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Davis Oxford Oath-Taking


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Davis Oxford Oath-Taking

  1. 1. MATTHEWM. DAVIS "Oxford Oath-Taking: The Evidence from Thomas Hearne's Diaries" An article appearing in The Age ofJohnson A Scholarly Annual Volume 22 Vot. 22 ISBN· I0, 0·40<1·62772-2 Vat. 22ISBN·13, 978·0·404·62772-0 Published December 2012 Editor Jack Lynch Book Review Editor J. T. Scanlan Contact: cdi torial@amspressi Copyright © 2012 AMS Press, Inc. New York
  2. 2. OXFORD OATH-TAKING: THE EVIDENCE FROM THOMAS HEARNE'S DIARIES MATTHEW M. DAVIS O ne of the secondary disagreements in the extended debate about Samuel Johnson's politics concerns oath-taking requirements and practices at the University of Oxford in the 1720s. The chief partici- pants in this debate-within-the-debate have been J. c. D. Clark and Howard Weinbrot. Clark and Weinbrot have disagreed over whid1 oaths were taken, when, and by whom, and have put forward rival hypotheses as to how accessible Oxford was to Nonjurors in the 1720s.' Clark has argued that Oxford practices in the 1720s were consistent with the regulations set out in the Laudian statutes of 1636.' The Laudian statutes concerning matriculation stipulated that "all those of16 years ofage who come to be matriculated shall subscribe the Artid es of Faith and Religion [theThirty- nine Articles], and shall take their corporal oath to acknowledge the suprem- acy of the King [the oath of supremacy], [and shall swear] to be faithful to the University, and to observe its statutes, privileges, and customs." As far as graduation was concerned, the Laudian statutes stipulated that all students wishing to take a degree must first subscribe the oath of allegiance.' In short, according to the Laudian statues, the oath ofallegiance was required at graduation, bllt not at matriculation. Clark has suggested that the arrangement and timing of the various oaths created a loophole that could be exploited by Nonjurors: yow1g men who doubted the legality of the government could matriculate, pursue a course of study at an Oxford college, and leave without ever taking the oath of alle- giance, as long as they were willing to leave wi thout a degree. Clark concedes that this loophole was narrowed in 1702, when Parliament passed addi tional legislation. 13 W. Ill, c. 6 imposed additional oath-taking requirements on 169
  3. 3. 170 THE AGE OF JOHNSON tutors, professors, and heads of houses, and also on one specific group of lUldergraduate matriculants: it required that all members of colleges "that are or shall be of the fOlUldation (being of the age of eighteen years)" swear a new oath of allegiance describing the monard1 as "lawful and rightful king" as well as the strongly worded abjuration oath, explicitly abjuring the Stuarts' daim. These new matriculation requirements were more stringent, but they applied only to students who were (a) eighteen years of age and (b) "of the founda- tion"-that is, to scholarship recipients, whose fees were subsidized by an endowment or fOlUldation.Such sh,dents were known asfoul1datiol1ers in some colleges, exhibitiol1ers or servitors at others. From 1702, all students who were of age and "of the fOlUldation" were required to swear the oaths ofallegiance and abjuration 01" I'l1atriculatiol1. The great majority of sh,dents, however, did not fall into this category. Only a few were "of the fow1dation," and many were YOlUlger than eighteen. Thus, according to Clark, the legislation of 1702 tightened the loophole in the Laudian statutes but did not close it altogether. Clark's position is that Oxford practices continued to conform to the regulations set out in the Laudian statues and the parliamentary requirements of 1702 throughout the period in question, and that this allowed the great majority of students to matriculate without having to swear either the oath of allegiance or the oath of abjuration. He has argued that Jolmson was himself a Nonjuror who was able to