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of old account for a large class; but there are periods of fullness and others of deerease which we cannot explain. The average number of intrants, of the first ten years of the seventeenth century, did not exceed nineteen. Before the restoration it had increased to thirty. For the decade succeeding the restoration, 1660, the average amounted to seventy. In the middle of the last century, the attendance had fallen off so much, that for the ten years following 1756 it amounted to only twenty-nine. Since that time the University has gradually recovered, and the average number of intrants for the last ten years may be stated at ninety.
From these numbers, it is evident that the University of Elphinstone and Forbes, the school which has been taught by the Gregories and Reid, has not decayed; and, while the present principle of election is maintained, which fills each vacant chair with the candidate conscientiously believed to be the fittest for it, the University will flourish.
The thesis of the "magistrandus," to be maintained against all inipugners, the last shred of the old scholastic disputation, has been long abandoned by all the Scotch, as well as by the English Universities, and but for its old associations, it is not seriously to be regretted. Another innovation is much more questionable. Tn Aberdeen, as in other Scotch Universities, the degrees of Bachelor and Licenciate have disappeared; to the evident loss of a system of teaching depending so much on sustained emulation and public competition. But, in giving Master's degrees, which rank with the A.B. degree of England, without special examination, the University has evidently abandoned a valuable test of general Academic study and advancement.
Elphinstone's constitution, originally less popular than was usual and almost necessary in the older Universities, has not grown more liberal. There is no evidence of a single convocation or meeting of all members of the University since the Reformation. Even the Rector is not, as elsewhere, elected by the whole body. And the election of the masters by the masters is a solecism only to be defended by the two reasons—that it is not easy to constitute a good electoral body; and secondly, that the present system, administered as it now is, works very well.
We have seen how the influence of one good Prelate and his learned associates was felt for some time to refine the society of the Town of Aberdeen and neighbouring country. It is too much to suppose that influence still continues; but if, as it has been thought, the citizens of Aberdeen, are superior in cultivation and intelligence to those of other provincial towns, it is without doubt owing to the means of higher education brought within the reach of the middle class, and yet more to the academic element which pervades the upper classes of the great and energetic commercial city'
I have thought it allowable for one unconnected with the district, but who has necessarily become acquainted with the constitution and past history of the University, to point to some changes which seem in themselves desirable, and capable of being effected without external aid, while most of them are more practicable here than in Universities situated in great towns. But the greatest and most evident of all academic reforms in Aberdeen is the union of the sister Colleges. The trifling inconvenience that may be felt by some of the citizens is hardly to be named in comparison with the great advantages that would result from such a measure. If the law and medical lectures were carried on in the Town building, in
'It would not be easy to point to a better seems peculiarly well placed in the country proof of this generally diffused cultivation of Straloch and James Gordon. The Methan the maintenance and continued pros- tropolis and the great city of Glasgow have perity of the Spalding Club—a body which similar societies; but no other provincial has already done much to supply the defect, district of Scotland has even attempted an ingeneral throughout Scotland, of works of stitution having in view objects of such intellilocal antiquities and history, and which gence, and requiring such extended sympathy. the neighbourhood of the courts and hospitals; if the education in languages, philosophy, and theology, were conducted in the venerable rural retreat, Aberdeen would afford a specimen of as convenient arrangements for teaching as any University can boast of. An end would be put for ever to the petty jars which have sometimes disturbed the neighbouring schools; and by uniting classes and salaries, a respectable maintenance would be secured for the masters, and consequently the means of obtaining the best masters.1
Before concluding this Preface, already too long, I must be permitted to express my thanks to the Senatus of King's College, and its members individually, for their invariable and patient attention to all my demands for documents. Without the facilities which they afforded me, I could not have performed my task. To a few other individuals I am also bound to acknowledge my obligation. I have drawn from Sir William Hamilton personally, and through his invaluable "Discussions on Philosophy"—a book of which, I fear, this age of frivolous literature is not worthy—the chief of my slender acquaintance with the ancient and foreign University usages. I am indebted, also, for the use of rare books to him ; to Principal Lee, and to Mr. David Laing; to the Professors of Marischal College, and, above all, to Mr. Joseph Robertson, whose collection is equally valuable for the literary history of Aberdeen, as he has himself shown it to be, for its antiquities and statistics. Professor Ferguson, who worthily fills the chair of Vaus, has kindly furnished me with such information as could only be obtained on the spot, and often by consulting the existing College books, at the
1 These may be considered the suggestions two clauses would be sufficient ; the first deof one ignorant of local interests and pre- claring the Colleges a united body in all retensions. Neither do I attach much import- spects; the second, naming four commisance to them, or to any peculiar form or con- sioners (men of high standing as well as indition of onion. It is the union itself that telligence) with power to settle the details is indispensable. An Act of Parliament of of its consolidation.
expense of much time and trouble. Lastly, and chiefly, I wish to express my obligation to Mr. Francis Shaw, my Sub-editor. The carefulness of the transeripts, and correction at press, the accurate and full Table of Contents and Index of names which render the collection accessible, are owing to him. But my obligation does not cease there. Mr. Shaw's sound sense and scholarship, and his local acquaintance with King's College, where he was educated, have been useful to me, ever since his modesty allowed me to discover his qualifications. His zeal for his old University, even more I believe than his wish to oblige me, has induced him to revise the sheets of this Preface while passing through the press, and has enabled me, I hope, to avoid in a great degree, errors in fact.
19<A April, 1854.
Carta De Culliny Et Andate Datis Colleoio B.
Omnibus hanc cartam visuris vel audituris Jacobus Redheuch de Tulichid1lill salutem in Domino sempiternam Noueritis me in laudem et honorem Dei Omnipotentis Beatissime Virginis Marie et Omnium Sanctorum ac in diumi cultus augmentum pro salubri statu et prosperitate illustrissimi principis Jacobi quarti Scotorum Regis et serenis*ime principisse Margarete Rogine Scotie eius consortis eorumque animarum ac pro salute anime mee parentum ct sueeessorum meorum omniumque fidelium defunctorum et pro uno anniuersario pro me quolibet anno celebrando . . . dedisse . . . Deo Omnipotenti Beatissime Yirgini Marie patrone Noui Collegii in Vniucrsitatc Abirdonensi et Omnibus Sanctis ac Cancellario prebendariis et regentibus dicti Collegii totas et integras illas meas quatuor mercatas terrarum de Culliny quas Johannes Maitland nunc occupat et vnam meam mercatam terrarum de Andate quam Thomas Gray nunc occupat cum pertinentiis jacentes infra vicecomitatum de Abirdene Tenendas ... in puram et perpetuam elimosinam . . . Pro quibusquidem terris et earum firmis et proficuis per prefatos Cancellarium prebendarios et regentes percipiendis ac ut sequitur distribuendis ipsi tenebuntur celebrare quolibet anno in dicto Collegio unum anniuersarium pro anima mea . . . modo sequenti videlicet post meridiem Placebo et Dirige cantando solenqmitcr in cappis ct in crastino die Missam