In 1850 he welcomed the appointment of the Commission of Inquiry, to which he gave evidence. In December 1853 he took the astonishing initiative of drafting a Bill privately, and forwarding it, through Gladstone (the Member for the University) to the Aberdeen government to show how the recommendations of the Commission could be carried out, directly, by enactment.5 1854 was a bad year for Jowett. First, the government preferred Gladstone's plan to his own, and decided to reform Oxford indirectly, by means of Executive Commissioners, who, as Jowett had feared they would be, were tender to established interests. Then Scott was elected Master over his head. Religious differences had as much to do with Jowett's continuing restiveness under Scott as resentment. Scott was a high and dry Anglican, Jowett a Broad Churchman. In his essay upon `The Interpretation of Scripture', published in Essays and Reviews in 1860, Jowett pleaded, in a memorable phrase, for the Bible to be `read like any other book'.6 A conventional churchman, Henry Scott Holland, felt that Christianity was `gutted by him'; a sermon by Jowett was `just Platonism ¯avoured with a little Christian charity'.7 That was one view. But Jowett's stance held many attractions 4 J. M. Prest, `Jowett's Correspondence on Education with Earl Russell in 1867', supplement to the Balliol College Record 1965, 10. 5 BL Add. MS 44743, fos 1±12. 6 Essays and Reviews (1960), 338, 375, 377. See also Pt 1, 707±8. 7 S. Paget, Henry Scott Holland: Memoir and Letters (1921), 33, cited in P. B. Hinchliff, Benjamin Jowett and the Christian Religion (1987), 116.

`balliol, for example'


for undergraduates adjusting to an increasingly pluralistic society. Observing that `Socrates is nowhere represented to us as a freethinker or sceptic,'8 Jowett held `a distinct view of the importance of some solution' to theological and philosophical problems. To this he coupled `the profound conviction that no conceivable solution would hold water'.9 This led him to put aside `all logical dif®culties on the ground that somehow or other contradictory assertions may both be true',10 and to obtain `glances at truth from various points of view somewhat inconsistent with each other'.11 The perfect medium of instruction, therefore, was Lit. Hum., with its mixture of ancient Greek and modern utilitarian and idealistic philosophies which out¯anked Christian philosophy at both ends. When the long years of having `to force along the inef®ciency of others'12 were over and Jowett seized power in 1866, he lost no time in turning the college into the model institution of which he had dreamed in the 1850s. In the space of eight years, in the middle of which, in 1870, Gladstone invited Scott to become Dean of Rochester, and Jowett was elected Master, he changed Balliol from an inconsiderable part of the ecclesiastical establishment into the awesome exemplar of a new educational one. With the consent of the Visitor, the Bishop of London, the Right Revd John Jackson, clerical fellowships, and the necessity for the Master to be in holy orders, were abolished. Services in chapel were rewritten with an interdenominational slant, and Jowett himself delivered addresses upon the (other) religions of the East. Tutors were allowed to retain their fellowships after marriage, and two college livings at Marks Tey and Brattleby, which would no longer be needed as receptacles for fellows who had resigned on marrying, were sold.13 Balliol was now perceived as an ef®cient college. In 1873 the Cleveland inquiry, which distinguished between external and internal sources of income, found that of all the colleges only Pembroke and Trinity received less external income than Balliol (£5,513). Of all the colleges, only Christ Church and Exeter took in more by way of tuition fees than Balliol (£2,548). In the case of trust income, which was laid out upon scholarships and exhibitions, only three colleges, Christ Church, Queen's, and Jesus, gave away more than Balliol (£1,367).14 Putting the three sets of ®gures together, it appeared that of all the colleges in Oxford, Balliol possessed least by way of endowment, earned most by educational prowess, and contributed most in educational support. In February 1876 Lord Salisbury said: 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

B. Jowett (ed.), The Dialogues of Plato (2nd edn, 5 vols 1875), i. 345. L. Stephen, `Jowett's Life', in Studies of a Biographer (1898), ii. 143. Ibid. 136. Sir Henry Jones and J. H. Muirhead, The Life and Philosophy of Edward Caird (1921), 133. Quinn and Prest, 40. College Meeting Minutes, 12 October 1876, 23 February 1878. See also p. 17 above. RCOC (1872), Pt 1, table B, 200, 202.


a new collegiate pattern

the income per undergraduate in all the colleges is £203; but in Exeter it is only £97, in Trinity £86, and in Balliol £75. If University education were provided in all the colleges as cheaply as at Exeter, there would be at present a saving annually of £165,578; as cheaply as at Trinity, there would be a saving annually of £167,129; or as cheaply as at Balliol, a saving annually of £197,700.15

One month later, a justi®ably proud, but somewhat self-righteous Jowett persuaded the governing body to assert, in an address to the House of Lords, that, `the vast funds' already held in trust for education would, `if economically administered', be amply suf®cient to provide for all the objects which can legitimately be embraced by a University system, whether the affording education for the many, or making provision for the researches of the few, or establishing University Professorships and Readerships, or improving the buildings and apparatus of the University and colleges . . . or promoting University education in the large towns.16

Balliol enjoyed a reputation for frugal management, professional tutoring, and excellent results, and it became `the desire of every man who sent his son to Oxford', as Robert Lowe expressed it, `to send him to the best CollegeÐ Balliol, for example'. `But in Balliol there were only a certain number of rooms, and if a youth could not be received there he must go down in the list till he found a College which could admit him . . . This was false political economy.'17 One answer to this problem was to build a larger college. In this respect Balliol had already been lucky. Coal lay beneath the college's estate at Long Benton, near Newcastle upon Tyne, and for ®fteen years in the 1850s and 1860s royalties on mines yielded an average annual windfall of £795. `Twothirds of the moneys received' were `laid out on buildings and other permanent improvements'.18 Just as the seam was becoming exhausted, a rich spinster living in Brighton, Hannah Brackenbury, who had convinced herself that she was descended from the founder's family,19 presented the college with a new Broad Street front, designed by Alfred Waterhouse, which cost £9,100.20 Then, as Master, Jowett found `begging letter writing a very fascinating occupation'.21 The Marquess of Westminster pleaded `motives of economy', but the Duke of Bedford subscribed generously.22 In 1875 Jowett wrote that he was composing `3 letters per diem until the whole Balliol 15

Parl. Deb. 3S, 24 Feb. 1876, ccxxvii, 795±6. Trinity's ®gure should be £96, not £86. College Meeting Minutes, 22 Mar. 1876. 17 Parl. Deb. 3S, 5 June 1867, clxxxvii, 1633. This Liberal view would not have been echoed by all on the Conservative benches. 18 RCOC (1872) Pt 1, 56. See Pt 1, 176±7. 19 John Jones, Balliol College: A History, 1263±1939 (2nd edn 1997), 210±11. 20 RCOC (1872), Pt 1, 56. 21 Quinn and Prest, 266. 22 Ibid. 253. 16

`balliol, for example'


world is canvassed'.23 Single-handedly he raised enough to invite Waterhouse back to develop the northern end of the college's site and construct a new dining hall and about twenty-®ve new sets of rooms. But there was a limit to how many undergraduates could be accommodated in the traditional manner, and Jowett had also pursued another scheme, which was to graft a Scots university onto Oxford, and allow students to live in lodgings.24 There were two lines of thought behind this proposal. The ®rst was to enable Balliol to increase its share of the market among the sons of the professional classes. There were, Lowe thought, `few persons who would not send their sons to Balliol to live in lodgings, rather than to some Colleges he could mention',25 and in 1869 Jowett wrote the exultant comment about the effect of the University's new lodging-out statute on Balliol's expansion which was quoted in Chapter 1: `if we had a little more money we could absorb the whole university.'26 The second object was to enlarge the market and bring university education within reach of social classes for whom it had never yet been an option. `It is very important,' Jowett wrote to Earl Russell, `to provide a means of giving the best education to the best intelligences in every class of Society.'27 In 1866 Jowett brought before the college a scheme to allow undergraduates coming to Balliol to live either in college or outside. A house was bought, a warden (T. H. Green) was appointed, and the tutors resolved to `give to all such students the bene®t of their tuition . . . making no charge whatever for it'.28 Under Jowett, Balliol was con®rmed in its pre-eminence at a time when British power was at its height. Young men were attracted to Balliol from every corner of the empire, and from other lands touched by British in¯uence where the rulers wanted to learn something about the principles of liberal and constitutional government. C. E. Vaughan, who came up in 1873, recalled how, already, the place was a medley of `Japanese and Scots, Hindoos and Frenchmen, Americans and Englishmen, Brahmins and Catholics, Nonconformists and high Anglicans, Jews and Gentiles . . . sparks of nobility and artizans; a bazaar of all nations and languages, the whole world in miniature'.29 One other group, which was indigenous to Britain, but was preparing to leave the United Kingdom for a lifetime's service abroad, must also be mentioned. In 1874 the British government decided to send the candidates selected for the Civil Service in India to university before despatching them 23

Ibid. 266±7. Ibid. 110. Parl. Deb. 3S, 5 June 1867, clxxxvii, 1633. 26 See p. 22 above. 27 Prest, `Jowett's Correspondence on Education', 8. 28 Lowe, 5 June 1867, Parl. Deb. 3S, clxxxvii, 1634. 29 C. E. Vaughan, `Balliol Five and Twenty Years Ago', South Wales and Monmouthshire University College Magazine, XI, no. 4 (March 1899), 139. 24 25


a new collegiate pattern

to the subcontinent. Jowett, who con®ded that he would `like to govern the world' through his pupils,30 decided to bid for them. The Master wrote personally to every candidate,31 and the college appointed a tutor, Arnold Toynbee, to look after them. Out of the 255 candidates selected by the British government between 1878 and 1885, 51 went to Cambridge, and 161 to Oxford: of these 161, no fewer than 103 were attracted to Balliol.32 The presence of so many Indian probationers helped to con®rm the impression that the college, which was broad-minded in religion, international in composition, and increasingly open as to social class, was also acquiring a distinctive ethos of public service. An analysis of the Register for the decade 1874±83 shows how completely Jowett had transformed the college.33 During this period 584 men entered into residence, of whom eighty-seven (15 per cent) were sons of the English and Scots clergy. Sixty-®ve (11 per cent) members of the college, including twenty-three Snell scholars, had home addresses in Scotland, and thirteen (2 per cent) in Ireland. In addition, there were now three overlapping groups totalling ninety-®ve (16 per cent) with overseas backgrounds. First came the sons of British merchants and of®cials serving abroad, and especially in India; second the children of British emigrants to Canada, Australia, and other parts of the empire; and third a trickle of foreigners from the United States of America, and from Europe and Asia, from France, Germany, and Italy, Persia, Siam, and Japan. No fewer than 125 schools and universities supplied Balliol with undergraduates. Eton continued to top the list with sixty-seven (11 per cent), and Harrow remained in second place with forty (7 per cent). Rugby, with thirty-three (6 per cent), was being challenged for third place by Clifton with thirty-two, and they were followed by Winchester with twentyone, and by dozens of other public schools with a few each. In addition, the grammar schools contributed a new element. Manchester Grammar School won thirteen places, Bradford six, Bedford four, Birmingham three, Bristol two, Richmond two, and Cardigan, Doncaster, Handsworth, Monmouth, and Wolverhampton one each. These ®gures are a tribute to Jowett's skill in forming new connections without alienating old ones. Twenty of the 584 migrated or died, and another 100 were Indian Civil Service probationers who stayed for two years and did not seek degrees. Among the remaining 464 men, 118 (25 per cent) settled for pass degrees. The remaining 346 (75 per cent) took Honours, and secured 373 classes, 175 in Lit. Hum. (47 ®rsts), 87 in Modern History (27 ®rsts), 45 in Law (8 ®rsts), 31 in Natural Sciences (16 ®rsts), 23 in Mathematics (14 ®rsts), and 12 in Theology (4 ®rsts), a school invented by Jowett's arch-rival in Oxford, Pusey. 30 31 32 33

Quinn and Prest, 249. R. Symonds, Oxford and Empire (1986), 187. Quinn and Prest, Introduction, xxx±xxxi. Sir Ivo Elliott (n. 3).

`balliol, for example'


This was Jowett's college, and career choices were beginning to change. 149 men (32 per cent) embarked upon Law. Fifty-seven (12 per cent) became ministers of religion. Fifty of these were Anglican priests, but the college had acquired a religious penumbra, and three went into the Roman Church, two into the Presbyterian Church, one into the Free Church of Scotland, and one into the Congregational Church, while one of the Anglican ministers resigned and later became an occasional preacher in Unitarian churches. Eight practised medicine. Twenty were landowners, and one became a land agent. Ten accepted commissions in the regular army, and one in the Metropolitan Police. The growth area was university teaching, where seventy-seven men (17 per cent) found openings, and schoolteaching with ®fty-eight (12 per cent). Journalism attracted seventeen, the arts ten, publishing two, and librarianship and social work one apiece. Eleven were taken into the Diplomatic Service, three into the Colonial Service, and sixteen into the Civil Service. Thirty-six (8 per cent) became businessmen, and three engineers. Including the Indian probationers, 165 (29 per cent) achieved publication. Jowett had raised money for building just before the agricultural depression struck the University and its donors. The college was not well endowed, but it held land, and in the 1880s it was dif®cult to ®nd a new tenant and ruinous to lose a good one. The minutes of governing body meetings became a catalogue of rent remissions, leave to convert arable to grass, and outlays by the college. Rack-rents fell from £3,018 in 1875 to £2,426 in 1885, £2,203 in 1895, and £1,935 in 1905. Total income, which was averaging about £21,000 p.a. in the late seventies, fell below £20,000 in every year between 1883 and 1898.34 In 1881 the college made a successful take-over bid for New Inn Hall, but the buildings were beyond repair, and the site was sold in 1899, when the college incurred the suspicion of asset stripping. The £200 p.a. which had been donated to Bristol University in the 1870s was reduced, in 1881, to £50 p.a. Henceforward, there was to be no more lecturing other colleges about the extended uses to which their endowments might be put. Educational initiatives were restricted to what was cheapÐa `memorable Sunday afternoon concert in the garden quad., when a military band', as an unkind critic remarked, `discoursed quasi-sacred music to a disorderly mob of ruf®ans from the town',35 and throwing the college open to summer schools for under-masters in elementary schools in the long vacation.36 Surprisingly, the plan which lay closest to Jowett's heart, which was to bring many more men up to the University by allowing a college's undergraduates to live in lodgings throughout their time as students did in Scotland, never really caught on. Expansion came to an end, and in the nineties, when the 34

Printed Annual Accounts. [ J. H. Millar], `Mr. Jowett and Oxford Liberalism', Blackwood's Magazine, clxi (May 1897), 728. For Balliol's ®nancial situation see also Pt 1, 382±3, 403, 411, 417. 36 College Meeting Minutes, 16 May 1885, 20 Feb. 1886, 15 Feb. 1889. 35


a new collegiate pattern

Indian probationers spread out among the colleges, numbers began to fall. Measured both by the quality of its entry, and by its results, the college continued to ¯ourish in its stationary or contracting state. But the visionary and innovative institution of the late sixties and early seventies was rigidifying, and Jowett's Vice-Chancellorship (1882±6) marked a rapprochement between the college and the University. The unique, prodigious moment in the college's history was fading. T. H. Green, `the ®nest brow, surely of his generation',37 died at the age of 45 in 1882. Jowett's favourite, R. L. Nettleship, who could `unsphere the spirit of Plato',38 succumbed to exposure on Mont Blanc in 1892. Jowett himself died in 1893. Jowett's successor, Edward Caird, was the ®rst lay Master and the ®rst Scot. He had come to Balliol from Glasgow University in 1860. From 1866 to 1893 he was Professor of Moral Philosophy at Glasgow, where, with more conviction than Jowett, he presented Greek philosophy and Christian thought as mutually supporting one another. When he was elected, he remarked that `all good Scotsmen go to BalliolÐeven in this life,'39 and accepted the call `to the college of Jowett and Green'.40 Caird was an anticalvinist Presbyterian who held that teachers at a university ought not to despair of human progress.41 He was much more radical than Jowett about female education, and he expressed sympathy for `every one held down and deprived of healthy citizenship whether by lack of education, or votes, or even of character'.42 In 1886 he had attended the opening of Toynbee Hall.43 Now, as Master, he opposed Rhodes's honorary degree and spoke out against the Boer War.44 In Caird's time the college's ®nances took a turn for the better. Jowett himself bequeathed a modest estate, the return upon investments improved, and in 1904±5 a group of old members including Robert Younger (1880), Lord Brassey's eldest son (1882), and Viscount Morpeth (1886), came to the rescue and formed an endowment fund. By June 1906 they had raised £14,700, by 1911 £28,498.45 The college's annual income rose from £20,149 in 1899 to a steady £26,000±£27,000 between 1906 and 1914. Building was resumed, and the St Giles±East Magdalen Street facËade was completed with the erection of the Warren buildings in 1906 and 1912±13. In 1907, when Caird became ill, and resigned, James Leigh Strachan Davidson was elected in his place. Strachan had been a fellow since 1866. 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45

Vaughan, 144. Ibid. 143. Jones and Muirhead (n.11), 128n. Ibid. 131. B. Bosanquet, `Edward Caird 1835±1908', PBA 1907±8, 380±1. Jones and Muirhead, 113. Ibid. 116. Ibid. 153. College Meeting Minutes, 21 Mar. 1905, and Minutes of Trustees.

`balliol, for example'


He was a good college man who disapproved when tutors wanted to `commit matrimony',46 and a popular dean. But he had not been sorry when the numbers coming up to Balliol fell from 584 in the decade 1874±83 to 501 between 1894 and 1903. He considered that the greater part of the college's entry always has consisted and . . . always must consist, of English public school boys',47 and he was pleased to see Eton and Harrow increasing their share of the 1894±1903 intake to 15 per cent and 9 per cent. He had never sympathized with Jowett's wish to make Oxford `a sort of entrepoÃt for all kinds and varieties of educational wares',48 though he was prepared to welcome `other types and classes'49 provided they conformed to the standards of the majority. In 1895 Strachan rejoiced that `the College is, and for the last seven or eight years has been, full of the sons of Balliol men.'50 He had a point, for old members' sons increased their share of the intake from 5 per cent between 1874 and 1883 to 9 per cent between 1894 and 1903. Strachan had a much more cosy approach to college life than his immediate predecessors, and his attitude to public affairs too was more conformist than Jowett's and less courageous than Caird's. He spoke dutifully of his satisfaction when Asquith became the ®rst Balliol Prime Minister in 1908, but he was out of sympathy with the new Liberalism of the twentieth century.51 Fortunately for the college, the quality of the tutors remained high throughout the period from 1893 to 1914, outstanding appointments having been made in Harold Hartley (1901), Cyril Bailey and H. W. C. Davis (1902), and A. D. Lindsay (1906). Under their guidance, even public schoolboys occasionally set off in directions which Strachan did not approve of. R. H. Tawney (1899) had been educated at Rugby, and G. D. H. Cole (1908) at St Paul's. The `other types and classes' continued to apply to Balliol as before. The overseas intake included an increased number of native Indians and some of the ®rst Rhodes Scholars, and WEA summer schools enjoyed the hospitality of the college during the long vacations. Looking back over the whole period from 1854 to 1914, there is no mistaking the extent to which Jowett stamped his personality upon the college. Jowett's teaching was equally free of dogma and of echoes of the outpourings of useless, speculative radicals'.52 Above all he shared the sentiment of the college's ®rst honorary fellow, Robert Browning, that hell was the 46 47 48 49 50 51 52

J.W. Mackail, Strachan Davidson (1925), 57. Ibid. 68. Ibid. 79. Ibid. 68. Ibid. 69. Ibid. 70. Quinn and Prest, 139.


a new collegiate pattern

consciousness of opportunities neglected. Balliol men were `subject to a vigorous course of prodding and rousing . . . You might be propelled in any direction, but at least you would not stand still.'53 Members of the college learned to take themselves seriously, and they carried Jowett's standards into other colleges and universities. In 1900 there were Balliol heads in nine other colleges in Oxford. While Balliol's in¯uence spread through the higher educational world, a second group of Balliol men made careers in the public service. The politicians, Lansdowne and Brodrick on one side, Asquith, Grey, and Loreburn on the other, and Milner (who was cross party), lived in the public eye. But the spirit of the college was caught early in the twentieth century when the fellows published annual lists of `those former Undergraduates of the College, now living, who either are or have been in the service of the Crown at home or in other parts of the Empire'.54 As a young tutor Jowett had participated eagerly, in the 1850s, in the institution of a system of competitive examination for entry to the civil and public services. Now, in 1904, there were twenty Balliol men in the Colonial Service, and a further six in Egypt and the Sudan. Under the heading of the Indian Civil Service there were 226 names. The column started with the three successive Viceroys, Lansdowne, Elgin, and Curzon. One of the remaining 223 succeeded to a peerage and one to a baronetcy. Fifty-®ve more, two of whom were native Indians, were knighted. Eighteen of them had attended schools in Scotland. There was not an Etonian among them. Etonians conspicuously had no need and no wish to join the Indian Civil Service, except, that is, as Viceroy and Governor-General.55 Under the Home Civil Service were 164 names. By 1903 Jowett's `children' were rising towards the top of their departments and to their rewards in the honours lists. Among those who graduated between 1863 and 1887 (the peak period) no fewer than thirty achieved knighthoods, eleven in the Foreign Of®ce and Diplomatic Service, three in the War Of®ce, and two each at the India Of®ce and the Colonial Of®ce, one at the Home Of®ce, one at the Treasury, one at the Education Department and two at the Scottish Education Department, one at Woods and Forests, one at the Local Government Board, and two at the Inland Revenue. One became Clerk of the Privy Council, one ran the Lord Chancellor's Department, and one was Chairman of the Prison Commission.56 Seven of these thirty men had been to school at 53

L. Stephen (n. 9), 157±8. Balliol College [Record], Oct. 1903±Oct. 1904. Lansdowne, Elgin, and Curzon had all been at Eton. 56 Sir Arthur Hardinge (knighthood conferred 1897), Sir James Rennell Rodd (1899), Sir Charles Eliot (1900), Sir Francis Elliot (1904), Sir Cecil Spring-Rice (1906), Sir William Davidson (1907), Sir William Cartwright (1910), Sir Louis Mallet (1912), Sir Henry Lowther (1913), Sir William Tyrrell (1913, baron 1929) and Sir Arthur Grant Duff (1924); Major General Sir Coleridge Grove, who had passed top into the Staff College (1898), Sir Charles Harris (1913) 54 55

`balliol, for example'


Eton, and four had been educated privately. There were two each from Clifton, Rugby, and Winchester, and one each from Bromsgrove; Charterhouse; Cheltenham; Glenalmond; Haileybury; Harrow; King's College School, London; and Uppingham. Three had attended high schools or academies in Scotland. One came from Bradford Grammar School, and one from Clapham Grammar School (both grammar-school boys were in the War Of®ce). Some had been born with silver spoons in their mouths, and had not attempted to study hard at the University. Many more were the bene®ciaries of the career open to talents. All lived up to Jowett's earnest ideal of of®cial usefulness, and won their distinctions, working at a remove from the ups and downs of Westminster politics to serve the state and to apply its power to the common good. With others, they created an enlightened and ef®cient public service capable of enlargement, when the need arose, to play a major part in the two great British achievements of the early and mid-twentieth century, victory in total wars and the establishment of a welfare state. In comparison with the population at large, Balliol men were but few, but they played their part, both in India and in the United Kingdom, in ensuring the security and bettering the condition of millions. and Sir Bertram Cubitt (1920); Sir Arthur Godley (1893) and Sir Charles Lyall (1897); Sir Ernest Bickham Sweet-Estcourt (1904) and Sir Charles Lucas (1907); Sir Edward Troup (1909); Sir Frederick Parry (1925); Sir George Kekewich (1895) and Sir Henry Craik (1897) and Sir George MacDonald (1927); Sir John Horner (1907); Sir James Davy (1911); Sir Henry Primrose (1899) and Sir Bernard Mallet (1916); Sir Almeric Fitzroy (1909); Sir Kenneth Muir-Mackenzie (1898, baron 1915); and Sir Evelyn Ruggles-Brise (1902).




6 `Training in Simple and Religious Habits'*: Keble and its First Warden g eoff r ey row e l l One of the central concerns of the Oxford Movement was `education on Church principles'. Clergy in¯uenced by Tractarian ideals promoted Church schools in their parishes. Schools like Marlborough and Fleetwood were founded for the sons of poor clergy. In 1848 Nathaniel Woodard began what was to become Lancing College, the ®rst of the many schools of the Woodard Foundation.1 It is not surprising that there were those concerned to see educational ventures in Oxford to match the burgeoning provision for education on Church principles, where fees and charges would not be a barrier to poorer students. In March 1846 a committee of the Hebdomadal Board responded to an address on university extension bearing the names of some notable signatories, Ashley, Gladstone, Tait, and Samuel Wilberforce among them. They had urged that `academical education' should be made `accessible to the sons of parents whose incomes are too narrow for the scale of expenditure at present prevailing among the junior members of the University of Oxford, and that this should be done through the addition of new departments to existing colleges, or, if necessary, by the foundation of new collegiate bodies.' The memorialists added: We have learned, on what we consider unquestionable information, that in such institutions, if the furniture were provided by the College, and public meals alone were provided, to the entire exclusion of private entertainments in the rooms of the Students the annual College payments for board, lodging, and tuition might be reduced to £60 at most, and that if frugality were enforced as the condition of membership, the Student's entire expenditure might be brought within the compass of £80 yearly.2

The 1846 Committee had responded by favouring in a lukewarm way new building in existing colleges, and extra ®nancial provision by eleemosynary * 1

From the Appeal launched after the Lambeth meeting, 12 May 1866.

Brian Heeney, Mission to the Middle-Classes: The Woodard Schools 1848±1891 (1969), is the most recent and full account of the movement. 2 Report on University Extension, Mar. 1846, reprinted in RCO (1850), appendix E, 55.



a new collegiate pattern

exhibitions or loans. `To build and adequately endow a new College' was `suited rather to ancient muni®cence than to the economical views of modern times.' There would be dif®culties were the college insuf®ciently endowed, and the University ought not to incorporate `any institution analogous to a proprietary school'.3 One of the leading movers over the next ten years for the founding of a new college in Oxford run on Church principles for poor students was Charles Marriott, a tutor at Oriel and Newman's successor as Vicar of St Mary's. At the end of 1845, after Newman's secession, Marriott wrote to Bishop Selwyn, saying that there had been much talk of university extension. Eighteen months previously he could have `raised money to found a College on strict principles. Now, people are so shaken that I do not think anything can be effected.'4 In January 1846 he was consulting Knottesford Fortescue, later Provost of Perth, to help him think through `a design wh. I am trying to bring into shape for a de®nite attempt.' My notion is to get people to help me in founding a small college at Oxford, especially for educating candidates for Holy orders in a stricter, simpler way than usual. I could furnish a good deal of the money towards building myself, or at least render myself responsible for it; and I think I could ®nd competent Tutors ready to devote themselves to the work without any prospect beyond maintenance in a plain way for the time. If we cd. ®nd such men, we might do with very little endowment.

Marriott was prepared to act as head of such a college himself, but hoped another suitable candidate might be found. The plan, he told Fortescue, must be kept secret `as there are those who would oppose it tooth and nail if known'. `Our almost only chance is to get it accepted by Govn. in connection with the movement for cheap education, & proposed by them to be chartered in the University.'5 Two years later, in 1848, he wrote to Keble reviving the idea of a `college for literates', proposing to take `a large house for the purpose' and get `a sort of Warden and Fellows into it.'6 By the spring of the following year some £3,000 had been collected, and Marriott proposed to Mr Justice Coleridge that he join with himself, Robert Wilberforce, and Manning in acting as a trustee of the new foundation. Bishop Hat®eld's Hall at Durham was proposed as a model. I think the most effectual measure would be, with the consent of the proper authorities, to found and partially endow a College, in which the Fellows should be bound to the work of Tuition for a moderate maintenance, and should associate with the Undergraduates as far as might be desirable. The saving of expense to the latter would 3

Ibid. 56. See also Pt 1, 310±11. J. W. Burgon, Lives of Twelve Good Men (2 vols 1888), i. 320. 5 Copy letter, Charles Marriott to E. B. Knottesford Fortescue, 15 Jan. 1846. Marriott Letters, KCA. 6 Copy letter, Charles Marriott to John Keble, Maundy Thursday 1848, ibid. `Literates' were those admitted to holy orders in the Church of England but who had no degree. 4

keble and its first warden


be so great that even Students with small means might contribute toward the maintenance of the College. The sum of £40,000 would raise buildings for a Head and six Fellows, with eighty or more students, and provide an endowment of £600 or £700 per annum, which would be suf®cient to ensure permanency. Should it be found impossible to raise so large a sum, the work might be begun with £20,000, supposing authorities to consent to a foundation consisting of a Head and three Fellows, and with small premises. This would form a nucleus which would very soon expand into a larger institution.7

Marriott reassured a critic that `those who are concerned in the plan are far too practical to be amusing themselves with medievalisms, and that a plain straight-forward economical college is intended.'8 Burgon noted that Marriott succeeded in obtaining substantial promises of funds for his foundation and that it was only his early death in 1858 that brought the project to an end. The 1854 Oxford Act, which had permitted the creation of private halls, had given those concerned for a Church college an opening. `We are as free as ever we were to found for the Church of England, and freer to choose our men.'9 Negotiations were in train with St John's and Merton for the purchase of a building site, and Marriott had talked with Butter®eld as a potential architect although Marriott did not think any obligation to employ him had been created. `On the spot there are Street and Buckler, competent men though of less calibre.'10 Marriott got as far as leasing some land, probably the site on which Keble was eventually to be founded. `The land I have on lease is by the Parks, within 150 yards or so of the proposed site of the University Museum.'11 If the land were purchased it would, he thought, be `a moderately natural situation where one might offer a chapel to a number of Private Halls should we go on the aggregative planÐwhich is not a bad idea.'12 Though Marriott's scheme did not in the end get off the ground there are strong echoes of it in the 1866 report on university extension, which was one of the immediate catalysts in the foundation of Keble. The genesis of the 1866 report was a meeting at Oriel in November 1865 to consider university extension `with a view especially to the education of persons needing assistance and desirous of admission into the Christian ministry'. Six subcommittees were set up to consider various means of extending the University. The subcommittee concerned with a new foundation was chaired by Walter Waddington Shirley, Canon of Christ Church and Regius Professor of 7

Charles Marriott. Open Letter to Mr Justice Coleridge n.d., ibid. Copy letter, Charles Marriott to an anonymous correspondent, 24 Nov. 1849, ibid. 9 Draft letter, 1855, ibid. 10 Copy letter from Charles Marriott to Mr Justice Coleridge, 2 Oct. 1854, ibid. For work in Oxford by G. E. Street and C. A. Buckler see Appendix to Ch. 30. Wilberforce had made Street his honorary diocesan architect. 11 Copy letter Charles Marriott to Mr Justice Coleridge, 7 Oct. [1854], ibid. 12 Copy letter Charles Marriott to Mr Justice Coleridge, 8 Oct. [1854], ibid.; see Burgon, Twelve Good Men, i. 359±62 for further details of Marriott's concern for a new college. 8


a new collegiate pattern

Ecclesiastical History. There were nine members including Pusey, Mansel, Mountague Bernard, and Burgon. It produced the most substantial of the six reports. The major starting-point was the perception that `the education of the Clergy, which has been from time immemorial the staple work of Oxford, seemed to be in a large measure passing out of her hands.'13 Tables were appended showing that of English and Welsh ordinations in 1841 Oxford had supplied 242 out of 606 (Cambridge 270) and only 48 literates had been ordained, whereas the ®gures for 1865 were Oxford 166 and Cambridge 182 out of 535 ordinations with 146 literates.14 The committee perceived that one of the major impediments to many of these literates (and others like them) gaining a university education was `simply. . . its expensiveness; not only in its actual cost, but in the extravagant habits which it is often believed to form'.15 In any new foundation, while tutorial fees should not be reduced `so low as to impair the ef®ciency of the educating staff,' fees might be ®xed `as low as £12 a-year.' Economical management might considerably reduce the cost of college residence. The new foundation envisaged was, the committee emphasized, not that `of a ``Poor Man's Hall,'' as the phrase is commonly received, not, that is, of such an eleemosynary establishment as would be sought only by persons of inferior social position, less cultivated manners, or attainments and intellect below the ordinary level of the University, but rather of one which is adapted to the natural habits and tastes of gentlemen who wish to live economically.'16 Shirley's committee surmised that the greater proportion of any new foundation would not be greatly socially differentiated from the general run of colleges. `There would be a sprinkling of wealthier men, who prefer for their sons a College where plain living and steady reading set the prevailing tone.' There would be others `socially in no way inferior, who are kept aloof from us by the tone of indolent extravagance which is believed to prevail among us, even more than it really does,' who would be attracted by such a college.17 The committee concluded by recommending the foundation of a hall for 100 undergraduates. The property should be vested in trustees until suf®cient endowment was received to make incorporation desirable. The principal was to be in Anglican orders and appointed by the two Archbishops and the Chancellor. He should have a teaching role, especially in the provision of theological lectures. The tutors were also to be in orders. Charges were to be levied as follows: tuition £4; furnished rooms £3; battels £10 per term. Battels would cover `breakfast, plain lunch13 Oxford University Extension (1866), 8. The six reports were republished in SCOC (1867), 270±95. 14 Ibid. 9. 15 Ibid. 10. 16 Ibid. 13. SCOC (1867), 274. 17 Ibid. 15±16.

keble and its first warden


eon, dinner, attendance, and the general lighting of the College'. Breakfast and dinner were to be in common, with the principal and tutors being expected to be generally present at these meals. Economical living was, if necessary, to be enforced by discipline: `if any member contract debts beyond a certain amount, or be found to be forming expensive habits, he be requested to remove to some other College or Hall, as not being of the character for which this foundation was instituted.'18 Undergraduates were to be encouraged to reside during the vacations, paying, if possible, at the same rate as in term.19 Once money had been donated for the establishment of the new foundation suf®cient to allow for the purchase of a site and erection of buildings, work should begin. `For an endowment, the Hall could afford to wait; if the result is what we expect, it would not long be wanting'Ða prophecy which was to prove false in the case of Keble.20 The report on university extension was published late in 1866. Earlier that year, on Maundy Thursday, 29 March, John Keble had died at Bournemouth. The funeral was arranged for 6 April in Keble's parish at Hursley. H. P. Liddon went down the day before, having received that morning a letter from Gladstone urging immediate action in respect of a Keble memorial. That evening a party went out to meet the funeral corteÁge bearing Keble's body from Chandler's Ford station. Liddon noted in his diary: It was a beautiful starlit night: and the solemn movement along the road in front of the hearse ®lled one with wonderful thoughts . . . Dr Pusey arrived last of all from Amp®eld where he had left the Bp. of Brechin. He wishes the College at Oxford to be the Memorial: & to be called Keble College. I trust this will be so.21

The next morning, after the Eucharist, Pusey and Liddon went over to Hursley Park and met Sir William Heathcote and the Bishop of Salisbury (Walter Kerr Hamilton), together with the Bishop of Brechin (Arthur Penrose Forbes), the Dean of Chichester (Burgon), Earl Nelson, Sydney Lear (the Precentor of Salisbury), Upton Richards, and R. J. Wilson. The meeting resolved to raise a sum of not less than £50,000 to found a college or hall at Oxford bearing Keble's name. This would serve the purposes of university extension and would also `afford to those many persons who love and revere the memory of the Author of The Christian Year some opportunity of publicly expressing their deep gratitude' for Keble's `long and devoted services to the Church of England'.22 Some pressed alternative schemes. James Skinner, incumbent of Newland near Malvern, urged that a better memorial would be a college for disabled clergy. He doubted whether 18 19 20 21 22

Ibid. 16±17. Ibid. 18. Ibid. 19. 5 Apr. 1866, Liddon, Diaries PHL. Ibid. 6 Apr. 1866; ¯ysheet published after the Hursley Park meeting.


a new collegiate pattern

churchmen would be prepared to give money `to the rich Univ. of OxfordÐ to enable it to do that wch. is its ®rst dutyÐto educate and prepare poor scholars for the service of Christ's Church here in England'.23 Others expressed concern about ensuring the continuity of Church principles in the proposed college, and about the inferiority complex which might result in a college founded for `poor students'. Efforts should be made to ensure that the members of the new college `should all be gentlemen'.24 The appeal was launched at Lambeth on 12 May, with Archbishop Longley in the chair. Among those present were R. W. Church; the Earl of Devon; Lord Richard Cavendish; the Bishop of Salisbury; Sir John Coleridge; Lord Lyttelton; the Hon. Charles Wood; the Hon. Hugh Gathorne-Hardy; Newman's old friend Sir Frederic Rogers; T. T. Carter of Clewer; and J. G. Talbot. Messages of support came from Lord John Manners, the Earl of Carnarvon, the Duke of Buccleuch, and the banker, Henry Hoare. It was hoped that the new foundation would `tend to promote the supply of candidates for Holy Orders'.25 Archbishop Longley was appointed president of the new Keble Memorial Fund. Frederick Lygon, sixth Earl Beauchamp, a friend of Liddon and a devout High Churchman, was appointed as Vice-President and one of the three general trustees, along with the Bishop of Oxford (Samuel Wilberforce) and Gathorne-Hardy. John Archibald Shaw Stewart undertook to be treasurer, and the Hon. H. E. Pellew (later Viscount Exmouth), secretary. Gladstone was invited to be a trustee but declined.26 A standing committee was formed consisting of Beauchamp, Cavendish, Heathcote, GathorneHardy, Shaw Stewart, Shirley (until his early death in September 1866, when he was succeeded by H. L. Mansel), and Mountague Bernard. Beauchamp was to play a leading role in the founding of the college and to contribute liberally to its ®nances. He subscribed £5,000 in the ®rst year of the appeal, a sum which was equalled only by an anonymous donation of the same amount from Pusey. Many of these High Churchmen were to be found together on various Church defence committees. Beauchamp, Liddon, Pellew, Coleridge, and William Butter®eld were, for instance, all members of the Athanasian Creed committee, set up to resist attempts to modify or abolish this creed as a standard of Anglican orthodoxy. At a meeting on 29 May, Butter®eld was appointed as architect for the new college, though a plea was made for Wilkinson, the architect of the new Randolph Hotel. A thousand copies of the ®rst circular were approved for distribution in London and for individuals known to be sympathetic to the scheme. It was 23 24

ibid. 25 26

James Skinner to H. P. Liddon, Easter 1866 and 19 Apr. 1866, Liddon Papers, KCA. Thomas Keble to H. P. Liddon, 19 Apr. 1866; J. P. Young to H. P. Liddon, 10 Apr. 1866, First Appeal Notice of the Keble Memorial Fund. First meeting at Lambeth Palace, 12 May 1866, Keble Memorial Fund Minute Book, KCA.

keble and its first warden


agreed to send copies to all clergy in England and Wales, and Pusey undertook to approach Bishop Potter of New York. Liddon was sounded by Pusey about becoming the college's ®rst head.27 Negotiations were opened with St John's for the acquisition of a site. The committee having satis®ed the president that no action would be taken which would be prejudicial to adjacent property and that the new foundation would not be a centre of hostility to the Established Church, St John's agreed to the sale of the site in Parks Road for £7,047 at the end of 1867. The fund-raising had gone well, and Butter®eld was invited to submit plans, which he did in December 1867. He planned a college which would eventually accommodate 250 undergraduates, with a large quad 220 feet square and a smaller court 115 by 100 feet. Three of the blocks would accommodate 106 men and six tutors, but as the cost exceeded the balance available it was suggested that only two blocks should be begun.28 The Archbishop was invited to lay the foundation stone on St Mark's Day, 25 April, which was John Keble's birthday. Preceded by a service in St Mary's, the laying of the foundation stone would be followed by a meeting in the Sheldonian, at which three resolutions would be put, the ®rst relating to university extension, the second concerning the establishment of a new college to effect this, `the aims of which should be to impart a Christian training, encourage industry, and discourage habits of expense', and to dedicate such a new foundation to the memory of John Keble.29 By the time the foundation stone was laid over £30,000 was available for the building work, and in May 1868 Parnells of Rugby were appointed as the contractors. Over the next six months there was considerable pressure on Liddon to accept the headship of the college. The Archbishop formally offered him the post, and Samuel Wilberforce, Beauchamp, and Pusey were all anxious that he should accept. Beauchamp saw Keble as presenting an unparalled opportunity to organize a staff which would `counteract Rugby and Balliol'. Liddon, he believed, could do this.30 Liddon demurred. My power of doing good might be destroyed by the pressure that Low Church fanaticism might be able . . . to bring to bear against me . . . My appointment to the Headship of Keble College would at once provoke an outburst of Puritan feeling, which would be powerfully reinforced by resident unbelief at Oxford, and which would surround the new College in its ®rst and modest struggles with a gratuitous supply of very serious dif®culties.31

By March 1869 three blocks had been contracted for and were in progress. A new road, of which the Keble committee were paying half the cost, was 27 28 29 30 31

4 Apr. 1866, Liddon Diaries, PHL. Building Committee Minute Book, 17 Mar. 1868, KCA. Ibid. 20 Apr. 1868. Earl Beauchamp to H. P. Liddon, 9 Apr. 1869, Liddon papers, KCA. H. P. Liddon to Earl Beauchamp, 10 Apr. 1869 (copy), ibid.


a new collegiate pattern

constructed to link Parks Road and St Giles. Permission was sought from St John's to name it Keble Road. Earth had to be brought in to raise the terraces to the buildings within the main quadrangle, the ground being very low `in consequence of the site having formerly been a quarry'. Thirty-two plane trees were ordered for the garden. Each undergraduate room was to be provided with the following furniture: 1 table; three chairs to match; 1 elbow or folding chair; 1 bookcase with cupboards at the side; 1 carpet; blinds; 1 stump iron bedstead with a straw palliasse mattress, a quilt, wool bolster and pillow; 1 washstand; 5 pieces of crockery, a goblet and a tumbler; 1 looking-glass; 1 chest of drawers; 1 water-can; 1 bath; ®re-irons, guard, fender, and coal-scuttle. It was agreed that the gate-porter should be a married man and have £60 per annum together with lodging. Other staff would be a butteryman with board and lodging, a head scout (to receive £50 with board and lodging) together with two assistant scouts (at £18 with board and lodging). A steward was not considered necessaryÐ`a superior sort of butteryman might suf®ce.' The servants were to begin work at 6.00 a.m. and ®nish by 9.00 p.m.32 With Liddon resolute in declining the headship, the search commenced for another candidate. Pusey had thoughts of a clergyman named Martin, who consulted Liddon in May 1869. Liddon noted that `Martin was very doubtful about accepting Keble College, thinking that his marriage would be an objection . . . and that he cannot in¯uence young men . . . The Ritualist undergraduates would wear him out.'33 The question was resolved with Pusey's attention being drawn to Edward Stuart Talbot, whose elder brother was a member of the memorial fund committee. Pusey told Shaw Stewart: He will be 26 1/2 I believe when K.C. is ready to open Mich. Term 1870. He has good energy and enthusiasm, is successful here in making way with the young notwithstanding the groove in which the relation of tutors and pupils runs . . . His youth will be rather an advantage, at starting, because the young men will be more open with him.34