matriculate on this basis and ultimately left without a degree, at least partly because he would have been called upon to subscribe objectionable oaths if he had taken a degree or accepted a fellowship. Weinbrot has vigorously disputed Clark's assessment ofJolmson's politics, as well as his description of oath-taking practices at Oxford. He has argued that Johnson was never a Nonjuror, and that his matriculation at Oxford proves as mum. Weinbrot has claimed that Oxford practices evolved over time, moving away from the stipulations set out in the Laudian statutes, so that "no later than early in the reign of George I" - i.e., in the late 1710s or early 1720s-the oath of allegiance began to be tendered at matriculation, along with the oath of supremacy:' The disagreement about the timing of the oaths is important for the larger debate about Johnson's politics. If Weinbrot is correct that Oxonians of Jolmson's era took not only the oath of supremacy but also the oath of allegiance on matriculation, this would mean that scrupulous Nonjurors would have found it difficult, if not impossible, to matriculate at Oxford. It would also indicate that Johnson, who did matriculate, was probably 110t a Nonjuror, at least not at this stage of his life. TI1e Relnarks and Collections OfThonws Hen/'l1e are an important resource for the evaluation of the rival claims in this debate. Hearne's journals, which fiIJ more than 4,000 printed pages, provide the most complete view of Oxford life
  4. 4. Oxford Oath-Taking and Hearne's Diaries 171 we have for the years 1705-35' Both C1ark and Weinbrot have cited individual passages from Hearne's diaries to support their claims, but neither scl10lar has attempted a thorough analysis of this important primary source. The purpose of this paper is to examine Hearne's diaries to see what they might tell us about the tinting of oaths and the possibility of Nonjuring enrollment at Oxford in the 1720s. HEARNE'SLI FE TI10mas Heame (bap. 1678, d. 1735) was the second son of George Heame, a parish clerk in White Waltham, Berkshire. As a boy, Hearne showed academic promise and was encouraged in his studies by the Jacobite squire Francis Cherry of Shottesbrooke. Cherry arranged for Hearne to be tutored by the well-known Nonjuring theologian Henry Dodwell, and subsequently paid for him to study at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, where Hearne enrolled in December of 1695.' At St. Edmtmd Hall, Hearne studied philology and history. In 1699 he took his B.A., and on that occasion, he took the oath of allegiance. His decision to take the oath must have raised some eyebrows in the Nonjuring circles in which he had been educated. Hearne attempted to justify his decision in a pair of essays written for C11erry, Dodwell, and their Nonjuring friends. In the first, he asserted that lames n had deprived his subjects of their liberties, to the point where his actions posed a threat to "the Common GOOD of the NATION." The king's actions, I-Iearne argued, necessitated "either his Deposition, or, at least, that a Restraint should be put upon him some other way." In the second essay, written about the same time and published many years later under the title"A Vindication of Those Who Take the Oath of Allegiance," Hearne argued that subjects might set aside a prior oath (including an oath of loyalty to a monarch) if upholding the oath would be contrary to the welfare of the people: The Prime End of an Oath is to be preferred to one which is Inferior. The Prime End of an Oath is The Good DJ fhe Persons cOl1ccrllcd ill it. . If the keeping of the Onlh be really alld truly illCOIISisfcllt with the Welfare ofn People, ill sllbverting fhe Flllldal1lcIlfni Laws which Support it!. } I do 1101see how sllch all Oath con fili I/cS to ObJige.7 Hearne took the oath of allegiance to King William on the basis set out in these essays in 1699, when he took his B.A. He took the oath of allegiance again during Queen Anne's reign, in 1703, when he took his M.A. (Hearne, 10:227-28).
