The Answer of the Vice Chancellor & Senate of the Vniversity of Cambridge to the Question, why they did not Admitt Alban ffrancis to the Degree of Master of Arts in the same Vniversity according to his Majestys Mandatory Letters under his Signe Manual.

The said Vice Chancellor & Senate for & in behalfe of themselves & the said Vniversity, say that by the Statute made 1mo Eliz: Entituled an Act to restore to the Crowne the ancient Iurisdictions over the State Ecclesiasticall & Spirituall, & abolishing fforeigne power repugnant to the same, It is Enacted amongst other things that every person that shall be promoted to any degree of Learning in any Vniversity within this Kingdome, before he shall receive or take any such Degree shall before the Chancellor or ViceChancellor of the Vniversity take the Oath in that Statute mentioned & appointed, purporting that he doth thereby testifie and declare in his Conscience that his Majestie is the onely supreame Governour of this Realme, as well in all Spirituall & Ecclesiasticall things and causes, as Temporall. That no fforreigne Prince, Person, Prelate, State or Potentate hath or ought to have any Iurisdictions, Superiority or authority Ecclesiasticall or Spirituall within this Realme, and that therefore he doth renounce & forsake all forreigne Iurisdictions & authorities & promise to beare ffaith & true Allegiance to the King his Heires & Successors & to his power assist & Defend all Iurisdictions & authorities Granted, Vnited, annexed or belonging to his Majestys Imperiall Crowne of England.

That by the Statute made 5. Eliz: Entituled an Act for the Assurance of the Queen's Royall Prerogative over all Estates & Subjects within her Dominions.

It is likewise enacted that every person that shall be admitted to any degree of Learning in any the Vniversityes before he shall be allowed or suffered to take upon him such Degree shall take the forementioned Oath before such person or persons as shall have authority by common Vse, or otherwise to admitt to such Degree.

That by the Statute made by his Majestys Royall Grandfather King Iames the first in the third yeare of his Reigne Entituled an Act for the better discovering & repressing of Popish Recusants. Another Oath is preprscribed commonly called the Oath of Obedience by which Oath the person that <1v> takes it amongst other things is enjoyned to sweare that his Majestie is the Lawfull & rightfull King of this Realme, & of all other his Dominions & Countries. And that neither the Pope of himselfe, nor by any other means hath power or authority to depose his Majestie or dispose of any his Kingdomes or Dominions, or to Authorize any fforreigne Prince to invade them, or discharge his Subjects from their Obedience or Allegiance to his Majestie, or to give leave to bear Armes against him, & that he will bear faith & true Allegiance to his Majestie & him will Defend to the Vtmost of his power. And afterwards by the Statute made in the seventh year of the Reigne of his Majestys said Royall Grandfather Entituled an Act for the Administring the Oath of Allegiance.

It is enacted that the said last mentioned Oath shall by the ViceChancellor & Principalls of houses in the Vniversity be publiquely taken in the Convocation before the Senior Masters & by every other person that should be promoted to any Degree in Schoole before the ViceChancellor for the time being in the Convocation house.

That the ViceChancellor & every member of the Senate hath taken the said Oathes, & the ViceChancellor & Senate are the persons intrusted to putt the said Lawes in Execution in the said Vniversitie.

That the Vice Chancellor by his Oath of Office hath alsoe sworne duely to execute his Office according to the Lawes, & cannot admitt to any Degree without the Senate.

That the said Statutes were made for the preservation of the Doctrine & Religion professed by the Church of England, & established by the Lawes of this Kingdome, & of the Prerogative & rightfull power of his Majestie.

That upon the receipt of his Majestys said Letters Mandatory, the same were by the Vice Chancellor communicated to the said Senate & in order to the admitting the said Alban ffrancis to the Degree of Master of Arts, the said Oathes were offered to be adminstred to the said Alban ffrancis if he would take the same, which he refused to doe.

That the admitting him without takeing the said Oathes had been contrary to the said Statutes, & a breach of the trust in the Vice Chancellor & Senate reposed & a violation of their Oathes, & Therefore they could <2r> not admitt the said Alban ffrancis to the said Degree, And by their humble application to his sacred Majestie did & now againe humbly desire your Lordships to represent this their Case to his Matie that they may not lye vnder his Majestys displeasure vpon any Misapprehensions thereof.

Butt whither your Lordships will as a Court take Conusance of this Matter, they humbly pray your Lordships consideration since that the taking of the Degree of Master of Arts in the Vniversity, or the admitting or refuseing to admitt to such Degree is not any cause or matter Ecclesiasticall or Spirituall, but of Lay & Temporall conusance.

And they further humbly offer to your Lordships that by the Statute made in the sixteenth yeare of the Reigne of his Majestys most Royall ffather King Charles the first Entituled an Act for repeale of the branch of a Statute primo Eliz: concerning Commissioners for causes Ecclesiasticall, & whereby the said branch is repealed, It is enacted that no new Court shall be erected, ordained, or appointed within this Realme which shall or may have like power, Iurisdiction or Authorityes as the High Comission Court then had or pretended to have, but that all & every such Comissions & Grants, & all powers & Authorities Granted or pretended to be Granted thereby shall be void & of none effect as in & by the Statutes more fully appeare.

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Professor Rob Iliffe
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Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

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