The committee was to meet at the end of June to approve Talbot's appointment. Earlier that month Talbot wrote to Shaw Stewart as treasurer to inform him of his engagement to Lavinia Lyttelton, the sister of his brother John's wife, Meriel. He reported that he had had a long talk with Pusey, whom he supposed `had a little regret at the failure in getting an unmarried man' but who had been most kind, sending Lavinia a message that `he thought there was a distinct work for her to do' in Keble.35 `Religious women 32 Keble Memorial Fund Standing Committee Minute Book, minutes of meetings 5±10, 1869±70, KCA. 33 4 May 1869, Liddon Diaries, PHL. 34 E. B. Pusey to J. Shaw Stewart, 15 May 1869, Keble Memorial archive, KCA. 35 E. S. Talbot to J. Shaw Stewart, 17 June 1869, ibid.

keble and its first warden


have such a powerful in¯uence for good over young men.'36 Talbot was appointed as Warden at a salary of £400 p.a. It was agreed that he should be inducted into his of®ce on St Mark's Day, 1870. In July Lavinia visited Oxford and went over Keble with Liddon. `It is immensely larger and on a more digni®ed scale than I had expected. I don't admire the architecture wh. is Butter®eld's. The Chapel, Hall, Library and kitchen have yet to be built . . . Much struck and impressed.'37 Supporters of the new foundation argued that the principle of liberty in religion, which was the ground for abolishing religious tests for membership of the university, must also include the liberty of Churchmen to found a speci®cally Church college. This argument by no means convinced all committed to the abolition of religious tests, for whom Church colleges were outmoded, narrow, and reactionary. There were therefore those who were opposed to the proposals that the new college should be incorporated as a full college of the University. Moreover, since no college had been incorporated since Worcester in 1714 it was unclear precisely what had to be done. There was a further complication in that Keble was not to be a college governed by its own fellows, it was to have an external council of Churchmen, on which the Warden and Bursar sat. Tutors were to be appointed by the Warden, but were not represented on the council. The overriding concern of those behind the founding of Keble was that the college should permanently remain what it was founded to be `in respect of (1) consisting of members of the Church of England only, and (2) providing for them teaching and worship in accordance with its doctrines and Order.' A College organized on the old Oxford model (in its modernized form) with a body of Fellows, electing to the vacancies among them, and to the Headship, would, it was thought, certainly fail to transmit and secure any distinctive character of the desired kind. It would in ®lling its vacancies take account of only two quali®cations (1) intellectual distinction (2) teaching power. . . Membership of the Church of England would at most have been required: and that requirement would have been constantly and increasingly resented.38

The council was to be responsible for the ®nancial solvency and ef®ciency of the college, but it was restrained from interference in detail with the internal life of the college by the provision of a warden with whom `was the entire administrative authority'. To him was committed the religious life of the college, and it was the warden who was solely empowered to name the 36

E. B. Pusey to J. Shaw Stewart, 20 June 1869, ibid. Lavinia Talbot diary, 1 July 1869, Lavinia Talbot papers (Hagley Hall, Stourport, Worcestershire). 38 E. S. Talbot, `The Constitution of Keble College', private statement for the Keble Council, 1928. Non-Anglican students were admitted to Keble from the 1930s; non-Anglican fellows became electable in 1952, when the college was made self-governing under its Warden and fellows. The wardenship became open to a layman in 1969. See The Twentieth Century, 303. 37


a new collegiate pattern

tutors, who were to be responsible for the pastoral care and teaching of the undergraduates. Looking back Talbot noted that he and subsequent wardens had in practice acted with the tutors as though they were fellows. Lord Beauchamp foresaw that the council might ®nd itself with little to do. `Chie¯y by his initiative the Council began to welcome and receive the Patronage of a considerable number of Livings.' Thus in this respect the new college gained something of the character of an ecclesiastical party patronage trust.39 A Church college, and one governed by a council, not by fellowsÐit was this proposal which had to be considered by the University for incorporation and by the Crown for an issue of a Royal Charter. Pusey feared that fellowships would endanger the character of the college. He remembered how at the time of the University Commission the different designation of the `Students' of Christ Church had failed to prevent the reforming zeal of the Commission being applied to Christ Church as well as to other colleges, thus removing the canons from their controlling position.40 By April 1870 the Charter had been drafted suf®ciently for Gladstone to be in correspondence about it with Earl de Grey, the Lord President of the Council: I apprehend it may have a bearing on the course to be taken in Ireland when we come to deliberate about the higher Education there. If it can be done with propriety, I should lean to direct acts of incorporation rather than relegating bodies not Commercial to the general category of Joint Stock.41

The matter came to the cabinet meeting of 14 May, and after a report from de Grey on the relationship of the new college to the University, a subsequent cabinet meeting on 21 May agreed that the Keble Charter should proceed.42 On 24 May Pusey reported further opposition in the University. The principal of Magdalen Hall had objected to Keble being a `college' because, Pusey surmised, it might then rank before Magdalen Hall.43 This exchange seems to have taken place the previous day at a meeting of the Hebdomadal Council, when the Vice-Chancellor had read a letter from Beauchamp stating he had reason to believe that the Crown would grant a charter to `Keble College' and requesting steps to be taken in order that the college might be placed in direct relationship with the University.44 Mountague Bernard had 39 Ibid., cf. W. A. Evershed, `Party and Patronage in the Church of England 1800±1945: a study of patronage trusts and patronage reform' (unpublished Oxford D. Phil. thesis 1985) for the patronage of Keble and its operation. 40 E. B. Pusey to Earl Beauchamp, 3 Jan. 1869, Beauchamp Papers (Madres®eld Court, Malvern, Worcestershire), Box 17. 41 Gladstone, Diaries vii (1982), 279. 42 Ibid. 290, 294. 43 E. B. Pusey to Earl Beauchamp, 24 May 1870, Beauchamp Papers, Box 17. 44 Hebdomadal Council Minutes, 23 May 1870, Minute 197, OUA.

keble and its first warden


argued that Keble could not be considered a hall in University terms as halls were the property of the University, Pusey suspected that the opposition was using delaying tactics. `They have an inde®nite power of wasting time, (as obstructioners mostly have). And their game evidently is to get the lawof®cers of the Crown to object to the word ``College'' and to require, as a Condition of the Charter, that K.C. should be entitled Hall.'45 A committee, which included Pusey and Bernard, considered Beauchamp's request and reported that the recognition of the new foundation as a place of education should take place by an act of the University.46 Pusey professed himself satis®ed with the outcome and thought there was no reason why the Chancellor (Lord Salisbury) should not of®ciate at the opening ceremony in Commemoration week.47 The committee of the Memorial Fund, particularly Pusey, continued to be exercised by the question of fellows, which had been queried by the Privy Council,48 but on 6 June the Charter was granted, and ten days later the legislation enabling Keble to matriculate undergraduates was passed by Convocation. The detailed discussion of statutory provisions for new foundations was deferred until the new academic year.49 The granting of the Charter coincided with the election of the ®rst two exhibition candidates, W. L. A. Bartlett of Highgate School (in later years to marry Baroness Burdett-Coutts, `the richest heiress in all England') and W. S. Dixon of Marlborough (who followed the career of an academic clergyman).50 On 23 June the college was of®cially opened, and Talbot was installed as Warden by Lord Salisbury as Chancellor of the University. Lady Frederick Cavendish, Lavinia Talbot's sister Lucy, recorded her impressions. The quad was all dotted over with bright groups of people; old Edward plunging about 50 ways at once, and enthusiastic friends kept turning up. I . . . was shown Miss Yonge the Great, a striking-looking, grey-haired woman, with beautiful eyes and an expressive face. Considering the College is now nothing but rooms, being minus chapel, library, and hall, it is very well-looking; original and as little monotonous as possible. Towards 11 the procession formed; and after securing places in the temporary chapel, we ¯ew to the door to see it streaming round the quad. Beautiful it was, with its white clergy and choir, its scarlet Doctors and Bishops, its golden-robed Chancellor. We had but a glimpse and went back into the chapel. But then came the loud, 45

E. B. Pusey to Earl Beauchamp, 24 May 1870, Beauchamp Papers, Box 17. Hebdomadal Council Minutes, 30 May 1870, Minute 200. 47 E. B. Pusey to Earl Beauchamp, 30 May [1870], Beauchamp Papers, Box 17. 48 E. B. Pusey to Earl Beauchamp, n.d. (? May 1870), ibid. 49 Keble Memorial Fund Minute Book, 28 May 1870, KCA. 50 Lavinia Talbot diary, 11 June 1870; B. St G. Drennan (ed.), The Keble College Centenary Register, 1870±1970 (1970), 19. 46


a new collegiate pattern

joyous chanting nearer and nearer, and so they entered the chapel, where a solemn little service was held.

Lavinia noted that `the service was very solemn and ®neÐnot long, & much of it in Latin. The Bp. of Oxford read very grandlyÐ& the Chancellor said what he had to say very well. Ed. was ®nally installed in the Warden's stall.'51 Beauchamp wrote the day after offering a further contribution of £1,000. The Hon. E. H. Legge, a captain in the Coldstream Guards, was appointed as bursar. During the Long Vacation of 1870 he oversaw the preparations for the ®rst undergraduates. Fees were ®xed at £81 per annum, or £27 per term, including the statutory University fees. Bibles and Prayer Books were ordered for the chapel. Compline, which it had been agreed was to be a feature of the new college's daily worship, was specially printed and incorporated in the Prayer Books. A striking clock was acquired to ensure that the gate was shut sharply and that all could be in in time for service. At the end of September the newly married Edward and Lavinia Talbot returned to Oxford and settled into their rooms in Keble. Just before the beginning of term there was a retreat for the small college staff taken by Edward King, the saintly Principal of Cuddesdon.52 There proved to be more applicants than there were places. On 13 October decisions were made. Very exciting dayÐat times so at least. The 2nd. Matriculation Exam: came offÐ9 altogether plucked, so reducing the number to 30, wh. all are glad of. Edward and the tutors hard at work till 11 at night. Those plucked felt it in several cases sadly strongly, one nearly burst into tears, another pleaded piteously, & as a climax one fainted dead away. I was sitting in the drawing room when I heard Edward loudly call me. I rushed into the study & saw the unfortunate on the ground. Edward saying `He is in a ®t.' However it proved to be a fainting, & he soon came to with water, &c. It must have been a mixture of disappointment and tire.53

Two days later the ®rst members of the college arrived. The great day. Throughout the day the undergraduates came chopping in, bringing with them their more or less luggage and ominous bits of furniture . . . Keble Coll. is inhabited. Edward dined in Hall, dinner was a failure the ®rst night,Ðone bit of beefÐone batter pudding. A little speech of explanation had to be made.54 51 J. Bailey (ed.), The Diary of Lady Frederick Cavendish (2 vols 1927), ii. 85±6; Lavinia Talbot diary. S. Fletcher, Victorian Girls: Lord Lyttelton's Daughters (1997), 154±5, gives further details. Keble's vicarage had been fairly near Charlotte Yonge's home in Hampshire and she had been greatly in¯uenced by him. The Heir of Redclyffe (1853) had established her fame as a novelist. 52 J. Shaw Stewart to H. E. Pellew, 26 July 1870; E. S. Talbot to H. E. Pellew, 5 Oct. 1870, Keble Memorial archive, KCA. 53 Lavinia Talbot diary, 13 Oct. 1870. 54 Ibid. 15 Oct. 1870.

keble and its first warden


There were good attendances at Communion in chapel and at Compline. On the ®rst Wednesday the two tutors, L. G. Mylne and Walter Lock, gave their ®rst lectures. Later in the week a choir was started, with practice twice a week, and singing Gregorian chant as well as hymns for the chapel services.55 The pattern of life for the thirty-one who comprised the ®rst Keble undergraduates may be deduced from the ®rst college regulations. Breakfast ran from 8.30 to 9.30. Undergraduates were expected to be present unless they had leave of absence from their tutor. Lunch was from 1 until 2 and dinner was at 6. Guests were welcome to lunch and dinner at a charge of 6d for lunch and 2s for dinner. Beer, coffee, soap, candles, wine, and milk were to be charged to private bills, which, in accordance with the college's principles of economy, were not to be allowed to exceed £3 in any one term. Meals in rooms were forbidden. The college servants were not entitled to any gratuities or perquisites. To pay for messages carried by the college messenger to other places in Oxford a college stamp was introduced at a charge of 12 d per note. If two stamps were put on, the messenger would wait for an answer. The stamps were an innovation and were taken up by a number of other Oxford colleges (and by Selwyn, Queens', and St John's in Cambridge) and used until 1886 when, as a consequence of protests by the Postmaster General, college stamps were abandoned.56 W. H. Bunce, who was college messenger at Keble from 1873 to 1885, recalled collecting letters for delivery seven times a dayÐat 8 and 10 a.m., 12 noon, 2.45, 6, 7.45, and 9 p.m. Towards the end of his time, when there were over 130 undergraduates resident, he noted that in a single fortnight he had delivered between 800 and 900 items of internal mail, and 2,300 items of mail collected from the Post Of®ce and delivered in college.57 All undergraduates were expected to attend morning and afternoon service on Sundays and morning chapel `regularly'. The gates were opened at 7.00 a.m. in the summer, after morning chapel in other terms. They were closed at 9.00 p.m., after which undergraduates were con®ned to college. Gate-®nes were imposed on those coming in after 11.00 p.m. and on strangers going out after the same time, at the rate of a shilling a time. Academical dress was to be worn at morning and afternoon services, at lectures, and at dinner.58 Some idea of the fare in hall is given in two pencilled lists from later in Keble's ®rst decade. One, rather surprisingly, is headed `Revised Bill of Fare for Days of Abstinence'. On such days there were eggs and cold meat for 55

Ibid. 21 Oct. 1870. See R. Lister, College Stamps of Oxford and Cambridge (1966). For Keble stamps see pp. 19±31; also H. Cummings, The College Stamps of Oxford and Cambridge: A Study of their History and Use from 1870 to 1886 (n.d.). For Keble see pp. 13±41. 57 Cummings, 39±40. 58 Keble College Regulations, KCA. 56


a new collegiate pattern

breakfast, and at dinner there was ®sh at the carving table, hot roast beef and mutton, cold boiled beef, potatoes, and a green vegetable. Did abstinence mean merely no lunch? The other list is headed `Warden's List of Puddings' and runs as follows: `Bread Pudding; Bread and Butter Pudding; Milk Rice (without egg); Ordinary Rice (with egg); Sweet Pudding; Tapioca; Sago; Semolina; Hasty Pudding; Ground Rice and Batter Pudding.'59 During the ®rst two terms of Keble's existence the question of the statute concerning new foundations was still under debate. The leaders of the opposition were Thorold Rogers and H.A. Pottinger. Rogers was a former strong supporter of Tractarianism, who had lost his faith in the 1860s (his radical views preventing his re-election as Professor of Political Economy in 1867). Having campaigned for the passing of the Clerical Disabilities Act he became the ®rst clergyman to resign his orders under its provisions in August of 1870. Pottinger was a barrister and a law lecturer at Worcester, known as `a strong anti-clerical and agnostic'.60 Both pressed that Keble should merely be granted the status of a private hall. Lavinia Talbot attended the debates in Congregation, and considered that although they were much in Keble's favour, `there was a certain feeling in Keble of being out in the cold, & having to ®ght our own against a certain amount of odds'Ð a situation which strengthened the `patriotic and warm family spirit' of the college.61 During the discussions in January 1871 Rogers and Pottinger were `much to the fore, but were as before beaten on every point but the last. The last amendment was carried by wh. the Heads of new ``institutions'' are not to be entitled to the same privileges as the older Heads.'62 A month later, despite continuing opposition, the statute was passed by 27 to 7. Pusey gave notice of a motion asking for Keble to be admitted to the privileges of new foundations. This was approved on 18 April by 30 to 2, the two being Rogers and Pottinger. Keble's ®rst year passed with quiet success for what was still a small ventureÐthirty undergraduates, a warden, bursar, and two tutors. At the end of the year there was a de®cit of about £100. Legge resigned as bursar (though not for this reason) and was succeeded by Col. Sackville West. Minor improvements were made to the buildings. Nine extra earth closets were constructed and a women's earth closet `complete with Mould's apparatus'. The lower windows in the men's bedrooms were obscured for decency and a smoke-consuming apparatus was purchased for the kitchen.63 The new 59 Keble Memorial archive, 31 Jan. 1879 (Revised Bill of Fare for Days of Abstinence) and Feb. 1879 (Warden's List of Puddings), KCA. 60 For Rogers see DNB; for Pottinger see F. H. Lawson, The Oxford Law School 1850±1965 (1968), 53. The Clerical Disabilities Act, 33 and 34 Vict. c.91, received the Royal Assent on 9 Aug. 1870. 61 Lavinia Talbot Papers, MS Memoir. 62 Lavinia Talbot diary, 31 Jan. 1871. 63 Special committee for estimates of small items, Keble Memorial archive, KCA.

keble and its first warden


academic year brought twenty-six new members. There were Keble sports, `a shivery tiresome business', the ®rst Keble concert, `the men's quartets admirable . . . tea & hot negus &c. between acts', and participation in the day of thanksgiving for the recovery of the Prince of Wales, `speechesÐtoasts, holiday, illuminations, & singing in procession'.64 In Hilary term, 1872, the number of tutors was increased to ®ve for the next academic year. A sports ground was acquired in the Woodstock Road opposite the new St Edward's School. In the summer came news of a gift of funds for the construction of a new chapel. The donor was William Gibbs, an octogenarian businessman, who resided at Tyntes®eld near Bristol, and who had made his money in the phosphate trade with South America. Encouraged by Sir John Coleridge, Gibbs enquired of Butter®eld what the cost of a chapel would be, and was told £25±30,000.65 Gibbs intimated that funding would have been forthcoming earlier had it not been for `the claims . . . made on us' as a consequence of the Franco-Prussian war, and `by the appeals for help to our Schools' in consequence of the Forster Education Act.66 While unreservedly welcoming Gibbs's generosity, Talbot warned that with Butter®eld's strong ecclesiastical and architectural views there was likely to be a battle royal over the chapel arrangements.67 It was the proposed mosaics over which controversy most sharply erupted. Liddon took exception to the great east-end mosaic of the Lord in glory in the midst of the seven candlesticks with the sword proceeding out of his mouth. The cruci®xion would, he thought, be more appropriate, and he was conscious that the eastward-facing arrangement of pews would focus undergraduate attention upon it. Talbot feared that it might be a `cause of offence' to undergraduates who `are more ready to see what is at all ludicrous than to care excessively for reverence'.68 Butter®eld stated that his intention was, as a plaque at the back of Keble chapel still records, `to represent in order, the successive dealings of God with His Church, Patriarchal, Jewish and Christian, as comprehensively as the space and circumstances will allow, and somewhat after the manner of the Christian Year'. He lamented the subjectivity and sensationalism of the age. It is an age of preaching, I wish I need not add, of wild, unguarded preaching. We are appealing to the feelings of people by Missions of the revival type, and are, I fear, by such means making everybody weaker and weaker, and are losing backbone. Creeds and de®nite principles are out of fashion. Our feelings take their place . . . At such a time I ask that the Mosaic subjects of Keble College Chapel may be allowed to set 64

Lavinia Talbot diary, 15, 16 Nov. 1871; 7 Dec. 1871; 10 Mar. 1872. J. Shaw Stewart to E. S. Talbot, 12 July 1872, KCA; Lavinia Talbot diary, 15 July 1872. 66 William Gibbs to J. T. Coleridge, 14 Nov. 1870, KCA. 67 E. S. Talbot to J. Shaw Stewart, 12 July 1872, KCA. 68 Correspondence concerning the Mosaics in the Chapel of Keble College, Oxford, during the year 1873 (Privately printed, by W. Butter®eld, 1893), 23±4. 65


a new collegiate pattern

forth as completely as the space will allow the leading facets of the Christian and preceding dispensations in an even and orderly way, with nothing forced out of its place to meet any supposed special need of undergraduates.69

Butter®eld having gained the support of the donor, the design for the chapel was accepted, and William Gibbs laid the foundation stone on 25 April 1873. Gibbs hoped that the chapel might be the means of `upholding and spreading the true Principles of the Church of England as professed by moderate and yet thoroughly Catholic Churchmen, as much opposed on the one hand to extreme views of Doctrine and Ritual, as on the other to those of the very Low Church'.70 The worship of the temporary chapel was not considered to be in any way extreme. An early observer wrote: `the services were of the simplest; of ritual there was almost none; the singing was crude in the extreme.'71 Shortly before the foundation stone was laid Butter®eld had been faced with a further question in relation to the chapel. Mrs Martha Combe, the widow of the University printer, had presented Holman Hunt's painting, The Light of the World, to the College with the intention that it should adorn the new chapel. Butter®eld wrote strongly to Shaw Stewart that to acquiesce in such a scheme would destroy the quiet feeling of the chapel `for it will be a proper lion and will be put down in Oxford Guide books and visited by Americans and such like folk in throngs.' The chapel must remain a house of prayer and not, by virtue of Hunt's picture, lead the crowd `to mistake a Church for a mere gallery'.72 The picture found a place in the library when that was built, where it remained until the construction of the side-chapel (to a design by Micklethwaite) in 1892, as a memorial to Liddon. The chapel took three years to build, Parnells of Rugby being employed, as they had been on the original buildings. The glass and mosaics were executed by A. Gibbs of Bloomsbury Street, London, working under Butter®eld's close supervision. The chapel rose to some 90 feet from the ground to the ridge of the roof, was 124 feet long and 35 feet wide. The interior decoration was of coloured brick and stone, with incised patterns of mastic in the nave, and of alabaster, marbles, and granites in the sanctuary. The shafts bearing the ceiling vaulting were of Devonshire marble. On the outer wall at the west end was placed a statue of Archbishop Longley in cope and mitre and carrying a crozier; a niche on the other side was reserved for a corresponding statue of Lord Salisbury as Chancellor, but this was never added.73 69

Ibid. 14±15. William Gibbs to E. S. Talbot, 9 Oct. 1873, KCA. 71 (H. W. McKenzie), Keble College, the First Thirty from within (1930), 6. 72 William Butter®eld to J. Shaw Stewart, 13 May 1873, KCA. 73 See An Account of the proceedings at Keble College on the occasion of the opening of the Chapel and the laying of the Foundation-stone of the Hall and Library on St. Mark's Day, 1876 (1876), pp. vii±xv. 70

keble and its first warden


The chapel was completed in 1876 and was opened on St Mark's Day. It was not free from controversy. Liddon objected to Archbishop Tait being invited because of Tait's public hostility to Tractarianism.74 More protracted was a dispute about whether the chapel should be consecrated. Mackarness, the Bishop of Oxford, wished to consecrate it, as Samuel Wilberforce had consecrated Exeter chapel earlier in the century. A signi®cant number of the college council were nervous about consecration, fearing that its legal effect would be to make the chapel vulnerable to Acts of Parliament governing the doctrine, worship, and character of the Church of England as a whole. If the Burials Bill were to be passed Nonconformist funeral rites would become lawful in consecrated Anglican churchyards. As Pusey told Talbot, `it is a much shorter step from the Church yard into the Church, than from outside into the Church.'75 The opposition were sensitive not only about future legislation, butÐonly shortly after the attempt to `put down ritualism' by the Public Worship Regulation Act (1874)Ðabout consecration as providing a possible entreÂe for the regulation of worship by an unsympathetic Bishop of Oxford. Gladstone and Salisbury were sympathetic to the non-consecration party, though the latter cautioned against the bad publicity that too intransigent a stand against Mackarness's desire to consecrate might produce, and in the end, after mediation by Gladstone and others, a compromise formula was found: Legal questions having been suggested as to the effect of the Consecration of the Chapel of Keble College, in restraint of powers given to its authorities by the Charter, it has been agreed between the Bishop of Oxford and the Council that the Consecration of the Chapel shall be deferred.76

In the event nothing further was done. A large congregation attended the opening, with Pusey preaching at the morning service which followed the early celebration of Communion. `The wretched thing was hardly anyone heard Dr Pusey, ®rst from the great echo, then because he coughed incessantly.'77 If the acoustics came in for criticism, so too did the architecture. The Hour commented that the chapel was `externally a hideous building, vividly suggestive of a workhouse or a county lunatic asylum'. The writer clearly did not recognize Butter®eld's inspiration drawn from the upper chapel of the basilica of St Francis at Assisi.78 In the public speeches there was concern to allay fears that Keble was a hotbed of ritualism. Archbishop Tait confessed to fears, when he had ®rst been asked to be Visitor of Keble, that `it would turn out a monkish institution and 74 75 76 77 78

H. P. Liddon to E. S. Talbot, 21 Feb. 1876, KCA. E. B. Pusey to E. S. Talbot, 21 Feb. 1876, KCA. Keble College Council, Minutes, 24 Apr. 1876. Lavinia Talbot diary, 25 Apr. 1876. The Hour, 26 Apr. 1876.


a new collegiate pattern

would breed young monks who would do a great deal of mischief in England.' Pusey's proposal of a married Warden had set his mind at rest.79 Talbot hoped that, although Keble would certainly contribute its quota of ordinands, `it was not merely to bring up candidates for holy orders.' Keble had to avoid one-sidedness, whether in religion, or in academic study, or in sporting activity.80 In view of Talbot's comment it is worth noting that in the ®rst twenty years of its existence out of 879 matriculations 450 took holy orders, 240 out of 404 in the ®rst decade, 210 out of 475 in the second.81 Those who were not ordained for the most part comprised schoolmasters, solicitors, and colonial administrators. At the opening of the chapel William Gibbs's sons, Martin and Anthony, announced (at ®rst anonymously, and later openly) their gift of a hall and library to match the gift of the chapel by their father. These major additions to the college's buildings were completed in two years, the hall being deliberately built a few feet longer than that of Christ Church, the longest hall in Oxford. Butter®eld's symbolic themes were continued in the texts from the Old Testament Wisdom literature, together with the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life in the library, and a sequence of Psalm texts in the windows in the hall, with the Supper at Emmaus as the subject in the uppermost light of the window over the high table. In 1879 Edward King, preaching the St Mark's Day sermon, urged the enrichment of the library with manuscripts and hoped that the college would encourage the study of palaeography. The college acquired its ®rst manuscript in 1881 and in the next twenty years received benefactions of medieval liturgical manuscripts such that the Keble collection is today `the most remarkable collection of illuminated manuscripts preserved in an Oxford college library'.82 These liturgical manuscripts, most notably the gifts of Henry Parry Liddon and Charles Edward Brooke, re¯ect both the Tractarian concern with the reappropriation of traditional ceremonial in worship and close personal connections between donors and members of the college council, such as Earl Beauchamp and P. G. Medd.83 A year before the library was completed the construction of the warden's lodgings released the Talbots from their cramped quarters in the corner of the main quadrangle. As the college grew and became established there were important links with other developments. Most notable, perhaps, was the founding of a similar `church college' at Cambridge in 1881, when Selwyn came into being. The ®rst Master, Arthur Temple Lyttelton, was E. S. Talbot's brother-in-law, who had spent three years as a Keble tutor. Much of the Keble pattern was 79 80 81 82 83

Proceedings, 1876, 42. Ibid. 50. See Drennan, Keble College Centenary Register. M. B. Parkes, The Medieval Manuscripts of Keble College, Oxford (1979), p. xi. Ibid. pp. ix±xi.

keble and its first warden


translated to Cambridge (Lavinia Talbot thought B. F. Westcott, who spoke at the opening of Selwyn, very `Cambridge', and found the proceedings curiously `da capo').84 There were common wider social concerns, with Josephine Butler's campaign over the Contagious Diseases Acts, with `settlements' in London, and, within the universities, women's education. Talbot was much involved with the foundation of Lady Margaret Hall, and his concern was shared by both his wife and his sister-in-law, Kathleen Lyttelton, the wife of the Master of Selwyn. In 1879 the Revd P. R. Egerton, the founder of All Saints School at Bloxham, offered to transfer the school to Keble as trustees. The offer was declined on legal advice based on the restrictions of the Charter.85 Bishop Walsham How and Octavia Hill spoke at a crowded meeting in Keble hall in March 1884 to launch the founding of Oxford House in Bethnal Green.86 Toynbee Hall, whose support was centred on Balliol, was thought to have too little speci®c Church commitment. Oxford House, with its Keble links, was established in order that Oxford men may take part in the social and religious work of the Church in East London; that they may learn something of the life of the poor; may try to better the condition of the working classes as regards health and recreation, mental culture and spiritual teaching; and may offer an example, so far as in them lies, of a simple and religious life.87

The ®rst head, 1884±6, was W. E. Jackson, who was succeeded by the Hon. and Revd James Adderley and then by the young Herbert Hensley Henson, a fellow of All Souls, who both stayed for only a year, but left their mark.88 The fourth head, A. F. Winnington-Ingram, himself a Keble graduate, stayed for nine. Under him new buildings were erected and Oxford House became so well established that on Winnington-Ingram's departure in 1897 to become Bishop of Stepney, Adderley could comment that Oxford House was `almost the most important factor in the ecclesiastical life of East London, and certainly one of the greatest forces for good in the ``Varsity''.'89 The young Cosmo Gordon Lang found the atmosphere of Oxford House `less strained and self-conscious' than that of Toynbee Hall, `The residents and 84

Lavinia Talbot diary, 1±14 Oct. 1882. The Revd P. S. Egerton to J. Shaw Stewart, 10 Mar. 1879; 11 Aug. 1879, Keble Memorial archive, KCA. A similar scheme to link Keble with St Edward's School also came to nothing. See B. S. Smith, A History of Bloxham School (Bloxham, 1978), 51±3. For Talbot's part in the foundation of LMH see p. 246 below. By 1884 the connection was giving him trouble: G. Battiscombe, Reluctant Pioneer (1978), 92. 86 Lavinia Talbot diary, 7 Mar. 1884. 87 Oxford House Magazine, 1894, cited in M. Ashworth, The Oxford House in Bethnal Green, 100 Years' Work in the Community (1984), 4. 88 O. Chadwick, Hensley Henson: A Study in the Friction between Church and State (1983), 39±48. 89 Ashworth, 11. See also S. C. Carpenter, Winnington-Ingram (1949), 25±60; A. F. Winnington-Ingram, Fifty Years Work in London, 1889±1939 (1940), 5±14. 85


a new collegiate pattern

visitors seemed to have less sense that they were, no doubt quite disinterestedly, studying problems or testing theories. At the Oxford House they were, rather, loyally accepting something old and tried and sure and bringing it as a gospel, a good gift, to the people.'90 If Oxford House represented Keble's social concern, there was also intellectual endeavour in the theological ®eld. Lux Mundi, a notable collection of theological essays, published in 1889 just after E. S. Talbot had left Keble to become Vicar of Leeds, was the work of a group closely connected with Talbot, almost all of whom had been tutors or lecturers at Keble. It was characterized by an incarnational and sacramental theology, which accepted evolution, a cautiously critical approach to the Bible, and a more immanentist understanding of God.91 On a more material level Keble was established but often found ®nances dif®cult. In 1873 the Bursar (Sackville West) told Shaw Stewart that the college was working on a pro®t of about £12 per annum for each undergraduate, the equivalent of a 212 per cent dividend. The aim should be at least 7 per cent and preferably 10 per cent. New building might be ®nanced by the issue of shares to friends of the college. `The question,' he urged, `should be looked at from a commercial point of view: the success would read an important lesson to the older colleges and the eleemosynary element would be got rid of.'92 The scheme did not commend itself to the council, and the college continued to depend upon appeals and gifts. There were also tensions over the provision of scholarships, necessary to ful®l the college's ideal of enabling poorer students to come to Oxford, but causing concern to those like Pusey who feared that money and academic quali®cations would triumph over training in the faith of the Church of England.93 `Economical living' was monitored by a list of `economists', and `exceeders' presented to the council. Typical is the list for April, 1875, which records 33 exceeders (8 of £5; 14 of £6; 8 of £7; 2 of £8; and 1 of £12 or more).94 The Oxford Times in the same year urged the gift of `a farm or two or a few score of houses to endow' Keble, and went on to commend the policy of `economical living' as advantageous to both parents and Oxford tradesmen.95 At the end of 1888 Edward Talbot left Keble. He was succeeded by R. J. Wilson, the Warden of Radley, and a former fellow of Merton, Francis Paget having declined. Keble was established and it seemed to friends of the Talbots the end of an era. Scott Holland wrote with characteristic effusion to Lavinia: 90

J. G. Lockhart, Cosmo Gordon Lang (1949), 50. See G. Rowell, `Historical Retrospect: Lux Mundi 1889' in R. Morgan (ed.), The Religion of the Incarnation: Anglican Essays in Commemoration of Lux Mundi (Bristol, 1989), 205±17. 92 Sackville-West to J. Shaw Stewart, 1 Mar. 1873, Keble Memorial archive, KCA. 93 E. B. Pusey to Shaw Stewart, 10 Oct. 1879, ibid. 94 List of exceeders, 24 Apr. 1875, ibid. 95 Oxford Times, 26 June 1875. 91

keble and its first warden


How the eyes & the heart go ¯ying back over the years. Back to the thrill and the fun of the little Cabin-hole in the Corner, with almost the glow of a Picnic about itÐand the early twin-life with the dear Warden brimming into hopes, & joysÐand then the sudden blessed discovery of childrenÐand the big great HouseÐand the crowded Drawingroom, & the Social Centre, & the friends from London, & the ®rm grown College with a history, and Past, & and the many renewals of terms, and then, the awful shadow of the sickness, and the wonder of the release from fearsÐand all the recovered heartÐand the laughter, and songs, and tears. All to go. What a memory to carry away! What a brimful treasure! What an endless joy! No taint upon it.96 96 Henry Scott-Holland to Lavinia Talbot, Christmas 1888. Lavinia Talbot±Scott-Holland correspondence, KCA.




7 `A Scotch University added to Oxford'*? The Non-Collegiate Students alan bullock The proposal that students unattached to any college or hall should be allowed to matriculate as members of the university was a product of the campaign for university extension and reform which forms one of the major themes of this volume. It had been advocated in the early 1830s by Sir William Hamilton as a counter to what he described as the supplanting of the University by the colleges. Undeterred by the weight of opinion against the idea, the ®rst Royal Commission (1850±2) came down strongly in favour of recognizing non-collegiate students. This was, in the judgement of one of the Commissioners, A. C. Tait, the most signi®cant of their recommendations.1 Like Hamilton, Tait had come to Balliol from Glasgow University as a Snell exhibitioner, and his views re¯ected his Scottish experience; the Oxford Commissioners quoted approvingly the evidence gathered a generation earlier by the Commissioners for the Scottish universities, which recorded the self-denying struggles of poor students north of the border. It was reported to be not uncommon in Scotland for students, who were able to live cheaply in lodgings, to support themselves by farm labour during the vacation.2 William Ewart, MP for Dumfries Burghs, cited these examples in support of his unsuccessful attempt to insert an amendment into the 1854 Oxford University Bill, to permit the admission of unattached students living in lodgings.3 A decade later the subject was revived by one of the six subcommittees of Convocation set up to explore the options for university extension.4 One of the subcommittees, chaired by H. G. Liddell, was nominated `to consider the * For the source of the phrase quoted in the heading see n. 30 below. 1

R. T. Davidson and M. Benham, Life of Archibald Campbell Tait (2 vols 1891), i. 168. RCO (1850), report, 49. 3 Parl. Deb. 3S cxxxiii. 1186 (1 June 1854). 4 They were published separately as Oxford University Extension (1866), and as an appendix to SCOC (1867), 270±95. 2



a new collegiate pattern

expediency of allowing undergraduates to reside in lodgings, whether with or without connexion with colleges, and to recommend provisions for securing their discipline and tuition'. Like the Royal Commission, Liddell and his colleagues were impressed by the Scottish precedent and, after carefully rejecting the arguments which had been levelled against unattached students, submitted a detailed plan for their admission.5 The Hebdomadal Council's dilatory consideration of these proposals, largely as a result of obstruction by Pusey, led William Ewart to make a second attempt in 1867 to bring pressure to bear on the University by introducing a bill in Parliament to open Oxford and Cambridge to students not residing in a college or hall.6 Ewart, a Christ Church contemporary of Lord Derby, the University Chancellor, supported `advanced' liberal causes, and was particularly active in promoting free trade, humanitarian reforms, and popular education.7 Perhaps his greatest achievement in Parliament was to carry legislation in 1850 to permit the establishment of free municipal public libraries. He wanted to bring knowledge within the reach of all, and saw the existing collegiate monopoly of Oxford and Cambridge as an unjusti®able barrier against those who could not afford the costs of living in a college. His renewed pressure to bring about the admission of non-collegiate students was referred to a Select Committee, which published the evidence it received but made no recommendation.8 It did not need to. Ewart's initiative had worked the second time it was tried, and Pusey was later to complain: `The system of unattached students was forced upon us by Parliament; it was said to us that if we did not do it for ourselves it should be done for us.'9 In March 1868 the Hebdomadal Council introduced a statute to permit the matriculation of Unattached students, along the lines recommended two years earlier by the Convocation subcommittee. In October 1868 the ®rst of them presented themselves to the Delegates for Licensing Lodgings10 in the Clarendon Building for the ®rst matriculation examination ever to be held by the University itself. At the end of the ®rst year 1868±9, forty-three had been inscribed on the Delegacy's books as Scholares non Ascripti, a third of them Noncomformists.11 The University had reluctantly agreed to admit Unattached students; it did as little as possible to provide for them. Two stipendiary delegates, to be 5

SCOC (1867), 288±91. Parl. Deb. 3s clxxxvii. 1615 (5 June 1867). See also Pt 1. 726±7. 7 W. A. Munford, William Ewart, MP. 1798±1869. Portrait of a Radical (1960). 8 See SCOC (1867), passim. 9 UOC (1877), evidence, Q. 4587. 10 At Easter 1869 the Delegacy of Unattached Students was separated from the Delegacy of Lodgings, although as the last Censor of St Catherine's Society (1952±60) the author still ex of®cio took the place of the Vice-Chancellor as Chairman of both Delegacies. See M. and D. Davies, Creating St Catherine's College (1997). 11 Ward, Victorian Oxford, 404 n. 36. 6

the non-collegiate students


known as Censors, G. W. Kitchin, a Student of Christ Church, and G. S. Ward, later a fellow of Hertford, were appointed to supervise them. Each was a clergyman, and received a salary of £100 per annum (later raised to £150) charged against the fees and dues paid by the students. These were kept to the minimum. In October 1874 the Delegates reported that an average of 46 students' budgets which they had examined showed that a man could study at Oxford for three terms of eight weeks each year at annual cost of £50.14s. Board and lodgings could be obtained for 28s 6d a week (£34.4s in total), and dues and fees amounted to no more than £16.10s. This did not of course cover `travelling, clothes, books or the cost of living in the vacations': even so, it was as much as 50 per cent below the lowest ®gure in a college.12 Forty years later, in the summer of 1914, the Delegates still found it possible to put the ®gure at between £50 and £60 unless a student chose to study a scienti®c subject and thereby incur extra laboratory fees of £10±£20 p.a. Lodgings in the centre of the city were too expensive (rents of 25 to 40 shillings a week); the majority of Unattached students lived in houses in Jericho and the Kingston Road, or between the If¯ey and Cowley Roads at rents of 8 to 12 shillings.13 The Censors' own accommodation in the Clarendon Building was on the same economic scale. The only room we really have as our own is a very small and inconvenient Library, which is full if four men sit reading in it. Our Of®ce is shared with the LodgingHouse Delegacy: there is no private of®ce for the Censors; we do all our work in the same room with our clerks, with interruptions every moment from Lodging-house keepers and their servants, as well as from Students and others enquiring as to a thousand matters. If an Undergraduate, or a Parent, wishes to consult us privately, we have no retiring room. The work of each Delegacy involves a huge collection of petty details; the books, accounts, and forms, of the two are liable at any moment to get mixed up together. . . We have neither lecture-room nor examination room of our own . . . There is no lavatory or other accommodation for the Students or ourselves.14

In the course of the ®rst ten years some small improvements were made. Provided they could raise the £400 needed to restore it, the Unattached students were allowed to use a chapel in St Mary's, the Old Convocation House, for weekly services, soon augmented by a choir. The University gave a grant of £200 to start a library and gifts of books were received from Canon Liddon and Dr Pusey, as well as 180 volumes from Mr Gladstone. Lacking anywhere to meet each other the students themselves set up a social club, known as the Clarendon University Club, which held a weekly debate. This lasted until 1874: with the help of one or two of their number who were 12 13 14

UOC (1877), evidence, Q. 2732. UOC (1877), evidence, Q. 2805. G. W. Kitchin, The `Scholares Non Ascripti' (1876), 10±11.


a new collegiate pattern

better off, it was then superseded by St Catharine's Club housed in St Catharine's Hall, a private house opposite the Clarendon Building with a reading-room and dining-room where members would meet for lunch and dinner. `I have been at luncheon there today,' Censor Kitchin told the 1877 Commission, `and I had as good a plate of beef as I could wish to have, and plenty of it, and some bread, and a glass of very tolerable sherry, for 9d.'15 The house has long since been incorporated into Hertford College, but the club ran until 1881±2, before going bankrupt, and it was under the name St Catharine's that the boat club (in 1876, when it ®rst entered for Eights) and then the musical society (1881) performed. As other clubs and societies were formed the name was consistently used, and St Catharine's (or St Catherine's)16 was the recognized unof®cial title (invariably abbreviated to St Cath's) under which they took part in inter-collegiate activities, thereby avoiding the odium of the much disliked negative description as `unattached' or (later) `non-collegiate'. Appeals to City Livery Companies, the Grocers' and the Clothworkers', and later to the Leathersellers', produced a small number of exhibitions (worth £25 or £30 per annum) which were used to help poor students. The most unsatisfactory feature was the lack of proper arrangements for tuition. The small number of men reading for honours could derive bene®t from the professors' lectures, and Balliol allowed them to attend, free of charge, any honours lectures given by its tutors. But nothing was done for the passmen, who were in a majority, and who had to make such arrangements as they could for private tuition at their own expense. In 1877 the Delegates squeezed £200 out of their annual income of £1000 to pay two lecturers to supervise their studies, but each had to look after 40±50 students and their time was fully taken up in helping these to pass Responsions. This points to a further problem, frequently commented on by the Delegates in their report: the inadequate preparation of many of those who applied for admission as Unattached students. This re¯ected the poor level of secondary education in England outside the public schools, a de®ciency which had been referred to by several witnesses to the 1867 Select Committee. In their report for 1877±8 the Delegates commented: The results of the Matriculation Examinations carried on by the Delegacy prove that the education of boys is very inef®cient in English schools . . . only a small proportion of [those presenting themselves] are even tolerably instructed in the rudiments of a good education: their ignorance is by no means con®ned to Classical subjects; it is equally marked in Mathematics.17 15