  5. 5. 172 THE AGE OF JOHNSON Hearne began his career at the Bodleian Library in 1701. In 1712, he was chosen as second librarian. In 1715 he was elected Ard1itypographus and Superior Bedel of civil law and was called upon, once again, to take the oath of allegiance. By this time Hearne's views on oath-taking had changed, probably in large part because of the influence of his friend, the Nonjuring antiquary 11,omas Sn1ith' Hearne was no longer comfortable swearing allegiance to the reigning powers on the basis he had articulated in the two essays of 1699. Instead, he devised a subterfuge that allowed him to satisfy the letter of the law wl1ile evading the spirit. Hearne recited the first part of the required formula in a voice barely audible, mlLlllbling "I, Thomas Hearne, do sincerely pron1ise and swear that I will be faithful, and bear true allegiance to 11is Majesty...." 11,en he tailed off and omitted the last words of the oath, in wl1idl the Hanoverian King George I was specified as the king to whom allegiance was due. Hearne later described 11is actions on tl1is occasion in the tl1ird person: Nor did he [Hearne] take the Oath of Allegiance, read ing only the first Part of it, so as to suppose K[ing] J[ames] wch he did by speaking in a very low Voice, tho' this was not regarded, to his grea t Surprize. (Hearne, 5:1 7-18) This evasion was success.ful. 111e registrar recorded that Hearne had taken the oath of allegiance, and Hearne was, apparently, satisfied in his conscience because he had, in fact, pledged his allegiance to King James rather than King George. [I} was accordingly admitted to both Offices having first taken the Oaths of Supremacy & Allegiance, without saying to whom y~ Allegiance Oath was taken, in w ch he [the registrarj did right, it being certain yt if he had said I swore to K. lames (as J really did) he should be brought into a Scrape as well as myself. (5:45-46) Hearne n1ight, perhaps, have sworn the oath of allegiance again in the same evasive way on subsequent occasions. However, he was soon confronted with a more forn1idable obstacle. 1 Geo. I, s. 2, c. 13, required Hearne and other LU1iversity officeholders to subscribe not only the oath ofallegiance but also the much more strongly worded oath of abjuration, on penalty of deprivation, by 23 January 1716. The oath of abjuration required the oath-taker explicitly to abjure the St1.larts' claim to the throne. This was too much for many English- men, including Hearne. Hearne could tJ1ink of no way to finesse this oath. AJtJl0Llgh he had been a Jacobite for many years, the oath of abjuration forced Hearne to define himself as a Nonjmor or, more precisely, a non-abjmor. In
  6. 6. Oxford Oath-Taking and Hearne's Diaries 173 November 1715, he resigned his positions as Ardletypographus and Superior Bedel because he was unwi lling to take the oath of abjuration that was requi red of him if he wished to keep these positions. [ItJ was my fu ll Resolution then, if the King [lames! should not come in, not to act in either office, because I am fully resolved not to take the Oaths (i.e. as the Oath of Allegiance is clogg/cl vv ith the damnable Oa th of Abjuration), come w hat wi ll of it. (H earne, 5: ] 37) From this point on, Hearne refused both the oath of allegiance (whidl he had previously taken, with reservations) and the oath of abjuration (whim he had not previously taken), and declined all positions that would require these oaths. He was removed from his positions at the Bodleian and locked out of the library. He lived on in Oxford for another twenty years, making a living by selling subscriptions to his antiquarian publishing projects and filling the pages of his diary with news, scholarly reflections, and gossip. Hearne's own experiences provide us with a useful starting point for a discussion of Oxford oath-taking practices. We note that he was called upon to take the oath of allegiance when he took his degrees and when he was promoted to various wliversity positions. There is no evidence that he was called upon to take the oath of allegiance when he matriculated. In fact, the evidence strongly implies that he was 110t asked to subscribe the oath of allegiance at that tinle. Hearne's Nonjuring patron, Francis Cherry, d id not scruple to send him to Oxford, and Heam e did not feelcompelled to justify his willingness to take the oath of allegiance to his patron Wltil he took his first degree, in 1699, by wllidl point he had been enrolled for the better part of four years. The trajectory of Hearne's early career indicates that the oath of allegiance was not, in this early period, generally tendered at matriculation, and that men who doubted the legality of the Willianli te settlement, as Hearne certainly d id, could matriculate and attend for several years before being confronted with the oath of allegiance. SAMUEL PARKER In his diaries, Hearne mentions several Nonjurors who were able to enroll in Oxford colleges in the post-Revolution years, notlling dalmted by the requi re- ments of matriculation. One of them was Hearne's sometime friend, Samuel Parker (1681-1730), the son of Samuel Parker, Bishop of Oxford (1640-88). Bishop Parker had remained loyal to James IT until llis death during the political crisis of 1688. His son Samuel was a Nonjuror for all of his adul t life and seems to have embraced the principles of the Nonjurors at an early age. As early as 1697, when he was sixteen, Samuel Parker identified llimself as a
