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tlusive of the licentiates, thoughthe licentiates demanded admittance; which was refused to them by the fellows, on the pretence of their having no business there upon that occasion *.'* This application, grounded on the denial of the right of the licentiates to vote, as being members* was not granted. "It supposed them to have been already admitted." Mr. Justice Aston appeared to go farther than his colleagues on this occasion. "It seemed to him, that the idea was, that all persons duly qualified, who took testimonials under the college seal, were to be of the community." The licentiates, however, were not deemed to be ipso facto of the corporation.
Nov. 17, 1768, the Court of King's Bench was moved, on behalf of Dr. Archer and Dr. Fothergill, for writs of mandamus to oblige the College to admit these two licentiates. But the Court was of opinion> that they could not claim a right of admission under the charter, on the foundation of a licence which they had accepted under <t bye law, upon the supposition that the bye-law was a bad one j so that the return was allowed upon that objection to their claim, and the intended question remained unsettled.
In January, 1770, new rules were moved in favour of Dr. Archer and Dr. Fothergill; bi^p the Bench remained of opinion that the licentiates
• Bur. Rep. v. iv. p. 2195. could not set up their licence, accepted under a bye-law, as the foundation of a right to be admitted under the charter; On these different occasions Lord Mansfield reminded the College of their duty, censured their bye-laws, and exhorted them to amend them.
In consequence of these repeated charges, the College, with reluctance, but with sufficient Jesuitism, framed the following bye-laws: They
x enacted, "that any licentiate of seven year* standing, who had completed his thirty-sixth year, may be proposed by a fellow, to be examined on one particular day alone in the year; that if a majority of the fellows then present consent, he may be examined at the three greater assemblies of the College, and if approved by a majority at each, he may be proposed at the next greater assembly to be admitted a member; that if then likewise approved by a majority of those present, he may be admitted into the College as soon as convenient; provided neither any law of the land, nor any bye-law of the College, render him ineligible." It would be difficult, indeed, to credit the existence of such a tissue of absurdities thrown into the shape of laws, were
s they not duly sworn to by John Roberts *» \intteman, attorney for the College. Surely
* On the conduct of this Mr. Roberts, in his official character, I may hereafter have occasion to animadvert.
they must be exalted honours that could induce any mortal to undergo such an ordeal. But even these barriers were not deemed sufficient: it was thought possible that some persevering licentiate might break through them. Translations from the Greek were accordingly superadded to the established test of an examination in the Latin language. Still this curious byeJaw, as if their modesty blushed at the avowal of such a master-piece, had never been promulgated by the College, until extorted from them as a plea to justify their conduct, and to obtain a favourable decision in the case of Dr. Stanger." It had been, however, discovered; and Dr. Sims, a licentiate, within the precise description of the bye-law, having prevailed upon a fellow to propose him, determined to apply under it. Repeated solicitations to decline his intention, and menaces of such a severe examination as scarce any man could pass, and declarations from the fellows that no licentiate would ever be admitted under it, were all employed to deter him from the application. He, however, persisted, and was proposed by Dr. Burgess. What was the result? The College refused to enter into a ballot on the proposition, though made within the direct terms of their bye-law, under a pretence that the proposal was not seconded, which is not required, which neither Dr. Sims nor
Dr. Burgess could possibly foresee, and which the fellows well knew, and Lord Kenyon has since declared, ought not to have been required *."
After this disingenuous evasion, the bye-law laid dormant till it could serve the purpose for which alone we must conclude it was made. This bye-law, together with the other bye-law of admission speciali gratia, (by favour of the President), which, both in its principle and operation, is an additional insult and injury to the licentiates, although, for the most part, withheld, were both brought forward in the affidavits of the College, as if they had been faithfully administered, were urged by their counsel as a main ground on which they claimed a decision in their favour, and even admitted by the judges as a mitigation of their restrictive statutes. Dr. Stanger, to whom the community owe more obligations for his noble stand than they have hitherto seemed willing to acknowledge, was the first who brought the question forward on its true grounds, by claiming to be admitted to the fellow ship,under the charter, and the act of parliament which confirmed it, on the score of jitness only. Strange to relate, the decision wasagainst him. The material part of Lord Ken
* Stanger's Justification, &c, p. 135.
yon's opinion in this case is thus reported by Mr. Gurney: "If it (the bye-law of exclusion) had controlled the parties, who are to form their judgment, and taken from them all power pf decision upon candidates, it would have had the seed of death in it, which Lord Mansfield found in that bye-law, which he decided to be bad. But this is not so. Here every person has a right to address himself to the honourable feelings of those breasts to which Dr. Stanger must have addressed himself, if this mandamus went. If they find him to be possessed of all the requisites of wzedical learning and moral character, he will address as powerful arguments to those gentlemen, every individual of whom is called upon to exercise his opinion upon the subject. He is not to wait to be seconded. The bye-law does not require that. If any one proposes him, the question is submitted to a majority. It goes then to that tribunal which I hope and believe isthe sanctuary of honour and good faith, and he may as well address himself to them now as if this mandamus went."
For this decision, which must have appeared to almost every one extraordinary, Dr. Stanger thus accounts: "There may also be cases where ** political apprehensions, where opinions formerly "given, though not judicially*, where hereditary
* See the note to my last Letter. It is, I think, highly 1 probable that Fellows of the College, merely as such, with