UOC (1877), evidence, Q. 2761. Both spellings are to be found until 1919 when the Finance Committee of the Amalgamated Clubs ruled in favour of St Catherine's: a major reason was to avoid confusion with St. Catharine's College, Cambridge. 17 Annual Report of the Students' Delegacy, Oxford, 1877±1878, 11±12. 16

the non-collegiate students


As a result, a much higher proportion of undergraduates than was usual in colleges had to take Responsions after they had matriculated. For this they required intensive tuition, and in many cases still failed to pass. Given these drawbacks, the rise in non-collegiate admissions from 44 in 1870±1 to a peak of 119 in 1878±9, and again in 1880±1, was impressive, and represents 16 per cent of the total number of admissions to the University. But the ®gures are misleading, for the regulations permitted Unattached students to migrate to colleges, and in the 1870s roughly half of them did so. Thus, against the peak ®gure of 119 non-collegiate matriculations in 1878±9, there has to be set a loss, in the same year, of 70 by migration to colleges. The loss was greatest among the ablest men, and the effect of this on the morale and reputation of the Unattached students was expressed by the Censor, G. W. Kitchin, in a letter to the Vice-Chancellor of 20 April 1881: Most of the `Unattached' Students belong to those classes of society from which the University is chie¯y drawn; they are the sons of clergymen and other professional men, with means so narrow that they welcome the relief afforded, while their traditions are so thoroughly collegiate that they cannot feel easy unless their boys are also at College; consequently they keep them on our books as long as it is safe, and then get them to migrate: by this they reduce the cost of the B.A. degree by about one-half, while to the outer world it seems as if the lads had been at college all the time, and all social dif®culties are avoided. I have known a young man migrate from us after he had obtained all his Testamurs, so as to take his degree as of such and such a college, while he had never received ®ve minutes' teaching or cultivation, social or other from the body to which people suppose he has always belonged . . . All this is perfectly natural: the Colleges have not merely attractions but real advantages of no mean kind; and no one can blame a student for wishing to enter on a way of life at once so pleasant and so reputable, and, in the case of men of ability, so full of real opportunities and bene®ts . . . Englishmen hardly regard the University as a place of learning and education; they dwell persistently on the social advantages of the place, and send their sons here to `make friends', and are specially happy if those friends are persons who would not care much to know them `at home'. If a lad behaves fairly well, and arrives at his B.A. degree, little is asked in peaceful English homes about his learning or mental gains; the young man in due time goes off to his curacy, where he does his work in a manful, honest way, and we all agree that College life was the making of him.18

Kitchin went on to say that `a higher view of the objects of the University is gradually rising before us', but until this changed `the popular view of the older universities is that they are a sort of more expensive public school intended for those who can pay high', and poor men coming to them `must 18 G. W. Kitchin, Letter to Mr Vice-Chancellor on Amendments to the new Statute on Students not attached to any College or Hall (1881), 5±6.


a new collegiate pattern

be prepared to face the discomforts which in England beset an honourable poverty'. Migration was allowed both ways, and in the 1870s no fewer than 200 undergraduates transferred from colleges to the status of Unattached. The Censors, however, were far from regarding this as a compensation for the loss they suffered by migration to the colleges. The ®gures they gave for inward migration up to October 1877 were 178, compared with 310 migrating to colleges. At least 140 out of the 178 had taken up non-collegiate status after being dismissed from their colleges for failing to pass their examination. When asked if the Censors thought this was a desirable arrangement G. S. Ward replied: `I think it is bad on both sides . . . it tends to reduce the discipline in the colleges . . . and to give these young men more freedom than they possessed before.'19 He added that those who migrated from colleges were guilty of more than four times as many disciplinary offences as those who had matriculated as Unattached in the ®rst place. In fact, at the time Kitchin wrote his letter to the Vice-Chancellor, the non-collegiate students were about to enter a second and rather different phase of their history. The outward sign of this was a decline in the number of admissions.20 After a second peak of 119 in 1880±1, the numbers fell to 83 in 1882±3, and as low as 64 in 1885±6, and only once again rose as high as 100 (1894±5) before the mid-1900s, when a third, and again different, phase began. There were also changes in the organization of the Delegacy for Unattached Students which mark off the period after 1881 from that before and help to account for the reduction in numbers. As a result of the recommendations of the 1877 Commission, a new University Statute was passed in 1881 which provided for the appointment of one Censor instead of two, with the obligation to take part in the actual teaching of the students, and for the appointment of tutors and lecturers. The University undertook to pay £400 per annum towards the cost of the Censor's salary; not less than £600 per annum for other teaching appointments or for maintaining scholarships and exhibitions; and `as soon as the state of the revenue of the University will admit', a capital sum of £7,000 to create proper of®ces for the Delegacy, a library, and other necessary buildings.21 Some of these reforms were put into operation immediately, G. S. Ward retiring and G. W. Kitchin becoming the sole Censor, with three stipendiary tutors responsible for giving tuition in the pass school as well as Responsions. The rest had to wait until the new Statute was implemented and the most sanguine estimate suggested this might take ten to twenty years. The 19

UOC (1877), evidence, Q. 2743. There was a similar decline in numbers of Cambridge non-collegiates, J. A. Venn, Matriculations at Oxford and Cambridge (1906), 18. 21 Statutes (1882), 134±5. 20

the non-collegiate students


appointment, however, as Vice-Chancellor of Benjamin Jowett, the Master of Balliol, in Michaelmas term 1882 transformed the situation. Jowett had been a staunch supporter of University extension and, once in of®ce, he used all his in¯uence to secure better provision for the Unattached students. They were assigned the use of lecture-rooms in the new Examination Schools and plans were drawn up by T. G. Jackson, the architect of the new Schools, for an adjoining building in High Street to be occupied by the Delegacy22 and paid for by the University's capital grant of £7,000. Besides of®ces and rooms for the Censor and the tutors, 74 High Street provided a reading-room housing a collection which had risen to more than 6,000 volumes by 1914. When Gladstone nominated Kitchin to become Dean of Winchester, an equally distinguished successor as Censor was found in W. W. Jackson (a future Rector of Exeter), while a Balliol don, A. L. Smith, eventually to become Master, but in 1883 Junior Proctor and as such a Delegate, reorganized the St Catherine's clubs when they ran into debt, creating an amalgamated clubs committee with a senior treasurer and restoring them to solvency.23 With the assistance of a grant for several years of £150 per annum from All Souls, and the payment in full of the University's annual grant, it was possible to provide tuition for the ®rst time for all honours students. In addition to the three (later two) stipendiary tutors who were to provide the teaching for Responsions and the Pass School, arrangements were made with nine fellows of colleges to act as tutors for those non-collegiate men reading for honours. In place of a haphazard list of charges, a ®xed tuition fee was set at two guineas a term for all undergraduates in residence. Jowett proposed an increase in the number of Delegates from eight to eleven, becoming one himself when he gave up of®ce as Vice-Chancellor and chairman of the Delegacy, and involving a succession of in¯uential heads of houses (Anson of All Souls; Percival of Trinity; Warren of Magdalen) in the affairs of the Unattached students. The Delegacy was further strengthened by the appointment of Dean Kitchin and (when he became Rector of Exeter in 1887) W. W. Jackson as Perpetual Delegates. Jowett's efforts on behalf of the Unattached students, however, fell short of their hopes on two counts: he failed to secure a change of name which would make clear their legitimate position in the University or to end the practice of migration to colleges. When the 1881 Statute was being considered, the President of Trinity (Dr Percival) moved an amendment to alter the name to `Students of University Hall' and Dr. Kitchin proposed the less controversial `University Student'. Both were rejected by Congregation. A circular to members of Congregation declared: 22 No. 74 High Street is now the home of another body of unattached students brought within the academic fold, the Ruskin School of Drawing. 23 Fifteenth Annual Report of the Delegacy of Students not belonging to any college or hall 1882±1883, 12.


a new collegiate pattern

The carrying of this Amendment would be the coup de graÃce of the policy which led to the original Unattached Students' Statute. That policy has already been reversed to a considerable extent. Instead of living in Oxford, as Students live in most foreign universities, with an almost unlimited freedom . . . the Unattached Students have been so organized . . . that it is dif®cult to discern in what respect they differ from members of a college or Hall . . . The chief point of difference seems to be the name. It is now proposed to apply the process of `levelling up' to this point also, and formally to enrol the body of Unattached Students as a `University Hall' in the class of traditional institutions.24

Aware of Congregation's suspicion of any move to assimilate the Unattached students more closely to collegiate status, Jowett was content to adopt the Cambridge solution of calling them `Non-Collegiate students'. For the same reason, the Delegates decided not to interfere with the practice of migration to colleges which was not contrary to the Statutes, although a very rare occurrence between colleges. Jowett's hope was that raising the academic standard of the Non-Collegiates, for which he had opened the way, would do more than anything else to raise their reputation and check losses to the colleges. In taking this line, Jowett was following the approach which Dean Kitchin had worked out earlier. Kitchin had grasped that, whatever the original hopes entertained by the reformers, there was no room in a University so strongly collegiate in its ethos as Oxford for `the Scotch solution' (which Jowett had championed earlier) of a strong non-collegiate element to balance the collegiate. On the other hand, he also grasped that, even if the necessary funds could be found (and that was virtually impossible) there was equally little room for `a poor man's college' setting out to attract a new class of undergraduates with reduced costs and the offer of generous awards for needy students. Keble had been able to achieve something like this by appealing, as an Anglican foundation, to the anxiety felt by many Oxford men over the inadequate number of candidates coming forward for ordination. But any plan to establish a new college on the grounds of economy alone would never be passed by Congregation. However regretfully, Kitchin accepted that Non-Collegiate students would remain an anomaly in Oxford and that the social and academic prejudices expressed in the contemptuous term `toshers' (duly recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary as `a humorous deformation from unattached', `tosh' being de®ned as `trash' or `rubbish') would prevent them becoming more than second-class citizens. His object was to do as much for them, in that situation, as he could, without supposing he or anyone else could change it. After twelve years of frustration he now saw the possibility of doing a good deal more, with the new 24 Quoted in R. R. Trotman and E. J. K. Garrett, The Non-Collegiate Students and St. Catherine's Society (1962), 7. Convocation agreed to the `Non-Collegiate' title without opposition, 25 Nov. 1884: Gazette, xv. 141±2.

the non-collegiate students


statute of 1881 passed and Jowett in a position to see it was implementedÐ provided that the limitations were not directly challenged.25 After 1883 he was no longer in charge (although still a Delegate) but the changes put into effect under Jackson (1883±7) and Pope (1887±1919) had been designed by Kitchin before he resigned, and were carried out without any increase in charges to students. A ®rst step was to remove from the Delegacy books the names of those who had not completed within a certain length of time the examinations necessary to secure a degree. In 1880 out of 284 undergraduates on the books, 204 had not yet passed the ®rst public examination; the comparable ®gure in 1885 had been reduced to 90 out of 211. Henceforward, all students were required to enter for the ®rst public examination within a year, and, if possible, within 18 months of taking Responsions. All examinations for the BA degree had to be passed within ®ve years from matriculation. Standards for admission were raised at the same time; candidates were strongly advised to pass Responsions before matriculation and those who had not were required to do so within a year of matriculating. The effect can be demonstrated from the ®gures. In 1887±8 19 non-collegiates secured exemption or passed Responsions before matriculation, 50 afterwards; in 1903±4 the comparable ®gures were 30:23, and in 1913±14, 62:20. The fall in the number of non-collegiate students to which these measures inevitably gave rise was more than compensated for by the effect of raising standards. The improvement in the tutorial arrangements for those reading for honours degrees was accompanied by the opening, without restriction, of almost all college as well as university lectures for the honours schools. From the 1880s onwards there were never fewer than 50, often as many as 70±80, Non-Collegiate students at any time working for honours. There was a clear improvement after the ®rst ®fteen years. Most years the Delegates were able to report at least one ®rst in the Schools; in 1885 they were even able to report that Hensley Henson (the future Bishop of Durham) had broken into the charmed circle by winning a prize fellowship of All Souls. By that year Non-Collegiate students had won a share of University scholarships and prizes, including the Vinerian Law Scholarship, the Pusey and Ellerton Scholarship and the Ellerton Prize in theological studies, the Davis Chinese Scholarship and Exhibition (in each case several times), and the Arnold and English Essay Prizes. It was still, however, a modest record, and the gap between non-collegiate and collegiate performance, although reduced, was not closed. Little change took place in the framework of the non-collegiate body after the reforms of the 1880s. Migration from the colleges to the Delegacy was 25 The sources for Dean Kitchin's view are his evidence to the 1877 Commission, with the article `Scholares Non Ascripti' and his letter to the Vice-Chancellor, already quoted.


a new collegiate pattern

virtually eliminated. Losses from the Delegacy to the colleges, however, remained a problem, although no longer on the scale of the early period. The Delegates' Report for 1902±3 summed up the contrast by saying: `Roughly it appears that one man in eight or nine migrates. In the ®rst 25 years of our existence the average was one out of two.' Looking at the period 1868±1914 as a whole, an average of 57 per cent migrated to colleges in the ®rst ®fteen years, an average of 29 per cent in the last thirty. Migration from colleges to the non-collegiates ceased to be of any importance: the total numbers for the ®rst ten years had been 199; for the remaining thirty-®ve it was 71. In 1908 another attempt was made to secure a change of name. A petition signed by 379 past and present members urged the adoption of `The New Foundation of St Catherine's College'. The Delegates replied that they could hold out no hope `that any title conferring the name of ``college'' would be favourably entertained'. The Hebdomadal Council's 1910 response to Lord Curzon's proposals for University reform reinforced the Delegates' rejection. `The desire for change of name,' Council noted, with apparent surprise, `has been stated to be to some extent a symptom of a desire for more social unity, and it has been suggested that it would be advisable that a place should be provided where the students might have a common dinner.' This might be borne in mind, Council conceded, if at any time new buildings were assigned to the Delegacy.26 Such reforms, like the change of name, had to wait until the 1930s. In the meantime, however, the ®fty or sixty men who made up the active core of the non-collegiate body refused to be deterred from doing the best they could with the cellar in 74 High Street which they had been allotted for a JCR. In this they demonstrated that spirit of self-reliance, a virtue born of necessity which Kitchin had claimed for them, as distinguishing the noncollegiate from the college undergraduate. Cheerfully assuming the name of St Catherine's which was of®cially denied them, they continued to extend the number of sports in which they competed with the colleges and to win University blues and half-blues in all except rowing. In 1905 they acquired a sports ground adjoining the Oxford University Golf Club on Cowley Marsh, and in 1908 bought a barge from Wadham. Their energies were not con®ned to sport, but found other outlets in the Non-Collegiate Company of the OU Volunteer Corps (later OTC), the debating society which met every Saturday night and could trace its existence back to 1869, the music society which had held its ®rst concert in 1881, and the history (later Kitchin) society which celebrated its two-hundredth meeting in 1911. 26


Principles and Methods of University Reform. Report of the Hebdomadal Council (1910),

the non-collegiate students


Although no constitutional changes were made, a new phase in the history of the non-collegiate body opened in the Edwardian era with a renewed rise in its numbers, which reached a peak of 123 in 1909±10, the highest ®gures of the whole pre-war period. The new feature of this phase of expansion was the large number of special students, a status created in 1871 to allow the Delegates to admit students for the purpose of study outside the conventional limits of the BA course, but hardly used at all until the 1880s.27 The great majority of the special students were graduates of other universities. Some were attracted by the establishment of the new research degrees of B.Litt. and B.Sc., followed by diplomas in economics, and in forestry for prospective entrants to the Indian Forest Service. Many, especially those from overseas, already held academic appointments and came to Oxford for the purpose of attending the specialized lectures of individual professors as well as undertaking private study. In a limited way, the special students came to ful®l the object of many of the mid-Victorian promoters of unattached students, to create a class of students who would look to the professoriate for instruction. A large contingent of the special students came from the USA, a sizeable one from India, Asia, and the colonies, but the largest group, comprising more than a half of the special students, was from Europe, particularly Germany. Nineteen Germans came up in 1909±10, twenty-two in 1911±12. The special students brought the proportion of non-collegiates from overseas to 44 per cent by 1909±10. Most of them stayed for a shorter time than the younger undergraduates who were reading for a degree, often no more than a year. They differed in another respect from the rest of the NonCollegiates since the cost of coming from overseas to study in Oxford could only be met by young men from families with greater ®nancial resources and higher social standing than the ordinary Non-Collegiate student from the United Kingdom.28 The numbers, however, of both research and special students who took advantage of the non-collegiate status, rather than seeking admission to colleges, proved the value to the University of the Delegacy's adaptability in ways unforeseen by those who had advocated its introduction in the 1860s. Great hopes had been put on the re-creation of the non-collegiate statusÐ and great fears expressed. How far were they realized in practice? The fears can be dealt with easily. The Delegates reported already in July 1878 that ten years' experience enabled them 27

R. L. Abbott, The Non-Collegiate Students: A Brief Sketch of their History (1894), 12±13. Among those matriculating in 1912 were Dietrich K. L. O. von Pritzbuer; Jean Paul Getty (later the world's richest oil millionaireÐhe took the Oxford Diploma in Economics); in 1913, Etienne A. E. de Clebsattel; Moustapha Fahmi; Romillo M. K. von Gersdorff; Hans C. L. R. Krug von Nidda; Count Ferdinand von Arco-Valley; Jules M. Deminsky; Luca Smodlaka; and in 1914, Joseph J. Wolodkowica; Franz J. Mayer von Gunthof; and Baron Waldemar F. A. von Oppenheim. 28


a new collegiate pattern

To speak very highly of the independence of character and excellent moral behaviour of their Students; the prophecies as to the evils which might result from the presence of a large body of Students living in lodgings have remained unful®lled . . . The Students come up to Oxford intending to live thrifty and industrious lives; their social temptations are few; their good sense and obvious interests guide them rightly; and the Delegates can safely say that if their men do not make a brilliant appearance in the Examination Lists, at any rate they have added little to the dif®culties which always beset the conduct of University discipline.29

The Delegates saw no reason to alter this view in the rest of the period, and their favourable judgement was never seriously challenged. A considerable variety of opinion had been expressed during the twenty years of discussion which preceded the admission of unattached students about the class of undergraduates which such a scheme would attract. Jowett told the Select Committee on the 1867 Bill: What I think you want is to retain Oxford in many respects as it is, and to add to it a Scotch university; to retain the life and ways of the colleges for those who can afford them, and also to provide means of access to the University for poorer students . . . Such a change as would bring a greater number of the middle or lower class of people to Oxford would be analogous to the change that we see going on around us in society.30

How far were these hopes realized in practice? On cost, the answer is straightforward. The Delegates succeeded in keeping the expense of studying at Oxford and taking a degree well below the average ®gure in colleges. But how many who took advantage of the new status came from those classes which its advocates had in mind? Table 7.1 gives an approximate picture of the backgrounds of Non-Collegiate students.31 Compared to the rest of the University, a signi®cant proportion (nearly a ®fth) of Non-Collegiates were drawn from what may loosely be described as `lower middle-class' backgrounds. But it should be noted that these proportions are based on comparatively few individuals, so although the Non-Collegiate Delegacy was reaching a wider range of social backgrounds than the colleges, the numbers were too small to make much of an impact on the University as a whole. Within this general conclusion there are several speci®c features which merit notice. First, the non-collegiate scheme provided an opportunity to parents living in Oxford to send their sons to the university without incurring the expense of lodgings. 174 (6 per cent) of the 2,871 Non-Collegiates who matriculated between 1868 and 1914 were sons of Oxford residents who took advantage of the facility 29 Annual Report of the Students' Delegacy, Oxford. 1877±1878, 13. Jowett testi®ed to the same effect: UOC (1877), evidence, Q. 2611. 30 SCOC (1867), Q. 2388. 31 Information about fathers' occupations was not recorded between 1880 and 1891.

the non-collegiate students


TA B L E 7 .1 fat h e r s ' o c c u pat i o n s o f n o n - c o l l e g i at e students admitted 1870±1879, 1891±1910 ( ro u n d e d p e r c e n tag e s ) 1870±79 Landowners, farmers, `gentlemen' Clergy Professional Commerce and ®nance Industry Tradesmen and clerks Working class Not known Total Total admitted



28 27 19 11 4 19 2 0

11 23 21 13 6 19 5 2

13 17 26 14 8 16 5 1

100 818

100 847

100 890

Source: Oxford University Matriculation Register, OUA.

in increasing numbers in the latter part of the periodÐan average of three a year in the 1870s, six a year in the 1900s. The editors of the Oxford Journal and Oxford Chronicle respectively, Salter the boat-builder, the proprietor of the Merton Street royal tennis court, and a Walton Street masseur were among those whose sons matriculated as non-collegiates. At least 38 (22 per cent) of the Oxford sample fell into the category of working class, mainly representatives of the Oxford service industries, such as college servants, compositors from the Clarendon Press, and skilled operatives from the local building trades. Sons of Protestant dissenting ministers were another distinctive element. The attraction of the Non-Collegiate scheme to Noncomformists increased following the removal of the Nonconformist theological colleges, Mans®eld (Congregational) and Manchester (Unitarian), to Oxford in 1886 and 1889 respectively. If they were not already Oxford graduates, students attached to those institutions who wished to become members of the University tended to matriculate as Non-Collegiates. In the period up to 1914, 141 Mans®eld College students and 26 Manchester College students matriculated as NonCollegiates. In this way the Delegacy made its contribution to removing the obstacles in the way of the Nonconformist denominations bene®ting from membership of the University. In two other respects the University matriculation records illustrate differences between the students admitted by the Non-Collegiate Delegacy and the colleges. Only 6.5 per cent of Non-Collegiates matriculating in 1895±8 had attended one of the ®fty schools which constituted the public-school community at the turn of the century (see Chapter 23). For the University as


a new collegiate pattern

a whole the proportion was about 57 per cent. And 47 per cent of NonCollegiates had attended British schools with no claims to public-school status (compared to 19 per cent for the whole university). Finally, there was a marked difference in age between the Non-Collegiate students and the overall pattern for Oxford matriculations analysed by Lawrence Stone.32 There were always rather more younger undergraduates than in the colleges; 16- and 17-year-olds accounted for 8 per cent of the Non-Collegiate intake in 1905. But the most obvious difference was in the number of older students. Censor Pope reported to the Registrar that of 190 Non-Collegiate undergraduates in residence in Trinity Term 1909, 68 were over 25 years of age and 13 of them married.33 Not all of these older men were research students. Some were schoolmasters studying for Oxford degrees, or men who sought degrees for ordination in later life. The available evidence about the subsequent careers suggests that, in the early decades at least, these two vocations attracted most of those who graduated as Non-Collegiates. After ten years' experience, the Delegates reported in 1878 that out of 62 graduates who had retained their names on the books, 30 were clergymen or ministers of religion and 24 were schoolmasters or tutors.34 Judged by the expectations of the reformers in the 1860s, it is evident that the Non-Collegiate Society failed to achieve the role assigned to it. There was going to be no Scotch university for Oxford, as Jowett had himself realized by the 1880s. There were both external and internal reasons for the disappointment of their hopes. In addition to the steps taken by Oxford and Cambridge colleges to make access easier and admit more undergraduates, the creation of new universities and university colleges offered an alternative by 1900 to more than 6,000 students (60 per cent living at home) who might otherwise have attempted to come to the older universities as non-collegiate students. The internal reasons have been suf®ciently identi®ed in the preceding chapter: inadequate preparation of many who applied to the Delegacy for admission, the University's demand that candidates, even when reading for a scienti®c degree, must show a knowledge of both Latin and Greek; teaching arrangements which, even when improved, remained below the standards of college tuition; insuf®cient sources of ®nancial assistance to students; above all, the lack of that daily life in common with able men of their own generation which, as so many contemporary accounts make clear and as the ®rst Censor, G. W. Kitchin, emphasized to the 1877 Commission, was (and remains) the unique character of an Oxford college education. But if one leaves aside the expectationÐwhich many judged unrealistic at the timeÐthat opening Oxford to Non-Collegiate students would have 32 33 34

Stone, `Size and Composition', Table 6. OUA HC/R/6/1. Annual Report of the Students' Delegacy, Oxford 1877±1878, 5.

the non-collegiate students


a decisive effect in promoting major changes in the University, the fact that more than 4,000 men were matriculated as Non-Collegiate students between 1868 and 1914, many of whom might otherwise never have come to Oxford at all, is not to be despised. It is true that 1,500 of them used the noncollegiate status as a stepping-stone to membership of colleges, winning 37 scholarships and 90 exhibitions in the process and taking 528 honours degrees, with 59 ®rst classes. But the Delegates, although regretting their loss, refused to regard their migration as evidence of failure on their own part, and duly recorded their successes, separately, in their annual reports. The non-collegiate status had provided them with an alternative way by which men of limited means could secure access to colleges, and one without which many of them might never have done so. In round ®gures, of the 2,700 who remained Non-Collegiate students, some 600 are accounted for as graduates studying for research degrees and diplomas, or as Special Students following their own individual interests. A further 250 were students of music, many of whom found it convenient for ®nancial reasons to matriculate as Non-Collegiates.35 This leaves 1,800 undergraduates who were admitted as candidates for the BA degree, the original purpose which the Delegacy was set up to serve.36 Nearly 40 per cent (700) of these, a considerably higher proportion than for the University as a whole (about 25 per cent) failed to secure even a pass degree. A substantial number, no doubt, dropped out because of poverty, but whatever the reason, the comparison with the colleges showed up a serious weakness. Another was the percentage taking an honours degree, which had risen since the 1870s and 1880s, but was still much lower than the ®gure for the University as a whole. Again, one has to add that, none the less, 525 graduated with honours, and that, taken together with the 528 who migrated to take their honours degrees in colleges, this represents more than a quarter of the total number of those who matriculated as non-collegiate students, many of whom would never have had the chance to secure an honours degree at all if there had been no Non-Collegiate Delegacy to admit them at charges they could afford to pay. The ®nancial advantage had to be balanced against the limitations of the non-collegiate status, frustrating for most and humiliating for some. How the balance was struck varied from individual to individual. Was it, as some of the ablest believed, a stigma to be borne only until they could get into a college; or, as others equally able but with more taste for self-reliance believed, a badge of independence to be worn with pride? The same question 35

For the regulations for B. Mus. degrees, which did not require residence, see Ch. 18. This ®gure does not include those admitted after 1909±10 and the subsequent years, since that was the last academic year's intake which can be certain to have completed its studies for the BA degree before the War (®ve years were allowed for a pass degree). 36


a new collegiate pattern

has to be asked when the non-collegiate episode is considered retrospectively as a chapter in the history of a collegiate University. Was it a mistake or a proof of the University's willingness to make concessions to change pending the more radical solution which became possible after the Second World War? The answer, now as then, depends upon a balance best left to individual judgement.


8 All Souls j. s. g. simmons An All Souls fellow did not exaggerate when he described his colleagues in the 1850s as being sui generis.1 They formed a large society consisting of a Warden and forty fellows (only New College, Christ Church, and St John's had more), most of whom were non-resident and none of whom was under an obligation to exercise any educational function. Not on the foundation were two chaplains and four Bible clerks. The Warden, Lewis Sneyd, was of the Sneyds of Keele in Staffordshire, and twenty-nine of the forty fellows were of the kin of the founder.2 As such they had been given preference in the competition for vacancies at the time of their election after a sometimes perfunctory examination, and had been spared the statutory probationary year. Fourteen of the forty fellows were sons of peers or were baronetsÐat a time when elsewhere in Oxford only the Honourable Thomas Capel, fellow of Merton, was in the same class. Eighteen of the forty had been undergraduates at Christ Church: only twelve were clerics (30 as against the 57 per cent average ®gure for fellows of the other Oxford colleges in 1850). If the social pro®le of All Souls was uniquely high, its academic standing was uniquely low. In 1850 only three of the fellows had taken ®rsts and twenty-six of them were passmen.3 They could hardly contest the President of Trinity's characterization of All Souls as `not so much a place of elementary education as of cultivated society'Ðor the ancient gibe which pilloried the All Souls fellows as bene nati, bene vestiti, et mediocriter docti.4 At Oxford, in 1846 there had come about a turn of the tide in favour of reform. In that year the University had started moves to introduce new subjects to be added to the two existing honour schools of Lit. Hum. and Mathematics and Physics, and in 1850 there had been established two new 1

H. H. Henson, Memoir of the Rt Hon. Sir William Anson (1920), 104. G. D. Squibb, Founder's Kin (1972). 3 In 1850 only two of Balliol's twelve fellows were not ®rst-class men. 4 J. Ingram, Memorials of Oxford (3 vols 1837), i (All Souls), 15; the gibe is found as early as 1655 in Thomas Fuller's Church-History of Britain (Book 4, at p. 182). It is an unkind variation on a passage in the Founder's Statutes which laid down that would-be fellows must have been born in wedlock and be suitably clothed and mediocriter docti in grammar and plainsong. 2



a new collegiate pattern

schoolsÐNatural Science, and Law and Modern History.5 Moreover, by 1850 what has been described as the `Balliol colonization' of the other Oxford colleges had been in progress for several years, with All SoulsÐas a college recruiting exclusively from other collegesÐpeculiarly exposed to its effects. Indeed, though ten of the thirteen fellows elected at All Souls between 1847 and 1850 were founder's kin, seven of them, that is, more than half, were Balliol men. Thus Balliol was already beginning to succeed Christ Church as the main source of All Souls fellowsÐa development which brought about a strengthening of the forces in All Souls which were likely to favour change when the recommendations of the Royal Commission of 1850 came to be debated. The Commissioners reported in April 1852. They surprisingly failed to condemn All Souls' non-residence but, on the other hand, they recommended that the fellows be relieved of a number of outdated statutory obligations, such as the study of the canon and civil laws and the use of Latin and the Bible-reading in hall. They also hinted that a sharper eye should be kept on college expenditure. But one of their recommendations was more than a hint: it was that twenty-four (more than half) of the fellowships should be suspended in favour of at least four professors, each funded by £800 a year emanating from the suppressed fellowships.6 The recommendations were considered by a committee of the college, and early in 1854 the Warden expressed in a letter to the Under-Secretary to the Home Department the college's strong objection to the proposed massive suppression of fellowships.7 This objection was taken account of by the Executive Commissioners appointed under the Act of 7 August 1854, and the Ordinance which they imposed on the college three years later abolished no more than ten fellowships in favour of only two professorsÐwho were not necessarily to be fellows of the college. Even more important for the college's future were two other provisions of the Ordinance of 3 April 1857: ®rst, the abolition of the founder's kin privilege, and, secondly, the requirement that in future candidates for fellowships at All Souls must have either won a University prize or taken a ®rst class in Honour Moderations or in one of the ®nal honour schools.8 This high intellectual hurdle was to transform the All Souls fellowship from an abuse into Oxford's most prestigious academic prize. The Commissioners took account of the All Souls legal tradition (which dated from the college's foundation) by linking the college to the new combined School of Law and History (®rst examined in 1853): the Ordin5

See Pt 1, 313±15. RCO (1850), report, 220, 181. 7 Correspondence respecting the proposed measures of improvement in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge (PP 1854 L. 245). 8 The text of the 1857 Ordinance is printed in Ordinances and Statutes (1863), 243±60. 6

all souls


ance stipulated that the fellowship examination should be in subjects `recognized in the School of Jurisprudence and History'. The Ordinance also introduced at All Souls the possibility of electing to fellowships without examination `professors or public lecturers' and principals of halls within the university, or `persons of eminence in literature, science or art'. The ®rst `non-examination fellow' of All Souls elected under this rubric was Friedrich Max MuÈller, the University's Professor of Modern European Languages. He was elected in the summer of 1858 and, as a professor and therefore not subject to the celibacy condition, created a precedent by marrying within a year.9 The next professorial fellowship elections were to the two chairs speci®cally attached to All Souls by the Ordinance. Five fellowships having fallen vacant by 1859, an election to the Chichele chair of International Law and Diplomacy could take place. Mountague Bernard, a distinguished international lawyer, was elected. Three years later, when the requisite ®ve further fellowships had been vacated, the second Chichele chair (of Modern History) could be ®lled. With the support of Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, with whom he saw eye to eye on Church matters, an unlikely candidate, Montagu Burrows, a retired naval post-captain and a successful tutor who had taken ®rsts in Greats and in the new Law and History School, was unanimously elected.10 The two professors were politely received at All Souls but had to wait until 1870 before they were admitted to its governing body.11 The rubric of the 1857 Ordinance which allowed for the election to fellowships at All Souls of `persons of eminence in literature, science or art' was not made use of by the college before it reappeared in the 1882 statutes, with the important addendum that such fellows should undertake some piece of literary or other research; the fellowships had become what were later to be termed research fellowships. On the other hand, the College seized with enthusiasm on the possibility which the 1857 Ordinance afforded of electing to honorary fellowships. The two burgesses for the University, Gladstone and Sir William Heathcote (a fellow from 1822 to 1825) were elected in 1858Ðthe ®rst in a roll that was to include in the years before 1914, Samuel Wilberforce (1871), Hubert von Herkomer (1887), Lord Acton (1890), and Viscount Morley (1903). 9 G. M. MuÈller, The Life and Letters of the Rt Hon. Friedrich Max MuÈller (2 vols 1902), i. 210±12. 10 M. Burrows, Autobiography (1908), 215±17; D. M. Owen, `The Chichele Professorship of Modern History, 1862', Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 30 (1961), 217±20. 11 There was resentment on the grounds that the occupants of the chairs had been elected not by the All Souls governing body, but by a special committee of ®ve distinguished persons which included the Visitor and Warden of All Souls but none of the fellows of the college. Their professorial incomes (equivalent to ®ve fellowships) and their possibility of matrimony were advantages shared by none of the fellows at the time.


a new collegiate pattern

One aspect of the 1857 OrdinanceÐthe speci®c law and history orientation which it imposed on the CollegeÐrapidly produced friction between the `ancients' and the `moderns', that is, the Christ Church and the Balliol men. Three of the latter, the recently elected (1853±4) William Fremantle (later Dean of Ripon), Godfrey Lushington (later Sir Godfrey and Permanent Secretary of the Home Department), and Arthur Watson (later a Harrow schoolmaster) evidently feared that considerations other than intellectual might continue to sway elections in spite of the Ordinance. In August 1857 they appealed to the Executive Commissioners to con®rm that the fellowship examination was intended to be a competitive one in which the candidate or candidates with the highest marks should be elected. Not surprisingly, the Commissioners gave the applicants the desired con®rmation. Even so, at the annual election which followed three months later, in November, though there were three candidates with ®rsts in the Law and History School, a man with a ®rst in Greats only was elected. Fremantle, Lushington, and Watson appealed to the Visitor, the Archbishop of Canterbury, J. B. Sumner, but in vain. They then took the matter to the Queen's Bench and to the columns of The Times, dragging the affair on until 1864 when it was settled broadly in their favour: thenceforward the annual entrance examination was to be a genuinely competitive intellectual test.12 The strains induced by the 1857 Ordinance soon led to a second controversyÐover the role and accessibility of the college library. In 1865 a subcommittee was appointed to examine the Codrington's `legal department'Ð clearly a delayed-action response to the linkage of the college with legal and historical studies. The fellow behind moves for library reform was C. H. Robarts, an energetic but eccentric Christ Church man who had taken a ®rst in the Law and History School in 1864 and who in 1866 was only recently out of his probationary year at All Souls. At his instigation, the college ®nally agreed in January 1867 that the Codrington should in future pay special attention to law and historyÐa logical and unique specialization by a nineteenth-century Oxford college library that has stood the test of time. A no less logical step was taken (after much opposition) a month laterÐthe opening of the library to out-college readers. This involved the construction of a special reading-room to accommodate them, and what is now known as the `Anson Reading Room' welcomed its ®rst readers in November 1867.13 12 G. C. Faber, Jowett (1957), 202±4; Ward, Victorian Oxford, 210±11. A volume of contemporary printed papers connected with the affair is in the All Souls Library (GZ. 9. 24 ult), and an unpublished study of it by Sir Geoffrey Faber is in the college archives. For a suggestion (1876) that Law and Modern History had gained little from the Ordinances see ch. 1, n. 247. 13 H. H. E. Craster, The History of All Souls College Library (1971), 94±5. An earlier attempt to open the Library to out-college readers had failed (College Minutes, 17 Dec. 1858). For a third controversy (over the gothicizing of the college chapel, 1869±1877), see Howard Colvin and J. S. G. Simmons, All Souls: An Oxford College and its Buildings (1989), 58±70.

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The 1870s at All Souls were dominated by ®nancial issues and by the debate over the future direction that the college should takeÐin particular, regarding its role in relation to the University. The 1850 Commission had been unsuccessful in extracting ®nancial information from most of the colleges, but by 1872 the atmosphere had changed: the evidence and statistical data that the Cleveland Commission of that year was able to publish in 1873±4 presented for the ®rst time a clear picture of Oxford ®nances. University revenue in 1872 was shown to stand at £47,589 as against a combined total of £360,136 for the colleges. All Souls, which reported some £19,097, occupied somewhat surprisingly (in view of its legendary opulence) seventh place in the college annual revenue tableÐa position which (also somewhat surprisingly) it was not to better until long after 1914.14 With the Cleveland Commission's data in its hands, the way was open for the University to attempt to tap college wealth. In 1874 All Souls, in its reply to an enquiry by the Vice-Chancellor, declared itself ready to contribute in principle but felt unable to commit itself further until it had considered its own future development. The consideration produced many and various suggestions, including the reception of Indian Civil Service candidates and the addition to the fellowship of professors of oriental languages and of law, senior students and scholars in modern history, and even undergraduates. C. H. Robarts's submission indicated two possible lines of development: one leading towards its becoming `a high-powered legal and literary institution', the other towards its becoming a mere `undergraduate lodging-house'. His own preference was for an All Souls that was `the equivalent of the Royal Society in relation to jurisprudence and legal studies'.15 However, a stop was put to the trotting out of these hobby-horses by the statutory commission of 1877. The Selborne Commission numbered two fellows of All Souls among its members: Mountague Bernard (who succeeded to the chairmanship when Selborne became Lord Chancellor in 1880) and Matthew Ridley (a future Home Secretary and Viscount). Their inclusion was a signi®cant and early indication of the bene®cent working of the 1857 Ordinance: twenty years earlier no fellow would have served (or have been invited or even competent to serve) on such a body. The Commissioners had in their hands full knowledge of the ®nancial resources of the University and the colleges, and were determined that the latter should subsidize the former by contributing to a Common University Fund. All Souls, a relatively wealthy college without undergraduates (save for its four Bible Clerks) was an obvious milch-cow for 14 RCOC (1872), Pt I, 200, 207. Total for the colleges includes tuition fees. If these are excluded All Souls comes ®fth. 15 Some of these separate proposals are conveniently brought together in a volume in the Bodleian Library (G. A. Oxon c. 268).


a new collegiate pattern

the support of attached chairs and readerships, and its fellows accepted this obligation when they came to obey the Commissioners' order to colleges to recast their statutes. The 1882 statutes resulted from the deliberations of a committee which included two of the fellows, and which took account of the Commissioners' wishes. As amended from time to time, these statutes governed the life of the college for more than forty years.16 Within ®ve months of the sealing of the new statutes on 1 July 1881, Warden Leighton was dead. The succession was a matter of crucial importance. The ultimately successful candidate at the election which followed in November 1881 was Sir William Anson, a fellow since 1867, the Vinerian Reader in English Law and `the best teacher of English law in Oxford' (the commendation is Dicey's). He was not yet 40, of Eton and Balliol, third baronet since 1873, a liberal and a reformer. He was the college's ®rst lay warden, `a great ®nancier', and was (and remained) a wealthy and generous bachelor.17 Anson's ®rst task was to implement the new statutes which he (as one of the two All Souls representatives on the drafting committee) had helped to draw up. Among the changes which they introduced was the abolition of the examination (or prize) fellowship `for life': in future there were to be twenty-one seven-year fellowships of which fourteen might be awarded to Oxford bachelors of arts or civil law after examination in the ®elds of law and history (separate schools since 1872). The other seven were what might be described as seven-year renewable research fellowships: these might be awarded either after or without examination to Oxford bachelors who undertook to engage in some `de®nite literary or scienti®c work'. There was also provision for University and of®cial college fellowships and for professorial and honorary fellowships. Typical Ansonian features were the provision for up to three (increased to ®ve in 1912) non-stipendiary `distinguished fellows', and a new and unique category of up to a dozen fellows whose seven-year examination fellowships had expired, but whom `it was in the interest of the college to retain as fellows'. The latter were to receive an annual emolument of £50, and it was these `®fty-pounders' and `distinguished fellows', experienced in the worlds of politics, administration, and the higher reaches of the law, who were to bring to the governing body of All Souls a unique tone. Lastly, marriage (except in the case of pre-1877 life fellows) was no longer to be incompatible with an All Souls fellowship. The 1882 statutes charged All Souls with swingeing payments for University purposes. These included annual payments of £500 and £1,000 for the bene®t of undergraduate students and the Bodleian respectively. Three further All Souls-funded chairs were attached (the Vinerian chair of English Law, the Regius chair of Civil Law, and the Drummond chair of Political 16

Statutes (1882), 404±26.


Henson, Anson, 76, 86.

