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pie; and for providing a "good dinner" for this illustrious and most learned body of men.
At their first institution, thirty members formed the aggregate body; but Charles II. on their request, augmented the number to forty, and James II. in consequence of the great increase of the city in buildings and inhabitants, granted them a new charter, by which their numbers were augmented to eighty, but not to be exceeded. The college, according to the power granted them by these and other charters, have summoned such Physicians, who have practised within the limit* of their jurisdiction, without their license, and have sometimes imposed pecuniary penalties, or imprisonment upon them. For they may summon any Physician or person practising physic, before them, and examine him as to his skill in the faculty of physic; and if he shall not appear to his summons, or, appearing, refuse to answer the interrogations of the Court, the college may assess a penalty or fine upon him for every default of appearance, or refusal to answer; the fine for one default not exceeding 40s.; or if any administer . unwholesome drugs, they may impose a. fine not exceeding 101. or imprison him for a term, not exceeding 14 days, unless for non-payment of fine, when it shall be lawful to detain him in prison till paid.
But although the power of the college is great
to obstruct the practice in any .one that is not of the college, yet, whether by connivance, or favour, others practise physic ; however, by the law of the land, if any one that is not so qualified, shall undertake a cure, and his patient die under his hands, it is deemed felony in him. The powers first granted to the College of Physicians, were designed for the regulation of every branch of the profession, even that of surgery: for surgery had scarce been yet separated from the practice of physic, and the piety of religion; and with the exception of the common mechanical operations, was chiefly in the hands of Physicians and the clerical tribe. The members of the College of Physicians are divided into different classes, viz. Fellows, Candidates, Licentiates, extra Licentiates, and Licentiates in Midwifery; but the particular management of its internal concerns, and the political power of the institution, are exclusively lodged in the august body of Fellows. The history of the college proves, that the fellowship at first included, and was intended to include, all regularly educated, and practising Physicians, whether educated on this side of the Tweed, or the other. In fact, the fellows were a congregated body of graduates from many universities, foreign as well as English. But of late years, this institution has assumed the power of rejecting ever) Physician, who has not graduated at Ox
ford, Cambridge or Dublin; occasionally Indeed, its stern brow has been unbended, by the introduction of a few individuals into the class termed Licentiates ; a class scarcely recognized as a part, by this omnipotent body; and this has been granted by way of dispensation, and not as a matter of right, a Licentiate can claim; . and this supposed favour has been so rarely granted, that it affords more an example to the exception of an established rule, than the exhibition of any benefit that could arise from so limited a measure: The candidateship is merely considered in thq light of a preliminary step to the fellowship, and none are admitted into this enlightened class but doctors of physic, graduates of the above named Universities. Three separate examinations in the Latin language, by the President and Censor, are required of a candidate, and he also must construe a passage in some Greek author!!
The Licentiates who are the most numerous body, consist of graduates of the Scotch and foreign Universities: the examination they also undergo, is in Latin, and it is required that they give an interpretation of some passages in a Latin author: and if judged qualified under the sanction of the President and Fellows, are admitted " ad facultatem medicinal in civitate Londino, et per semper milliaria in cercinta ejusdem exercendam." Cut these poor devils have no voice in the College; they are members, but members deprived of their legitimate right; they augment the College list, but are excluded its privileges. The addition of this class to the Society, originally was intended for the admission of men of science, or those whose circumstances permitted them not to take the advantage of an academical education, and these only: and the reason we, have drawn this inference, is, that the first on a list of Licentiates, was admitted without having obtained a doctor's degree!! The qualifications required by the Bye-laws of the Institution for the regulation of this class, appear to us as having been drawn with some degree of caprice; for no standing qualification exists; and therefore no little embarrassment arises to those anxious for admission into this class; the Bye-laws being kept with as much secrecy from public investigation as the oracles of Apollo were in the Temple of Delphos.
Hence it has repeatedly happened, that candidates for the College license have been refused examination, because they had not strictly complied with the laws, they had no knowledge of existing. Thus the Fellows and the Licentiates are at conr tinual war: the former claiming an exclusive and undivided right to the honours and emoluments of the College, and government of all its concerns; while the latter,andnot without apparent justice, consider themselves unhandsomely excluded from *
the fellowship; which we are led to conceive was intended to beopen toevery regularly bred Physician, pf whatever school. Ahout thirty years ago, thedispute arose very high: atid the Fellows forgetting the respect due to their Institution, and themselves, for the purpose of degradingand mortifying the Licentiates, it is said, granted a license to a number of persons of the lowest description, men possessing neither the manners, character, or education of gentlemen: such base conduct justly excited the indignation of the Licentiates, who formed themselves into a body, under the name of the Collegiate So, ciety, for the express purpose of excluding them from any communion ; for could Gentlemen associate with characters so notoriously different in characterand responsibility ? Within these fewyears this jealous and liberal minded body, have put a higher stamp on the qualification they require ; but nevertheless the Bye-laws still appear unsettled: for we are led to believe that many on the list of the Licentiates according to the present laws of qualification would be inelegible had they to repass this fiery ordeal: for the Bye-laws, as far as we Can gain information, expressly require, that the candidates shall be Doctors ofPh sic, and shall have studied two years, at some University, previous to their taking their degree. From what we have stated, it will evidently appear that the jurisdiction of the College actually extends no