  7. 7. 174 THE AGE OF JOHNSON Nonjuror and received praise and encouragement from Thomas Smith, the Cambridge-based Nonjuror who, as we have seen, also encouraged Heame.' Heame notes that Parker worshiped in a separate Nonjuring congregation for some time prior to his marriage c. 1700: 'Tis said that MT , Holla1ld (Johll) of Mertoll College, went to Mr , 5am. Parker, the Non-Ju ror, soon after he had married Mr , e lements (the Bookseller's) Daughter, on purpose to dispute with him against his drawing his w ife over to the Communion held up by the greatest part of Non-Jurors in behalf of the deprived Bishops; but that MT , Parker was too hard fo r him, & thereupon his w ife commu nicated w ith the Non-jurors. (Hearne, 1:37) Despite his Nonjuring principles, Parkerenrolled atTrinity College, Oxford, and matriculated in June 1694. He remained in residence for more than five years-more than enough time to meet the requirements for a degree.JO However, as Hearne noted, Parker eventually "left .. . without a Degree upon accountofthe Oaths" (Heame, 10:307).For Parker, the requirements associated with matriculation were, apparently, not problematic. It was the oaths that would have been required 011 graduatiol1 that presented a problem. Heame initially contrived to subscribe the oath of allegiance in an evasive way. Parker, a more scrupulous Nonjuror at this point in his career, simply left Trinity without taking a degree." Two ScOTTISH NONJURORS AT OXFORD On 10 June 1715, Hearne celebrated "King James m d's Birth Day" by walking out from Oxford to nearby Foxcomb, with several other Oxford Jacobites. The purpose of the excursion was "to drink King James's Health & to shew other tokens of Loyalty" at a safe distance from Whiggish university authorities (Heame, 5:65). One of the men in the party was "honest Will Fullerton," a Scotsman whom Heame described as "a non-Juring Civilian [i.e., a Nonjuring student of the civil law] of Balliol College." WiUiam Fullerton was a son of the Nonjuring Scottish bishop John Fullerton.12 His father I,ad been confirmed as a bishop by the king across the water. Since Fullerton was raised in a Nonjuring. Jacobite family, it seems safe to assume that his Nonjuring principles were in place upon his arrival at Oxford rather than acquired there. Fullerton matriculated on 27 October 1710 and was still enrolled at Balliol in 1715, when he and Heame set out for Foxcomb to celebrate James III's natal day. Fullerton ultimately left Balliol without taking a degree. Heam e indicates that he left because he was called upon to take the oaths and refused to do SOD
  8. 8. Oxford Oath-Taking and Hearne's Diaries 175 Another member of the 10 June Jacobite drinking party was "Mr. Eccles." James Eccles was the son of William Eccles of Edinburgh. He seems to have been a companion of William Fullerton's. He enrolled at Balliol and matricu- lated on 27 October 1710, the same day as Fullerton. Hearne described him as another "nonjuring civilian," a Nonjuror who had matriculated to study the civil law. Eccles was still enrolled at the time of the Foxcomb expedition in 1715 and ultimately left Balliol without a degree." Fullerton and Eccles were able to matriculate and study at Balliol for several years without taking the oath of allegiance, just as Hearne himself had done at St. Edmund Hall and Samuel Parker at Trinity. These men's experiences are clearly more consistent with Clark's thesis than Weinbrot's. However, these cases are of limited value when it comes to assessing the claims in the Clark- Weinbrot debate, for Weinbrot has argued that "the tinling of the oaths . .. changed," and that new procedures requiring the oath of allegiance at matriculation were in place "by no later than early in the reign of George L" This means that the experiences of students who matriculated prior to the accession of George I in 1714 are of limited probative value in evaluating Weinbrot's claims about Oxford practices in the 1720s. What is needed to test Weinbrot's claims is information from the 1720s. Fortunately, Hearne lived until 1735 and several of his journal entries from the 1720s and early '30s cast light on Oxford oath-taking practices in this later period. Some of these entries involve Samuel Parker's sons. PARKER'S SoNS After leaving Trinity College without a degree, Samuel Parker lived on in Oxford for three decades, writing, tutoring, and running a boardinghouse, until