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Economy) and also three law readerships (one of them in Indian Law). Not all the readerships were ®lled but even so, in 1883 more than one-®fth of the college's income was being diverted to University purposes. Disposable income had in any case been much reduced by rises in expenditure on agricultural repairs (the result of a switch from bene®cial leasing), and by an unanticipated decline in agricultural rents: the strain on the college's ®nances was such that in 1886 its contribution to the Bodleian had to be cut from £1,000 to £300, and from 1887 to 1898 it was unable to contribute anything at all. The Commissioners had taken far too optimistic a view of the ®nancial future both at All Souls and in the University in general. All Souls had a golden key in its own hands: the college owned large estates in north-west London which were ripe for development. The implementation of a new policy of running-out agricultural leases and letting on building leases in this area dates from the very end of the 1880s and was probably due to Warden Anson himself.18 His developer ally was H. O. Wakeman, the new Estates Bursar, elected to of®ce in 1888 by a single providential vote. The policy was highly successful: building leases produced not much more than £400 in the following year (1889), but revenue from the leases accounted for six times as much ®ve years later, and nearly thirty times as much in 1909Ðthe year in which the college's gross revenue once again equalled the pre-agricultural-depression level of thirty years earlier.19 Looking back from the comfortable ®nancial vantage-point of 1914, the extraordinary progress made since the Ordinance of 1857 had set the college on the meritocratic road becomes clear. A searching annual fellowship examination had been established with special papers in history and law, translation papers, and an essayÐto which a general paper had been added in 1869. This examination proved to be such a severe test that the obligatory ®rst class or university prize requirement of the 1857 Ordinance became super¯uous and was omitted from the 1882 statutesÐcandidates in any case belonged to an intellectual eÂlite. As examples one can take the 1883 and 1912 elections. In 1883 there were twenty-two candidates and the future Lord Curzon and Sir Charles Oman were elected, with J. B. Atlay, W. H. Hutton, J. A. R. Marriott, D. J. Medley, and J. St Loe Strachey among the unsuccessful. The subsequent careers of CurzonÐViceroy of India and Chancellor of the University of OxfordÐand of OmanÐhardworking history tutor for twenty years and Chichele Professor of Modern History and an admirably proli®c historian for twice that periodÐmust have given Warden Anson much satisfaction as a vindication of his belief in the role of All Souls as 18 Through his Dickenson grandmother Anson had a substantial interest in the development of the Victoria Park Estate in Manchester (M. Spiers, Victoria Park, Manchester (Chetham Society, 3 ser., xxiii, 1976), 41±50). 19 For the development of the All Souls estates, see G. C. Faber, Notes on the History of the All Souls Bursarships (1950), passim and table on p. 92.


a new collegiate pattern

the nurse of both politicians and academics. In 1912, when there were nineteen candidates, G. N. ClarkÐa future historian and President of the British AcademyÐand the future Solicitor-General, Lord Somervell, were elected in a ®eld that included C. K. Allen, Philip Guedalla, Austin Lane Poole, and L. B. Namier (the last making his second attempt).20 One of the speci®c aims of the 1857 Ordinance had been to associate All Souls with the Law and History School, but in spite of the fact that the special papers at the entrance examination were set in law and history only, Greats men dominated the entry until 1914: in that year there were among the fellows two Greats men for every Modern History man (see Table 8.1, section 3).21 The social stamp of the college showed remarkable persistence during the period: the last of the founder's kin fellows (Francis Compton, elected in 1846) survived until 1915, and the fellows as a body continued to differ socially from those of other colleges. The ten Honourables of 1850 had indeed shrunk to a single one in 1914, but in that year there were two Privy Councillors, two baronets, and four knights on the governing bodyÐat a time when elsewhere in the University only Magdalen could boast a single knight in its fellowship (see Table 8.1, section 5). This unique social stamp was also re¯ected in the scholastic origins of the fellows: in particular Eton and the other eight Clarendon `great public schools' (Winchester, Westminster, Charterhouse, St Paul's, Merchant Taylors', Harrow, Rugby, and Shrewsbury) claimed seventeen out of the forty®ve fellows in 1914, though men from the lesser public schools, grammar schools, and the Scottish academies were successful candidates in increasing numbers from the 1870sÐmany of them via Balliol (see Table 8.1, section 6). A change that was at least partly conditioned by social considerations is re¯ected in the college origins of the fellows. In 1850 eighteen of the forty fellows were Christ Church men, with only half as many coming from Balliol. In 1914 the ®gures were three and eighteen respectively. The only collegesÐother than Balliol and Christ ChurchÐthat could claim more than two or three fellows in the decade-years from 1850 were Magdalen (four in 1900) and New College, whose two alumni in 1880 climbed to a quantitatively and qualitatively remarkable seven in 1914 (see Table 8.1, section 7). In 1914 the fellowship had reached a total of forty-®ve after having fallen as low as thirty-one in 1870 (see Table 8.1, section 1). It was moreover far more diverse (see Table, section 8). Ten of the forty-®ve were not examination 20

On Namier's earlier failure, see p. 802 below. The special papers continued to be exclusively in law and history until a political philosophy paper was introduced in 1924. The college had earlier attempted to encourage `political economy' (as a concomitant of modern history) by arranging a special examination in the subject in 1909 when N. B. Dearle was elected. All Souls also accepted into the fellowship in the following year the Reader in (from 1912 the Professor of) Political Theory and Institutions, W. G. S. AdamsÐthe future Warden. See also pp. 814±15. 21

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TA B L E 8 .1 f e l l ow s o f a l l s o u l s c o l l e g e : d e c e n n i a l data , 1 8 5 0 ± 1 9 1 4 (o ˆ cat e g o ry n ot y e t e s ta b l i s h e d ;Ð ˆ n o n e i n t h e cat e g o ry. )

1 Fellows 2 Candidates 3 Degrees DCL BCL Lit. Hum. I Lit. Hum. II±IV Law±Hist./Law I Law±Hist./Law II Mod. Hist. I Mod. Hist. II 4 Founder's kin 5 Hon./bart/knight 6 School origins Eton Rugby Other Clarendonb Scottish Other Unknown 7 College origins Balliol Brasenose Christ Church Corpus Christi Exeter Hertford Jesus Keble Lincoln Magdalen Magdalen Hall Merton New College Oriel Pembroke Queen's St Edmund Hall St John's Trinity University Wadham Worcester









40 21

33 7

31 Ða

32 18

35 22

32 13

42 15

45 14

7 3 2 8 0 o o o 29 14

8 3 8 10 2 3 o o 15 10

6 Ð 9 11 6 2 o o 10 6

6 1 14 6 8 Ð 3 Ð 6 5

6 2 16 5 6 Ð 8 Ð 5 4

5 2 19 6 4 1 4 1 3 3

5 5 19 Ð 3 1 9 1 1 7

5 5 20 Ð 3 Ð 10 1 1 7

11 3 6 Ð Ð 20

10 2 10 Ð Ð 11

9 Ð 9 Ð 3 10

12 2 3 2 8 5

8 1 7 3 12 4

8 2 4 3 13 2

8 3 7 3 20 1

11 3 6 3 20 2

9(3)c 2(3) 18(4) Ð(Ð) Ð(1) o Ð(Ð) o Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) 5(3) Ð(Ð) 3(Ð) 1(1) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(2) 2(2) Ð(1) Ð(Ð)

13(4) 1 11(Ð) 1(Ð) 1(Ð) o Ð(Ð) o Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) 2(Ð) Ð(Ð) 1(Ð) 1(1) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) 1(Ð) 1(1) Ð(1) Ð(Ð)

11(1) Ð 9(4) 3(Ð) 2(Ð) o Ð(Ð) o Ð(1) Ð(Ð) 1(Ð) 2(Ð) Ð(2) 1(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) 1(Ð) 1(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð)

15(5) Ð 7(Ð) 2(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(1) 1(1) 1(Ð) 2(Ð) 2(4) Ð(1) Ð(Ð) Ð(2) Ð(Ð) Ð(1) 1(Ð) 2(2) Ð(1) Ð(Ð)

13(4) Ð 10(2) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(2) 1(Ð) 1(Ð) 3(2) 2(5) Ð(1) Ð(Ð) Ð(2) Ð(Ð) Ð(2) 2(1) 1(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(1)

15(4) Ð(2) 2(Ð) Ð(Ð) 1(Ð) 1(Ð) Ð(Ð) 2(Ð) Ð(1) 4(2) 2(Ð) 1(Ð) 3(1) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(1) 2(1) 1(Ð) 1(1) Ð(Ð)

20(4) 2(Ð) 4(2) 2(1) 1(1) 2(Ð) 1(1) Ð(1) Ð(Ð) 3(1) 1(Ð) 2(Ð) 6(3) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) 1(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(1) 2(Ð) 1(Ð) 1(Ð) Ð(Ð)

18(5) 1(1) 3(Ð) 1(Ð) 1(Ð) 1(Ð) 2(1) Ð(1) Ð(Ð) 2(Ð) 1(Ð) 2(Ð) 7(3) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) 2(1) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) 2(Ð) 1(1) 1(Ð) Ð(Ð)


a new collegiate pattern

TABLE 8.1 (contd.) 1850 Non-Collegiate Non-Oxonian 8 Fellowship class Professor Distinguished Research Fifty-pound Other [Life] TOTAL 9 In holy orders 10 Parliamente Lords Spiritual Lords Temporal Commons, MPs








Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) 2(Ð) 2(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) Ð(Ð) 1(Ð)

Ð(Ð) Ð(1) 2(Ð) Ð(Ð)

o Ð o o 40 [40] 40 12 1 2 6

1 Ð o o 32 [32] 33 9

3 Ð o o 28 [28] 31 8

3 Ð o o 29 [28] 32 3

4 1 1d 4 25 [16] 35 3

5 1 Ð 4 22 [9] 32 4

6 1 1 8 26 [5] 42 2

8 2 1 9 25 [5] 45 2

1 3 11

Ð 5 5

Ð 4 7

Ð 2 7

Ð 2 5

1 2 4

1 2 5


There was no vacancy (and consequently no examination) in 1870; ®gures entered for candidates relate to 1871. b The nine `great public schools' which were the subject of the Clarendon Commission of 1861 were (apart from Eton and Rugby): Winchester, Westminster, Charterhouse, St Paul's, Merchant Taylors', Harrow, and Shrewsbury. c Figures in parentheses relate to the number of candidates in the year in question. d Though actually a research fellow, Gardiner was admitted in the `distinguished' class for technical ®nancial reasonsÐhis salary was not paid from college funds. e These ®guresÐunlike the rest of the statisticsÐinclude both fellows and quondams. Sources: All Souls records; Calendar, 1851, etc.

fellows and nine of these were professors or readers holding appointments in the ®elds of law, history, or political economy. The eleventh was the college's only research fellow, A. F. Pollard, the Tudor historian. The 1882 statutes had allowed for the election of up to seven `research fellows', but just as Greats men continued to swamp the history and law candidates in the entrance examination, so was the statutes' allowance for up to seven research fellows frustratedÐin this case in part for ®nancial reasons. In 1884, indeed, ®nancial stringency had overshadowed not only the college's Bodleian contribution but also the election of the ®rst All Souls research fellowÐS. R. Gardiner, the historian of seventeenth-century EnglandÐwhose fellowship was supported for a number of years by Warden Anson's private generosity. A hiatus followed on Gardiner's departure in 1893: C. H. Firth was not elected until 1901, and there was a four-year gap before A. F. Pollard succeeded Firth in 1908. But though the of®cial research fellows were few and far between, the professorial and examination fellows had been contri-

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buting notably to academic advance by teaching and research from at least as early as the 1870s. In 1906 All Souls was even accused of packing the Oxford Law Faculty Board;22 and in the History School fellows of All Souls were among the most active Oxford tutors and researchers: for example, A. H. Johnson (elected in 1869),23 Charles Oman (1883), Grant Robertson (1893), H. W. C. Davis (1895), and Kenneth Bell (1907). At the loftiest academic level the Warden and two of the fellows were among the ®rst fellows of the British Academy in 1902. Non-residence was no longer on the scandalous scale of the time before the 1857 Ordinance: fellows pernoctated during their probationary year, but thereafter many of them (especially the `London', that is, ®fty-pound and distinguished fellows) tended to be in college mainly at weekends.24 The number of fellows taking holy orders declined steeply between 1850 and 1914 (Table 8.1, section 9). Twelve fellows out of the forty were clerics in 1850 but between that year and 1914, of the 132 fellows elected only twentyone were ordainedÐno more than six of them between 1871 and 1914. However, the college remained uniformly Anglican despite the University Tests Repeal Act of 1871,25 and it is notable that of the six All Souls ordinands one became Archbishop of Canterbury, three became bishops, and one a dean. Participation by members of the governing body in the world of politics, law, and administration made remarkable headway. The college had a political tradition of long standing: fellows or quondam fellows had served in all but ®ve parliaments between 1536 and 1850. That tradition was more than maintained: twenty of the 132 fellows elected between 1850 and 1914 entered the House of Commons (Table 8.1, section 10). Lord Salisbury (fellow in 1853) became Prime Minister; cabinet ministers, other ministers of the crown, and holders of high judicial of®ce proliferated; only ®ve of the seventy-one fellows elected between 1881 and 1914 who reached middle age are unrecorded in Who's Who. One of the special features of this great-worldly development was a strong connection with South Africa and IndiaÐand with imperial issues in general. The South African connection probably started with the election in 1879 of 22 F. H. Lawson, The Oxford Law School, 1850±1965 (1968), 112±14. For the law (and other) All Souls professors, see J. S. G. Simmons, All Souls and Oxford Professorial Chairs (1987). 23 Johnson gave the ®rst course of Oxford extension lectures (in Birmingham in 1878) and was an early lecturer and tutor to Oxford women students (see L. Goldman, Dons and Workers (1995), 31±3; R. E. Eason and R. A. Snoxall, The Last of their Line: the Bible Clerks of All Souls College, Oxford (1976), 12±13). 24 For the `weekend' phenomenon and social life at All Souls see, for example, R. E. Prothero (Lord Ernle, fellow 1875), Whippingham to Westminster (1938), 66±76, and E. F. L. Wood (Earl of Halifax, fellow 1903), Fulness of Days (1957), 53±6. 25 Judging by names alone, there were at least eight non-Anglicans among the candidates for fellowships between 1872 and 1914, all of whom were unsuccessful. They included J. Solomon (in 1877), H. S. Q. Henriques (1890±2), H. Sacher (1904), and L. B. Namier (1911±12).


a new collegiate pattern

James Rochfort Maguire, Cecil Rhodes's undergraduate friend and, later, con®dential agent in London. Other fellows with South African connections were J. F. Perry (1896), L. C. M. S. Amery (1897), Geoffrey RobinsonÐlater DawsonÐ(1898), and D. O. Malcolm (1899). T. R. Buchanan (1871) was Under-Secretary of State at the India Of®ce in 1908 and Amery and Sir John Simon (1897) played important roles in Indian affairs in the 1930s and 1940s. In India itself, Curzon (1883) was Viceroy from 1899 to 1905 and Thesiger (1892) and Wood (1903) were Viceroys (as Lord Chelmsford and Lord Irwin respectively) in the 1920s. M. L. Gwyer (1902) was Chief Justice of India from 1937 to 1945. The attachment to the college in 1906 of Hugh Egerton as the ®rst Beit Professor of Colonial History was an indication that this particular All Souls special interest was acknowledged by the University at large. The college's other special interest was foreign affairs. Before 1914 this was most powerfully expressed by the two `fellow-editors' of The Times: George Buckle (1887), who was editor from 1884 to 1912, and his immediate successor in of®ce, Geoffrey Dawson.26 By 1914 it is clear that All Souls had realized Warden Anson's vision of the college as an active and unique institution servingÐas he himself didÐboth academe and the nation. But in June of that year he lay dying in the lodgings, where for over thirty years he had dispensed hospitality with the help of his hostess-sister and the last liveried manservants in an Oxford college. He died on 4 June and was spared the horrors of a war which was to more than decimate the fellowship.27 It also marked the end of an age for the college of which he had been an `ideal warden' and its `virtual second founder'.28 26 For a satirical account of the All Souls in¯uence in public affairs, see [C. W. Brodribb], Government by Mallardry: A Study in Political Ornithology [1932]. For the political harvest in the 1930s, see A. L. Rowse, All Souls and Appeasement (1961) and D. J. Wenden's unpublished 1990 Chichele Lecture, `Appeasement and All Souls'. Geoffrey Robinson changed his name to Dawson in August 1917. 27 As elsewhere in Oxford, the war claimed some of the best: Sir Foster Cunliffe (1898), Raymond Asquith (1902), Patrick Shaw-Stewart (1910), and G. R. L. Anderson (1913)Ðthe ®rst Oxford athlete to hold an IAAF-rati®ed world record (440 yards hurdles in 56.8 seconds at the Crystal Palace, London, on 16 July 1910Ðas reported in The Times, 18 July 1910, 18b). 28 Henson, Anson, 233. The characterization of Anson as the `ideal Warden' of the college was the mature judgement of Sir Godfrey Lushington, the youthful reformer of the 1850s and 1860s (ibid. 104).


9 Christ Church j . f . a . m as o n Henry George Liddell, Dean of Christ Church from 1855 to 1891, was the nephew of the Baron Ravensworth of the second creation and the cousin of the latter's successor, later the ®rst Earl; he came from County Durham and always retained something of a northern accent,1 though he spent his life in southern England, at Charterhouse, Christ Church, Westminster, Christ Church again, and Ascot. He returned to Christ Church in 1855 as the obvious choice to succeed Dean Gaisford, with useful and in general successful experience behind him as an undergraduate of the House for four years and a tutor for ten, for six of which he was Censor. Since 1846 he had been headmaster of Westminster, the pre-eminent source of young men for Christ Church. These years had been ones of success, the dif®culties which had arisen at Westminster being due not to Liddell's Carthusian origins but to the ravages of illness in the school.2 He was known as a leading Greek scholar, the famous lexicon which he edited with his Christ Church contemporary Robert Scott having already reached its fourth edition. He had been a chaplain to the Queen and a member of the ®rst Oxford University Commission. To John Ruskin he was `one of the rarest types of noblypresenced Englishmen'.3 Dean Strong said in his farewell address to the assembled House in 1920 that `the public mind is somewhat particularly attracted to this place'.4 During Liddell's time as Dean, Christ Church adopted a unique constitution, and its buildings reached a form which received no addition for a century; but its misfortunes came before two sections of the public on two separate occasions. On the night of 10 May 1870 a member of Loder's Club5 1

H. L. Thompson, Henry George Liddell, D. D. (1899), 103. Described in ibid. chs ii±iv. Next year Thompson published his Christ Church in the College Histories seriesÐstill an admirable account of the House, despite its inadequate index. Thompson had known Liddell for over forty years, and the House for forty-six; he was the brother-in-law of Dean Paget. 3 J. Ruskin, Praeterita ed. K. Clark (1949), 191. 4 Collegas Discipulos Amicos salutat abiturus Thomas B. Strong Decanus (1920): `for private circulation only, not published'. 5 More properly known as `The Christ Church Society', Loder's at this time was described by Sir Keith Feiling as `a small co-opted society in which for over a century sons of the country houses 2



a new collegiate pattern

contrived to enter the library by a window in order to win a bet, and reported to his fellow-members outsideÐapparently with surpriseÐthat the library was `full of blooming images', that is, various busts and statues; to this the rejoinder was `Have them out,' and marble busts and a small statue were passed out and carried to one of the marauders' rooms. Later in the night the statuary was brought out into Peckwater Quadrangle and placed in a circle on the gravel surface. Bon®res were lit between the statues and the offenders retired to bed; the ®res joined up and in the morning the busts were damaged and the statue destroyed. On legal advice the offenders gave their names to the dean, who addressed the governing body in a speech which has been printed and begins with an observation which cannot be challenged: `the class of young men who have long been in the habit of resorting to this place are particularly dif®cult to deal with.' On 21 May Liddell announced the sentences: three graduates (including a nobleman) were expelled, two others (including a future baronet) were rusticated, two others were gated prior to later rustication.6 The incident caused great scandal in Oxford and London and received further unexpected publicity from a mention in the novel Man and Wife which Wilkie Collins published in 1870, partly as an attack on `hearties'.7 The dispute of 1882 concerning the re-election of R. W. Macan to his studentship8 was ill-seen by a narrower section of the public. Macan was a Student of Christ Church with responsibility for tuition in ancient history; on marriage he was obliged to seek re-election, but as he had published a work (originally his Hibbert Lectures) throwing doubt on the doctrine of the Resurrection, views on his acceptability as a tutor were not unanimous. Canons and Students were divided on the issue; at the meeting of the governing body on 15 June 1882 Dr Pusey came from his lodgings to speak against Macan, and carried enough Students with him for the latter's reelection to be lost.9 There was trouble over the succession to the Censorship in consequence at the end of 1882; Francis Paget found it advisable to leave his Studentship and take the living of Bromsgrove in 1883; and seventy years later older members of Christ Church, who had known survivors of that contentious time, would take a young newcomer aside and show him where Dr Pusey had stood to address the governing body on the occasion of his ®nal, and for once successful, attempt to hold back the advance of error.10 sacri®ced at their ancestral altars of fox-hunting, Church, and King'; In Christ Church Hall (1960), 188. Ruskin (loc. cit., 197) noted with quiet pleasure his own acceptance by the Society. 6 Account in W. G. Hiscock, A Christ Church Miscellany (1946), 97±101; see also the papers and correspondence in CA DP v.c.1. 7 See preface and appendix in Man and Wife. 8 See Owen Chadwick, The Victorian Church, Part ii (1970), 447. 9 The voting was 16±11, with one abstention, CA GB ii.b.1 fo. 54. 10 Personal recollection. The last word was perhaps spoken by the late Dr T. B. Heaton in private conversation: `It didn't matter to Macan, you know: his wife had money.' But it did

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However, these dramatic episodes did not interfere with Liddell's attempt to lead Christ Church into an era of higher intellectual and artistic achievement. After 1855 he had ®rst to overcome ill-health; in the later 1850s the improvement of the interior of the Cathedral was his primary concern, as was the erection of Meadow Buildings (for which funds had been set aside ever since 1809) in the ®rst half of the 1860s.11 In 1867 came the Christ Church (Oxford) Act, the result of moves by the Students for admission to a share of power, though Liddell himself took no striking initiative in these events.12 From 1870 to 1874 he was Vice-Chancellor, and then and thereafter he was closely involved with plans for the improvement of Christ Church hall (within and without) and of the Cathedral. By the mid-1880s conservatively minded Students thought him too much in the hands of radicals.13 By 1891, when he was 80, he thought himself no longer able to continue in of®ce and resigned, to spend the remaining seven years of his life in retirement at Ascot. Liddell was a successful chairman of the new governing body, quelling discussion, according to tradition, with a cough;14 he was the ®rst ViceChancellor from Christ Church for nearly two centuries, and was deeply involved and interested in the problems of the City of Oxford, notably the river. His interests were not those of the Canons of his Chapter, in which in 1855 the great survivors were Dr Barnes, who was a Canon from 1810 until his death in 1859, and Dr Pusey, who had been a Canon since 1828. The latter was widely known among a large section of the clergy of England, many of whom lined the sides of Tom Quad for his funeral in 1882, a striking manifestation of Tractarian sentiment; ritualism found its great protagonist in Edward King,15 a Canon in the 1870s before his promotion to the see of Lincoln. But Pusey, King, and others did not represent causes which engaged Liddell's sympathies; and in the early part of his reign the Dean had only one powerful ally among the Canons in the person of A. P. Stanley, the Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History,16 who is said to have inspired the young John Richard Green of Jesus College to undertake historical studies.17 matter to Lord Salisbury, who sent nearly all of his sons to University College rather than expose them to Macan at Christ ChurchÐunavailingly, because Macan became a fellow (and later Master) of University College. Cf. J. F. A. Mason, in Lord Blake and Hugh Cecil (eds), Salisbury: The Man and his Policies (1987), 13. 11 Thompson, Liddell (1899), 160±5. His illness kept Liddell away from Oxford `for many months' from the end of Sept. 1856. 12 E. G. W. Bill and J. F. A. Mason, Christ Church and Reform (1970), passim. 13 T. O. Wethered to Lord Cranbrook, 7 Dec. 1886, in MSS of 3rd Marquess of Salisbury. 14 Observation by T. B. Heaton (secretary of Ch. Ch. governing body in the 1920s) to the late C. H. Stuart. 15 Owen Chadwick, Edward King (Lincoln, 1968), esp. p. 9. 16 Thompson, Liddell, 183. 17 L. Stephen (ed.), Letters of John Richard Green (1901), 16±19.


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The canons mattered less to the Dean in the management of the House and its undergraduates than the Censors (who were Students); the Censors performed a multiplicity of duties, some of which were not hived off to other of®cers until the 1960s and 1970s. On the whole Liddell was lucky in his Censors; in the 1860s these were C. W. Sandford (later Bishop of Gibraltar) and T. V. Bayne, most urbane of men, who with an ex-Censor, T. J. Prout, between them managed the Students in the preliminaries to the 1867 Act. H. L. Thompson, a boy at Westminster under Liddell, and later his biographer, was Bayne's colleague in the 1870s. On the administrative side, responsibility fell to the Treasurer18 (successor to the Canon-Treasurer of pre-1867 days), and the Steward, whose of®ce was created in 1865; the curator of Common Room ran the most informal19Ðthough until the 1980s perhaps the least luxuriousÐSenior Common Room in Oxford. The Censors were drawn from among the tutors, and during Liddell's time as Dean there was a sea change among these. The great survivor from Gaisford's regime in 1855 was Osborne Gordon.20 Gordon was a member of a south-east Shropshire family, whoÐdisappointed, perhaps, of the canonry which in earlier times might have been hisÐleft for a Berkshire living in 1860; but among other tutors appointed before 1855 were some who in the manner traditional at Christ Church had progressed from Westminster School to Studentships in which they might train younger arrivals from Westminster to take their places as tutors in due course. Of others the neurotic Charles LLoyd21 died young, but T. J. Prout organized the agitation of 1865±7 before living on to 1909 as a ®gure with an ear-trumpet still remembered in the second half of the twentieth century.22 Under the Ordinances of 1858 a succession of new elections were made which equipped Christ Church with new tutors, sometimes from other colleges, notably A. G. Vernon Harcourt from Balliol in chemistry. Towards the end of Liddell's time Christ Church elected Arthur Hassall to teach for the new honour school of Modern History in which the House was to be particularly successful; but throughout the Dean's day the author within the walls of Christ Church whose works were most widely read outside was one who did not choose to make known his connection with the House except as the author of other books which were not widely read. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson came from Rugby to the House in 1851 and taught Mathematics 18

One treasurer, W. B. Skene of Pitlour, was Liddell's son-in-law. C. M. Blagden, Well Remembered (1953), 116. 20 See the memoir pre®xed to the printed edition of Gordon's sermons by his Censorial colleague, George Marshall, Osborne Gordon. A Memoir: with a selection of his writings (1885), and account of `Ossian Gainstone' in Watkins-Pitchford MSS at Shropshire Records Research Centre. 21 MSS of the Sanctuary family, descendants of one of LLoyd's sisters. He was the son of Charles, Bishop of Oxford 1827±9. 22 Recollections of the late R. H. Dundas (d.1959), who saw Prout when interviewed for a Studentship in 1908. 19

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there with limited success until 1880. His ®rst two names provided him with the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, under which he published Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (1871). Alice was the second daughter of Dean Liddell and the best known of many `child-friends' of this elusive and dif®cult personality, whose later works in the same genre failed to gain the same applause as the ®rst two.23 Dodgson also discussed contemporary events in Christ Church and Oxford in a series of `squibs', which did not fail to attack Dean Liddell's architectural activities in Christ Church.24 In 1891, however, it was of those achievements that Liddell could feel most proud.25 The appearance of the interior of the Cathedral was far worthier of the wider diocesan uses to which the Dean allowed it to be put; the pinnacles of the hall and the balustraded battlements of the remainder of Tom Quad made a coherent whole; Meadow Buildings re¯ected the in¯uence of John Ruskin through his follower T. N. DeaneÐand increased the number of rooms available in Christ Church by ®fty-seven. However, on the debit side must be placed the destruction in 1869 of delicate plasterwork by Henry Keene in the eastern end of the ground ¯oor of the library.26 Under Liddell the numbers of the House had held up well but the results in the Schools were not what he had hoped for. Lord Elcho, in congratulating the new Dean on his appointment in 1855, was con®dent that in his hands `Christ Church will hold out every possible inducement to us [sic] to send our sons there, in the full con®dence that you will turn them out gentlemen and useful members of society.'27 This was possibly a reference to Gaisford's notoriously rough and bear-like manners. Elcho was right in one respect: the sons of the gentry and nobility did attend Christ Church.28 Unfortunately their notions of utility to society did not in most cases involve 23 The literature is immense but not always sensible. For Dodgson's works see S. H. Williams, F. F. Madan, R. L. Green, and D. Crutch (eds.), The Lewis Carroll Handbook (1979); for his diaries, a new edition by E. Wakeling (in progress, 5 vols Luton 1993±9); for his letters The Letters of Lewis Carroll, ed. Morton Cohen (2 vols 1979), for his life see Morton Cohen, Lewis Carroll: A Biography (1995) and (for a lay view) a typescript lecture in French by J. F. A. Mason, given at the Centre Pompidou, 11 Oct. 1983. Writers on Dodgson in French are handicapped by their language's lack of an equivalent for `Common Room': but see J. Gattegno, Lewis Carroll: une vie (Paris, 1974), esp. 51±63, 127±36. `Although the title-page bears the publication date 1872, Looking Glass appeared as a Christmas book for 1871': Morton Cohen, 132. 24 Edward Wakeling, The Oxford Pamphlets, Lea¯ets, and Circulars of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Charlottesville, Va., 1993), 67±108. 25 Thompson, Liddell, 147 ff. 26 Building Accounts of Christ Church Library, 1716±79, ed. Jean Cook and J. F. A. Mason (Roxburghe Club, 1988), 8. 27 Thompson, Liddell, 132; Elcho later became 10th Earl of Wemyss. 28 Using information in J. Bateman, The Great Landowners of Great Britain and Ireland (1883) Barbara English concludes that of 477 who had gone to both public school and university, 126 had gone to Christ Church from Eton, and 40 from Harrow, Journal of Educational Administration and History, 23: 1 (1991), 24. It must be admitted that a considerable majority of this somewhat odd sample must have matriculated before Dean Liddell's appointment.


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as much application to their books as Liddell would have liked, and the place of the House in the class lists showed no spectacular advance. A good example was not set by British royalty in its belated patronage of the House; the Prince of Wales came to Christ Church already fully inclined to selfindulgence, lived outside the college, and saw little of it; his younger brother Leopold, Duke of Albany, was apparently absorbed by the charms of Alice Liddell, who was later to give his name to one of her sons. Liddell was not impressed by the intellectual quality of the noblemen of Christ Church and as early as October 1862 ejected them from High Table which until then they had shared with the Canons.29 In that year the young Edward Talbot came up to the House: his comments years later were not favourable: `it was not then in a very stimulating condition'; the Dean was `a high-bred gentleman of lofty character, a man of unusual artistic sympathy and cultivation', but too aloof, reserved, and distant to have much in¯uence with the undergraduates, and `coldly averse' from the `High' or `Puseyite' connections to which Talbot and others adhered; to the serious-minded Talbot the gentleman commoners and noblemen `did not represent a high type of University life';30 the sight of tutors sitting below the steps and of noblemen sitting above them (until 1862) with the academic eÂlite of the English Church cannot have helped the well-born among the undergraduates to appreciate that their tutors were not wholly comparable with the domestic chaplains to whom some of them were used at home. At the end of 1891 Lord Salisbury lost no time in appointing as Liddell's successor one of the Canons, Francis Paget. Paget came from an East Anglian professional family, his father and other relatives being doctors. He had been to Shrewsbury School, did well as an undergraduate of the House and was elected at once to a Senior Studentship. After a few years he left, as already stated, for Bromsgrove, before returning as Canon in 1885.31 He was well quali®ed for preferment by his knowledge of the House; his wife was the daughter of R. W. Church, Dean of St Paul's, and for his ®nal two years in of®ce her death heightened his naturally austere and grave temperament. Paget had not completed his second year in of®ce when he and Christ Church were the subject of severe newspaper comment as a result of the `Blenheim Row'.32 In November 1893 some Christ Church undergraduates were invited to a ball at Blenheim Palace, but permission for any to attend was refused by the Dean and the Senior Censor (E. F. Sampson, successor of C. L. Dodgson in the teaching of mathematics). One night the walls 29

G. W. Kitchin (Censor) to C. C. Clerke (Censor Theologiae), 9 Oct. 1862, CA DP ii.c.3. E. S. Talbot, Memories of Early Life (1924), 31, 32, 33. Memories recalled in print much earlier by others leave a similar impression. 31 S. Paget and J. M. C. Crum, Francis Paget (1912), passim. 32 Ibid. 130±3. 30

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of Tom Quad were painted with legends such as `Damn the Dean', `Damn Sampson', and `Damn the Dons' in red; the doors of the deanery and of the Censor's staircase were painted red;33 and the bell-rope of Great Tom was cut, presumably as a symbol of protest against all restriction of hours, as the bell was used for the nightly striking of 101 strokes to signal the closing of all college gates at ®ve past nine. The perpetrator of these outrages, whose rooms had supplied the paint, was easily identi®ed and sent down, but the remainder of those responsible, persuaded by the father of one of them, refused to admit their guilt. Hilary term 1894 was spent in speculation and surmise; in Trinity term, after a dinner of the Bullingdon Club, all the windows in Peckwater were brokenÐan event not repeated for seventy®ve years. The members of the Bullingdon who had brought in those who broke the windows were rusticated for the remainder of the term. Sampson now felt he could resign the Censorship, which he had held since 1878. A correspondence in support of those sent down was started in The Times, which published an article criticizing the Dean; thereafter feelings slowly subsided, but in the Buttery of Christ Church, and in a few houses throughout England, a set of prints showing incidents from this story perpetuated some of its details for future generations; and henceforth no Censor held of®ce for more than six years in all.34 Paget was Dean for eight more years, in which, with T. B. Strong as Senior Censor and Arthur Hassall as Junior Censor, all went well and the life of the House was uneventful. As Paget's brother and biographer wrote, Liddell's had been `the Augustan Age of Christ Church' and there seemed little left to do.35 There were no great building projects, no great sporting or academic successes, and no riots or other troubles. In 1901 Paget was appointed Bishop of OxfordÐthe ®rst Dean since John Fell in 1676 to achieve that promotionÐand T. B. Strong succeeded him as Dean on the clear recommendation of Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, an Honorary Student of Christ Church,36 among others. Tommy Strong37 was unlike any Dean of Christ Church before him, and in terms of his musical interests like only one since. He was a Londoner of humble origins who had been at Westminster before coming to Christ Church as an undergraduate in 1879. After his election to a Studentship he had quickly become Curator of the Senior Common Room, then Junior Censor. He was shy and reserved, disliked ecclesiastical ceremonial, had 33

For ill-treatment of the Dean's door on a previous occasion (1824), see Pt 1, 42. Some 19th-century Censors had held of®ce for ten years, but none had been Senior Censor for as long as Sampson. The late Sir Roy Harrod attributed the change to the 1893 affair. 35 Paget and Crum, Francis Paget, 129. 36 Sir M. Hicks-Beach to Lord Salisbury, 22 May 1901, Salisbury MSS. 37 The life by H. Anson, T. B. Strong (1949), does not perhaps at all points show full knowledge of the Christ Church background. 34


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a marked sense of humour, did not seek the company of women, and enjoyed that of undergraduates. He was a gifted musician with a keen eye for musical talent in others: he appointed Henry Ley, a Keble undergraduate, as Cathedral organist; and was a keen and generous supporter of the young William Walton. Strong always made undergraduates welcome in the Deanery. With Charles Fisher, who was to meet death cheerfully at Jutland, as Censor, order was well maintained, and Christ Church continued on its untroubled way; recollections of Strong's ®rst years bespeak a contented college, and two of his subordinates, C. M. Blagden who came in 1896, and (Sir) John Masterman, who arrived seventeen years later, have described his special if unorthodox talents.38 In 1920 he was nominated to the episcopate, after fortyone years in Christ Church; in Christ Church hall he bade farewell to the assembled resident members of the House in an address which is a powerful statement of his views of the recent history of Christ Church.39 From 1869 to 1903, as from 1792 to 1869, Christ Church was the college of the Chancellor of the University. Portland (1792) had been succeeded in this of®ce by William Grenville in 1809, Grenville by Wellington in 1834, and Wellington by Derby in 1852. Portland, Grenville, and Derby had been undergraduates at Christ Church, and Wellington's name was entered on the books of the House when he became Chancellor. (He was brother of Richard Wellesley, a distinguished undergraduate of the House.) All these were or had been Prime Ministers when elected Chancellor; Derby was followed in 1869 by Salisbury, who was not Prime Minister and not thought likely to be by many. His election was due to temporary circumstances, particularly the feeling of many conservatives in religion that they needed a ®gure who would oppose the abolition of the remaining tests.40 That issue was quickly lost, but Salisbury remained Chancellor. As there had been no contest in 1869 the solidity of the Christ Church vote in a cancellarial election had not been tested; but it was an important factor in the elections of the University's two Members of Parliament. Unfortunately it was also sometimes split. In 1865 the sitting Members were W. E. Gladstone and Sir William Heathcote, both Christ Church men, but the Conservatives put up Gathorne-Hardy, later ®rst Earl of Cranbrook, against Gladstone, and a campaign which divided the clergy of the kingdom ended in Gladstone's defeat. For twenty years (1878±99) the members for the university were Sir John Mowbray and J. G. Talbot, both Christ Church men. Talbot and Mowbray were the last examples of the 38 Blagden, Well Remembered, 146±52; Sir John Masterman, On The Chariot Wheel (1975), esp. 84±5, 114±15, 128±9, 373. For a further glimpse of Strong's Christ Church see pp. 806±7. 39 See n. 4 above. 40 J. F. A. Mason, `The Election of Lord Salisbury as Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 1869', Oxoniensia, xxix/xxx (1964±5), 167±79.

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dominance of the House, with its powerful vote, in the election of Oxford University Members of Parliament. The national politics of the last two decades of the nineteenth century were dominated by two members of Christ Church, Mr Gladstone (from Dean Smith's day) and Lord Salisbury (from Gaisford's). Between 1880 and 1902, the only years (1894±5) in which neither was Prime Minister saw in that of®ce Lord Rosebery, another Christ Church man, from Liddell's day. After Salisbury there was no further Christ Church Prime Minister until 1955; but some leading ®gures did emerge in Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, Walter Long, and the ®rst Earl of Halifax. In the academic life of Oxford itself late Victorian Christ Church provided several leading ®gures. The preaching of weekly Cathedral sermons and of the University Sermon by the Dean and Canons reached that great majority who attended services, especially when the preacher was Pusey or Stanley; another preacher with tremendous appeal was H. P. Liddon, Pusey's henchman and later biographer, who combined a Studentship with a Canonry of St Paul's. In the new School of Modern History the ®rst Regius Professor to make a name for himself on the international academic scene was William Stubbs, a humorous hard-working Yorkshireman who had come to Christ Church as a member of the despised class of servitors in 1844; he wanted to be Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History and thus Canon at his original college, but found himself a professorial fellow of Oriel as holder of the Regius chair of Modern History itself. Stubbs marked almost every one of his sixteen years as Regius Professor by the issue of some important publication, and the totality of his work made him a leading ®gure among European historians. In the century since Stubbs ceased writing he has had strong critics but still excites staunch defenders.41 When in 1878 he was elected an Honorary Student of Christ Church it was with another great Christ Church historian, S. R. Gardiner; this was a triumph for both: not only had Stubbs been a servitor, normally a disquali®cation from any sort of Studentship, but Gardiner had been a member of the Irvingite Church (had indeed married Edward Irving's daughter) and had been deprived of his Studentship by Dean Gaisford for that reason. In thanking Christ Church 41 The most vehement critics have been H. G. Richardson and G. O. Sayles, The Governance of Medieval England (Edinburgh, 1963); the most recent is Reba Soffer, `Nation, Duty, Character and Con®dence, History at Oxford, 1850±1914', Historical Journal, xx: 1 (1987), 77±104, who gives credence and indeed ready support to Stubbs's doubts of his own success with tutors and undergraduates. There are important appreciations by Helen Cam, `Stubbs Seventy Years After', Cambridge Historical Journal, ix (1948); J. G. Edwards (himself the research pupil of Stubbs's Balliol undergraduate pupil, T. F. Tout), William Stubbs (Historical Association pamphlet, 1952); and James Campbell, Stubbs and the English State (Stenton Lecture, Reading, 1987). The long chapter in J. W. Burrow, A Liberal Descent (1981), contains a commendation which should never be overlooked: `Stubbs made the history of institutions a far richer and more suggestive thing than any mere historical technician could have done' (p. 149). There is an outline in J. Cannon (ed.), The Blackwell Dictionary of Historians (1988), 395±6.


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for his Honorary Studentship in 1878, Stubbs, in words which many could have echoed before and since, described the House as `the foundation to which I owe my education, in which the happiest years of my life were spent, and the closest friendships of my life formed, and to which almost every person, to whom in the course of my ``career'' I have been largely indebted, has belonged'. Among those whom he singled out were Archbishop Longley, Dean Gaisford, and (among tutors) W. E. Jelf, G. W. Kitchin, and E. Stokes.42 In art criticism the leading ®gure was John Ruskin, the friend of Liddell and Henry Acland, the teacher of Alice Liddell, and a contemporary of Liddell and Acland at the House many years earlier. In literature there were, as usual, few great names, but Dodgson drew on the Christ Church and Oxford of Dean Liddell's day for much that occurs in the works of Lewis Carroll,43 and the novels of Stanley Weyman, an early product of the Christ Church history school, long maintained their appeal, if chie¯y to a juvenile audience.44 Of the importance of Students in the Oxford social scene we get glimpses in the diaries of T. V. Bayne,45 Censor in the 1860s; he does not tell us what we would really like to know, such as the causes of acrimony at particular governing body meetings; but we gain a full notion of the life of the late nineteenth-century bachelor don. Bayne's diary for 1886 recalls walks round the Meadow or in the countryside with Christ Church friends (including some canons) and some from other colleges, the `lionizing' of people and places, especially churches, references to small dinner parties in his rooms, usually for four or six or eight people among his friends, excessively discreet reports of often contentious governing body meetings (the trouble in that year was the Treasurership), references to musical evenings with Violet Liddell, meetings with Gore Ouseley or (once) with Saint-SaeÈns (who played on Bayne's piano and on the Cathedral organ), and to meetings of other bodies such as the Christ Church Mission in Poplar. The picture is of a very pleasant and on the whole unintellectual life and, above all, of a partly non-resident one: for a large part of each vacation in 1886 Bayne was not in fact in Oxford at all, but in London (where his aged mother lived), Folkestone, or Brighton, or in France, which he knew well. His colleague Dodgson spent much time in Guildford with his sisters or in Eastbourne with child friends; and others were equally absent during vacations. Christ Church provided Oxford not only with those who had a ®xed place in the college's hierarchy, but also with others who were favoured with 42

Stubbs to T. V. Bayne, 16 Mar. 1878, CA GB xi.c.2. Mavis Batey, Alice's Adventures in Oxford (Andover, 1980). 44 See Weyman's own thoughts in his general preface to The House of the Wolf, in the collected edition of his works (24 vols 1922). To one reader, at least, his descriptions of weather and of early modern Paris and Geneva are still evocative. 45 Ch. Ch. Library MS 537/1±4. 43

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membership of the Christ Church Senior Common Room. Two in particular were considerable ®gures in the learned Oxford of the day. Friedrich Max MuÈller46 was elected a member in the 1850s, years in which the Common Room also welcomed Ormuzd Rassam, who in gratitude presented an Assyrian relief from Nimrud. The translation of Max MuÈller's Sacred Books of the East in many volumes was a major cause of `the new sense of reality of non-Christian religion' in late Victorian Oxford. It was Dean Liddell who persuaded the University Press to bear part of the cost of this lengthy publication. By giving a home to GuÂdbrandr VõÂgfuÂsson the House also played its part in the study of Icelandic as well as that of Sanskrit. Again it was Dean Liddell who proposed to the Delegates of the Press the publication (1874) under VõÂgfuÂsson's supervision of an Icelandic dictionary by another hand. This was one of those enterprises which, as VõÂgfuÂsson himself said, would have been better approached by means of a fresh start. But despite the other demands on his time the Dean gave daily help to the visitor. When presenting to Christ Church library in his lifetime various Icelandic books, VõÂgfuÂsson paid handsome tribute to the help he had received from the Dean, from G. W. Kitchin, and from Frederick York Powell, his friend since 1869.47 46 N. C. Chaudhuri, Scholar Extraordinary: The Life of Professor the Rt Hon. Friedrich Max MuÈller, P.C. (1974), 95. 47 O. Elton, Frederick York Powell: A Life (2 vols 1906), ch. 2; Thompson, Liddell, 207.


