Here's a strong report in the Town that a Mandamus has been brought to the Vice-chancellor to admit one Father Francis a Benedctine Monck to be a Master of Arts, and that the Vicechancellor sent to the Chancellor to endeavour to gett the same recall'd but could not prevail; which was an error in him. ffor all honest Men are obliged by the Laws of God & Man to obey the Kings lawfull Commands, but if his Majesty be advisd to require a Matter which cannot be done by Law, no Man can suffer for neglect of it. The Vicechancellor cannot by Law admit one to that degree, unless he take the Oaths of Supremacy & allegiance which are enjoyn'd by 3 or 4 Statutes; & it is not to be said he disobeys the Kings Commands when he is ready to fulfill them if the party be capable to receive the Act commanded: which this Monk cannot be, & 'tis not probable that a Convocation can be induced to give Grace for the degree to an unqualified Person. And tho it should be expressed in the Mandamus that his Majesty dispenses with those Oaths, yet that cannot excuse the Vicechancellor for he is no judg thereof, but he knows that the Law of the Land enjoyns the taking of the Oaths; & if he admits any one without doing it he is indightable for the same, & if he modestly refuse to admit this person he can run noe risque in it. & if Father Francis be acquainted with {the} Obstacles in his way in a decent manner, & is not satisfied therewith let him take his remedy at Law, & to be sure the Vice chancellor will hear noe more of him. & {by} civilly standing his ground he will save the Vniversity. Let him peruse Queen Eli{zabeths} Charter for the Vniversity of Cambridge datum the 26 of April in the 3d year of her reig{n} & an Act of Parliament not printed which is kept with the Statutes of the Vniversity entit{uled} An Act for the Incorporation of both the Vniversities. In the Statutes you will find that all Letters patents of the Queens Highness or any of her progenitors or predeces{sors} made to either of the Vniversityes are confirmed. See of this Matter Cook 4 institut{es} page 227.

The King was advised to send a Mandamus to the Master & Governors of the Charter ho{use} requiring them to admit an old Gentleman to be a Pensioner. Now every pensioner is to take the Oaths of Supremacy & Allegiance by the Constitution of their house, but the Man being a papist they refused to admitt & ther's no more said of it. The Masters Name is Burnett late of Christ College & by the rule of Elections in the giving their votes, he as the meanest man speaks first. There were 8 present. the Master & 4 were to lay the Mandamus aside & there were 3 to retaine it. but the Majorit{y} being against the Mandamus the Pensioner was rejected.

D. Burnett MasterEarl Rochester
Earl DanbyEarl Mulgrave
Bishop WinchesterLord Chancellor
Marquis Hollfaxfor it
Arch Bishop of Canterbury
  Against it

The refusing the Man was not said to be because he is a Papist but because he refused the Oaths. These that Councell'd his Majesty to disoblige the Vniversity cannot be his true friends for tis Notorious that no Body of Men in England have been so Loyall. They gave his Father all their Plate & the Infusions which the Gentry of England received there intrusted most of them with their lives & Estates to support the Crown against the wealth & strength of London & all the Associated Counties & the fleet the chiefest riches of the Land. Be courragious therefore & steady to the Laws & you cannot faile & in time the King may thank you for it. If one Papist be a Master you may have a hundred & they must chuse Burgesses to Parliament.

I wonder that the Goodmen of Sidney doe not elect their Master. An honest Courage in these matters will secure all, having Law on our sides.


Feb. the 19th

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Professor Rob Iliffe
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