his death in July 1730." For many years he refused to worship with the juring Churcll of England. However, he was persuaded by Dodwell's Case ill View and, after the death of Bishop Lloyd, the last of the deprived bishops, he resumed comrmmion with the established churcll (OONB; Hearne, 3:160). From 1710 on, Parker worshipped in his parish church, St. Peter-in-the-East, but he seems to have followed Dodwell's advice and signalized his dissent during the state prayers. Hearne wrote that Parker "rose up and made odd Motions at the immoral petitions" (Hearne, 10:333). Another observer reported that Parker signaled his dissent by "turning over the leaves of his prayer book with unnecessary vehemence so as to avoid hearing, if possible, the unpalat- able words."" Although he returned to his parish cllurch for Sunday worship, Parker remained a Nonjuror, unwilling to accept any post that would require the objectionable oaths. He also remained a Jacobite. A European traveler who
  9. 9. 176 THE AGE OF JOHNSON visited his house in 1713 reported that Parker had five portraits ofJames ill in his dining room.17 Samuel Parker raised his sons in accordance with his Jacobite and Nonjur- ing principles. Heame says that he taught his son Richard to "rise up . .. & make odd Motions" to signal his objections to the state prayers and also urged him not to take the oath of allegiance (Heat'ne, 10:332- 33). However, Parker's Jacobitism seems to have moderated somewhat in the last months of his life. A significant dlange in his thinking about political affairs and the oaths appears to have taken place in the months before his death in July 1730. During this time Parker told Hem'ne that he thought it might be time for the Stuarts to formally renounce their claim to the throne (Heame, 11:473). By early 1730, Parker also seems to have made up his mind that it would be acceptable for one of his sons to take the oaths of allegiance and abjuration. He solicited for his eldest son, Samuel Parker (1703?-67), a position as a clerk at Magdalen College, Oxford -even though the position would require subscription of the oaths of allegiance and abjuration, oaths which he had previously urged his sons to avoid. Heat'ne wTOte about Parker's decisions in his diary: Mr , Parker's eldest son, Samuel, is a lea ther-gilder by Trade, & served his whole time [i.e., his apprenticeship] in London, but he is now Clarke of Magd. Coil., being made so by Of, Butler about Easter Term last [April/ May 17301, by the obsequious flattery & cringing of his Father, Samuel Parker, so that he hath taken the Oaths to qua lify himself, & hath left off his Trade, at the same time that a you nger brother, Ri chard Parker, hath left a Scho larship at Lincoln College & thrown off his gown, that (as I am told ) he ma y avoid the Oaths. The father is much blamed for perswading, at least permitting, one to take the Oaths, & hindering the other from taki ng them; for tho' he did well in not letting the younger take them, yet he was very weak in making Interest for him to be Scholar of Lincoln College, and afterwards in pulling off his Gown, while he is as ye t a boy, as it were, and unprovided for otherwise, when it would have been far better to have put him to a Trade. (Hearne, 10:332-33) Heat'ne repeated the same story in another diary entry several months later: [Mr. ParkerJ persuaded ... his leldestJSon ISamuel] to take the Oaths, at the same time that a younger Son, MT , Richard Parker, Scholar of Lincoln College, declined them. (11:22) Here we have evidence from the post-I720 period that is more consistent wi th Clark's description ofOxford practices than it is "vith Weinbrot's. Heame states that Ricllard Parker was able to enroll in Lincoln College and attend for
  10. 10. Oxford Oath-Taking and Hearne's Diaries 177 several years without subscribing the oaths of allegiance or abjuration, whidl would have been objectionable to him (or at least to his father). Official Oxford records confirm the basic facts of Hearne's story and allow us to be more specific about dates. TIley reveal that Ridlard Parker (1712-42) enrolled at Lincoln College and matriculated in October 1725." Parker paid fees at Lincoln for almost four years. He disappeared from the college battels in JWle 1729 and left without taking a degree, though he had been enrolled long enough to obtain one.I' Within a year of Rimard Parker's wi thdrawal from Lincoln College, his father seems to have set aside his long-standing scruples about the oaths, for he solicited for his eldest son, Samuel, a position at Magdalen College that required the oaths. Samuel Parker, Jr., was matriculated as a clerk at Magdalen on 14 May 1730, about eleven months after his brother had withdrawn from Lincoln College and just two months before his father passed away." THE YOUNGER D ODW ELLS Hearne's diaries provide additional evidence that, in the 1720s, as in earlier periods, most Oxford students were