NOTE The Christ Church Common Room Under Dodgson, 1883±1892 m o r to n n . c o h e n When Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was elected Curator of Senior Common Room at Christ Church on 8 December 1882, his fame as Lewis Carroll, author of the Alice books (1866, 1872) and The Hunting of the Snark (1876), was well established. He none the less accepted his new of®ce and its arduous duties with no light heart: `there will be much trouble and thought needed to work it satisfactorily:' he wrote in his diary, `but it will take me out of myself a little, and so may be a real good. My life was tending to become too much that of a sel®sh recluse.'1 A fortnight later, he wrote that he had been `hard at work learning my new business, and planning forms of ledgers: the accounts have not been fully kept by any means'. Indeed he set up a battery of records and charts and kept them meticulously throughout his nine years as Curator.2 He also paid scrupulous attention to the members' comforts, added furnishings, improved the lighting, sought to achieve an aesthetically pleasing environment, established a members' complaint book, and recorded the proceedings of Common Room meetings. He also extended the wine cellars and ®lled them with the best and most economical vintages. Wine being central to all Common Room life, Dodgson gave it high priority. He went to great lengths to ensure that the cellars had proper temperature controls and did all he could to inform himself about the storing and ageing of wine. Soon after he took on the Curatorship, for instance, he wrote to a London wine merchant: The Curator. . . will be much obliged if Messrs. Barrett & Clay would give him the bene®t of their advice on 2 or 3 points in the treatment of wine, about which he ®nds much difference of opinion to exist. (1) What amount of damp is desirable in a wine-cellar? (2) Is ventilation desirable? (3) Should light be admitted?3

Dodgson was himself fond of wine, although, as one member recorded, not overwhelmed by its mystique: He held the view that amateur wine-tasters deceived themselves when they professed to distinguish one vintage from another, and that they really were guided by the label supplied by the wine-merchant. To prove this he once secretly interchanged the labels 1 The Diaries of Lewis Carroll, ed. Roger Lancelyn Green (2 vols, 1953), 411±12. See also Morton N. Cohen, Lewis Carroll (1995), 419±23. 2 These records have been preserved among the Christ Church muniments. 3 The Letters of Lewis Carroll, ed. Morton N. Cohen with the assistance of Roger Lancelyn Green (2 vols 1979), 476.


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on the bottles which the wine committee had met to taste, and maintained that his colleagues had reacted exactly as he had foretold.4

A crisis apparently occurred when Dodgson discovered that the cellars contained a large quantity of brown sherry and no port, a taste for port having re-emerged among members. Dodgson `solved the problem by sending out to the grocer for someÐ``Running the Common Room,''' an abstemious colleague complained, ```on the lines of a lower middle-class family.''' Dodgson took larger measures, in fact, and for years after he left of®ce, the port he laid down circulated after dinner in Common Room.5 Membership of Senior Common Room in Dodgson's time was not so exclusive as one might imagine. Resident dons were members, of course, but graduates of Christ Church were also eligible upon taking the MA. Dodgson often had to make the terms of membership clear to graduates, as he did, for instance in a letter to one about to leave Oxford to take up a clerical post in Hampstead: You have indeed a curious idea of the extent of that ancient Club, the Christ Church Common Room, to suppose it to consist of resident members only! We have about 40 resident members, who pay, as you know, 10s. 6d. a Quarter, and about 400 nonresident members, who pay, as you don't know, 1s. a Quarter. I hope this modest `Quarterage' will not prove too alarming an outlay, and that you will allow your name to remain on our books, and thus retain the rights of membership, to be exercised at all those times . . . when you give us the pleasure of seeing you in Oxford.6

In those latter Victorian days, Christ Church constituted `a very happy and animated society', one member recalled: `most of us who dined found our way to Common Room afterwards, and quite a number looked in there each day for afternoon tea. [Dodgson, in fact, introduced afternoon tea in 1884.] The life which we lived was very easy and informal . . . [with] astonishingly little ceremony about our proceedings.'7 Some ceremony inhered, however, and one member recalls the descent from dinner in Hall into the dim, religious light of the Common Room, with its panelled walls and its choice paintings by Cuyp and Franz Hals and Gainsborough, and its many engravings of Chancellors of the University and Governor-Generals and Viceroys of India, where Telling, the Common Room manÐwho, with his white side-whiskers and choker, looked as if he had come straight out of a Dickens portrait gallery, who never seemed to sit down or take a holiday, and who, if he were not waiting on us, would be acting as college postmanÐwould be seeing that the polished mahogany was in order, and asking whether any gentleman wished to drink claret.8 4 5 6 7 8

Claude M. Blagden, Well-Remembered (1953), 114. Ibid. Letters, 759. Blagden, 116. Ibid. 117.


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The same chronicler recalls that the Curator, elected by the free vote of the members, naturally presided if he were with us. We sat where we liked, not at little tables as in so many other colleges, but round one single table, all of us together; conversation was general if there were not too many of us there, and there was little risk of having the evening spoilt by a taciturn or grumpy neighbour. . . . [We had] some very good talkers, not the professionals who came with carefully prepared anecdotes and mots, but spontaneous exponents of the art of conversation, who delighted to toss the ball backwards and forwards between them, and to throw it to anyone else who wished to join the fun.9

Dodgson, while ef®cient and insisting upon proper decorum in Common Room, enjoyed good fellowship, as some of the members' reminiscences testify. One witness reports that evenings in Common Room `were much enlivened by the presence and conversation of such men as Dr. [Henry Parry] Liddon and Mr. Dodgson.'10 Others attest to Dodgson's natural sense of fun and whimsy that went beyond the bounds of his children's books. `Sometimes, if the audience was small and appreciative,' a member recalled, `he would sit in Common Room, and tell us stories in his own inimitable way. Then we realised what children must have found in him, and what supreme gifts he had to charm and hold them.'11 Throughout his Curatorship Dodgson deluged members of Common Room with printed notices, soliciting their opinions, announcing changes in rules or procedures, and even offering for sale marmalade that his brother's family produced according to a `genuine' formula. To signal his ®rst anniversary as Curator, he published a pamphlet, Twelve Months in a Curatorship by One Who Has Tried It (1884), which assures his colleagues that his essay is not a plagiarism . . . of `Five Years in Penal Servitude' but instead is `largely autobiographical (a euphemism for ``egotistic''), slightly apologetic, cautiously retrospective, and boldly prophetic: it will be at once ®nancial, carbonaceous, aesthetic, chalybeate, literary, and alcoholic: it will be pervaded with mystery, and spiced with hints of thrilling plots and deeds of darkness.'

The light touch remains throughout, as Carroll addresses the different subjects of his report.12 The pamphlet was soon followed by a Supplement and 9

Ibid. 116. Arthur Hassall, Christ Church, Oxford (1911), 136. 11 Blagden, 115. 12 All Dodgson's curatorial pamphlets were printed in Oxford. Selections from Twelve Months . . . and Three Years . . . appear in The Complete Works of Lewis Carroll (Nonesuch edn, 1939), 1060±70 (and frequently reprinted). The preface to Curiosissima Curatoria appears in Logical Nonsense, ed. Philip C. Blackburn and Lionel White (1934), 367. For Members of Common Room only appears in Derek Hudson, Lewis Carroll (1954), 252±3, and in the revised edn, 1976, pp. 202±3. All the pamphlets mentioned in this note are included, in their entirety, in The Oxford Pamphlets, Lea¯ets, and Circulars of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, ed. E. Wakeling (Charlottesville, Va. 1993). 10

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a Postscript, and then, two years later, by another report entitled Three Years in a Curatorship by One Whom It Has Tried (1886). Here again the mood is light and breezy. In the preface Dodgson declares that long and painful experience has taught me one great principle in managing business for other people, viz., if you want to inspire con®dence, give plenty of statistics. It does not matter that they should be accurate, or even intelligible, so long as there is enough of them. A curator who contents himself with simply doing the business of a Common Room, and who puts out no statistics, is sure to be distrusted. `He keeps us in the dark!' men will say. `He publishes no ®gures. What does it mean? Is he assisting himself?' But, only circulate some abstruse tables of ®gures, particularly if printed in lines and columns, so that the ordinary readers can make nothing of them, and all is changed at once. `Oh, go on, go on!' they cry, satiated with facts. `Manage things as you like! We trust you entirely!'

Dodgson then turns to ventilation, lighting, and furniture, or, as he labels the section, `Of Airs, Glares, and Chairs' and towards the end of the report concludes: `Enough, enough! I have said my say, gentle reader! Turn the page, and revel, to your heart's content, in'Ðand he then provides a Table of the Present Stock of Wine. When Dodgson resigned the Curatorship in 1892, he presented his colleagues with a `parting gift' entitled Curiosissima Curatoria, the most serious and elaborate of his curatorial publications, containing a good deal of historical matter about Senior Common Room and a survey of resolutions passed by Common Room committees. But before circulating this ®nal report, he printed his farewell on a single sheet headed For Members of Common Room only. The epigraph is an adaptation of Horace: `And let him be oppressed until the ninth year.' In this letter, Dodgson re¯ects upon the Curatorship as `an of®ce very pleasant to the holder,' but one that takes a great deal of time. He must now confront the `disproportion [that] becomes more and more glaring between the remaining years of life and the work that I long to complete during those years'. As long as no successor could be found, he continued `gladly' to give his service to `my friends, who have shown to me such unvarying kindness', and now that a successor is available, he yearns to resume the position of an ordinary member of Common Room. Biographers have begrudged the nine years that Dodgson spent as Curator as years when, his desk piled high with accounts and ledgers and his mind so occupied with ®gures and facts, his imagination must have been dulled, even suppressed. Certainly no new children's classics and no other bravura performances emerged during those years. The record shows, however, that Dodgson did, in fact, write creatively during that period and produced as much as he had in earlier decades. But the lightning imagination that created the Alice stories and the nonsense verses of the Snark had vanished with Dodgson's youth, and he could not retrieve it.


a new collegiate pattern

Dodgson never thought that the long hours he spent in the service of his fellow-men were wasted. If he gave pleasure to others by helping to maintain a congenial atmosphere in Common Room, if he helped contribute to the ease and the laughter there, that for him was more than enough.


10 `In Oxford but . . . not of Oxford'*: The Women's Colleges j a n e t h owa r t h In January 1867 Emily Davies paid a visit to Sir Benjamin and Lady Brodie, in the house in Cowley Place that was later to become St Hilda's Hall, in order to test opinion on her project to found a college for women. `I learnt a good deal from them and in other ways, at Oxford,' she told Barbara Bodichon. `I saw Mr. Mark Pattison, and he entered warmly into the idea. It grieves him that we look to Cambridge instead of Oxford, but Lady Brodie says they are not ready for it yet, and if we can do it with Cambridge ®rst, they will get up another by and by, perhaps at Reading.'1 Miss Davies's father and brothers were Cambridge men and there was good reason to believe that her scheme would ®nd more favour there. Cambridge had agreed in 1865, four years ahead of Oxford, to open its school examinations to girls. The attitude of friendly reserve that Miss Davies found in liberal Oxford circles merely con®rmed the wisdom of af®liating her college to the `other place'. But Oxford people brought home to her the dif®culty of introducing women students into a University with monastic traditions, rowdy undergraduates, a lively interest in gossip, and a large population of prostitutes. The decision to situate her college well away from CambridgeЮrst at Hitchin, then at GirtonÐwas taken in the light of their advice. `I have been told,' she wrote, `that at Oxford, unmarried ladies are obliged to be excessively cautious in their demeanour.' James Bryce told her bluntly that `we might as well throw our Programmes into the ®re at once, as propose a College in Cambridge.'2 She records his suggestion that an `Oxford' women's college might eventually be founded * George Brodrick's phrase [in The Due Recognition of Women by the University of Oxford. Papers against resolutions (1), (2), (3) and (4) to be submitted to Congregation on March 3 (1896), 9; Bodl. G. A. Oxon. c.34 (37)] see below, p. 266. 1 B. Stephen, Emily Davies and Girton College (1927), 150. Cowley House, built 1775±83, had just been extended and altered by Brodie, to designs by Woodward: now the Old Hall building of St Hilda's. 2 Ibid. 171, 203.



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`in the same place as the Cambridge one'Ðat a safe distance from both Universities.3 That Oxford was not yet ready to take up women's higher education was shown by the failure in 1866 of a scheme of lectures for ladies organized by Eleanor Smith, the sister of the mathematician Henry Smith and a trustee of Bedford College, London. There were few takers and much facetious comment. A cartoon by Sydney Hall depicted a Natural History lecture at which Professor Westwood instructs an inattentive audience on the cattle plague and vaccination: another showed William Sidgwick amorously construing Latin verse with a bespectacled student, named after Bianca in the Taming of the Shrew (see Figures 10.1,2).4 But Mark Pattison, who ®gured in a third caricature, and other victims of Hall's pen, represented a tradition that took women's education more seriously. Some professors had opened their lectures to women much earlierÐand not only scientists in need of an audience. It was reported that almost all the wives and daughters of heads of houses went to the popular lectures given by Thomas Arnold as Regius Professor of Modern History in 1842.5 The Bodleian Library admitted women scholars: the historian of the Queens of England, Agnes Strickland, pursuing her researches in the 1860s, was `treated as reverentially as if I were a queen'.6 As at the universities of Italy in earlier centuries, the exceptional woman intellectual received encouragement.7 Pattison's wife Francis gained recognition as an art historian (and an income from writing that gave her some independence when their marriage turned sour).8 His proteÂgeÂe Mary Arnold, later Mrs Humphry Ward, worked on early Spanish history before she made her reputation as a novelist: she became, as Taylorian scholarship examiner in Spanish in 1882 and 1888, the ®rst woman ever to examine men at Oxford.9 But Pattison, Bryce, and T. H. Green were also among the witnesses who pressed on the Schools Inquiry Commission (1864±7) the broader case for reform of middle-class women's and girls' education, a movement that depended on the universities for its success. Oxford was not in the forefront of that movement. It waited a decade before emulating the lecture scheme to prepare women for public examinations started at Cambridge in 1869 by William Sidgwick's more eminent 3

Davies to Bryce, 22 Feb. 1868, Bodl. MS Bryce 160, fo 5. Originals in St Anne's College. RCO (1850), evidence of H. E. Strickland, 100; M. J. Gifford (ed.), Pages from the Diary of an Oxford Lady 1843±1862, (1932), 18; M. C. Church, Life and Letters of Dean Church (1895), 35. 6 J. M. Strickland, Life of Agnes Strickland (1887), 289; cf. Mary Ward, A Morning in the Bodleian (Fox How, 1871), 2, 5±6. 7 L. Schiebinger, The Mind Has No Sex? Women in the Origins of Modern Science (1989). 8 Born Emily Francis Strong, `Mrs. Pat' was generally known as Francis in Oxford and as Emilia after her second marriage to Sir Charles Dilke. 9 Mrs H. Ward, A Writer's Recollections, 1856±1900 (1918), 191; J. Sutherland, Mrs. Humphry Ward: Eminent Victorian, Preeminent Edwardian (1990), 71±3. Bryce and T. H. Green were Assistant Commissioners. 4 5

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f i g u r e s 10.1 a n d 10.2 `The Natural History Lecture' and `The Ladies' Lecturer': caricatures (detail) by S. P. Hall of the lectures for ladies, 1866

brother Henry, founder of Newnham, nor did its early halls of residence for women aspire to the status of `colleges' modelled, like Girton, on the men's foundations. By the time Somerville and Lady Margaret Hall opened in 1879, with twelve and nine students respectively, over 300 students had passed through Newnham and Girton, while in the previous year London University had admitted women to its degrees. London and Cambridge were to educate many more women in the decades before 1914 (and by the turn of the century, of course, a majority of women in higher education in Britain were at coeducational universities or colleges in London and the provinces,


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Wales and Scotland).10 The supporters of women's education in Oxford did not, however, seek the role of pioneers; this was made clear by the historian of the movement that eventually won admission for women to degrees in 1920, that even-handed critic of both `feminism' and `anti-feminism', Annie Rogers.11 Rather, she claimed, the Oxford achievement was to integrate women smoothly into an ancient university, avoiding the ill-humour that they encountered at Cambridge, where women became by the early twentieth century one of the chief `bugbears' of University politics and where the MA degree was denied them until 1948.12 The story of successful appeasement told in Degrees by Degrees is one theme in the early history of women at Oxford. More complex to unravel is the effect on the women's communities themselves of their relationshipÐsymbiotic or `parasitic', depending on the point of view of the observerÐwith a university for men.13

o r i gins o f th e ox f o rd wom en's s oc ieties Outright opposition to the reform of women's education waned more slowly at Oxford than at Cambridge, possibly re¯ecting the conservatism of High Anglican tradition. T. D. Acland, gathering reactions in 1862 to Emily Davies's request that girls should be admitted to Oxford local examinations, found `in conversation with friends, ladies and gentlemen, great repugnance to your plans, especially to the competition of the two sexes'.14 Similar sentiments were voiced in 1884 against the opening of undergraduate examinations to women, whereas there was little controversy when tripos examinations were opened to Girton and Newnham students in 1881. More widespread in the 1870s, however, was the view taken by undergraduates in two Union debates: it was `the duty of the University of Oxford to resist any attempt to extend resident Membership to Women' (carried by 30 votes to 15 in January 1874), but the University was at the same time `bound to take a practical part in the higher education of women' (carried in December without division).15 H. P. Liddon's friend, Sidney Owen, believed himself `almost alone in Oxford' by 1879 in objecting to the higher education of 10 In 1900±1 there was a total of 3,284 women students in higher education in Great Britain, of whom 296 were at Cambridge and 239 at Oxford. 656 were at London University, of whom 243 were at women's colleges (Bedford, West®eld, and Royal Holloway) or the women's department of King's College. See J. Howarth and M. C. Curthoys, `The political economy of women's higher education in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Britain', Historical Research, 142 (1987), 210±11; C. Dyhouse, No Distinction of Sex? Women in British Universities, 1870±1939 (1995), 17±27. 11 A. M. A. H. Rogers, Degrees by Degrees (1938), 1±2. See also V. Brittain, The Women at Oxford: A Fragment of History (1960); G. Battiscombe, Reluctant Pioneer: The Life of Elizabeth Wordsworth (1978); P. Adams, Somerville for Women: An Oxford College 1879±1993 (1996). 12 F. M. Cornford, Microcosmographia Academica (1908), 12; R. McWilliams Tullberg, Women at Cambridge (rev. edn 1998; ®rst published 1975). 13 [Percy Gardner], `Women at Oxford and Cambridge', Quarterly, clxxxvi (Oct. 1897), 537. 14 Stephen, Emily Davies, 85. 15 Proceedings of the Oxford Union Society 1871±78 (1878), 89, 114.

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women in principle, on `moral, social, physiological as well as religious grounds'.16 The real dif®culty, for university liberals as well as churchmen, was envisaging a place for it at Oxford. Max MuÈller felt that `almost any place would be more appropriate for a Ladies' College.'17 There was no need for one, according to Goldwin Smith, once London degrees were open to women.18 In 1876 New College and Balliol combined to found a coeducational university college at Bristol. But as late as 1878 T. H. Green and his wife Charlotte felt that the time was `hardly yet ripe' for an Oxford women's college.19 Jowett feared that it would `lead to complications'.20 It was not among the issues discussed by the Selborne Commission.21 An attempt to place the opening of undergraduate examinations and medical quali®cations at Oxford and Cambridge on the Commissioners' agenda had been defeated in the House of Commons, where there was support for the speaker who described the proposal as subversive of `the whole system of male and female education in the country'. England's tradition was `not of mixed and concurrent education for both sexes but distinctly of separate education'.22 The idea of a university as, above all, a place of exclusively male sociability was not, of course, con®ned to the ancient universities.23 These collegiate communities were nevertheless particularly forbidding places for women, conspicuously so while few dons could marry. Ladies invaded Oxford each summer for Eights week and Commemoration and added to the decorative appeal of Encaenia: ritually cheered by the undergraduates (until the custom died out in the 1870s), they occupied specially reserved seats in the Sheldonian (see Pt 1, Plate 7). But the number of women connected with the University was small andÐapart from the domestic entertainments, musical or theatrical, arranged by families such as the Liddells and Max MuÈllersÐ their role in Oxford life was marginal. The theological con¯icts of the midVictorian decades created an intellectual climate in which such academic 16

Liddon MSS, diary for 28 February 1879, P H L. I owe this reference to Anne de Villiers. G. Stephenson, Edward Stuart Talbot, 1844±1934 (1936), 36. Letter from Goldwin Smith in Oxford Chronicle, 30 May 1874, 7. 19 B. J. Johnson, `First Beginnings', in G. Bailey (ed.), Lady Margaret Hall: A Short History (1923), 32. 20 Personal reminiscences of M. Shaw Lefevre, SCA; see also Abbott and Campbell, Jowett, ii, 158±60. 21 R. W. Macan noted in his evidence to the Selborne Commission that mixed classes took place at Zurich and Cambridge `without dif®culty', but the point was not pursued; UOC (1877), Q. 4629±32. 22 Parl. Deb. 3 May 1877, ccxxxiv. 302. For this debate and that of 17 May see Ch. 2, n. 56, above. 23 See G. Sutherland, `The Plainest Principles of Justice. The University of London and the Higher Education of Women', in F. M. L. Thompson (ed.), The University of London and the World of Learning, 1836±1986 (1990), 35±51; S. H. Barnes, `Crossing the invisible line; establishing coeducation at the University of Manchester and Northwestern University', History of Education, 25 (1994), 41±3; Dyhouse, No Distinction of Sex?, 278±82. 17 18


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wives, sisters, and daughters as there were could play little part. Josephine Butler's interest in moral reform in the 1850s found dons frankly unsympathetic.24 But the chief and enduring problem, common to Oxford and Cambridge and a cause of continuing controversy at both places, was the potentially alarming consequences of admitting large numbers of young women to a community of mainly celibate men, at a time when professional and eÂlite careers were thought to depend on the postponement of marriage until the late twenties or thirties.25 The problem of supervising relations between men and women students was not shared to the same extent by universities in London and the provinces, where students normally lived with their parents.26 It was above all the prospect of increased contact between the sexes that made Pusey and Liddon regard the opening of women's halls as `one of the greatest misfortunes that had happened, even in our time, to Oxford'.27 Others used more discreet language to hint at the likelihood that undergraduates would be distracted from their work and the risk of scandal or meÂsalliances. Nor was it clear that women students would thrive in a university that increasingly recruited from boys' public schools and shared their cult of `manliness'. A more feminine counter-culture developed alongside the university as college fellows became free to marry and suburban development proceeded in North Oxford, where by 1881 women residents outnumbered men by almost three to one.28 Areas of common endeavour and cultural interests shared by men and women also emerged. The author and Church worker Felicia Skene, who pioneered rescue work and prison visiting in Oxford, now found herself consulted on cases involving prostitutes that came to the Vice-Chancellor's Court.29 Puseyite sisterhoods established North Oxford housesÐthe convent of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity (1866) in the Woodstock Road and Lydia Sellon's convent of the Holy Rood, which from 1870 to 1883 had premises in the Banbury Road.30 Eleanor Smith became the ®rst woman on the management committee of the Radcliffe In®rmary and a member of Oxford's School Board and of its Charity Organization Society. 24 J. E. Butler, An Autobiographical Memoir, ed. G. W. and L. A. Johnson (Bristol, 1909), 30± 6; B. Caine, Victorian Feminists (1992), 165±6. 25 C. Ansell (jnr), On the Rate of Mortality at Early Periods of Life, the Age at Marriage, the Number of Children to a Marriage, the Length of a Generation and other Statistics of Families in the Upper and Professional Classes (1874), 46, gives 30.51 as the mean age at marriage for bachelors in 1870. 26 Cf. R. B. McDowell and D. A. Webb, Trinity College, Dublin, 1592±1982 (Dublin, 1982), 342±3, 347: the admission of women was delayed there until 1904 through similar fears that a mixed college would encourage imprudent marriages, thus alienating parents. 27 Letter from Liddon in the Guardian, 23 Apr. 1884, 612c. 28 T. Hinchcliffe, North Oxford (1992), 168. 29 E. C. Rickards, Felicia Skene: A Memoir (1902), 149±51. Jowett visited her to ask advice when he became Vice-Chancellor. 30 Hinchcliffe, North Oxford, 147±51.

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So active were university women in good works in the city that Mrs A. L. Smith, urged by her husband `not to let herself become a mere mother like Mrs. ÐÐ', had dif®culty in ®nding an organization `not already crowded with helpers'.31 The Oxford Browning Society, set up under Pattison's auspices, included women members and the sister of a fellow of Brasenose, Elizabeth WordsworthÐgreat-niece of the poet laureate and herself a minor poet of some reputeÐwas among those who offered papers at its meetings.32 Clara Pater, `always arrayed in some becoming shade of blue', represented with her brother the vogue for aestheticism and she was remembered, along with Mrs Pattison and the novelist and poet Margaret Woods, as an accomplished practitioner of the art of conversation, much cultivated in academic circles at that time.33 The dress and domestic deÂcor of `young married Oxford'Ð smocked Liberty gowns, old cabinets and chests, blue pots, and William Morris wallpaperÐexpressed aesthetic values that had appeal for both sexes.34 Women's higher education became another shared interest for young married Oxford in the 1870s. For University wives it offered both opportunities for self-cultivation and a `good cause', a means of helping needy schoolteachers. Extension lectures in provincial cities supplemented the incomes of married tutors, whose Oxford stipends rarely exceeded £500 a year, and many extension students were women. Mandell Creighton commented on the ability shown by girls in his lecture class in Plymouth: `I see I marked six of their answers as ®rst class.'35 In 1873 Mary Ward and Louise Creighton, with the help of Mrs Max MuÈller and a committee of dons' wives and sisters, launched a new scheme of lectures for ladies, not linked to any public examination but more successful than the experiment of 1866. Dons provided lectures on literary and historical subjects and language classesÐ some even set examination papers (`collections') for the more energetic ladiesÐand tickets were issued allowing participants to read in the Radcliffe Camera.36 Schoolmistresses and schoolgirls paid a reduced fee: demand was boosted by the opening of an Oxford Girls' High School, founded (with encouragement from University families) by the Girls' Public Day School Company in 1875. 31 A. L. Smith, Master of Balliol 1916±24. A biography and some reminiscences, by his Wife (1928), 94, 191. For these `helpers' see Pt 1, 452±3. 32 W. S. Peterson, Interrogating the Oracle: A History of the London Browning Society (Ohio, 1969), 97; Battiscombe, Reluctant Pioneer, 94±5. 33 E. Wordsworth, Glimpses of the Past (1913), 140; L. R. Farnell, An Oxonian Looks Back (1934), 113. Margaret Woods (neÂe Bradley) was the wife of Henry Woods, fellow and later President of Trinity. 34 Ward, A Writer's Recollections, 119; Wordsworth, Glimpses, 140. 35 L. Creighton, Life and Letters of Mandell Creighton (2 vols 1902), i, 84. 36 Ward, A Writer's Recollections, 152; Johnson, `First Beginnings', 26±7; `Women's Education at Oxford', Bodl. MS Top. Oxon. e. 537.


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These informal lectures for ladies, which continued till 1879, were part of the nationwide movement for women's higher education that gained momentum in the 1860s. Some of the young wives who came to Oxford in the following decade had personally bene®ted from itÐCharlotte Green (sister of the poet John Addington Symonds) had attended lectures in her native Clifton, while Bertha Johnson, wife of the historian A. H. Johnson, whose father was among the pioneers of nursing education in London, had studied at the Slade School of Art. Others came from families that belong in Gillian Sutherland's genealogy of educational reformers: Mary Ward, granddaughter of Thomas Arnold and niece of Matthew, Lavinia Talbot, neÂe Lyttelton, Rachel Vernon Harcourt, a daughter of Lord Aberdare who was later prominent among the founders of the coeducational University of Wales.37 At Oxford as elsewhere, moreover, a ®rst step towards formal provision for women's education was taken when the University ®nally agreed, in 1869, to open its local examinations to schoolgirls. Three years later Balliol and Worcester advertised exhibitions to be awarded on the results of these examinations, only to ®nd that top marks had gone to Annie Rogers, daughter of the controversial former Professor of Political Economy. Thorold Rogers, having failed (predictably) to persuade the Vice-Chancellor that he had powers to matriculate women, went on to organize a petition asking Council to admit them to undergraduate examinations. It responded by introducing in 1875 a new set of examinations `for women over eighteen' Ðan equivalent to the Cambridge Higher LocalsÐunder the auspices of the Delegacy for Local Examinations.38 This episode brought the University into consultation with Miss Beale and Miss Buss and opened the way for the argument that Oxford should provide lectures geared to the examinations. Annie Rogers, prepared by home tuition, was the only candidate for honours in 1877, but she was awarded a ®rst class. Historians have differed in their interpretation of the role of `feminists' in advancing reform of women's education in these years.39 But accounts of the foundation of the women's halls at Oxford agree on the weakness of links there with the women's movement. `My friends and I were all on ®re for women's education, including women's medical education, and very emulous of Cambridge, where the movement was already far advanced,' wrote Mary Ward. `But hardly any of us were at all on ®re for woman suffrage, wherein the Oxford educational movement differed greatly from the Cam37 G. Sutherland, `The movement for the higher education of women: its social and intellectual context, c.1840±80', in P. J. Waller (ed.), Politics and Social Change in Modern Britain (Brighton, 1987). 38 Rogers, Degrees by Degrees, 3±8; J. Roach, Public Examinations in England, 1850±1900 (1971), 121±2. 39 See, for example, Sutherland, `The movement for the higher education of women' and P. Levine, Feminist Lives in Victorian England (1990), 136±8, 142±6.

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bridge movement.'40 There is good authority for the claim that Oxford residents were wary of outside interference. Bertha Johnson recalled approaches from the `advanced' wing of the women's movement: Mrs Sheldon Amos, an associate of Josephine Butler's in the campaign against the Contagious Diseases Acts, and the group based on Moncure Conway's South Place Unitarian chapel in London.41 An offer was made through Conway in 1876 of £1,000 from Rose Mary Crawshay, the feminist wife of the Cyfarthfa ironmaster, towards the founding of a women's college. It was not taken up. Evidently, the patronage of `persons of views little acceptable to the Oxford world, would hardly commend a women's College to the University'.42 Yet women's suffrage did have its advocates within the university community. At meetings held in Lincoln College (by invitation from the Pattisons) and in the Corn Exchange, Thorold Rogers argued that votes for women would ensure them a share in educational endowments.43 In later years when `founding myths' were devised it became importantÐand not only for that leading anti-suffragist, Mrs WardÐto stress the distinctively conservative origins of women's higher education at Oxford. A contemporary observer might, however, have noted at both ancient Universities a minority who saw women's education as part of a broader feminist agenda, the difference lying perhaps above all in personalities. Henry Sidgwick's allies Henry and Millicent Garrett Fawcett, for example, despite their support for the suffrage agitation, were well-liked in Cambridge society.44 The same could not be said for Rogers or Pattison, while Francis Pattison was increasingly disenchanted with OxfordÐ`that hole', as she described it to a friend.45 Leadership in launching women's higher education in Oxford was unlikely to come from that quarter. More effective was the argument, voiced by socially concerned Anglicans of Scott Holland's `Holy Party', that Oxford and the Church were missing an opportunity to play their part in the education of schoolmistresses.46 On a visit to Girton in 1878 the Warden of Keble and his wife, Edward and Lavinia Talbot, conceived the idea of founding `a Keble in this sort of 40

Ward, A Writer's Recollections, 152. Con¯icting versions of Moncure Conway's approach are given in M. D. Conway, Autobiography, Memories and Experiences (2 vols 1904), ii, 266 and Johnson, `First Beginnings', 31±2. 42 Johnson, `First Beginnings', 32. 43 Women's Suffrage Journal, 1 July 1873, 111; 1 May 1878, 73±4. The Pattisons and Thorold Rogers belonged to the central committee of the National Society for Women's Suffrage. 44 For Mrs Fawcett's role in promoting Newnham see D. Rubinstein, A Different World for Women (1991), 26±7. 45 See her letters to Eleanor Smith, Dec. 1875, 15 Feb. 1882, Bodl. MS Pattison 118, fos 29, 72, and V. H. H. Green, Love in a Cool Climate: The Letters of Mark Pattison and Meta Bradley, 1879±1884 (1985), 10, 17±19. 46 Cf. Archbishop Benson's comment, `What is wanted is for the Church to reach the teachers and how is she to do this if they are all to go to Cambridge?'; Elizabeth Wordsworth to her sister Dora, 25 Apr 1884, quoted in Battiscombe, Reluctant Pioneer, 92. The Archbishop, being Henry Sidgwick's brother-in-law, was well informed about agnosticism at Cambridge. 41


a new collegiate pattern

Education'.47 On 4 June 1878 Talbot chaired a meeting in Keble at which the decision was taken `that it is desirable to attempt the Establishment in Oxford of a Small Hall or Hostel in Connection with the Church of England for the reception of women desirous of availing themselves of the special advantages which Oxford offers for higher Education'.48 Present at the meeting were Scott Holland and one or two sympathetic clergymen, University wives and other women prominent in the local Anglican community, including Miss Milman, sister of the late Bishop of Calcutta, and the wives of the Bishop of Oxford and of J. G. Talbot (Edward's elder brother), who was one of the University's Conservative MPs.49 A committee was set upÐthe Edward Talbots, Scott Holland, Bertha Johnson, and Miss Milman afforced by such University notables as Principal Harper of Jesus College, Professor Rolleston, Canons King, Ince, and Paget of Christ Church, W. A. Spooner of New College, and A. G. Butler of OrielÐto found and manage the hall. In November they appointed as Principal Elizabeth Wordsworth, daughter of a headmaster-bishop, and it was she who suggested naming the hall after Lady Margaret BeaufortÐgentlewoman, scholar, saint, and a benefactor of both Oxford and Cambridge colleges. Premises were found in a newly-built white brick house in Norham Gardens, the ®rst students arrived on 13 October 1879, and Lady Margaret Hall was formally opened by the Bishop of Oxford, Dr Mackarness, three days later. Talbot's initiative ®nally galvanized university liberals into action. An Anglican monopoly of women's higher education in Oxford was not acceptable. A committee was set up on 7 February 1879, including President Percival of Trinity, T. H. Green, A. G. Vernon Harcourt, and Mary Ward, to establish a hall `in which no distinction will be made between students on the ground of their belonging to different religious denominations'.50 The hall was named (at Humphry Ward's suggestion) after the mathematician Mary Somerville and the committee secured a short lease on Walton House, a survival from North Oxford's rural past, with three acres of land and a dilapidated coach-house and cottages. Somerville opened simultaneously with LMH. This was a disappointment for Talbot's committee which had agreedÐreluctantlyÐto adopt a conscience clause and accept non-Anglican students in the hope of staving off demand for `a secular, or unsectarian, or latitudinarian Hall for some time'.51 Various shades of opinion were represented in the party that founded Somerville. William Sidgwick, Henry 47

Talbot to Wordsworth, 23 April 1884, LMHA. LMH Council minute book, 1878±84, fo 1, LMHA. J. G. Talbot's wife Meriel was also a Lyttelton, Lavinia's elder sister. For his part in promoting the GPDSC, see the Journal of the Women's Education Union, 1 (15 July 1873), 121±3. 50 Somerville College General Meeting minute book. 51 E. Talbot to E. Wordsworth, 19 Nov 1878; L. Talbot to E. Wordsworth, 9 Dec. 1878, LMHA. 48 49

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Nettleship, and Vernon Harcourt attempted unsuccessfully to give it a secular constitution like that of Newnham.52 The Nettleships and Vernon Harcourts retained their connections with the hall, however, along with others whose beliefs were openly heterodox. A. H. D. Acland, Somerville's ®rst Treasurer, had renounced deacon's orders, while its Secretary Mary Ward followed T. H. Green in rejecting the miraculous aspect of Christianity.53 But liberal Christianity was the dominant ethos. Green's links with the Protestant Free Churches helped to attract daughters of dissenting families to SomervilleÐup to a quarter of its students in the early years were Nonconformists, rising to a third in the early twentieth centuryÐand President Fairbairn of Mans®eld College was elected in 1888 to its council. The ®rst President of Somerville's council was, however, an orthodox Anglican, John Percival, President of Trinity CollegeÐlike Edward Talbot, a future bishop, although a Low Churchman and a political RadicalÐand he found the hall its ®rst Principal, Madeleine Shaw Lefevre, sister of the Liberal MP for Reading, a pious churchwoman whose social acquaintance in Oxford (like that of Miss Wordsworth) was already extensive.54 Both halls were regarded at ®rst simply as hostels. Educational provision for their students was in the hands of a separate organization, founded to provide lectures for candidates for the Local Examinations Delegacy's certi®cate for women over 18. The Association for Promoting the Higher Education of Women in Oxford (AEW) was set up on 22 June 1878 under the presidency of the Master of University College, G. G. Bradley.55 Both halls were represented on its committee, as were the organizers of the existing lectures for ladiesÐit was agreed that at least half the members would be ladies resident in OxfordÐand the association had the support of many university men.56 AEW lectures were intended not only for students at LMH and Somerville but were open also to the daughters of University and city families and women living with `hostesses' approved by the association. The only condition, signalling the academic seriousness of the project, was that students should work for examinations: if not those set by the Local 52 Somerville College, General Meeting minute book, 15 Feb 1879. Smith, A. L. Smith, 135, notes that A. G. Vernon Harcourt played games in the garden with his children `on principle, as it were' on Sundays. 53 Bertha Johnson's comments on Mary Ward's `vague religion' are recorded in J. P. Trevelyan, The Life of Mrs. Humphry Ward (1923), 28. 54 W. Temple, Life of Bishop Percival (1921), 76. As Principal of Somerville, Miss Shaw Lefevre read prayers from the Anglican Prayer Book every morning at eight, and students were expected to attend. 55 Bradley was among the promoters of Oxford Girls' High School; Journal of the Women's Education Union, 3 (15 Feb. 1875), 26±7. Meta Bradley, whose intimate relationship with Pattison gave rise to gossip, was his niece; see Green, Love in a Cool Climate. 56 AEW Minute Book, 1878±82, Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. 45 d. 1046, fos 5, 8; AEW Report for 1879±80; MS. Top. Oxon. d. 1055. Early subscribers to the AEW guarantee fund included eight heads of HousesÐPattison gave £100Ðseven professors, and over thirty academic residents.


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f i g u r e 10.3 An undergraduate cartoonist's view of mixed classes: women students, accompanied by chaperons, attending one of J. F. Bright's inter-collegiate modern history lectures delivered during Michaelmas term 1882 in the hall of University College.

Examinations Delegacy, then for termly examinations set by the AEW on lecture subjects. Distinguished names appeared on the AEW's ®rst lecture lists in 1879/80ÐA. C. Bradley on English literature, Arnold Toynbee on political economy, and Henry Nettleship on Latin and Greek. It was agreed too, though not without some opposition, that `the Assoc[iatio]n does not object to the attendance of Students at lectures given to members of the University', provided special places were reserved for them and a lady representing the AEW acted as chaperon.57 The following year A. G. Vernon Harcourt became the ®rst lecturer to give mixed classes when he admitted association students to his undergraduate chemistry lectures in Christ Church.58 In 1882 the Master of University College, J. Franck Bright, and G. W. Kitchin, Censor of the Unattached Students, obtained permission, in one case from his college, in the other from his delegacy to open their lectures to women (see Figure 10.3). By 1897 only one college, Magdalen, denied this freedom to its tutors.59 The AEW continued to arrange its own supplementary lectures and classes as well as subsidiary schemes for women's educationÐa correspondence course was started in 1882, a teacher57 Percival and Jowett at ®rst objected to the idea of women attending college lectures, as did Miss Wordsworth and Miss Shaw Lefevre; Rogers to Butler [n.d. 1929], Rogers MSS, SACA; Green to Wordsworth, 14 June 1880, LMH. 58 AEW Minute Book, 1878±82, fo 42 (29 Oct. 1879). 59 Ibid., fo 61 (12 June 1880).

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training scheme in 1887, and English language classes for foreign students in the early twentieth century.60 The association's role in arranging tutorial teaching was soon challenged by Somerville, the ®rst hall to acquire tutors of its own, but it remained important as a link between the halls and in dealings with the University on matters concerning women. Provision for women's education at Oxford resembled the early years of Newnham, where many students prepared for the Cambridge Higher Locals rather than tripos examinations and women attended lectures either as `outstudents' or residents in a hall run on domestic lines. Advice from Miss Clough was sought by the hall principals and among the ®rst women to lecture at Oxford were Mrs Fawcett and the Newnham economist Mary Paley Marshall.61 The Sidgwick connection was strengthened when the youngest of the three brothers, Arthur, moved to a Corpus fellowship in 1879 after a period as schoolmaster at Rugby. Equally committed to `the great business of women's education', Arthur Sidgwick became Secretary of the AEW (1882±1907)Ðworking in tandem with its Lady SecretaryÐand later President (1907±15).62 He was also on Somerville's council and his daughters, Rose and Margie, read Modern History as home students. Henry and Arthur SidgwickÐand their wives Eleanor and CharlotteÐwere robust supporters of women's suffrage. Its opponents, according to Arthur, relied on the same arguments as were used against women's higher educationÐ `what were called the Bloom, the Sphere and the Health arguments'.63 But as members of an academic community the Sidgwick brothers were also alive to the sensibilities of their colleagues and the dif®culties of integrating women. They did not always take quite the same line. Henry was more passionately committed to modernizing the undergraduate curriculum: his efforts to protect women students from its worst features caused Newnham to be associated (to some extent misleadingly) with the principle of `separatism' or `difference' in women's education.64 Arthur's approach was more relaxed and empirical (see below, pp. 280±1). On the need for a conciliatory 60 The teacher-training scheme was not a success. From 1897 AEW students took the University's Diploma in Education, supervised by a tutor for women employed by the Delegacy in charge of the course. From 1897 to 1914 the post was held by Miss A. J. Cooper, formerly headmistress of Edgbaston High School. 61 Adams, Somerville, 24±5; R. McWilliams Tullberg, `Mary Paley Marshall, 1850±1944', in M. A. Dimand, R. W. Dimand, and E. L. Forget (eds), Women of Value: Feminist Essays on the History of Women in Economics (Aldershot, 1995), 160. Mrs Fawcett lectured in 1877 on `Certain points of political economy'; Ward, A Writer's Recollections, 153. 62 Sidgwick to Murray, 31 Dec 1904, Bodl. MS Murray 168, fo 61. 63 Speech at a debate held at the Union during the extension Summer Meeting; Women's Gazette and Weekly News, 17 Aug 1889, 661 (and see below p. 281). 64 S. Delamont, `The contradictions in ladies' education', in S. Delamont and L. Duf®n (eds), The Nineteenth-Century Woman, her Cultural and Physical World (1978); G. Sutherland, `Emily Davies, the Sidgwicks and the education of women in Cambridge', in R. Mason (ed.), Cambridge Minds (1994), 38±40.


a new collegiate pattern

approach and the inadvisability of `uncompromising' demands for equality for women, voiced at times by Emily Davies and the London-based committee that ran Girton, the Sidgwicks were, however, at one. No pressures of that sort were experienced in Oxford. The Oxford scenario had other distinctive features, the most signi®cant being the patronage of in¯uential members of the Church party. Whereas Girton, though formally `Church of England', was widely regarded as `undenominational and non-religious', Lady Margaret Hall had an Anglican culture and commitment that was recognized within, and even beyond, the University.65 Despite its Tractarian associations it was never, as the general public supposed, a `hotbed of Ritualism'ÐElizabeth Wordsworth was a High Anglican of the plain, old-fashioned sort.66 But she shared Talbot's vision of the hall as `the servant and instrument of the Church': the higher education of women was to her `a prosy thing . . . without religion'.67 She herself founded a second Anglican hall, St Hugh's, in 1886 and installed another bishop's daughter, Annie Moberly, as its Principal. A third, St Hilda's, was opened by Dorothea Beale, Principal of Cheltenham Ladies' College, in 1893. These af®liations with Anglicanism both entrenched and complicated the position of the women's societies at Oxford. The women's halls were private ventures, dependent on goodwill for their survival. Although the committees that ran them included male dons, they had no claims on the University. Whereas Cambridge in 1881 of®cially recognized Newnham and Girton as colleges presenting students for examination, the Oxford halls remained extramural and unrecognized until 1910, when a Delegacy for Women Students was set up. Fortunately the Church connection, like Somerville's af®liations with University liberalism, secured them a base of support that extended beyond enthusiasts for women's higher education. The fact remained that many Anglicans viewed it with deep ambivalence, despite a growing awareness of the practical need to equip middle-class womenÐincluding clergy daughtersÐto earn a living. Miss Wordsworth's brother John, when she was invited to become Principal of a women's hall, had told her, `If I thought your not going would put an end to the whole thing, I should say, Don't go; but as I don't suppose it will, I think you had better accept.'68 Her father as Bishop of Lincoln made known his disapproval of `systems of Education which set before women the cultivation of the intellect and the attainment of knowledge as ends for 65 Leading article on `University Examinations for Women', Guardian, 23 Apr. 1884, 601a, b; see also M. C. Bradbrook, `That In®del Place': A Short History of Girton College 1869±1989 (1969). 66 Wordsworth, Glimpses, 160. 67 LMH Council minutes, 30 Apr 1910; E. Wordsworth to her sister Dora, 21 Feb. 1894, Wordsworth MSS, LMHA. 68 Wordsworth, Glimpses, 136.

