Cambridge (Cambridgeshire)

Scope and Content

Copy of opinions on a case respecting Alban Francis, a Benedictine, the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University having been required by royal mandate to admit him to the degree of Master of Arts, without administering any oath.

[On 7 February 1687 James II addressed a letter under his signet manual to John Peachell, Master of Magdalene College and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, commanding him to admit Alban Francis to the degree of master of arts without administering unto him any oath. The letter was laid before a congregation of the University on 21 February 1687. The Senate refused to comply with this and a subsequent royal letter. On 12 May Peachell was stripped of the office of Vice-Chancellor and suspended from his mastership. The deputies of the Senate were also reprimanded. A new Vice-Chancellor was elected, but Francis never received his degree. Source: Thompson Cooper, ‘Francis, Alban (d. 1715)’, rev. Dominic Aidan Bellenger, Oxford dictionary of national biography (Oxford University Press, 2004),]