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which they ought to strive'. `The only true ``higher Education of Woman''' was, for Christopher Wordsworth, `that which trains her to look upwards to God.'69 These were not, it must be remembered, opponents of the reform of women's education.70 Anglican discourse was shaped partly by a reaction against secular and materialist in¯uences that also affected the education of menÐnot least, the secularization of Oxford and Cambridge colleges. But Victorian domestic ideology, which idealized women's family roles and qualities of purity and gentleness that were fostered by a sheltered life, had deep roots in Church tradition.71 Miss Wordsworth herself recognized that `church people were naturally afraid that University life and studies might entail some loss of Christian womanliness.'72 The reputation acquired (however unjustly) by the Cambridge women's colleges for encouraging both free-thinking and bad manners enhanced such prejudice.73 `From all I hear the young ladies do not become very amiable or attractive members of society,' wrote Lord Salisbury. `I dare say these Colleges are useful as furnishing a diploma to ladies who wish to be Governesses: but for any other purpose I should do my utmost to dissuade any female relation over whom I had in¯uence from going there.'74 The close links between provision for women's higher education and the Church at Oxford created pressures to adapt to an ethos that was highly conservative, particularly in its mistrust of the idea of the women's college. The AEW continued to make a point of providing for non-resident students, whereas at Newnham the number of out-students dwindled. In 1893 a Society of Oxford Home Students was set up with its own committee and Principal, Bertha Johnson, and it lasted for ®fty years.75 The halls remained smallÐthe largest, Somerville, had fewer than eighty students in residence at the turn of the century and about a hundred in 1914. Early prospectuses advertised their domestic lifestyle: LMH modelled itself on a `Christian family', Somerville on an `English family'. They merged into the suburbs of the medieval city, as did the AEW with its rented lecturerooms, at ®rst above a bakery in Little Clarendon Street, then in a former 69

C. Wordsworth, Christian Womanhood and Christian Sovereignty (1884), 38±9, 44. As Bishop of Salisbury John Wordsworth was regarded as a progressive Churchman for his support of girls' public schools; Women's Herald, 24 Oct 1891, 843. 71 L. Davidoff and C. Hall, Family Fortunes. Men and Women of the English Middle Classes 1780±1850 (1987), part 1; J. N. Burstyn, Victorian Education and the Ideal of Womanhood (1980), 99±115. 72 Letter from the Principal, LMH Council minute book, 1884±94, fo 144. 73 Pattison's claim that `in a large party, I could detect a Newnham or Girton girl at once' is recorded in Johnson, `First Beginnings', 29±30. 74 Salisbury to Lady John Manners, 7 Oct. 1883, P. Smith, Lord Salisbury on Politics (1972), 18. 75 In 1942 its name was changed to St Anne's Society and ten years later St Anne's became the ®fth Oxford women's college; M. Reeves, St Anne's College, Oxford: An Informal History (1979). 70


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Baptist chapel down an alleyway behind Pusey House. This modest scale of operation was dictated in part by shortage of funds. The Anglican halls, not surprisingly, were particularly hard pressed. A series of appeals to Church people produced little result at LMH. St Hugh's was fortunate in securing the patronage of a wealthy suffragette, Clara Evelyn Mordan, but the major benefaction which enabled the college to move to purpose-built premises came only after her death in 1915.76 Miss Beale, who was not a believer in educational endowments, left St Hilda's a mere £500 in her will.77 At various stages in the evolution of the halls, however, it was made plain that any growth in scale or academic aspirations challenged the basis on which some Oxford men were willing to countenance them. The point was hammered home in a notorious sermon by J. W. Burgon, a close friend of the Wordsworth family, revisiting Oxford from the deanery of Chichester to preach in New College chapel on 8 June 1884.78 Despite his textÐ`To educate young women like young men and with young men, a thing inexpedient and immodest'ÐBurgon confessed that he had at ®rst seen no objection to the opening of Somerville and LMH. The Halls were essentially private dwelling-houses. They existed quite independently of the University system. Many of us viewed them with sympathyÐ(I avow myself of the number)Ðbecause they seemed to provide the safeguard of a pious home for just a very few young gentlewomen who coveted access to some of the educational advantages of this place. Presided over by those whose names carry with them the savour of whatever is most admirable in Woman, the system pursued at the two Halls commended itself to our Christian chivalry, and won our con®dence. But already has the object of the Halls become a thing of the vanished past.79

The sermon was prompted by the University's decision to allow women to sit certain undergraduate examinations and its argument was partly addressed to that issue. Women would be exposed to the `obscenities of Greek and Roman literature' and the `irreligious system of philosophy' taught at Oxford, educated in a manner that was irrelevant to their future lives, and brought into competition with men in which they were bound to be the losers. `Inferior to us God made you, and inferior to the end of time you will remain.' But Dean Burgon was also troubled by the `essential immodesty' of introducing into a men's university `an ever-increasing body of marriageable and attractive young Women'Ðand equally by the danger that the university 76 P. Grif®n (ed.), St Hugh's: One Hundred Years of Women's Education in Oxford (1986), 31±4. Problems of fund-raising are discussed in Howarth and Curthoys, `Political economy of women's higher education' (n. 10), 213±15; for the rather more successful early appeals at Somerville see Adams, Somerville, 16, 21±4. 77 M. E. Rayner, St. Hilda's College: A Centenary History (1993), 21, 30. 78 Wordsworth, Glimpses, 159. 79 J. W. Burgon, A Sermon preached before the University of Oxford in New College Chapel, Trinity Sunday 1884 (1884), 25.

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woman would lose her femininity and become a `very disagreeable creature'. Elsewhere he claimed: `Already are men of re®nement in Oxford heard to express disgust at seeing young girls ape the manners, language, even the slang and swagger of the undergraduates.'80 These imputations were hotly denied by Thorold Rogers (among others) and Burgon's strong language made him a ®gure of fun.81 Yet the contradictory images evoked by his sermon are echoed in caricatures depicting women students in Shrimpton's series.82 Often they are represented as seductive and the `sweet girl graduate', stereotyped by Tennyson's Princess, is sometimes juxtaposed with the `fond undergraduate'. Other caricatures are less sympathetic, like W. S. Gilbert's parody Princess Ida, ®rst performed in 1884. Some images are sexually subversive or repellent. One caption reads: Where are you going to my pretty Maid? I'm going to lecture sir, she said And what is the subject, my pretty maid The total extinction of man, she said. Then nobody'll marry you my pretty maid Advanced women don't marry good sir, she said.

Women are shown illustrating the `John Stuart Millennium' in a variety of male undergraduate roles, or ¯ourishing their cigarettes in a manner that recalls Charles Dodgson's description of the `Girton Girl' as `fast and ``mannish''' (see Figures 10.4a, 4b, 5, 6).83 These were fantasiesÐor nightmaresÐthat caught the imagination in a celibate male community, as did another recurring image, the woman proctor in authority over men (she too may be either a seductive or a threatening ®gure). The remoteness of these caricatures from contemporary reality can be seen from the fact that female students are almost always shown wearing the undergraduate cap and gown (often portrayed as sexually provocative accessories), whereas Oxford women did not wear academic dress until they became members of the University after the First World War. A message came through clearly, however, in the late Victorian years when the women's societies were establishing themselves. Women in Oxford were a very `muted group'.84 Survival as a presence in Oxford would depend not just on the merits of their cause but on managing the evolution of women's academic communities in such a way as to reassure local opinion. 80

Letter in the Daily News, 24 Apr. 1884, 6d. Daily News, 28 Apr. 1884, 7f±g. 82 Shrimpton's Oxford caricatures (7 vols, c.1868±?), Bodl. G. A. Oxon 40, 412±15; Rogers, Degrees by Degrees, 19. 83 Morton N. Cohen (ed.), The Letters of Lewis Carroll (2 vols, 1979), i, 565. 84 See S. Delamont, Knowledgeable Women (1989), 14±18. 81


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f i g u r e 10.4a a n d 10.4b A caricaturist's fantasies of women students in science and mathematics, c.1880

f i g u r e 10.5 `A Student of Somerville Hall gains a Fellowship': a representation of `sweet girl graduates' and women dons, c.1880

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f i g u r e 10.6 Women assuming male roles in a cartoonist's (John Stuart) Mill-ennium, c.1880. They are shown (clockwise from left) delivering a well-aimed punch in a town-gown `row' on Guy Fawkes night, rowing on the river, competing in athletics, smoking and carousing, sitting an examination, orating at the Union, and patrolling the High Street as Proctors. At the centre is an imagined scene in the Sheldonian Theatre at Commemoration where women are depicted occupying the undergraduates' gallery and, in a further reversal of contemporary custom, raising raucous cheers of appreciation for `The Gentlemen'.


a new collegiate pattern c ol l e giat e de v e l o p m ent a nd r elations with the university

Four stages in that process of evolution belong to the decades before 1914Ð the opening of undergraduate examinations to women, the increasingly collegiate character of the halls, the move to open the BA degree (unsuccessful in 1896 but promising results by the eve of the First World War) and the establishment in 1910 of a Delegacy for Women Students, which largely superseded the AEW, bringing women under of®cial University supervision. Each stage brought improvements in the status of women within Oxford (while sometimes creating new anomalies) and each generated controversies, of which copious records were kept by participantsÐchie¯y by Annie Rogers, Bertha Johnson, and Somerville's second and third Principals, Agnes Maitland and Emily PenroseÐwho were conscious that history was being made. The outcome of these changes was to transform the experience of Oxford for women students and bring into being a class of women dons whose place in the movement had not been foreseen by the founders of the halls and AEW.85 The framework of women's lives became more professional and they gainedÐthough always within sensitive boundariesÐmore space for development. Miss Rogers's brisk and entertaining account of what was said and written at the time in encounters with the University brings out, however, the unreality of much contemporary debate about women. Opponents claimed and supporters denied that each step forward must eventually turn Oxford into a `mixed' (or `sexless', or `epicene') university.86 Positions were adopted for tactical reasons by the AEW in order to disarm critics, who were equally casuistical in disguising sentiment as principle. Nor was the AEW itself immune from con¯ict. What was really at stake from the women's standpoint in these controversies? The right to enter students for University examinations quickly became an issue of survival. The Oxford Local Delegacy's examinations for women, though supposedly of degree standard, were not accepted by employers as the equivalent of a class in the tripos or a London BA, and the halls found dif®culty in ®lling places and awarding scholarships. Early in 1884 122 resident MAs signed a petition organized by Arthur Sidgwick for the AEW, asking that `women may be admitted to some, at least, of men's Honour Examinations'.87 It was a modest request and the AEW gave hostages to fortune in order to secure it, pledging itself not to agitate for degrees and suggesting that residence in Oxford should not be a requirement for women candidates. A statute proposed by Council, permitting women to sit classical honour moderations and the honour schools of Mathematics, 85 See F. Perrone, `University Teaching as a Profession for Women in Oxford, Cambridge and London, 1870±1930' (unpublished Oxford D.Phil thesis, 1991). 86 [Gardner], `Women at Oxford and Cambridge' (n. 13), 538. 87 Rogers, Degrees by Degrees, 15.

the women's colleges


Natural Science, and Modern History, was carried in Congregation (107 votes to 72) on 11 March 1884, but faced renewed opposition in Convocation where, at a crowded meeting in the Sheldonian on 29 April, invaded by undergraduates who greeted Burgon with mingled cheers and hisses, it ®nally passed by 464 votes to 321.88 The opposition was led by Canon Liddon, but his allies included some liberal heads of houses such as Sir William Anson and George Brodrick; it failed chie¯y because the clerical party split, exposing (to Talbot's distress) the rift between older and younger Tractarians on women's education.89 The sequel was intriguing, for admission to examinations treated in 1884 as less suitable for women was conceded in the following decade without controversy: Responsions in 1886, Greats in 1888, Jurisprudence in 1890, Theology and Oriental Studies in 1893, and all remaining examinations for the BA in 1894Ðincluding the pass schools which, at Henry Sidgwick's insistence, remained closed to women at Cambridge. The B.Mus. and D.Mus. examinations were also opened between 1885 and 1893. No attempt was made, for obvious reasons, to gain access for women to the examinations for the BD, a vocational quali®cation for clergymen. The only tussle came over access to medical examinations. Despite an initiative in 1890 by the Regius Professor of Medicine, Henry Acland, to open the BM examinations, the University was swayed by special pleading. If women are to study medicine in Oxford, they will have, in the midst of young men at the Museum and the In®rmary, to investigate those delicate matters which are of the very essence of medicine . . . The very existence of such a class of young women, and much more their intercourse with young men, will increase the dif®culty of dealing with the relations of the sexes in this place.90

The AEW did not revive the issueÐthere was no professional advantage for women in taking Oxford's BM examinations while they were not eligible for the degreeÐand medical examinations remained closed until 1917. The terms on which women were admitted to undergraduate examinations were highly anomalous but not without advantages. Partly as a concession to anxieties about the effect of examination work on women's health, they were not subjected to the rules that required male Schools candidates to pass qualifying and intermediate examinations and to complete the course in a set period of time. This was the ¯exible approach to women's higher education favoured at Newnham. But unlike Cambridge, Oxford also refrained from imposing any residence requirement on women candidates. In the following decades a trickle of candidates from the London women's 88

Daily News, 30 Apr. 1884, 5g. Battiscombe, Reluctant Pioneer, 92. Thomas Case, `Objections to the Proposed Statute for Admitting Women to the Examinations for the Degree of Bachelor of Medicine', 12 June 1890, Bodl. G. A. Oxon. 8 455(6). 89 90


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colleges chose to take Oxford examinations in preference to London degrees.91 Again unlike Cambridge, the University distanced itself from of®cial responsibility for women candidates. Technically, until 1910, they were still examined by the Delegacy of Local Examinations, which merely gained the right to make use of undergraduate examination papers. Not until 1890 did the University begin regularly to publish class lists for women, in the Gazette, which gave their results separately from the men's.92 In refusing to take of®cial note of the women's societies the University did, as Miss Rogers observed, allow them freedom to develop and proliferate.93 No sanction was requiredÐas it would have been at CambridgeÐfor the new foundations of St Hugh's and St Hilda's or the creation of the Society of Home Students. Nevertheless the curious constitutional arrangements governing the examination of women after 1884 signalled a profound uncertainty about the future of women in Oxford. Examinations were in themselves signi®cant less because they brought the sexes into competitionÐas Arthur Sidgwick pointed out, the men were not going to be governesses or teachers in girls' high schoolsÐthan because they brought men and women into formal academic contact in the Examination Schools.94 What new lines could be drawn to safeguard the `manly' life of the university? Thomas Case foresaw that numbers of women students would grow and he predicted the consequences. `A few women can be secluded in halls but, when there are many, the Universities possess no force which can prevent young men from mixing with young women. The fact is that the scheme is only manageable while it is on a small scale.'95 `Are women to be admitted eventually at Oxford to a position of complete academical equality with men?' asked Liddon.96 Similar questions arose in the controversy that developed over the relationship between the AEW and the halls. Would the women's societies evolve into colleges with tutors of their own, autonomous academic communities like the men's colleges? Somerville adopted articles of incorporation in 1881, when it bought the freehold of Walton House from St John's, and appointed its ®rst resident tutor, Lilla Haigh, as early as 1882. In 1894 its name was changed to `Somerville College' in order to `improve the educational status of Somerville in the eyes of the public' and show `the desire of the Governing Body to raise it above the level of a Hall of Residence'.97 91 At Royal Holloway about half the students in the 1890s took Oxford's examinations but fewer after 1900: C. Bingham, The History of Royal Holloway College 1886±1986 (1987), 82±3, 96. 92 Publication approved, 27 May 1890: Gazette xx. 429. 93 Degrees by Degrees, 25. 94 Sidgwick, letter to The Times, 28 Apr. 1884, 6f. 95 Letter of 29 Apr. 1884, repr. in R. B. Mowat (ed.), Letters to `The Times', 1884±1922, written by Thomas Case (1927), 34. 96 Letter to the Guardian, 23 Apr. 1884, 613a. 97 Adams, Somerville, 47.

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A porters' lodge and gatehouse put up on the Woodstock Road in 1891 were the ®rst distinctively collegiate buildings associated with women's education in Oxford.98 The model (pace Vera Brittain) was still Newnham rather than Girton.99 The domestic atmosphere was preserved as Somerville expanded by commissioning a separate building in the grounds, in the Queen Anne style of many North Oxford houses and with its own dining- and drawingrooms.100 But the two buildings were linked in 1904 by a handsome library, designed by Newnham's architect, Basil Champneys, and partly ®nanced by a grant from the Pfeiffer Trust.101 The regime of separate dining ended when the college ®nally commissioned a large panelled dining hall, opened by the Vice-Chancellor in 1913. Despite Miss Shaw Lefevre's lingering dread of `becoming like an institution', the logic of collegiate development was readily accepted at Somerville.102 This was not the case at LMH and Somerville's policy caused much tension. The more it became independent of the AEW's teaching arrangements by appointing resident women tutors of its own, the more LMH came under pressure to do likewise. Somerville's moves towards academic independence also con¯icted with the authority of the Association's Lady Secretary, a post held from 1883 to 1894 by Bertha Johnson and then by Annie Rogers (1894±1920), both of whom had helped launch women's higher education in Oxford and regarded it as their life's work. The collegiate development of the halls also threatened to undermine the home student system, which depended for its survival on the willingness of the other societies to subsidize its overheads and refrain from putting their own students in lodgings. As in the case of the men non-collegiates, moreover, the attractions of college life encouraged home students to migrate to a hall. A decisive moment came with the events that led to the resignation of Bertha Johnson as Lady Secretary in 1894. Mrs Johnson, a woman of ability and charm who continued to favour the Liberty gowns of the 1870s long after they had gone out of fashion, was an in¯uential ®gure in University society: wife of the secretary of the Modern History Association, herself secretary of LMH but with a circle of friends that included Charlotte Green, who sat on Somerville's council. Her policy was to maintain the role of the AEW as the body in charge of educational provision for all women students 98

Ibid. xii, plate 10 (this plate is wrongly labelled `the pre-1933 approach to House'). Brittain, Women at Oxford (n. 11), 36. 100 V. Farnell, A Somervillian Looks Back (1948), 6. 101 An endowment of £2,500 from the Pfeiffer Trust, originally given in 1892 to fund scholarships, was the largest benefaction received by Somerville before the twentieth century. The Trust was an important source of funds for non-denominational women's colleges, but the Anglican foundations were not eligible for its support. See B. Herbertson, The Pfeiffer Bequest and the Education of Women; A Centenary Review (1993); Adams, Somerville, 61. For work by Champneys in Oxford see p. 254±6. 102 Ibid. 42. 99


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and to insist on the Lady Secretary's responsibility for direction of their studies. Students were required to call on her at the start of each term for permission to attend lectures and she personally arranged the distribution of History students among men tutors at a termly meeting in her house in Merton Street. Discontent with this regime built up at Somerville, which in 1886 appointed as history tutor one of its own students who had taken a ®rst in schools, Eleanor Powell, only to ®nd that she was refused permission to lecture for the association. Mrs Johnson was not a good administrator and the claim that she, rather than the Principal, should oversee teaching arrangements had never been conceded. Relations deteriorated when Miss Shaw Lefevre was succeeded in 1889 by Agnes Maitland, a forceful newcomer to Oxford whose loyalties were solely to Somerville. Her policy of non-cooperation with the Lady Secretary was met by pointed remarks about `one . . . who is not yet accustomed to our Assoc[iation] methods of work'.103 But Somerville's council forced the issue. After some ill-tempered meetings the oversight of teaching arrangements was transferred from the Lady Secretary to a subcommittee of the AEW on which the principals also sat, and a new set of rules rede®ned the responsibilities of the association and the halls. The last straw for Bertha Johnson was Somerville's decision to appoint its own tutors in classics and modern languagesÐin her eyes a `dishonest and dishonourable' move that threatened the viability of collective teaching arrangements on which the poorer women's societies depended.104 Finances were patched up by an increase in the subsidy paid to the AEW by the halls and there was general relief when Mrs Johnson resigned. But as Principal of Home Students and a member of the AEW's committee she remained a power to be reckoned with and bruised feelings lingered on. `You really care far more than most people and therefore suffer moreÐof such is the army of martyrs,' wrote Charlotte Green.105 An issue only partly resolved by these developments was the status of women dons at Oxford. They had little place in Mrs Johnson's vision of the future of women's education in the University. She hoped that the AEW would be of®cially recognized as a Delegacy with various institutions under its umbrellaÐa teacher-training college and one for extension students as well as the women's hallsÐand with purpose-built premises including a common room for home students.106 Women would continue to be taught largely by male donsÐ`the most valuable part of the Oxford training for women', in her view. It was `often the student's one chance of real contact 103 Johnson to Maitland, 24 Oct. 14 Dec. [1891], Johnson to Ray Lankester (copy), 13 Dec. [1891], AEW ®le (box 2), SCA. 104 Rogers MSS, notes on Johnson to Rogers, Oct. and Nov. 1894, SACA; Butler and Prichard, Society of Oxford Home Students, 37±41. 105 Johnson MSS, Green to Johnson 6 May 1895, SACA. 106 Johnson, Scheme for AEW work with the halls, Jan. 1893, SACA.

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with minds very different from her own' and students told her `over and over again' how much they appreciated it.107 There is little evidence, however, of serious support for an expanded role for the AEW. The association had no funds of its own beyond one or two scholarships (although a loan fund for needy students was set up in 1894 to commemorate Mrs Johnson's work). In a collegiate University even men who regretted the way Somerville was developing could recognize the growth of `college feeling' in the women's halls as an irresistible fact.108 But there was tension between the mission of the AEWÐto adapt women's higher education to Oxford traditionsÐand the priorities of an emerging body of women academics. Annie Rogers, who succeeded Mrs Johnson as the AEW's Lady Secretary, found herself at the centre of this struggle. Miss Rogers believed that women's higher education must continue to draw on the in¯uence of University men and that an autonomous woman's college risked becoming like a girls' school.109 But she had taught classics for the AEW from the beginning and was also keen to expand opportunities for women tutors. She identi®ed with the interests of women in the academic profession whereas (as she later commented) `Mrs. Johnson was not a professional woman and her sympathies were with the student.'110 Miss Rogers was to ®nd, however, that the role of Lady Secretary brought her into con¯ict with hall tutors. They did not share her view of the importance of the home student system as part of the web that tied women's education into the fabric of Oxford society and they were critical of the continuing role of non-academic women as voting members of the AEW. Above all they disliked her own role, jealously guarded, as chief negotiator on behalf on the women's societies with the University, consulting selectively with principals but not at all with tutors. Relations between the association and the halls continued to be touchy. The events of 1894 highlighted differences between LMH and Somerville, which had hitherto made common cause on educational questions. A hostel for young ladies, small enough to ensure the personal in¯uence of the principal on each individual and with no staff but one or two vice-principals who did a little coachingÐthat was the picture of LMH originally shared by Miss Wordsworth and her council. It was now no longer viable. In 1894 a public appeal for £10,000 to ®nance the expansion of the hall was launched under the patronage of A. J. Balfour, Lord Cranbrook, and the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1895 LMH appointed its ®rst tutor, the historian Eleanor Lodge. The transition from hall to college was much more dif®cult than at Somerville. There were individual council members who welcomed it in 107 108 109 110

Bertha Johnson's notes for evidence given to Hebdomadal Council, Nov. 1895, SACA. Spooner to Johnson, 8 Dec. 1892, 27 Oct. 1894, SACA. Adams, Somerville, 52. Rogers MSS, Rogers to Butler (n.d. c.1928).


a new collegiate pattern

principleÐsuch as A. L. Smith, who coached the hall's hockey team (and whose daughters went to Girton)Ðbut several who did not.111 Dr Ince resigned in protest against moves to acquire a hockey ®eld; Lucy Soulsby, headmistress of Oxford High School, regretted the trend in `woman's modern education' towards an emphasis on academic rather than spiritual development; the hall's second chairman, Warden Spooner, found himself `much out of sympathy with the more go-ahead party in the women's education movement'.112 Miss Wordsworth herself, despite lingering regrets at the loss of intimacy as the hall grew, emerged as a staunch advocate of increased provision at Oxford for the daughters of Church families. She fought a series of battles with her council over the building of a new block of student roomsÐWordsworth Building, completed in 1896Ðand the addition of a dining hall and library, opened by the Chancellor in 1910, a year after her retirement.113 The precariousness of the hall's ®nances made these projects genuinely risky. LMH was not incorporated until 1913, apparently through fear of jeopardizing its religious basis, and meanwhile council members remained personally liable for its debts. The search for benefactors remained unsuccessful.114 Even the corrugated iron dining hall which served as a makeshift from 1896 to 1910 was ®nanced only by a loan from Miss Wordsworth.115 The foundation of the two later Anglican halls took place against this background of worries about both the ethos of women's education in Oxford and how to fund it. St Hugh's began in 1886 as a private venture of Miss Wordsworth's: she used a legacy to rent and furnish a house in Norham Road for poor students, after the LMH council had refused to sponsor a hostel for this purpose. Whether it was originally intended to become an independent hall is not clear. In 1893, in a move to strengthen and expand LMH, Miss Wordsworth proposed to absorb St Hugh's, now installed in a neighbouring house in Norham Gardens and running at a pro®t. Annie Moberly, understandably dismayed, found the LMH council sympathetic to pleas that St Hugh's should keep its independence. Tribute was paid to her success in establishing the hallÐbut council minutes reveal that this was not the only consideration behind the rejection of Miss Wordsworth's scheme. `The presence of a number of poorer students in the whole body formed by amalgamation would to a certain extent lower the present proportion of Honour to Pass students in LMH' and it was `possible if not 111

Smith, A. L. Smith, 188; Bailey, Lady Margaret Hall (n. 19), 80. Ince to Johnson, 31 May 1894, LMH Council minute book, 1884±94, fo 151; Soulsby to Sewell, 18 Feb. 1888, quoted in E. L. Sewell (ed.), Autobiography of Elizabeth M. Sewell (1907), 230; W. Hayter, Spooner: A Biography (1977), 89. 113 Battiscombe, Reluctant Pioneer, 150±1, 177±8, 188. 114 LMH Council minutes, 1 July 1903. 115 Ibid. 28 Nov. 1895. 112

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probable that the tone and average standard would not be quite so select & high'.116 Ultimately St Hugh's, which was not burdened with such high aspirations, found the path of institutional development less problematic in the pre-war years.117 Re-established under an independent committee in 1894, it adopted articles of incorporation and the name `College' in 1911. A four-acre site (bordering the Banbury and St Margaret's Roads) for a new collegiate building, to which St Hugh's moved in 1916, was acquired shortly before the war.118 The early history of the latest Anglican foundation, St Hilda's, was rather differentÐit was the only hall to be started by an initiative from outside the UniversityÐbut here too the uncertain status of women at Oxford created dif®culties. Its founder, Dorothea Beale, was a Churchwoman with a recognized position as a pioneer in the education of girls and women. As Principal of Cheltenham Ladies' College (CLC) she had developed a unique complex of institutions: a highly successful girls' public school, a senior departmentÐ St Hilda's, CheltenhamÐwhich prepared women for the London BA as external students and trained teachers, a kindergarten, and a settlement run by old Cheltonians in London's East End. Oxford men had assisted her as visiting lecturers and examiners at the college and members of its governing body. The idea for an Oxford hall that would complement the resources of CLC grew out of these associations. Secure in her reputation in the educational world, Dorothea Beale saw no need to conform to the rules laid down by the AEW. Her intention was that Cheltenham students and teachersÐ some of whom were already London graduatesÐshould attend lectures without the obligation to prepare for examinations. Oxford women were too insecure about the viability of their own enterprise (and perhaps too sensitive about Miss Beale's achievements as an empire-builder) to view this scheme favourably when it was ®rst proposed in 1889. It would, Miss Wordsworth argued, lower the standard of work and encourage `dilettantism'.119 She spoke for Somerville as well in deprecating the foundation of a new women's hall at a time when both halls were struggling to attract students.120 This time it was Miss Wordsworth who raised objections to making Oxford more accessible to poor women, referring to a rumour (in fact unfounded) that Miss Beale `intends to offer to take girls for £35 a year and possibly in the long run thus introducing [sic] a class of students who would add considerably to the dif®culty of keeping up a standard of good 116 Grif®n, St Hugh's, 18±19; Report of Committee on Question of amalgamation of St Hugh's Hall with LMH, LMH Council minute book, 1884±94, fo 152. 117 For the con¯icts that accompanied post-war expansion under its second Principal, Eleanor Jourdain, see R. Trickett, `The Row', in Grif®n, St. Hugh's 48±61. 118 Grif®n, St Hugh's, 33. 119 E. Wordsworth to B. Johnson, 27 Nov. 1889, quoted in Rayner, St. Hilda's, 4. 120 A. Maitland to B. Johnson, 27 Nov. 1889, SHiCA.


a new collegiate pattern

manners'.121 St Hilda's was eventually accepted by the AEW in 1893, at ®rst as a hostel for home students (with its own Principal, Mrs Esther Burrows, but under Mrs Johnson's supervision) and from 1896 as an independent hall. The patronage of the Provost of Queen's, Dr Magrath, a member of CLC's governing body (who happened at the time to be Vice-Chancellor), appears to have been crucial in overcoming objections. But the idea of a hall for nonexamination students did not prove particularly attractive. Between 1900 and 1926 St Hilda's was something of an anomaly in the Oxford world, incorporated jointly with St Hilda's, CheltenhamÐa ¯ourishing institution that gave it ®nancial support.122 In the 1890s there were renewed efforts to put women's education at Oxford on a more of®cial footing butÐpredictablyÐopinions differed as to how this should be done. The ®rst tentative steps towards University recognition of the women's societies came in 1893. Hebdomadal Council made space for the AEW of®ce (and later its library and lecture-rooms) in the attics of the Clarendon Building at the centre of the medieval University and appointed a representative to sit on the association's committee.123 But an offer of Council representation on the governing bodies of the halls, accepted at Somerville, was turned down at LMH. The more momentous and complex question of opening degrees to women surfaced in 1895±6 at a time when national opinion was moving strongly in favour of equal opportunities for women to graduateÐthe opening of degrees at the Scottish universities was recommended by a Royal Commission in 1892 and after 1895 Oxford and Cambridge were the only British universities to exclude women from their degrees.124 No move had been made at Oxford in 1887, when Emily Davies made the ®rst bid to open the Cambridge BA, but the issue now became unavoidable. Once again, Somerville was united and LMH divided: a majority of its council followed Spooner and Mrs Johnson in opposing moves to open the BA, and Miss Wordsworth, who was in favour, came under some pressure not to take a different line in public.125 There were genuine dilemmas for supporters of women's education. One was the mis®t between the classical basis of the University's curriculum and the traditional emphasis on modern-language teaching in girls' schools. Some 121 Rayner, St Hilda's, 4. CLC excluded tradesmen's daughters and Miss Beale seems to have followed the same policy at St Hilda's (though it was abandoned after her death in 1906); see D. Beale to E. Burrows [n.d., May 1899], repr. in M. Clewlow (ed.), `Ammonites and Moabites. The letters of Dorothea Beale and Esther Burrows, 1892±1905' (unpublished MA thesis, University College London, 1995), 103. 122 Rayner, St Hilda's, 24±5. 123 The Nettleship library (known as the Nettlebed), started with a gift of books from Henry Nettleship's library by his widow, opened in the Clarendon Building in 1895; Fritillary, 6 (Dec. 1895); P. Adams, `The Libraries of the Oxford Women's Colleges', OM, 134 (1996), 6±10. 124 Dyhouse, No distinction of sex?, 12. 125 Battiscombe, Reluctant Pioneer, 139±43; Wordsworth to Johnson, 6 and 7 Mar. 1896, Johnson MSS, SACA.

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headmistressesÐa minority, although Dorothea Beale was among themÐ continued to believe that girls' schools would be damaged, forced into adopting the archaic syllabus of the boys' public schools, if women became eligible for degrees at the ancient Universities while their graduates were still required to know the rudiments of Latin and Greek.126 There were also anomalies in Oxford's curriculum in the 1890s that made it particularly advantageous for women to have the option of reading an honour or pass school without going through the exercises imposed on men undergraduates. Above all Modern History, the most popular school among women, had no preliminary examination of its own: the full degree course still required students to begin by taking Moderations or the Jurisprudence Prelim. A case could be made that women's interests would be better served by a special University certi®cate or diploma than by admission to degreesÐ which would, in A. H. Johnson's words, place them `under that bondage which many of us think deplorable even in the case of men'.127 Most of the men tutors who taught for the AEW took that view. But the association's committee decided in December 1894 to go for degrees (11 votes to 2), arguing in a circular to the halls that the practical disadvantages of opening the Oxford BA `would be much outweighed by the general stimulus which would be given to the higher education of women'.128 There was, in Arthur Sidgwick's phrase, `a balance of gain and loss' to be calculated.129 By this stage Henry and Eleanor Sidgwick had come round to a similar view.130 Newnham and Girton were to combine in 1896±7 in a second bid to open the BA at Cambridge. Degrees by Degrees gives an insider's account of the Oxford campaign of 1895±6: the association's Lady Secretary was its main ®eld of®cer and an enthusiastic canvasser and propagandist. The campaign was launched at a public meeting of the AEW in the Examination Schools on 4 May 1895. 126

Rayner, St Hilda's, 21±2. The Association of Headmistresses voted in favour of opening Oxford and Cambridge degrees to women in 1895 by 60 votes to 23; see F. Gadesden to Rogers, 16 June 1895, Rogers MSS. 127 Due Recognition of Women, 26. For the Modern History syllabus see also Pt 1, 355±6. 128 Rogers, Degrees by Degrees, 28: `The Recognition of Resident Students of the AEW', committee report, 6 Mar. 1895, Johnson MSS, SACA. 129 Sidgwick to Johnson, 13 Nov. 1895, Johnson MSS. 130 They would have preferred to hold out for the women's ¯exible curriculum until the MA and full membership of the university were within reach. This was not a serious possibility at either university in 1895±7. But whereas the Sidgwicks had offered open opposition to Miss Davies in 1887 they now resisted attempts to co-opt them to the anti-degree side. See E. Sidgwick to B. Johnson, 14 Jan. 1895 (Johnson MSS): `I should have preferred that the question should not [be] raised yet and do not think the gain of the mere BA at Cambridge would be worth the loss of the alternative preliminary examination which the women have at Cambridge. But if any one else raised the question I could not in my position oppose . . . I fear I shall seem to you a mere opportunist, but we have always regarded our present position of semi attachment to the university as necessarily transitory, and the question therefore is from my point of view only one of times and opportunities.'


a new collegiate pattern

In an attempt at compromise, a petition was adopted asking that quali®ed women candidates should be admitted to the BA but that the University should also confer a special diploma on women who completed a three-year course including a ®nal schools examination. A committee of Hebdomadal Council, set up to collect evidence from the wider world of women's education as well as interested parties within the University, found opinion outside Oxford strongly in favour of opening the BA degree. Within Oxford, meanwhile, opposition mustered rather slowly. Early in 1896 an antidegree committee was formed, representing various shades of opinion: chaired by Anson, its secretaries were Arthur Johnson, the Conservative Thomas Case, and a leader of the University reform party, Lewis Farnell. In February when Council published resolutions to be put to Congregation on awarding the BA, or alternatively diplomas, to women, Anson's committee responded with a pamphletÐThe Due Recognition of Women by the UniversityÐto which six of its members, and Mrs Johnson, contributed papers. Some dwelt on the case for preserving Oxford as a University for men, stressing women's extramural status, others on the defects of the degree course or the intrinsic desirability of a different educational regime for women. According to the historian Edward Armstrong, among tutors `experienced in the tuition of both girls and men' resistance to the opening of the BA did not arise from a belief in the intellectual insuf®ciency of women, nor even chie¯y from their experience that the health of girls is less reliable, and that they cannot without risk be subjected to extra pressure . . . They argue rather from the merits than the demerits of their lady pupils, from their more de®nite intellectual tastes, their superior docility, their capacity for patient study and deliberate thought, their foresight and restraint when working for a distant examination.131

By this stage feeling ran high. An unprecented number of ¯ysheets was circulated.132 `Peaceful households were divided . . . and the subject had to be tabooed at social gatherings,' according to one don's wife.133 There was a record attendance in the Divinity School on 3 March 1896 when Congregation ®nally rejected (215 votes to 140) a resolution for opening the BA to women. An alternative proposal, to offer `BA diplomas' to resident women who had taken the full degree course, was also defeated, as were motionsÐstrenuously opposed by the degree partyÐto award diplomas on conditions specially tailored for women. 131

Due Recognition of Women, 22±3. One member of Congregation, writing just before the vote, claimed to have received `119 pages of printed matter. . . all of it gratuitously and most of it in the last four days'; if letters to the press were included, he calculated that `the total printed discussion amounts at the time of writing to over 50,000 words'; Journal of Education, Mar. 1896, 196. 133 Oona Ball, Barbara Goes to Oxford (1907), 45. In this ®ctionalized account of a visit to Oxford by two young women the local detail is wholly authentic. 132

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Miss Rogers recalls that the degree party were well pleased with this result and with the generally good-humoured tone of public exchanges.134 There were no rowdy undergraduate demonstrations against women of the kind seen at Cambridge the following year, when MAs were pelted with ¯our, rotten eggs, and ®reworks as they voted in the Senate.135 At the time she confessed to a friend to `a slight though wicked pleasure at seeing that things do not go quite so easily there'; but also that the degree controversy had shown `that we have more actual enemies to the ®rm establishment of women's education in Oxford than we thought'.136 `The real strength of the opposition,' she later wrote, `lay not in any alleged care for the education or health of women, but in a dislike and fear of their presence in the University.'137 The only criticism that might be made of her otherwise impeccable narrative is that it passes lightly over one proposal that deeply troubled supporters of the women's halls. The anti-degree party brought forward a motionÐapparently a concession to women but likely in practice to have a disastrous effect on recruitment to the hallsÐfor the award of BA diplomas to women without any residence requirement. `It will if carried deal a heavy and possibly a fatal blow to the education of women in Oxford,' wrote Somerville's chairman, Henry Pelham, to Bertha Johnson. `I cannot believe that there are many even of those most strongly opposed to giving the degree who wish to wreck the Halls.'138 It was said that there was talk at Somerville of `moving off Bodily to Cambridge' if the resolution passed.139 Miss Wordsworth agreed that it would be `most detrimental to the Halls'Ð there was a far from amicable exchange when it was put to her by Mrs Johnson that she ought not to oppose a proposal supported by a majority of the LMH Council.140 `I did ``lie low'' about the BA but I cannot ``lie low'' about the Diploma' she told Bertha Johnson. `£5000 of my patrimony is now locked up in the Hall. I have made its interests my own in a way no one 134

Rogers, Degrees by Degrees, 53±4. McWilliams-Tullberg, Women at Cambridge (n. 12), 115±16. For a fuller analysis of the terms of the debate at Cambridge, where opinion was polarized more sharply between supporters and opponents of the women's colleges, see R. D. Harvey, ```One More Step'': the Degrees for Women Syndicate, Cambridge, 1895±7', History of Education Society Bulletin, 57 (1996). 136 Rogers to Penrose, 1 Mar. 1896, SCA. 137 Degrees by Degrees, 52. 138 Pelham to Johnson, 6 Feb. 1896, Johnson MSS, SACA. 139 Spooner to Johnson, 8 Mar. 1896. It was believed at that stage that Cambridge was more likely to concede the BA degree; Johnson MSS. 140 Wordsworth to Johnson, 6 and 7 Mar. 1896, Wordsworth to Spooner, 7 Mar. 1896, Spooner to Johnson, 8 Mar. 1896, Toynbee to Johnson, 9 Mar. 1896; Johnson MSS. Mrs Johnson was backed by the hall's Treasurer, Charlotte Toynbee, but Spooner was critical, writing `I think you have put a somewhat severe strain on Miss Wordsworth's loyalty and gone to the extreme limit to which it is justi®able to restrain freedom of speech. Women, I know, ®nd it harder to be just than men do & tolerate differences of opinion, but even in the heat of ®ghting one should try to be fair and to see a little of people's dif®culties.' 135


a new collegiate pattern

elseÐto the same extentÐhas done. I feel both with regard to it and St. Hugh's that it gives me not only the right, but the duty to speak . . . I am sorry to vex youÐbut I may say like Luther ``Here stand I, God helping me'' & I cannot say otherwise.' The non-resident diploma was in fact defeated very narrowly in Congregation by 140 votes to 136. This was a more traumatic episode than Annie Rogers admits and it did provoke moves to halt the development of women's residential education at the ancient Universities. The question was now openly posed, `what sort of organization for the women's colleges will de®nitely dissociate them from the Universities, and start them in a new direction . . .?'141 The idea of a separate women's university was not new: the founder of Royal Holloway had envisaged that his college would develop on these lines and others had aired the possibility of a federal women's degree-awarding university, perhaps named in honour of Queen Victoria.142 The Oxford anti-degree party considered various versions of this schemeÐone, entailing collaboration between Oxford, Cambridge, and Dublin, prompted some memorable verses from Charles Firth on the characteristics of such a `Trinity University'. Detailed plans for a `Queen's University' were worked out by the Balliol tutor J. L. Strachan-Davidson; it was backed by the anti-degree party at Cambridge and strongly urged at a conference summoned to consider the future of Royal Holloway in 1897.143 Although the scheme had the support of some well-wishers of women's educationÐ they included John Percival, now Bishop of Hereford and out of touch with SomervilleÐspokesmen for the women's colleges and headmistresses at this conference were all but unanimous in opposing it.144 Bertha Johnson, the only woman to defend Strachan-Davidson's scheme in the debate, dwelt less on its positive merits than on the strength of feeling against giving women equal status at Oxford and Cambridge. Here she spoke as the mother of two undergraduate sons. `University men are not willing that women should share fully in the life of the Universities . . . It may be right or it may be wrong, but the fact remains that we are no better liked than when we began.'145 Reaction against coeducation set in at some early twentieth-century American universitiesÐWesleyan University in New England stopped taking women students in 1910Ðand at Cambridge and some London medical 141

[Gardner], `Women at Oxford and Cambridge' (n. 13), 547. McWilliams Tullberg, Women at Cambridge, 98. 143 University Degrees for Women: Report of a Conference called by the Governors of Royal Holloway College and Held at the House of the Society of Arts on Saturday, 4 December 1897 (1898). A written submission from Thomas Case (pp. 26±9) sets out the details and history of the proposal. See also G. Sutherland `The Plainest Principles of Justice', 39±44. For Firth's verses, signed `Balliolensis', see Bodl. G. A. Oxon. c.34 (46). 144 W. Temple, Life of Bishop Percival (1921), 270±4. 145 University Degrees for Women, 52±3. 142

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schools after the First World War.146 The same thing could have happened at Oxford and Cambridge in the Edwardian era if the case for extending further privileges to women had been pressed. Funds were tight. Pressures to democratize Oxford's intake convinced some supporters of university extension that resources used on women's education could be put to better use. `The working classes are knocking loudly at our doors, and will inevitably before long lay additional burdens on our energies and revenues,' wrote one long-standing supporter of the AEW, W. W. Jackson, Rector of Exeter. `If the University were to place women here on the same footing as men, it would not be able ef®ciently to discharge its own proper functions.'147 The Cambridge women's colleges made no further move to gain access to degrees before the war and it is unlikely that the issue would have been revived at Oxford but for the initiative of its Chancellor, Lord Curzon, who included the opening of the BA to women in his programme of University reform in 1909.148 Even then the Chancellor's warning against agitation was scrupulously observed. A tentative suggestion from Miss Rogers that the AEW should lend support to demands for a Royal Commission on Oxford met with a ®rm rebuff.149 The discussions with the University that began in 1913 took place behind closed doors. The Delegacy for Women Students set up in 1910 was, however, an important step towards the ®nal acceptance of women within the University. They were now formally recognized as resident students. The Delegacy, which became responsible for registering them and entering them for examinations, was the ®rst to include womenÐsix of them chosen by an electoral board composed of women engaged in teaching or administration, the Principal of the Society of Home Students and two nominated by the Vice-Chancellor and proctorsÐalthough they were outnumbered by twelve members of Convocation. A committee of the Delegacy took over the functions of the home students' committee and responsibility for appointing their Principal: Mrs Johnson, con®rmed in of®ce, became Oxford's ®rst woman with a senior University appointment (although at her own insistence she received no pay). The creation of the Delegacy was not related to Curzon's proposal. It was the suggestion of H. T. Gerrans, Secretary of the Local Examinations Delegacy and an active AEW man, provoked by the University's failure to respond to a request that women should be allowed to work for the Certi®cate of Merit which quali®ed members of the University 146 D. B. Potts, Wesleyan University 1831±1910. Collegiate Enterprise in New England (Yale, 1992), 212±20. On the revival of proposals for a women's university in 1920 at Cambridge, see McWilliams Tullberg, Women at Cambridge, 137±40. 147 W. W. Jackson to Rogers, 27 Oct. 1909, Rogers MSS, SACA. Another extensionist Head of House who took the same view was T. B. Strong of Christ Church; Strong to Rogers, 3 June 1914, Rogers MSS. 148 Curzon, Principles and Methods of University Reform (1909), 193±200. 149 Gerrans to Rogers, 30 May 1912, Rogers MSS.


a new collegiate pattern

for the research degrees of B.Litt. and B.Sc.150 For tactical reasons, moreover, the Delegacy was presented as a means of tightening up control of the women's societiesÐespecially supervision of the rapidly growing numbers of home students, seen by some as a particular threat to the principle of segregation of the sexes. Friends of the women's societies were briefed to avoid the suggestion of any advance towards degrees. The Athenaeum's Oxford correspondent (husband of a Somervillian) duly told his readers, `It looks rather as if the star of Male Discipline were in the ascendant . . . The only insidious move on the part of Woman . . . is, possibly, that she is hereby enticing unobservant Man to take note that her mode of life is perfectly respectable.'151 The Delegacy statute passed Congregation on 14 June 1910 (106 votes to 53). Its most controversial feature, the inclusion of women as members, survived a hostile amendment by 110 votes to 85. Within the women's societies this was recognized as a measure that enhanced, in particular, the status of women dons, yet the way it was forced through had unfortunate repercussions. Bertha Johnson was unhappy that the home students had been used as a `cats-paw': alarm had been created by `a fallacious idea of the present lack of organization and all sorts of imaginary future dangers'.152 Elections to the Delegacy's home student committee were made acrimonious by her attempts to pack it with reliable supporters of the home student system.153 Unhappiest of all was Annie Rogers, who was not even nominated as a candidate in the ®rst elections for the Delegacy. `Services of AR entirely ignored by tutors, no consultation as to wishes or attempts to ascertain the intentions of the VC and Proctors,' she noted angrily.154 The women tutors felt, as Emily Penrose explained apologetically, that `you do not represent them.'155 Many had taken it for granted that she would become a nominated member of the Delegacy, and so, in fact, she did.156 But this rebuff con®rmed her mistrust of women colleagues and her preferenceÐ much advertised in her later yearsÐfor working with men.157 The issue of degrees for women was revived, aptly enough, by a proctor who represented `young married Oxford' just before the war. J. L. Stocks, Fellow of St John's, belonged to a circle of friendsÐSidney and Oona Ball, R. H. Tawney, William TempleÐthat supported both university reform and women's suffrage but had not hitherto taken a lead in advancing the position 150 151 152 153

MSS. 154 155 156 157

Degrees by Degrees, 63±5. The Certi®cate of Merit was opened to women in 1913. Athenaeum, 16 Mar 1910, 341. See Gazette xl. 792, xli. 135±7. Johnson to Rogers, 15 June 1910, Rogers MSS. M. Prichard to Rogers, 8 Dec 1910, Gilbert Murray to Rogers, 27 Jan 1911, Rogers MS note in `Letters about the delegacy', Rogers MSS. Penrose to Rogers, 20 Nov. 1910, Rogers MSS. C. Burrows to Rogers, 17 and 21 Nov. 1910, Rogers MSS. Rogers to Johnson, 21 Aug. 1922, Rogers MSS.; Degrees by Degrees, xv.

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of women in Oxford.158 In 1912 Stocks married and brought to Oxford a graduate of the London School of Economics, Mary Brinton, who became tutor in economics for the AEW. Coming from a college where women were treated as equals, Mary Stocks felt that at Oxford their `academic status . . . left almost everything to be desired'.159 The time for reviving the degree question did not seem particularly favourable to old Oxford hands: Council had other preoccupations, while Miss Penrose (Somerville's third Principal and by now the leading representative of the women's colleges) sensed that suffragette militancy had `put back the clock for us and alienated some possible supporters'.160 But Stocks persisted and in November 1913 Hebdomadal Council appointed a committee to pursue the decision, taken in principle in a resolution of 17 June 1909, to adopt the Chancellor's proposal for opening the BA degree to women. Miss Rogers's experience of pitfalls and technicalities that had arisen in the debate of the 1890s was exploited and she offered useful tactical advice: `Don't say too much yet about the privileges we want. It is very dangerous to go into detail before enemies and do not on any account underrate their intelligence.'161 She was involved in discussions between representatives of Council and the Women's Delegacy that continued throughout the war. But Mary Stocks recalled the advice of a former Vice-Chancellor to her husband: `When you need to talk to Annie Rogers . . . always go to her house, do not invite her to yours. It will thus be possible to end the conversation when you wish.'162 Council's committee, reporting in 1914, felt more able to recommend the absorption of women students than women dons. It recommended that women should be matriculated as members of the university and eligible for the BA degree. The issue of opening the MA was avoidedÐit carried the right to vote in parliamentary elections and there was some doubt about the University's legal power to confer the MA on womenÐso that women dons would play no part in University government. Council's committee was keen to exclude them from faculties and their boardsÐ`some taking the ground of propriety some that of expediency' according to Stocks. Rather more hesitantly, it also proposed to exclude them from examining, a new disability since examiners did not have to be MAs.163 There was still a long way to go between the settlement proposed in 1914 and the statute of 1920 that admitted women to full membership of the University. But the negotiations begun in 1913 smoothed the way for a rapid and uncontroversial victory after the war. 158 159 160 161 162 163


Although university reformers of Ball's circle had campaigned for the Delegacy Statute. M. Stocks, My Commonplace Book (1970), 111. Stocks to Rogers, 13 Oct. 1913, Penrose to Rogers, 17 Nov. 1913, Rogers MSS. Rogers to Stocks, 10 Nov. 1913, Rogers MSS. See Gazette xxxix. 829 (22 June 1909). Stocks, Commonplace Book, 106±7 `Degrees for Women, Council Scheme', notes by J. L. S[tocks], n.d. [Mar. 1914], Rogers


a new collegiate pattern wo m e n i n a m e n ' s u n i v e r s i t y

A comment by an opponent of the women's degree movement, George Brodrick, Warden of Merton, encourages re¯ection on the nature of that victory. The women's colleges, he argued, are in Oxford, but they are not of Oxford, and are no more known to the University, as such, than Holloway College, many of whose students pass University examinations but will be jealously excluded from degrees . . . In the case of young men, `residence at Oxford' means something de®nite, regulated by University statutes as well as by a collegiate tradition of centuries, subjected to Proctorial jurisdiction, and characterised by a freedom of social intercourse which, for good or evil, has a powerful in¯uence on all who go through it. In the case of young women it means something quite inde®nite, which can only be salutary under most judicious management, and must needs prove injurious if it were `under the same regulations as apply to Undergraduates'.164

This vision of Oxford as a place designed for men, with a hidden curriculum just as important as the intellectual training it provided, was reaf®rmed in 1927 when Congregation imposed a limit on the number of women students ± a decision backed by some men with close associations with the women's societies. Joseph Wells served on LMH's committee and married one of its more distinguished early students, Frances Mary Crawley. Defending the quota, he wrote: Oxford on the strictly educational side can receive and educate the ablest women. But Oxford is much more than a strictly `educational' body, and it is more than doubtful if women can ever share the full life, which centuries of students have gradually elaborated for men and for the development of English manhood.165

Admission to membership of the University conferred practical advantages on women, but in the discourse that de®ned Oxford as `an ancient University endowed for men' they would continue to be interlopersÐthere, and yet not there, always subsidiary to its main purposes.166 Before 1914 the women at Oxford were frequently reminded of their extra-mural status. The degree struggle of the 1890s led to complaints that they were overcrowding libraries and lecture rooms and brought to the surface currents of misogyny that were not con®ned to Senior Common Rooms. Isis, denouncing the `pestilent agitation', claimed that `at least seveneights of those by whom and for whom an University existsÐwe mean, of course, the UndergraduatesÐare bitterly opposed to this threatened inva164

Due Recognition of Women, 9. J. Wells, `Women at Oxford', English Review, 45 (1927), 444. Frances Wells (LMH 1891± 4) took a ®rst in Modern History, and taught at Cheltenham Ladies' College before marrying and becoming the Secretary of St Hilda's Hall and the Nettleship librarian. 166 See I. Carter, Ancient Cultures of Conceit: British University Fiction in the Post-war Years (1990), 159±76. 165

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sion of the Amazons.'167 An earlier episode, recalled by Miss Shaw Lefevre as the `Curzon incident', showed that even friendly gestures towards the women's societies might back®re. The Union's librarian made an unsolicited proposal in November 1879 that women students at the halls should be allowed to use its library. George Curzon, then a Balliol undergraduate, led the opposition `in terms which were neither courteous nor respectful'.168 Opinion was evenly divided and a poll of Union members produced a vote in favour of the proposal (254 votes to 238). The offer was declined with thanks but it prompted disagreeable comments in both Oxford and the national press.169 As Chancellor, Curzon made amendsÐand it is recorded that `at one of his luncheons . . . he offered his silver cigarette box to Miss Wordsworth herself. That very grande dame, who had a strong sense of humour, declined the cigarette, but did not repel the attention.'170 The moral of both incidents was, perhaps, the same: it was up to those responsible for the women's societies to know how ladies should conduct themselves. Whether the issue was invasion of male territory or preservation of feminine proprieties, the hegemony of men and masculinity within the University meant that questions about why women were there at all lurked constantly in the background. Could women bene®t from an Oxford education? And what did the education they received in Oxford really amount to? The anti-degree party represented a view of the University that foreclosed such questions. Oxford was designed to prepare classically trained public schoolboys for careers in Church, State, and EmpireÐand, above all, the lifestyle implied by `residence' was inherently unsuitable for women. Such views invited caricature. `A degree is merely a record of the LIFE OF THE PLACE. This is the important thing for young men, not mere results in examinations (no importance attached to these things in a College like Balliol)'Ðso the Oxford Magazine wryly summarized Strachan-Davidson's case against opening the BA.171 Miss WordsworthÐa Gilbert and Sullivan fanÐcommemorated the controversy in an operetta, The Apple of Discord, performed by LMH students. In one scene a chorus of conservative dons defend the `golden fruit of learning' from the touch of woman's hand, until they fall asleep `sipping sound port wine after Hall at ®ve-®fteen'.172 And yet the college experience, as understood at the ancient men's foundations, could not be quite the same for these generations of women. In Bertha Johnson's words: 167

`The Battle of the Blue-Stockings', Isis, 124 (22 May 1897), 266. Shaw Lefevre, `Personal Recollections', cited in Adams, Somerville, 32. 169 Oxford Union Library, Rough Minute Book 1876±84; `He Girls', in Saturday Review, 48 (29 Nov. 1879), 655±6. 170 L. Magnus, Herbert Warren of Magdalen (1932), 139. 171 OM, 4 Mar. 1896. 172 Battiscombe, Reluctant Pioneer, 117. 168


a new collegiate pattern

The life of the College woman is different in very essential respects . . . to the life of the ordinary undergraduate and even so has elements less exactly forming the complement of her previous experience and training, and less anticipating the life which the world, as a rule, afterwards expects her to lead.173

`Essential' differences in the Oxford experience for men and women were in fact the product of various in¯uences. The poverty of the women's colleges imposed a regime of strict economy: as at Keble, meals were taken in common and paid for in an inclusive termly fee. The typical undergraduate, by contrast, dined in his college hall but otherwise catered for himself. A more closely supervised lifestyle was thought appropriate for women and helped to allay worries about the effect of academic work on their health. At LMH, for example, a bell signalled bed-timeÐat ®rst at 10 p.m., later at 10.30Ðand there was a ban on smoking and on keeping alcohol in students' rooms. But the Oxford environment also had a pervasive, if complex, in¯uence on the life of the women's societies. On one hand it shaped them in its own image. Oxford was a collegiate University in which college men taught women and women worked, like men, to acquire a liberal education and professional quali®cations. On the other hand the proximity of women's and men's colleges tended to place women under special constraints. Women students were conspicuously less free than men undergraduates chie¯y because of rules imposed on them to restrict association between the sexes.174 Chaperons, who might be older women from the halls, or AEW or North Oxford ladies (often `armed with knitting') who charged a shilling an hour, were required on academic as well as social occasions.175 At ®rst even large groups of women were chaperoned at lectures. From 1893 a chaperon was required only when students attended college lectures alone and in 1911 it was agreed that the women principals might dispense individuals from this rule. But it remained irregular for women to `coach' unchaperonedÐeven in a pairÐin a man's college rooms, as Ernest Barker discovered when his growing family forced him to give up the practice normally followed by married tutors of teaching women at his home. `I believe that our understanding on the question has been rather slackly carried out . . . ,' wrote Bertha Johnson when consulted on the point. `I suppose we ought not to hold out about Mr. BarkerÐtho' I cannot say I like it!'176 Social contacts between women and university men were in some respects more strictly monitored in 1914 than in earlier years. Such matters were 173

MS of article for the Humanitarian, Mar. 1896, B. Johnson MSS, SACA. Cf. Sutherland, `Emily Davies, the Sidgwicks and the education of women in Cambridge' (n. 64), 43. 175 LMH Brown Book, 1928, 97±9; M. L. Lee, `A woman student at Oxford in the 1890s', OM, 131 (1996), 11. By 1914 the fee had risen to 1s/6d an hour; J. Evans, Prelude and Fugue: An Autobiography (1964), 70. 176 Principals' Meetings 1903±1917, fos 33±4 Johnson to Penrose (copy), 27 Oct. 1910, SCA. 174

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initially at the discretion of the principals who could, like the mother of a family, adapt rules or conventions to particular cases and introduce variations of their own.177 Miss Moberly, for instance, insisted that invitations could be accepted only from undergraduates known to a student's parents, after `a dif®cult experience with irate parents who found their daughter suddenly engaged to a most undesirable person'.178 But she did not insist on chaperonage when students received invitations from senior members, who were apt to be `sensitive'ÐCharles Dodgson in particular was allowed the privilege of teÃte-aÁ-teÃte tea or dinner parties.179 An LMH student of the 1880s, writing in Oscar Wilde's magazine the Woman's World, claimed that `beyond the fact that [students] vary their amusements with a good deal of really hard work . . . their life differs very little from that of any ordinary girls in society.'180 Miss Wordsworth was notoriously erratic in enforcing the hall's rules: Elizabeth Lea (LMH 1887±90) recalled that one of her contemporaries contrived to get engaged on the roof of the Radcliffe Camera and another in Holywell churchyard.181 But in the Edwardian era, when the degree question was revived, it was put to the women's societies that the University would want some reassurance on the effectiveness of their discipline. Annie Rogers and Emily Penrose were commissioned by the AEW in 1909 to compile a report codifying rules in force to prevent women students from mixing with undergraduates.182 The outcome was a more uniform and restrictive regimeÐSomervillians lost the freedom they had won in Miss Maitland's day to attend dances in term-timeÐand the ®ve principals now began to meet regularly to discuss points of interpretation. The Rogers±Penrose report on `Rules of Discipline' sought to allay anxieties by claiming that the regulations of the women's societies were in correspondence with the traditions of that class of society to which most of the Oxford students belong. A large proportion of the students in other Universities belong to a different class, and many of them are preparing to be teachers in elementary schools. There would be great dif®culty in enforcing rules which were in marked contrast with the habits of the students' homes.183 177

Adams, Somerville, 115. Discipline ®le, Moberly to Penrose, 16 Sept 1909, SCA. 179 Cohen, Letters of Lewis Carroll (n. 83), ii, 1008. For the privileged treatment given to Gilbert Murray at Somerville see Adams, Somerville, 118. 180 `The Oxford Ladies' Colleges', by a member of one of them [ Janet Hogarth], Woman's World, 1 (1887), 35. 181 Battiscombe, Reluctant Pioneer 134; reminiscences of E. M. Wright (neÂe Lea): Oxford, xiv. 2 (May 1956), 78. 182 Notes of conversation with VC [T. H. Warren], 17 July 1909, Rogers MSS, SACA (copy in Somerville, Discipline ®le); AEW Report as to the Rules of Discipline in force for the Women Students at the University of Oxford (1909), Bodl. MS Top. Oxon d. 1048, fos 127±8. 183 There may be an allusion here to much publicized con¯icts over discipline at the Welsh universities; see Dyhouse, No Distinction of Sex?, 194±5. 178


a new collegiate pattern

There was some truth in this claim. Daughters of genteel middle-class families were not allowed to `walk out' with young men. Yet some features of the Oxford regimeÐeven if students accepted them philosophicallyÐ were clearly by this stage more restrictive than conventions observed in such families. This was, in fact, spelled out in the letter sent to each new Somerville student by Emily Penrose. There were, she wrote, a number of unwritten rules or customs which belong specially to Oxford and which our students are very loyal in observing. Students never go into Colleges alone. They do not walk in College gardens nor attend College Chapels without permission and in some cases not without a chaperon. They do not walk `by the Barges' nor along the towing path. They do not take long country walks or bicycle rides quite alone . . . As a rule they do not walk much about the city alone. When attending College lectures they do not go in singly but two or three together. They sit all together and even if they have relatives or friends attending the same lectures it is understood that they do not speak to them. This is by the wish of the Colleges, which give us the privilege of attending their lectures.184

Mary Stocks, herself from an upper-middle-class professional background, was disconcerted to ®nd that Gilbert Murray's daughter Agnes (Somerville 1913±15) was deemed to require a chaperon when attending tea-time meetings of the OU Fabian Society. At the LSE men and women students had mixed freely and as a newcomer to Oxford, she recalls, `this sex apartheid seemed very odd to me.'185 LSE was, of course, unusually sophisticated; elsewhere chaperonage rules were still widely enforced in universities and it was only after the First World War that Oxford came under ®re for its conservative rules on association between the sexes.186 As in other university towns, moreover, conventions of ladylike behaviour were imposed partly to avoid criticism from local residents. It seemed to one Somervillian that women students and women dons alike lived in perpetual fear of shocking a curious body of opinion vaguely known as `North Oxford'. It was never discovered in the ¯esh, but it was understood to consist of the pussy element in dons' wives backed by the coerced support of their husbands.187

But the regime that evolved at Oxford owed its special quirks and rigidities to the fact that it was adopted, above all, in deference to University men. 184

Penrose to Lewis, 6 Sept. 1907, Discipline ®le, SCA. Stocks, My Commonplace Book, 113±14. 186 See The Twentieth Century, 361±4. Chaperonage at other universities is discussed in Dyhouse, No Distinction of Sex? and, from an anthropological perspective, in Delamont, Knowledgeable Women (n. 84), 76±7. 187 W. Meikle, Towards a Sane Feminism (1916), 64±5. 185

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The traditionally monastic ethos of the men's colleges came under threat as the female population of the city grew. Dons were anxious to defend it. The discipline exercised over undergraduates by college deans and proctors was not well adapted to this end, because the conventions of polite society assumed that it was for `ladies' to exercise restraint and accept the supervision of older women. For the proctors to accost a young lady in the streets and demand her name verged on impropriety. The only recorded brush between the proctors and a woman student before the war involved a home student who availed herself of a lady's right to refuse speech with strange men.188 Men undergraduates were subject to proctorial rules designed to keep them away from women. After 1905 they were prohibited from attending dances in term-time. An older rule made it an offence for an undergraduate to walk or talk with a woman, while sexual liaisons were treated as a grave offence and punished by expulsion.189 But proctorial practice was to challenge undergraduates only when they were seen with girls of a lower social class, reporting the man to his college and the girl to her parents, employers, or (in the case of prostitutes) the police.190 It was not a regime designed to cope with the middle-class girlsÐmany of them in fact unconnected with the women's societiesÐwho appeared in late Victorian and Edwardian Oxford. The bicycle and the motor car, the tennis court and the golf course, the cinema and the cafeÂ, all increased opportunities for mixed leisure pursuits in this generation. How to curb them? It was easy to put pressure on the women's societies while they were seeking recognition and hard to ®nd other ways of meeting the `vague fears' entertained by University men about the implications of a growing female presence for undergraduate lifeÐtraditionally celibate but characterized by a large degree of freedom. `It does not matter if boys will be boys so long as one can prevent girls being girls,' was a maxim cited by one fellow.191 Not until 1925 did the proctors grasp the nettle and impose rules on association between male and female junior members of the University that were binding on both sexes. A pre-war undergraduate, as Harold Macmillan recalled, could remain barely aware of the presence of women students in the university.192 Yet for the women from the earliest days there was a sense that their halls belonged there and that contacts with the University formed an essential part of the 188 OUA W. P. 7 (6), Senior Proctor's Manual, fo 111. At a meeting of the women principals in May 1914 it was `strongly felt to be undesirable that women students should interview the proctors alone'; Bodl. Dep. d. 759, 25. 189 A. J. Engel, ```Immoral Intentions''. The University of Oxford and the problem of prostitution, 1827±1914', Victorian Studies, 23 (1979), 79±107. 190 Senior Proctor's Manual, fo 111; Rogers, notes on a conversation with Mr Williams, 28 June 1912, Rogers MSS, SACA. 191 D. G. H[ogarth], `Oxford Degrees for Women', Anti-Suffrage Review, 6 (May 1909), 5±6. 192 The Times, 18 Oct. 1975, 7h.


a new collegiate pattern

education they received. Miss Wordsworth and Miss Shaw Lefevre took some pains to `bring their students out' in Oxford society and visitors to the halls included local celebritiesÐsome of whom, like Ruskin, had not at ®rst viewed them with favour.193 A pattern was established of `At Home' days, garden parties, and the like at which members of the University were entertained in the halls, while married tutors and University families connected with the halls entertained women and men students together. Edward Caird and his wife gave `Balliol breakfasts' to which girls who had no family or friends in Oxford were invited. Those who did have undergraduate friends might entertain them, by permission, in the halls' public rooms, and St Hugh's began the custom in the 1890s of giving a mixed dance every third year in Commemoration week. Women sang in the Bach Choir and were admitted as chaperoned spectators at Union debates, OUDS performances, college concerts, and sporting events. Shortly before the war a new regime was inaugurated in which they could also be chaperoned participants in selected University societies, of which the ®rst were the Fabians and the OU War and Peace Society.194 An impression prevailed that they were better integrated in the University than Cambridge women, with their larger and more self-suf®cient colleges. An LMH student of the 1880s noted that the latter tended to say ```When I was at Newnham''' whereas `the Lady Margaret or Somerville woman [said] ``When I was at Oxford''.'195 Somervillians were equally happy with their lot: `mixed Colleges were deprecated, but mixed universities strongly advocated' by the Associated Prigs, a select college discussion society of the 1890s.196 An Oxford education gave women freedoms that were, for many students, undreamt of in their family homes. The study with a door that could be shut against interruptions was the prerogative of the father, while control of hospitality rested with the mother. Winifred Knox (LMH 1901±5) recalled the `glorious freedom of one's own kettle' and the novel experience of `privacy ensured by the simple expedient of putting up the notice ``Engaged'' on one's door'.197 They also had the freedom of the river, for restrictions on boating and walking applied only to the Isis, not the Cherwell. Their reading was not systematically censored, as it often was at home. Miss Wordsworth exhorted students to avoid `poor, cheap, silly books', but there was no support for a suggestion made by Mrs Johnson that the Clarendon Press should be asked to produce bowdlerized editions of Elizabethan literature 193

Adams, Somerville, 26±7; Battiscombe, Reluctant Pioneer, 80±1. Principals' Meetings, 6 Mar. 1914, Bodl. Dep. d. 759, fo 24. The women's branch of the Fabian Society in Oxford, ®rst founded in 1897, lapsed but was revived in 1907; see Fritillary, 12 (Dec. 1897); 44 ( June 1908). 195 C. G. Luard in LMH Brown Book, 1928, 96. 196 Associated Prigs minute book, 15 Mar. 1896, SCA. 197 W. Peck, A Little Learning, or a Victorian Childhood (1952), 156. 194

the women's colleges


for use by the younger women.198 Agnes Maitland stood up to the protests of one father who queried the suitability of the Modern Languages syllabus: `I do not at all think that because a certain book has had a bad effect on the mind of a young man that [sic] it will necessarily have the same effect upon a young woman. I regret that the Revd. A. J. Carlyle (nephew of T. Carlyle) should have advised your daughter to read ``Candide'' but I ®nd that all teachers of literature expect it to be read.' The works of Rabelais, Diderot, and Rousseau were read selectively, but such decisions must, she maintained, be a matter for academic judgement. `The real question is whether girls are to study literature at all. If they are to do so, whether it be French or English they must read certain things written some with coarseness, some with frankness painful to us.'199 Even Miss Wordsworth did not bother about students who experienced religious doubtsÐit was enough if they turned up in a tidy state at chapel.200 Dress codes remained important at the women's colleges but students recognized the rationale behind them. The Associated Prigs agreed that `we as women students should dress as well as possible, lest, among other considerations, carelessness in this matter should bring discredit on the cause of women's education.'201 Somerville principals simply discouraged `dressiness', whereas at the Anglican halls there was a more conventional concern with the wearing of hats and gloves. Oxford women acquired a reputation for dowdiness.202 Yet one St Hilda's student recalled with approval that Mrs. Burrows encouraged the sense that `anything slovenly. . . was almost as objectionable as failing in an important examination.'203 Fashions of the time remained physically restrictive, but a student of the 1890s maintained that they allowed women more room than men to adapt costume to personality and occupation, instancing `the ``London butter¯ies'' of Eights week; the coat and skirt of the typical Oxford woman; the masculine attire of the woman who aspires to masculine modes of thought. The large sleeves of the present day [were],' she claimed, `a sign of the desire for space in which to develope [sic] mentally and physically.'204 As for the academic regime followed by women students, it varied both over time and between the different societies. Except in the degree agitation of 1895±6, there was no public confrontation, comparable to the dispute 198 LMHA, Wordsworth MSS Boxes 5 & 6, sermons on Whitsunday 1892, May 18 1902, June 3 1906; SCA, Principals' meetings 1903±15, fo 40. On censorship of daughters' reading at home see W. Peck in LMH Brown Book, 1928, 101. 199 Maitland ®le, copy of letter from A. Maitland 7 Feb. [n.d.] (the recipient is not identi®ed), SCA. 200 Battiscombe, Reluctant Pioneer, 81. 201 Associated Prigs minute book, 23 June 1895, SCA. 202 J. Courtney, An Oxford Portrait Gallery (1931), 218±20. 203 Reminiscences of B. Hamilton, SHiCA. 204 Fritillary, 8 ( June 1896), 152.


a new collegiate pattern

between Emily Davies and Henry Sidgwick, between exponents of equality and difference in women's education.205 All parties represented in the AEW agreed that women should work for examinationsÐat LMH at ®rst this resulted in a crop of failures; yet Somerville could make room for a student like Margery Fry, whose parents stipulated that she should not take examinations, while Miss Beale's insistence on provision for non-examination students at St Hilda's was in the end accommodated.206 The curriculum women followed moved closer to that of the men undergraduates as University examinations were opened and, with the introduction of new honour schools in English (1895) and Modern Languages (1904), the Delegacy's women's examinations ®nally became redundant. From 1896 the AEW issued its own `BA diplomas' to women who took the full degree course.207 As at the men's colleges, improvements in secondary education made it possible to raise standardsÐcompetitive entrance examinations were held at Somerville from 1908 and LMH from 1913, a growing proportion of women read for honours, and it was increasingly expected that they would have passed Responsions or its equivalent before coming up.208 Women were still permitted to offer modern languages in these qualifying examinations, but in 1913 Emily Penrose, with the support of the women tutors and the Association of Headmistresses, initiated moves to make Latin compulsory.209 Although it was not suggested that Greek should become a requirement for women, Somerville moved towards the Girton approach: students who could take the full undergraduate course were increasingly encouraged to do so. Vera Brittain, who went up in 1914 with very little Greek, found to her alarm that she was `expected to take the Degree Course, espec. as the giving of degrees to women may not be far distant. This means doing the Responsions Greek in Dec. This can be done if my Latin is good enough to be more or less neglected this termÐ& is it?'210 Luckily it was. Supporters of the admission of women to degrees maintained that the idea of separate programmes of study for men and women had died a natural death. In Arthur Sidgwick's words, `we ourselves began with the notion 205 Delamont, Knowledgeable Women (n. 84), 106±14, provides a useful survey of `the uncompromising and the separatists' in the UK and USA but, following Vera Brittain, overstates differences between Somerville and LMH. 206 Battiscombe, Reluctant Pioneer, 84; E. Huws Jones, Margery Fry: The Essential Amateur (1966), 36. 207 Diplomas and certi®cates were also issued to students who had taken other courses until 1913; Rogers, Degrees by Degrees, 50. 208 77% of students admitted to the women's colleges in 1911±13 took Honours in Schools or Moderations and a further 5% took one of the Diploma courses; only 4% aimed at no more than a pass. For the corresponding ®gures in the men's colleges after 1900 see Pt 1, 360, 372 (Fig. 11.1, Table 11.A3). 209 `Papers relating to my move to make Latin a compulsory subject for Women at Responsions', Penrose ®le, SCA. 210 V. Brittain, Chronicle of Youth: War Diary 1913±17, ed. A. Bishop with T. Smart (1981), 116.

the women's colleges


(being inexperienced and not having worked it out) of ``education adapted to women''; and the whole progress of our work has been towards realizing that the one thing wanted was systematic study as it had been laid down by long experience for men.'211 Women tutors were unanimous in favouring the opening of degrees in 1895±6: a structured course was felt to encourage hard work, while a knowledge of Latin was important for all students reading Oxford's arts schools.212 Among senior women it was Bertha Johnson who did most to resist the trend towards assimilation. Home students were often admitted before they had completed their qualifying examinations and she continued to encourage them to study at their own pace and within a ¯exible curriculum. Arthur Sidgwick found himself under `considerable pressure' to allow his daughters to take an extra year when they read the Modern History School. It was, he explained to a colleague, on educational rather than doctrinaire grounds that he insisted they should take `the regular course': They are just as well able to work as the average man: they live as regular a life, take exercise regularly, (& neither drink nor smoke): they are no doubt more ignorant than the best men, but not more than the bulk of the 150 men of any year. . . I am persuaded that the time-limit is (in the case of normally competent & healthy students) most salutary. To have clearly before them the obligation to do the work properly in the given time (as the men all do) is one of the most valuable lessons for them to learn. It strengthens their resolution, forces them to arrange their work, & do it in a businesslike way, and acts as a steady force against waste of time, dawdling work, & self-indulgence of various subtler sorts. It gives them self-reliance, and a certain healthy robustness, which girls too often miss.213

To a greater extent than at Cambridge or London, women gravitated towards the modern arts schools, particularly Modern History (see Table 10.1).214 Greats attracted very fewÐperhaps because of its function as an avenue to careers in public and professional life that were still closed to women, as well as its reputation as a formidably dif®cult schoolÐand of the classical intermediate examinations Honour Moderations remained less popular than the less taxing Pass Mods. The Modern History school offered an accessible version of the Oxford `liberal education', aiming in the words of one woman history tutor to produce `not trained historians, not even . . . 211 University Degrees for Women, 47, quoted in G. Sutherland, `The Plainest Principles of Justice' (n. 23), 42. 212 Admission of Women to the BA Degree at Oxford. Report on the Evidence contained in documents, or in answers to circular and other letters, collected by Miss ROGERS, Hon Secretary to the AEW. Sent to the Vice-Chancellor as Chairman of the Committee of Hebdomadal Council (1895), 13±15, Rogers MSS. 213 Sidgwick to Butler, 10 Mar. 1902, Bodl. MS Eng. Lett. c. 473, fos 41±2. 214 See J. Howarth and M. Curthoys, `Gender, Curriculum and Career: a case study of women university students in England before 1914', in P. Summer®eld (ed.), Women, Education and the Professions (History of Education Society Occasional Publication, 8, 1987).


a new collegiate pattern TA B L E 10 .1

f i na l e x a m i nat i o n s ta k e n s u c c e s s f u l ly b y ox f o r d a n d ca m b r i d g e c o l l e g e wo m e n , 1 8 8 1 ± 1 9 1 3 ( p e r c e n tag e s ) 1881±3 Ox Cam

1891±3 Ox Cam

1901±3 Ox Cam

1911±13 Ox Cam

Classics/Lit Hum Maths Nat Sc History English Mod Langs Other (Took 2 Triposes) Pass Finals No Final Exams

1.7 0 1.7 5.0 8.3 11.7 0 Ð 15.0 56.7

5.3 (1.2) 2.4 43.8

4.1 1.6 3.3 31.7 5.7 9.8 0 Ð 13.8 30.1

4.6 (2.3) 0.4 26.1

4.7 0 6.8 30.9 16.8 5.2 1.0 Ð 8.4 26.1

3.2 (2.9) 1.9 13.8

3.9 0 4.3 30.5 23.4 7.8 4.3 Ð 1.1 24.8

8.5 (5.1) 2.0 15.9

Total (N)

100 60

100 169

100 123

100 264

100 191

100 312

100 282

100 390

12.4 15.4 12.4 7.7 1.8

12.4 20.0 12.4 11.7 14.8

13.8 20.5 14.1 15.4 20.8

12.3 13.6 12.3 15.6 24.9

Note: The women in these samples are those admitted to Girton and Newnham Colleges (Cambridge) and Lady Margaret Hall, Somerville, St Hugh's and St Hilda's Colleges (Oxford) in the years speci®ed. Oxford's Home Students have not been included: the MS register of their Society gives little biographical information on most students admitted before 1914 and they included a disproportionately large number of overseas students who came to Oxford to do English language courses or postgraduate work rather than undergraduate courses.

trained teachers of history, but thoughtful, well-educated men and women, with a grasp of method, a power of ready literary expression, a disciplined judgement, and an intelligent interest in modern social problems'.215 As an established undergraduate course, it also offered better teaching facilities than English and Modern Languages. The latter were especially attractive to intending schoolmistresses (and drew some scornful comment on that account).216 They lived up to their reputation as `women's subjects'Ðwomen candidates sometimes outnumbered the men in the English and Modern Languages listsÐdespite the austerely philological syllabuses adopted by these schools.217 By contrast Mathematics and the Sciences, as noted in Chapter 19, proved even less attractive to women than to men at Oxford. At LMH they were steered towards the humanitiesÐ`Not mathematics, you simply can't come to Oxford and do mathematics,' Miss Wordsworth told 215 Beatrice Lees (Somerville History tutor 1896±1911), paper on `The preparation of girls for the Honour School of Modern History' read to conference of Headmistresses and University Teachers of women students, 1898; Rogers MSS. 216 C. Oman, Memories of Victorian Oxford (1941), 238. 217 See Chapters 16 and 17.

the women's colleges


Edith Langridge.218 This was not the case at Somerville, where the Vernon Harcourts remained in¯uential and a series of science professors' wives sat on the council.219 But whereas the halls acquired their own specialist tutors in arts subjects, teaching provision in the sciences was sketchy. Women could work in the University and, by the early twentieth century, college laboratories, but supervision of the studies of scientists at all the women's societies was in the hands of one tutor, Jane Willis Kirkaldy (appointed in 1894), and it appears that they rarely `coached' with men tutors.220 The `tutorial system' in the humanities started rather unevenly. Margaret Lee, an early student in the English school, recalled a regime of lectures supplemented only by Joseph Wright's notoriously testing AEW language classes. `Nobody was coached either in Language or Literature unless they chanced to excite the interest of Prof. Napier, who would then invite them to his study on Headington Hill to ``discuss dif®culties''.'221 The philosopher Hilda Oakeley (Somerville 1895±8), on the other hand, counted among her Greats tutors Edward Caird, W. H. Hadow, J. Cook Wilson, Edwin Cannan, and Henry Pelham.222 In History and Lit. Hum. tutorial teaching was provided from an early stage. It offered an ideal mode of integrating women students into academic life, since the presence of women in mixed classes was not welcomed by some dons, who felt it caused the men to `become restrained and irresponsive, and [that] the sympathetic ``rapport'' that should exist between teacher and pupil tends to vanishÐthrough no fault on either side'.223 Men tutors free to concentrate on women pupils, who came to them usually in pairs or threes, often extended to them the same care they bestowed on undergraduates, taking their work seriously and pride in their later careers. `Mr. Armstrong has been writing me such sweet letters,' wrote Maude Royden, `urging me to get a 1st etc. etc. and all sorts of wild projects.' A. L. Smith, another of her tutors, told her twenty years later, `when I boast that you were once my pupil, I ®nd people a little sceptical, as when I make the same claim as to Herbert Fisher or C. G. Lang.'224 Tutors could be alarming. A St Hugh's student con®ded to her diary that she felt `in a somewhat headless condition hav[ing] had this part of the anatomy bitten off by A. J. C[arlyle]'. There were women dons who produced 218

LMH Brown Book, 1948, 48. Among them Grace Prestwich, Emily Poulton, and Ghetal Burdon-Sanderson. 220 On early science students see Adams, Somerville, 39±42. A science tutor appointed in 1885, Margaret Seward (Somerville 1881±5, later Mrs McKillop), who had taken a ®rst in chemistry, left after two years for a post at Royal Holloway. 221 Lee, `A woman student at Oxford' (n. 175), 11±12. 222 H. D. Oakeley, My Adventures in Education (1939), 58±64. 223 Lewis Farnell in The Due Recognition of Women, 29. He added, `Even greater trouble is said to attend the ``co-education system'' in the Museum laboratories,' but for this there is no supporting evidence. 224 S. Fletcher, Maude Royden: A Life (1989), 17, 21. 219


a new collegiate pattern

the same effect, notably Annie Rogers, `the Vampire of the AEW, the fell tyrant of the classical students, the bully of all beginners'.225 But formidable tutors, whether male or female, often inspired affection in their pupils.226 By the turn of the century women dons had largely taken over the role of directing studies, and in English and Modern Languages especially it was they who provided most of the tutorial teaching. Mildred Pope (Somerville 1891±3) established herself as a scholar in Old French without bene®t of Oxford tutoring, for the university had no experts in the ®eld: she later studied at Heidelberg, obtained a doctorate at Paris, and as Somerville's Modern Languages tutor from 1894 placed tutorial teaching on a more satisfactory basis.227 Edith Wardale, a pupil of Joseph Wright's, also took a doctorate, in her case at Zurich, and became the association's Anglo-Saxon lecturer and English tutor at St Hugh's. Other women tutors with claims to distinction include the Homeric scholar Hilda Lorimer and Helen Darbishire (an early woman Fellow of the British Academy) at Somerville, Eleanor Lodge and Janet Spens at LMH, the St Hilda's historian Elizabeth Levett, and the social scientist Violet Butler at the SOHS.228 But this by no means exhausts the list of notable pre-war women dons. Eleanor Jourdain, Vice-Principal and later Principal of St Hugh's, though better remembered as co-author with Annie Moberly of the classic ghost story An Adventure, was also a doctor of the University of Paris and at the peak of her reputation President of the Modern Language Association (1921±2).229 Grace Hadow, English tutor at LMH, wore her scholarship lightly but became a leading ®gure in the Women's Institute movement.230 Eglantyne Jebb, founder of the Save the Children Fund and a ®rst-class graduate of LMH, was for six years English tutor at Somerville.231 Some dons' wives who were scholars in their own right also taught women studentsÐamong them Mary Stocks, Joseph Wright's wife Elizabeth Lea, and Lettice Ilbert (Somerville 1894±7), who married H. A. L. Fisher after a period as a research student at the LSE. Women tutorsÐnot unlike their male counterpartsÐvaried in academic quality. Some were recruited from schools or left Oxford for posts as headmistresses, or in settlements or teacher-training colleges. Their conditions of employment were markedly inferior to those of the men dons: the stipend of 225

Diary of Dorothy Hammonds (1904±7), 7 Nov. 1905, 2 May 1906, SHuCA. See, for example, E. M. Wright, The Life of Joseph Wright (2 vols 1932), ii 132 and Barbara Gwyer's memoir of Annie Rogers in Degrees by Degrees. 227 Studies in French Language and Literature presented to Professor Mildred K. Pope (Manchester, 1939), xi. 228 On early Oxford women academics see Perrone, `University Teaching as a Profession for Women in Oxford, Cambridge and London, 1870±1930' (n. 85). 229 Grif®n (n. 76), St. Hugh's, 34±5, 49±50. 230 H. Deneke, Grace Hadow (1946). 231 F. Wilson, Rebel Daughter of a Country House: The Life of Eglantyne Jebb (1967). 226

the women's colleges


a resident tutor at Somerville, £120±£150 a year, compared with that of a graduate secondary schoolmistress.232 Within their own societies they had begun to acquire professional status by the early twentieth century. They gained the right to representation on the governing bodies of the halls and in 1909 formed a Society of Oxford Women Tutors to promote the views of academic women within the AEW and the Delegacy for Women Students. At Somerville old students subscribed to set up a research fellowship in 1903: its ®rst holder, Evelyn Jamison, went on to become a History tutor at LMH. A second Somerville research fellowship was endowed by Gilbert Murray's mother-in-law, Rosalind, Countess of Carlisle, in 1912.233 But University men were wary of accepting women dons on equal terms. Although it appears that a rather high proportion of early women dons engaged in research of some kind, the scholars among them did not always receive encouragement.234 Miss Lorimer was informed by Professor Pelham that there was no need for her to do research because all advanced teaching was provided by `friends from the men's Colleges'.235 Some women did receive invitations to lecture just before the warÐEleanor Lodge to history graduate students, Edith Wardale and Helen Darbishire to English undergraduates, and Janet Spens as deputy for the Regius Professor of Greek (Murray). In the new schools of English and Modern Languages, however, there was at ®rst marked reluctance to use women as lecturers, and at one stage the AEW boycotted the lectures arranged by the Curators of the Taylorian.236 A further handicap was that women (though technically not ineligible) were not in practice invited to examine. A tutor whose pupils did not do well in schools was left wondering whether the reason was prejudice on the part of the examiners or her own lack of experience. `Mary tells me you are greatly disappointed about the English list,' wrote Murray in a wellmeant letter to Miss Spens. `I am so sorry, but I cannot believe it is your fault. After all there is only one First among the women. It is not as if Somerville had a whole row of ®rsts.' And the following year: My dear, don't be unhappy about the class lists or the examiners. The latter probably mean well . . . The best antidote is to re¯ect how good your teaching is and how much your pupils like you and are proud of you . . . But I think it is true that the system at Oxford is apt to be oppressive. It has often just grown up and not been thought out.237 232 See F. Perrone, `Women Academics in England, 1870±1930', History of Universities, 11 (1993), 352. 233 Adams, Somerville, 67, 77±8. 234 Perrone, `Women Academics', 354. 235 Dame Lucy Sutherland, `Women in Oxford', History of the University tape-recorded seminar, 5 June 1973, HUA, 7. 236 AEW Education Committee minute books, 1908±12, 1912±17; Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon d. 1051, fos 28±54, 100 and 1052, fos 22, 45. 237 Murray to Spens, 23 June 1913, 2 July 1914, Bodl. Murray MSS 170, fos 20, 22, 24.


a new collegiate pattern

`There were able women among the early students, but very few of conspicuous talent,' Annie Rogers recalled.238 It was acknowledged that they worked harder than men undergraduates and yetÐas in later generationsÐit became the norm for women to gain a smaller proportion of ®rsts, though a higher proportion of seconds.239 Opinions differed as to why that was so. Bertha Johnson subscribed to the common view that women were by nature less original.240 `A woman's intellectual horizons, her sense of humour, her imaginative power is apt to be so much narrower than a man's,' wrote Elizabeth Wordsworth; although elsewhere she acknowledged that a sheltered upbringing might be the cause and that girls would bene®t from a Wanderjahr between school and university.241 A. L. Smith reached the conclusion, after many years of tutoring, that Oxford's impact on women was blunted by their social conditioning: Everyone at the university knows who has had pupils of both sexes, that in many ways their methods and in some ways the results of their work are quite different . . . I think that women students here, to put it shortly, work too hard and are far too docile and they have not got what is a weakness with men, the power of throwing the whole thing off completely and going into something else . . . Most of the women students come from a more restricted range, more respectable and conventional, and so on. The difference may be partly due to that and partly due to the tradition behind their education . . . There is not quite so sound an independent tradition about women's education as about men's.242

How far was this the case at the Oxford women's societies? Experiences varied. Edith Olivier went up to St Hugh's with expectations formed by Tennyson's `Princess': `Instead I found a lot of young women who seemed to look upon their Oxford years as merely the prelude to a troublesome examination, which would in its turn be the prelude to the life of a schoolmistress.'243 Vera Brittain (though by no means uncritical of Somerville) found, by contrast, that `College, far from turning one out a type, seems if anything to emphasize what is individual & make one want to emphasize it one's self.'244 Yet Viscountess Rhondda remembered early twentiethcentury Somerville for its `cloisterishness' and its dowdy and oppressive 238

Rogers, Degrees by Degrees, 153. Adams, Somerville, 34; J. Bardoux, Memories of Oxford, trans. W. Barker (1899), 9. In the early years, when fewer women attempted honours examinations, a higher proportion of those who did got ®rsts (30 out of the 104 women classi®ed in the years 1881±90); but of 549 women classi®ed between 1901 and 1910, 74 (13.5%) had ®rsts; 271 (49.4%) seconds, 155 (28.2%) thirds and 49 (8.9%) fourths. 240 Notes for evidence to Hebdomadal Council 1896, Johnson MSS, SACA. 241 Wordsworth MSS Box 5, 26 Sunday after Trinity 1883, LMH; E. Wordsworth, First Principles in Women's Education (1894). 242 Report on Conference with Association of Headmistresses convened by the Society of Oxford Women Tutors at LMH, Feb. 1917, LMH, Tutors' Records, Lodge Box 1. 243 E. Olivier, Without Knowing Mr Walkley (1939), 168±9. 244 Chronicle of Youth (n. 210), 118. 239

the women's colleges


atmosphere: `the air of forced brightness and virtue that hung about the cocoa-cum-missionary-party-hymn-singing girls, and . . . the self-conscious would-be naughtiness of those who reacted from this into smoking cigarettes and feeling wicked'.245 As shown in Chapter 24, women students did come from a narrower social spectrum than Oxford undergraduates, and those from more prosperous and fashionable backgrounds, like Lady Rhondda, who left to get married after two terms, were perhaps least likely to ®nd college life liberating. For most, however, the `disciplined freedom' of the women's college offered the best route they were likely to ®nd towardsÐto borrow Martha Vicinus's phraseÐ`an independent intellectual life'.246 The lifestyle of the women's halls changed as they grew and developed corporate traditions. There were alwaysÐas in the men's collegesÐmarked differences between them. Miss Wordsworth set the tone at LMH: the weekly Bible class, her Sunday evening addresses (often dealing, at Talbot's suggestion, with aspects of ethics and spiritual life relating to the work and duties of women), the emphasis on genteel convention lightened by her own eccentricities and wit.247 Maude Royden found the atmosphere `churchy'.248 But the Somervillian Grace Hadow, who moved to the hall as English tutor, was struck by `a vivid impression of delightful casualness'. `Where Somerville had a reputation for professional ef®ciency, the Hall risked the epithet ``ladylike'' with the underlying values and enjoyed the joke,' wrote her biographer.249 Somerville's second and third principals established the college's professional image. Agnes Maitland, who had earned her living in a variety of jobs and as an author of indifferent novels and good cookery books, was the ®rst self-supporting professional woman to become head of an Oxford hall. Emily Penrose was the ®rst principal with academic credentialsÐa ®rst in GreatsÐand had served in turn as Principal of London's Bedford and Royal Holloway colleges before she succeeded Miss Maitland in 1907.250 But part of the professional style at Somerville was a belief in devolution of authority from the Principal to tutors, and the fact that many of its students did not come from conventional Church backgrounds also affected the ¯avour of college life. The country vicarage atmosphere at St Hugh's marked a society that included a great many vicars' daughters, though it also re¯ected the personality of Annie MoberlyÐshy, indifferent to creature comforts, scholarly in an amateur tradition that adapted easily to the professionalization of higher education, she was also an accomplished 245

Viscountess Rhondda, This Was My World (1933), 107. M. Vicinus, Independent Women: Work and Community for Single Women 1850±1920 (1985), 121±62. 247 Talbot to Wordsworth 13 Jan. 1880, Wordsworth MSS. 248 Fletcher, Maude Royden, 16. 249 Deneke, Grace Hadow, 41. 250 V. Farnell, A Somervillian Looks Back (n. 100), 21±50; Adams, Somerville, 70±104. 246


a new collegiate pattern

musician who played for student dances and conducted the women's intercollegiate orchestra. At St Hilda's in Miss Beale's lifetime half the students came from Cheltenham Ladies' College; it was the smallest of all the halls and the `gracious' personality of Esther Burrows, who had formerly presided over a CLC boarding house, ensured that it would be the most domestic and genteel. But her daughter Christine, who succeeded her in 1910, was an LMH-trained history tutor and St Hilda's attracted its share of women intent on professional careers. The Society of Oxford Home-Students, although pervaded by Bertha Johnson's in¯uence before she retired in 1921, was the society that evolved furthest from its original character. It became an umbrella organization for all women pursuing academic courses in Oxford who might, if left unsupervised, have trespassed across the boundaries separating men and women students. These included increasing numbers of foreigners, most of them either taking English-language courses or doing research. (Foreigners also went to the women's hallsÐ7 per cent of their students in 1911±13 came from overseas, mostly North America or Western EuropeÐbut the proportion was much higher among home students.)251 Mrs Johnson's view that home students ought to be, literally, students living in private homes rather than hostels was also modi®ed before the war. The proprietor of one private hostel for women students, St Kentigern's, was persuaded to move away from Oxford in the 1890s.252 But when the Vatican gave approval in 1907 for Roman Catholic women to study at Oxford, living in the hostel at Cherwell Edge run by nuns of the Order of the Holy Child Jesus, the SOHS absorbed them without controversy. Pressures to become more collegiate were already apparent in the society before 1914: it acquired a common room, clubs and a magazine, a staff of tutors, and a motto borrowed from Mrs Johnson's familyÐ`Faire sans dire'.253 The idea of corporate life for women as an education in itself developed gradually but was well established by the turn of the century.254 A number of the early principals had connections with the world of reformed public schools for boys: Miss Wordsworth and her successor, Henrietta Jex-Blake, had, like Miss Moberly, lived in their younger days in schoolmasters' households, while Miss Penrose belonged to the Arnold cousinage.255 The value of corporate tradition and community life was adapted as a theme transcending gender, as in an address by Miss Penrose at the opening of Manchester University's ®rst residential women's hall. 251

Butler and Prichard, 61±3, 66, 77. SOHS Committee minute books, 6 Mar, 1 May, 5 June, 27 Nov 1896, SACA. 253 Butler and Prichard, 66, 77±8. 254 Vicinus, Independent Women, 136. 255 Annie Moberly's insistence that `her father's headmastership had governed her conception of what a ``Principal'' should be' is recorded in Helena Deneke's MS Memoirs, 27; S Hu CA. 252

the women's colleges


In a Hall of Residence, the student has all the independence and dignity of her own ®reside; but her relation to her room is not that of an ordinary tenant . . . Students of the past have sat and thought over her ®re . . . She is one of a series, and as she realises this it impels her to be worthy of her line.

The obligation to get to know one's contemporaries was `an excellent preparation for learning how to get into touch with our own age in after life'. By mixing with women from different backgrounds, and with unfamiliar standards and tastes, students could `win their way to their own convictions', although they were also touched by the corporate ethos of their communities. `Out of the best thoughts of the past and the present is built up a body of public opinion, something we think of as the ``feeling of the Hall'', which acts as a standard to be lived up to, not only while we are still students but for the rest of our lives afterwards.'256 The resemblance between Oxford women's and men's colleges was often closest at points where both displayed similarities to the public schools. College sport for women grew out of an initial preoccupation with keeping ®t through exerciseÐtennis, gymnastics, rowing, walking, even skipping and tug-of-warÐbut became increasingly competitive.257 Hockey was banned by the LMH councilÐto the annoyance of Miss Wordsworth who sympathized with youthful high spiritsÐafter an inter-hall match in 1885 in which a Somervillian was injured and the hall's victory was celebrated with an unseemly bon®re.258 The ban was lifted in the 1890s, however, and by the turn of the century there were occasional complaints about excessive gamesplaying in the women's as well as the men's colleges.259 As early as 1890 badges were awarded to those who played against Cambridge in the women's inter-university tennis match, and hockey and lacrosse also became before 1914 sports for which women could earn this equivalent of a blue.260 Sport reinforced communal loyalties and rivalries: `St. Hugh's Hall is feeling somewhat slighted by an impertinent proposal that it should play for a challenge cup with St. Hilda's,' Dorothy Hammonds noted in her diary: but a victory over the LMH second eleven was received with `huge chortlings'.261 St Hilda's, on the other hand, could pride itself as a keen rowing college and the possessor of a silver challenge cup `competed for by revolver shooting at the Volunteer ri¯e range. The reason given by the donor for this 256

Address on the opening of Ashburne Hall, Manchester, 1910; Penrose ®le, SCA. K. E. McCrone, Playing the Game: Sport and the Physical Emancipation of English Women 1870±1914 (Kentucky, 1988). 258 There seems to be no evidence for the claim in McCrone, Playing the Game, 44, that hockey was also banned for a time at Somerville. 259 Principals' meetings 1903±17, fo 6, Maitland to Wordsworth, 13 Oct 1905, SCA. For the corresponding complaints see pp. 531±3, 535±7, 799±800. 260 McCrone, Playing the Game, 44. 261 Hammonds diary, 30 Nov., 7 Dec. 1905, S Hu CA. 257


a new collegiate pattern

competition was that ``if any of our students go to the colonies they might ®nd that art useful''.'262 A magazine for the women's societies, the Fritillary, was started at the same time as the Isis and it records an internal social life in the women's colleges that echoed the more sober features of the men's: drama, discussion societies, debatingÐwhether in the informal `Sharp Practice' societies found in all colleges or more formal inter-collegiate debates.263 Somerville, like Newnham, had a Parliament in which dons as well as students took part: speakers were identi®ed as men, titles were bestowed on donsÐas in `Sir P[hoebe] Sheavyn, Bart.'Ðand Miss Penrose presided over the opening of Parliament as King.264 Old students' associationsÐespecially important in fund-raising as the halls expandedÐmaintained contact with Oxford through a familiar pattern of gaudies, college magazines, sporting ®xtures, and interaction with current students interested in settlement work, University missionary ventures (such as Mother Edith Langridge's sisterhood at Barisal, linked to the Oxford mission to Calcutta) orÐin later yearsÐthe women's movement.265 In other respects, of course, the halls bore a closer resemblance to women's communities elsewhere. Modes of interaction between women took distinctive forms. Rituals of family life sometimes lingered onÐMrs Burrows said goodnight to each student personally in her drawing-room. Miss Shaw Lefevre's model of the country-house party was perhaps nearest to the norm of college life for women at Oxford.266 Relations between staff and students remained more intimate than was usual in the men's colleges. Dons played games, acted, and made music with students and joined in their `sociables', while discipline remained the responsibility of principals and was not devolved to deans or college servants. Among students there was less family feeling, however, and a strong tendency to associate within `years' which contrasted with the undergraduate pattern of `sets' based on common tastes or schooling.267 Even in a small community like St Hilda's there was `great etiquette in the matter of calling, cocoa parties, and exchanging Christian names' between freshers and seniors.268 Such formalities were common in all women's colleges of the period (although, like all campus rituals, they 262

Christine Burrows' draft history of the College, quoted in Rayner, St. Hilda's, 40. Cf. Bardoux, Memories, 105: `If one forgets for a moment that the ladies' review is superior from a literary point of view, it is impossible to discover the least difference between the two papers.' 264 Fritillary, 34 (Mar. 1905), 554; 52 (Mar. 1911), 918±19. 265 The Women's University Settlement in Nelson Square was started by the Cambridge and Oxford Women's Societies in 1883. LMH's Anglican Settlement in Lambeth, modelled on Church House, opened in 1887. 266 Adams, Somerville, 105. 267 On the life of the men's colleges, see Chapter 4. 268 Reminiscences of B. Hamilton, SHi CA. 263

the women's colleges


were not universally observed).269 One explanation for the sensitivity of seniors was the presence at the women's halls of a signi®cant, if dwindling, number of mature students, often former schoolmistresses, who had to be kept in their place. As the writer of a `Fresher's Vade Mecum' put it: Be the Senior a lady of twenty, be the Fresher reached thirty or more No matter! for Seniors are senior, as Freshers are fresh, evermore.270

The feminine culture of the halls set them apart from the self-conscious `manliness' of undergraduate life and had begun by the 1890s to foster interest in women's issues. Annie Moberly was persuaded in 1898 to speak on `the women's movement at the present day in connection with Scripture'.271 How far this collegiate women's culture tended to subvert norms of sexuality is dif®cult to determine. Early Oxford women sometimes emerged in later life as publicly identi®ed lesbians, among them the journalist and author Christopher St John (C. G. Marshall, Somerville 1890±3) and the broadcaster Hilda Matheson, who had been a home student.272 A heterosexual radical, Stella Browne (Somerville 1899±1902), believed that `arti®cial homosexuality' (as distinct from `true inversion') was encouraged in women by the segregation of the sexes, but that it manifested itself only when they were in their late twenties or thirties.273 Wilma Meikle bears witness to the ignorance on sexual matters among college women of her generation, commenting `perhaps it is hardly understood how little the average school or university girl discusses such matters.'274 Oxford was, proverbially, a place where intimate, even romantic, friendships ¯ourished and in these generations such bonding was for the most part necessarily con®ned to young people of the same sex.275 Yet historians in search of `homoerotic' dimensions will ®nd little to compare with the well-documented relationships formed by Constance Maynard, Mistress of West®eld College, in the atmosphere of Evangelical religious intensity that characterized that college's early years.276 A Somervillian of the 1880s, Lilian Faithfull, wrote of college friendships as apt to `degenerate into a sentimental devotion' and of her own escape from this pitfall through a `strong and sane friendship' with a student who refused to allow the relationship to become exclusive.277 But partnerships between 269 Vicinus, Independent Women, 144±5; H. Lefkowitz Horowitz, Campus Life: Undergraduate Culture from the End of the Eighteenth Century to the Present (New York, 1987). 270 Fritillary, 15 (Dec. 1898), 237±8. 271 St. Hugh's Club Paper, June 1898. 272 S. Jeffreys, The Spinster and Her Enemies: Feminism and Sexuality, 1880±1930 (1985); E. Hamer, Britannia's Glory: A History of Twentieth-Century Lesbians (1996). 273 S. Rowbotham, A New World for Women: Stella Browne, Socialist Feminist (1977), 102. 274 Meikle, Towards a Sane Feminism (n. 187), 87. 275 See, for example, D. N. Dalglish, We Have Been Glad (1938), 110, 130. 276 Vicinus, Independent Women, 158±62, 194±203. 277 L. M. Faithfull, In the House of My Pilgrimage (1924), 66±7. Miss Faithfull's later concern as headmistress with curbing schoolgirl `raves' doubtless coloured these memories:


a new collegiate pattern

women dons who set up house togetherÐEleanor Lodge and Janet Spens or, more famously, Annie Moberly and Eleanor JourdainÐthat would attract comment from later generations did not do so at the time.278 Nor did the unselfconscious use of male nicknames and undergraduate slang among women students of Dorothy Sayers's circle (Dean Burgon's fulminations of the 1880s were apparently forgotten three decades later).279 The ®rst case of `inversion' for which records survive occurred during the First World War. A Somerville Exhibitioner, Dorothy Spencer, made passionateÐand sometimes unwelcomeÐadvances to various contemporaries and told them that she was `bi-sexual' (in modern terms, that is, lesbian).280 She was believed to have caused Enid Starkie to have a nervous breakdown and eventually provoked a crisis in the college.281 Students protested: `It seems to us to be a menace to the natural basis of all relationships between women. In Men's Colleges also such things are known, and, we believe, are seldom tolerated for long.'282 Emily Penrose took medical advice on a subject that was plainly outside her experience: the prevailing view was apparently that Miss Spencer's condition was `pathological' and `not a case for blame'.283 She was brie¯y banished to a hotel in Stratford-on-Avon and told that she should not apply for posts in girls' schools. She returned to Oxford to take Schools, however, and went on, after a brief period teaching in a boys' school, to a successful career as a Conservative party of®cial.284 Perhaps we may see this episode as marking the end of an age of innocence. At all events, retrospective interpretations of women's relationships in the light of discoursesÐ whether medical or feministÐthat had not impinged on pre-war Oxford are bound to remain controversial. A topic much discussed, on the other hand, was the effect of an Oxford education on women's prospects in `after life'. The tone was often anxious, see M. Vicinus, `Distance and Desire: English Boarding School Friendships, 1870±1920' in M. Duberman, M. Vicinus and G. Chauncy, Jr (eds), Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Lesbian and Gay Past (New York, 1990), 226. 278 E. C. Lodge, Terms and Vacations (1938); L. Iremonger, The Ghosts of Versailles: Miss Moberly, Miss Jourdain and their Adventure: A Critical Study (1957); J. Evans, `An End to An Adventure: Solving the Mystery of the Trianon', Encounter, 47 (Oct. 1976), 33±47; T. Castle, `Contagious Folly: An Adventure and its Skeptics', in J. Chandler, A. I. Davidson, and H. Harootunian, Questions of Evidence: Proof, Practice and Persuasion Across the Disciplines (Chicago, 1994). See also E. Edwards, `Homoerotic Friendship and College Principals, 1880± 1960', Women's History Review, 4 (1995), 149±64. 279 B. Reynolds (ed.), The Letters of Dorothy Sayers, 1899±1936. The Making of a Detective Novelist (1995), 73 and (for comments on the `Vigger-Chagger' at Encaenia), 78. 280 Discipline ®le, SCA. `Bi-sexual ˆ sexual feelings of a man & the physique of a woman', according to the Human Anatomy demonstrator, Alice Chance; note by E. Penrose, 9 June 1919. 281 K. G. Wood to Hodgkinson, 7 June [1919], in Discipline ®le, SCA; J. Richardson, Enid Starkie (1973), 39. 282 K. M. Hodgkinson, K. M. Thomas, and 21 others to Penrose, 24 May 1919, Discipline ®le, SCA. 283 Penrose to M. M. Barber, 9 Mar 1918, Discipline ®le, SCA. 284 Somerville College Register, 1879±1971.

the women's colleges


and with good reason: the verdict of historians has been that higher education played a more important part in validating the notion of professional employment for women than in widening the range of career ®elds open to them.285 The women's colleges did not set out to divert students from the domestic life that would inevitably be the lot of many, but even Miss Wordsworth (who never quite lost her nostalgia for traditional family ways) urged students to expect that they would ®nd a vocation. `It is not possible that there should be, as the census tables tell us, so many women more than can well be absorbed by home life and home duties, unless God meant them to be of some use to the community at large.'286 The notion of the `redundant woman' was banished in her Sunday addresses. Yet to students at the turn of the century prospects often seemed bleak. `Are you going to teach when you go down, or be a Home Sunbeam?' they asked each other at cocoa parties.287 Secondary schoolteaching, the principal career of 38 per cent of women at the Oxford halls before 1914, offered opportunities for a structured and varied career and was increasingly viewed positively as a woman's profession.288 Students were aware, however, especially before the advent of the local authority grammar schools set up under the 1902 Education Act, of the competition for good posts and the risk of exploitation. The ®rst edition of the Fritillary records an imaginary conversation between a headmistress and an applicant for a teaching post: `we should be able to offer you nearly £70Ð perhaps £65Ðor anyway it would be raised to that after the ®rst few years.'289 Women of Margery Fry's circle at Somerville, who had no need to earn a living, were equally pessimistic. She and Eleanor Rathbone `came to the conclusion that Parliament was shut to us, and practically everything was shut to us. There was nothing that it was worthwhile to be ambitious about.' `Oh, Margery!Ðthe future does lie so nakedly before us,' wrote another of her friends. `The hard fact is that there is no cure but waiting and grabbing at everything that turns up.'290 Opportunities opened for this generation of women in later years and, as Lady Peck points out, some of those who seized them had begun their lives after college as Home Sunbeams. Among her own LMH contemporaries were the principal of a women's college, two well-known archaeologists, and other scholars who made `lasting contributions to historical research', an MP (Mary Pickford) and an unsuccessful Liberal candidate who was prominent in public life in Scotland, two missionaries, and a nun (Ethel Romanes) whose ®rst in Theology marked her out for high in¯uence in the Wantage 285 Vicinus, Independent Women, 23±30; J. C. Pedersen, The Reform of Girls' Secondary and Higher Education in Victorian England: A Study of Elites and Educational Change (1987), 378. 286 Wordsworth MSS Box 5, 2nd Sunday after Trinity [n.d.], LMH. 287 LMH Brown Book, 1928, 101. 288 See A. Oram, Women, Teachers and Feminist Politics, 1900±39 (Manchester, 1996), 14±38. 289 Fritillary, 1, Mar. 1894, . 290 Huws Jones, Margery Fry (n. 206), 47±8.


a new collegiate pattern

sisterhood, except that she died young. `One cannot, of course, claim that an Oxford career was wholly responsible for these achievements,' she added, `but they themselves would have paid it a warm tribute.'291 Others were more criticalÐwitness the efforts of Lady Lascelles to help her step-niece `to get rid of her Oxfordy manner'.292 Early historians of the women's colleges were perhaps too ready to give them credit for the achievements of alumnae whose advantages came chie¯y from the families into which they were born or married. Such was the trio of LMH travellers and Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society, Gertrude Bell, Susette Taylor, and Ella Sykes; or Archbishop Benson's daughters Eleanor and Margaret, known for their social and Church work and as authors on subjects ranging, in Margaret's case, from the philosophy of religion and Egyptian excavations to animal books.293 Somerville's reputation as a nursery of novelists is well-deservedÐ yet one of the most distinguished, Rose Macaulay (1900±3), was conscious of the legacy of ancestors `addicted to preaching, reading and writing': she left Oxford, morti®ed, with an aegrotat.294 Other careers were shaped by a combination of Oxford and family in¯uences. Maria Lathbury, who read Greats at Somerville (1888±91), had established herself as a lecturer in archaeology before the marriage to Sir John Evans that enlarged her opportunities in both scholarship and public life. Their daughter Joan, eventually to become the ®rst woman Director of the Society of Antiquaries, had already completed a book on English jewellery when she went up to read for the Diploma in Classical Archaeology at St Hugh's.295 Marriage was more important as a life-shaping event to women than to men, yet in the middle and upper classes in this generation women were much less likely to marry. Among women students, as at the Cambridge and London women's colleges, fewer than one in three did marry (see Figure 10.7). Marriages between men tutors and their women pupils were not uncommon (etiquette, according to one well-informed novelist, required that the proposal should be put off until the student had `got through the Schools').296 But it was only in the 1930s, as rules on the segregation of the sexes were relaxed, that Oxford itself became something of a marriage marketÐ40 per cent of the women graduates of that decade who married chose Oxford men as spouses.297 Before the First World War there was 291

Peck, A Little Learning (n. 197), 165. Florence, Lady Bell (ed.), The Letters of Gertrude Bell (1989 edn), 21. Particularly disconcerting, Lady Bell explains, was Gertrude's tendency `to proffer. . . her opinions [and] . . . criticisms, to her superiors in age and experience'. 293 For example, Bailey, Lady Margaret Hall (n. 19), 125±30. See also Chapter 24. 294 Adams, Somerville, 360±1; S. Leonardi, Dangerous by Degrees: Women at Oxford and the Somerville College Novelists (1909); J. Emery, Rose Macaulay: A Writer's Life (1991), 11. 295 J. Evans, Prelude and Fugue (1964), 22±3, 67. 296 M. L. Woods, The Invader (1907), 12. See also Mrs Humphry Ward, Lady Connie (1916), for a romance between a home student and her tutor; Adams, Somerville, 115. 297 The Twentieth Century, 353, 362. 292

the women's colleges


f i g u r e 10.7 Oxford students and marriage: Women 1881±1979, Men 1930±79.

nothing to discourage the widespread impression that an Oxford education reduced a woman's chance of ®nding a husbandÐor, alternatively, her interest in marrying.298 What advantages did it give her in the job market? The expansion of secondary schooling for middle-class girls in the later nineteenth century created what June Purvis has termed a `cyclical relationship' between academically ambitious public and grammar schools and the women's colleges, which recruited their pupils as students and provided them with staff.299 In this `renaissance of girls' education', celebrated by the Girtonian Alice Zimmern, Oxford was not especially prominent, chie¯y because its women's colleges were relatively late foundations.300 The best known of the founding headmistresses of major girls' schools were products of Queen's College Harley Street (Miss Beale and Miss Buss) or, in the next generation, Girton and Newnham (Miss Lumsden of St Leonard's, Miss Dove of Wycombe Abbey, the Lawrence sisters of Roedean). The smaller girls' private schools founded by some Oxford womenÐJulia Arnold's Prior's Field, Godalming, Margaret Lee's Wychwood School in Oxford, or 298



Howarth and Curthoys, `The Political Economy of Women's Higher Education' (n. 10),

J. Purvis, A History of Women's Education in England (1991), 120. A. Zimmern, The Renaissance of Girls' Education in England: A Record of Fifty Years' Progress (1898). 300


a new collegiate pattern

Corran School at Watford, run by Eleanor Jourdain before she became Vice-Principal of St Hugh'sÐwere outside the mainstream of educational reform, which emphasized the advantages for girls of large high schools or public boarding schools.301 In schools of that kind the Oxford women's colleges did, of course, come to enjoy much prestige: a grammar-school girl who won an open scholarship might, as at Blackburn High School in 1904, earn the school a celebratory day's holiday.302 But it was a matter of debate whether Oxford-educated schoolmistresses were handicapped, nevertheless, by the lack of a degree. The value of a class in Schools was, some argued, understood by `the Head Mistresses of all the schools one would wish to go to': Cheltonians who took the London BA felt that headmistresses preferred women from Oxford or Cambridge.303 Yet Oxford womenÐincluding Lilian Faithfull and Eleanor JourdainÐfound themselves passed over in favour of candidates for teaching posts with `letters after their name'.304 In the ®rst four years (1904±7) when ad eundem degrees at Trinity College, Dublin, were open to women who had taken degree courses at the ancient English universities, 54 Oxford women took the BA degree and 56 the MA.305 Others took London degrees after leaving Oxford. As shown in Table 10.2, just under one in ten students found openings in higher education, where the number of posts held by women, though small in absolute terms, was increasing rapidly, especially in the Oxford and London women's colleges.306 Here the specialized nature and cachet of honour schools work may have been an advantage, in the arts at least. Of the tiny band of women appointed to chairs before 1914, twoÐCaroline Spurgeon of Bedford College and Edith Morley of Reading University CollegeÐhad gained ®rsts as external candidates in the English School.307 The range of opportunities open to women in coeducational universities and colleges, where pastoral posts as hostel wardens or tutors to women students were sometimes linked with more straightforwardly academic appointments, has 301 On academically successful girls' private schools, see J. Howarth, `Public schools, safetynets and educational ladders; the classi®cation of girls' secondary schools 1880±1914', Oxford Review of Education, xi (1985), 59±71. 302 P. Summer®eld, `Cultural Reproduction in the Education of Girls', in F. Hunt (ed.), Lessons for Life: The Schooling of Girls and Women, 1850±1950 (1987), 158. 303 Parsons to Johnson, 17 May 1895, Lees to Johnson, 19 May 1895, Johnson MSS, SACA. 304 Faithfull, In the House of My Pilgrimage, 73±4; Jourdain to Rogers, n.d. [1895], Rogers MSS, SACA. 305 Curzon, Principles and Methods of University Reform (n. 148), 197. 306 By 1913/14 32 women held teaching posts (full or part-time) in Oxford, 69 at the London women's colleges, and 27 at Newnham or Girton (the latter were almost all Cambridgeeducated); of the two coeducational London colleges, LSE employed 5 women academics and UCL 14. See Perrone, `Women Academics', 345. 307 Both were students at King's College Ladies Department and the Oxford tutor Ernest de Selincourt visited to lecture and coach them; H. E. Bell, `First Woman Professor', OM, 127 (1996), 2±3.

the women's colleges


TA B L E 1 0. 2 p r i n c i pa l ca r e e r s o f ox f o r d wo m e n s t u d e n t s , 1 8 8 1 ± 1 9 1 3 ( p e r c e n tag e s ) 1881±3 1891±3 1901±03 1911±13 All N generations Nuns, Missionaries Professions (doctors, architects) Nursing Higher education Other academic research, libraries, archives Educational administrators Teaching (school or private) Central or local government Welfare work (paid) Authors, journalists Secretarial or clerical work Voluntary work War work Commerce Not known Total N







0 2 3

2 2 10

1 1 8

2 1 9

1.5 1 9

(14) (11) (82)

2 2 28 2 0 7 2 18 0 3 30

31 3 35 1 3 5 2 7.5 0 1 24

4 1 38 2 1 4 1 9 2 0 24

2.5 2 33 3 4 2 3 3 4 2 25

3 2 34 2 3 3 2 6 3 1 25

(26) (18) (330) (23) (26) (30) (22) (61) (25) (12) (239)

100 (174)

100 (251)

100 (474)


100 (60)


been charted by Carol Dyhouse.308 The `dif®cult careers' experienced by many early women dons belied the claim that such institutions made `no distinction of sex'.309 Oxford made no such claim. But there, as elsewhere, through the expanding functions of the University and the patronage of individual men, modest openings for women appeared in the world of male scholarship. Women librarians were employed at the Bodleian (and at Manchester College).310 Men dons recruited former women students as private secretaries or for literary or research work, sometimes for such collective projects as the Victoria County Histories or Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary. Eleanor Lodge and Elizabeth Levett became keen 308

Dyhouse, No Distinction of Sex?, 62±83, 134±77. Edith Morley was among the women with Oxford connections who experienced career setbacks, as did Phoebe Sheavyn (English tutor at Somerville, 1897±1907, subsequently a lecturer at Manchester University), a founder member of the British Federation of University Women, and Hilda Oakeley; Dyhouse, No Distinction of Sex?, 46±7, 75±6 156±61; and (for Hilda Oakeley) N. L. Blakestad, `King's College of Household and Social Science and the Household Science Movement in English Higher Education, c.1908±1939' (unpublished Oxford D.Phil. thesis, 1994). 310 For the American-born Lucy Toulmin Smith, librarian at Manchester College 1894±1911 and the ®rst woman in England to be in charge of a public library, see DNB, 1901±11. 309


a new collegiate pattern

members of Professor Vinogradoff's seminar. The beginnings of collaborative work between men and women in the smaller science departments are discussed in Chapter 20. The new diploma courses offered the ®rst university teaching posts to womenÐAlice Cooper, tutor to women studying for the diploma in education, was appointed in 1897 and Nora MacMunn became demonstrator in Geography in 1905Ðbut in 1910 Alice Chance became assistant demonstrator in the Department of Human Anatomy. It was, however, the women's colleges themselves that played the crucial role for students with academic ambitions, as gatekeepers to the profession as well as employers and patrons of women scholars. In medicine, second in importance to education as a profession for women, Oxford had, by contrast, little to offer, although a handful of prospective doctors studied there before proceeding to LondonÐand one of these, Doris Odlum (St Hilda's 1909±13), became a well-known pioneer of psychiatry in the inter-war years. In the law and the Churches, less promising career ®elds for women, a few individuals were able to exploit Oxford's advantages. Cornelia Sorabji (Somerville 1889±1892), allowed to take the BCL by special decree, became India's ®rst woman barrister and adviser to the purdanaschins. Ivy Williams, who read Jurisprudence and the BCL as a home student, was in 1920 the ®rst woman called to the English bar. Another home student, the Prussian-born Gertrude von Petzold, studied at Manchester College and became in 1904 the ®rst woman to serve as minister responsible for a Unitarian church in England. Yet another, M. I. Atchison, crowned her career in the Order of the Holy Child Jesus as Mother-General, with an of®ce in Rome. The ®rst woman ordained to the Christian ministry in the UK was the Somervillian Congregationalist, Constance Mary Todd, who trained as Mans®eld College's ®rst woman ministerial student and was ordained together with her husband-to-be, Claud Coltman, on 17 September 1917.311 Maude Royden, the most eloquent churchwoman of her generation, became in 1917 the ®rst woman to preach in the Congregationalist City Temple and subsequently a regular preacher at the Anglican church of St Botolph's, Bishopsgate. But moderate `Church feminists', such as Louise Creighton (who joined LMH's council in 1906), were still opposed (as was Miss Wordsworth) to her call for opening the priesthood to women.312 311 E. Kaye, `Constance ColtmanÐa forgotten pioneer', Journal of the United Reformed Church History Society, 4 (1988), 134±46; id., `A turning-point in the ministry of women: the ordination of the ®rst woman to the Christian ministry in England in September 1917', Studies in Church History, 27 (1990), 505±12. For Gertrud von Petzold see Keith Gilley, Transactions of the Unitarian Historical Society, xxi.3 (Apr. 1997), 157±72. Mary Atchison was already a nun when a Home Student. As Mother General of her Order, 1924±1946, she established its African Province, and its Irish convents and convent schools. For Cornelia Sorabji see p. 714 below. 312 B. Heeney, The Women's Movement in the Church of England 1850±1930 (1988), 89±93, 135±7.

the women's colleges


In social and welfare work, new developments of the period that enlarged the woman's sphere were well represented in Oxford. Women were electedÐmore readily than in Cambridge, it was claimedÐon to Boards of Guardians and other local government bodies.313 Bertha Johnson, for many years vice-chairman of the Oxford branch of the Charity Organization Society, took students with her on visits to the Headington workhouse. C. V. Butler published a survey of poverty in Oxford. Lettice Fisher started an Oxford Health and Housing Association and in 1918 went on to found the National Council for the Unmarried Mother and Her Child. Here were role models for aspiring welfare workersÐalthough students, who often came from homes where the duty to perform charitable work was taken for granted, also ran schemes of their own for hospital visiting, a play centre for poor children, and the like.314 Settlement work in London and elsewhere provided training that might lead to paid employment as, for example, a hospital almoner or local government child-care or social worker. A course of training in Oxford for social workers was started in 1913, at ®rst run by the Social and Political Studies Association in conjunction with Barnett House, but taken over by the University in 1918.315 Other Oxford students made careers outside the education sector as opportunities for paid work expanded, slowly and haphazardly. Janet Courtney (neÂe Hogarth), regarded as a pioneer at LMH, was among the university women recruited as clerks to the Royal Commission on Labour (1889±92) by its Secretary, Geoffrey Drage, moving on to become in turn supervisor of women clerks at the Bank of England, librarian of the Times Book Club, and head of the indexing staff at the Encyclopedia Britannica, before marrying and forming a literary partnership with a former Oxford tutor, W. L. Courtney, editor of the Fortnightly Review. Edith Deverell (Somerville 1892±5) and Dorothy Hammonds became inspectors of schools, Henrietta Escreet (Somerville 1903±6) became a factory inspector; others, like Maude Marshall (LMH 1892±5), obtained posts created in connection with legislation on juvenile and women's work under the Board of Trade. Dorothy Sayers and Cecil Woodham Smith (neÂe FitzGerald, St Hilda's 1914±17) became advertising copy-writers, Florence Lorimer (Somerville 1902±5) was for some years buyer for the Oriental carpet departments of Peter Jones and John Lewis. But an Oxford education did nothing to privilege women in such ®elds. Neither government service nor the commercial sector offered structured careers to university women, although the war brought openings of a temporary sort. Miss Penrose was among the witnesses who urged on the Macdonnell Commission the case for admitting them as competitors for 313 The Cambridge Poor Law Guardian, Mrs Rackham, reported in Oxford Chronicle, 10 Mar. 1911, 9b. 314 Huws Jones, Margery Fry (n. 206), 42. 315 Norman Chester, Economics, Politics and Social Studies in Oxford, 1900±85 (1986), 130±2.


a new collegiate pattern

entry to the higher civil service (conceded in 1919). It is dif®cult to deny the charge that less thought was given to promoting business careers for women.316 It was only to be expected, ®nally, that Oxford-educated women would play a part in the leadership of the women's movementÐboth in the suffrage agitation that reached its climax, attracting powerful support from professional women, shortly before the war and in the more fragmented pattern of feminist politics that characterized the inter-war years.317 The point of entry for a numberÐincluding Eleanor Rathbone, Maude Royden, Kathleen Courtney, Ida O'Malley, and Lettice FisherÐwas the central executive committee of the main constitutional suffrage organization, the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), to which Mrs Fawcett made a point of recruiting Cambridge and Oxford women.318 Suffragette militants with an Oxford background were rare and the two best knownÐ Viscountess Rhondda and the movement's martyr, Emily Wilding Davison (who spent a term at St Hugh's but took the English School as an external candidate)Ðwere at college there only brie¯y.319 How far did the Oxford experience, at least for those who stayed the course, encourage feminist consciousness? The answer is elusive. As Olive Banks has noted, higher education appealed to women who were already feminists, just asÐin these generationsÐfeminism appealed to educated women.320 Eleanor Rathbone was remembered as a `®erce feminist' in her Somerville years, which coincided with the 1895±6 degree controversy: it does seem likely that she acquired these convictions at college and she used the old Somervillians' magazine to urge the formation of local suffrage societies.321 For Vera Brittain, on the other hand, the formative in¯uence was a Newnhameducated schoolmistress who awakened her interest in feminist ideas before she went to Oxford.322 And what are we to make of Janet Courtney's claim 316

See Wilma Meikle on `The Buss-Beale Blunder', Towards a Sane Feminism, 21±34. Florence Lorimer's contribution to Sir Aurel Stein's expeditions is addressed in Helen Wang, `Stein's Recording Angel', Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 3, ser. 8, 2 (1998), 207±28. 317 About a ®fth of the women listed in the Suffrage Annual and Women's Who's Who (1913) had been to university; J. Park, `British suffrage activists of 1913', Past and Present (1988), 147±62. 318 Eleanor Rathbone succeeded Mrs Fawcett as leader of the NUWSS in 1919, Kathleen Courtney became its secretary, Maude Royden and Ida O'Malley in turn edited its periodical Common Cause. Other Oxford women who served on the central executive were Evelyn Atkinson (Somerville 1896±9), who was on Somerville's council; Winifred Haver®eld (neÂe Breakwell, Somerville 1900±3), the wife of the ancient historian F. J. Haver®eld and a tutor at St Hugh's; and Mary Stocks. 319 J. Alberti, Beyond Suffrage: Feminists in War and Peace, 1914±28 (1989), 30±2, 137±41; L. Stanley et al., The Life and Death of Emily Wilding Davison (1988). 320 O. Banks, Becoming a Feminist (Brighton, 1986), 13. 321 M. Stocks, Eleanor Rathbone (1949), 63; J. Alberti, Eleanor Rathbone (1996), 16; SSA Reports (1898), 32, Somerville College. 322 D. Gorham, Vera Brittain: A Feminist Life (1996), 19, 22±3.

the women's colleges


that the ethos of LMH under Miss Wordsworth made it `impos