called upon to take the oath of allegiance for the first time at graduation, rather than upon matriculation. Particularly relevant in this regard are his comments on the uruversity careers of Henry Dodwell's sons, Henry Dodwell, Jr., and William Dodwell. As we saw earlier, Hearne was a protege of the Nonjuring theologian Henry Dodwell, Sr. He therefore took note when Dodwell's sons enrolled in Oxford colleges in the 1720s. Hearne kept an eye on the yowlg men to see if they would uphold the Nonjuring principles of their father or adopt the more permissive ideas of their mother, which Hearne deplored. Hearne was scandalized when, in March 1727, Dodwell's son and namesake Henry Dodwell, Jr., took the oath of allegiance in order to receive his B.A.: This Lent took the Degree of Bachelour of Arts ... Mr , Hen. Dodwell, Commoner of Magd. Hall, Son of the late pious and lea rned Mr , Henry Dodwell. So that by taking a degree, he hath taken the Oath of Allegiance to the Duke of Brunswick, as King of England, a th ing directly contrary to the Principles o f his late Father, who abhorred alllhoughts of this nature. (Hearne, 9:287; see also 9:290, 10:75) Here Heame clearly states that the oath of allegiance was required at gradua- tiol1, and the logic of the passage makes it clear that this oath had not been previously required at matriculation. To Heam e's way of thinking, the YOWlger Dodwell did not act "contrary to the principles of his father" when he matriculated (because the oath of allegiance was not then required of him), but
  11. 11. 178 THE AGE OF JOHNSON he did act contrary to those principles when he decided to take a degree (because the oath of allegiance was required at that point). Hearne was less surprised, but no less disapproving, two years later, in November 1729, when Dodwell's younger son, WilJiam, indicated that he intended to follow his elder brother's example: On Monday last, Mr , Wm Dodwell of Trin. CoIl. called upon me ... and told me that the next Congregation he designed to stand for his Degree of Bach. of Arts, to well I said nothing (he hurrying away), he being, I suppose, fu lly resolved to act contrary to the Nonjuring Principles. (Hearne, 10:202) Here, again, the clea r implication is that it was not contrary to Nonjming principles for a young man to enroll in an Oxford college and lI1atriculate at the uni versity, but it would be contrary to those principles to take a degree, since that would require the oath of allegiance. Hearne was Lmhappy that William Dodwell seemed determined to take a degree, but his surly silence evidently did notl"ling to deter the young man. A month later, on 22 December 1729, Hearne wrote, Yesterday, after dinner, called upon me ... M r , Will Dodwell ofTrin. Coil., who is now Bach. of Arts . .. I entered into no manner of discourse with him about Principles, tho' I cannot but be much concerned that so great a man as his Father was should leave two sons that act quite contrary to the Principles of the true Non~Jurors? GENERAL PRACTICE Hearne's biographical notes on these scions of Nonjuring families at Oxford suggest that the arrangements and timing of the oatlls we noted for ti,e early years of the eighteenth century were still in place when )ohnson em olled at Pembroke College in the late 1720s. One might try to avoid the inference by arguing that practices probably varied from college to college, and that the examples cited above-from Trinity College, MagdaJen Hall, Lincoln College, and Magdalen College-do not prove anything about practices at Pembroke College, but this argument falters when we recall that mah'iClllation and gradllation were ulIiversitlj cerel11onies. There were many procedures and practices that were managed by the individual colleges, and might be man- aged differently in different colleges, but matriculation and graduation were not among thenl. TIlese ceremonies were Ilniversih) ceremonies, and the requirements associated with them were centrally administered." We know this from other sources but, again, Hearne's diary offers abLU1dant confirma-
  12. 12. Oxford Oath-Taking and Hearne's Diaries 179 tion. On three separate occasions during the period when Weinbrot says practices had altered, Hea rne indicated that they had not, and that all mem- bers of the uni versity conmlunity were governed by the same basic require- ments, regardless of whidl college they were enrolled in. On 22 November 1721 Hearne dlarged Thomas Tanner with misrepresent- ing the timing of the oaths at Oxford for political reasons in his revised edition of Anthony 11 Wood's Athellae Oxol7ierlses: H e [Tannerl hath altered all things so, & made him [WoodJ talk in sllch a manner, as if Mr. ''''oDd had been Cl do<v n right Villain, & had not known what even the most ignorant Scholar knows. How com es it, otherwise, to pass tha t more than once Gentlemen, when they are ma triculated, are represen ted to take the Oaths of Allegiance & Supremacy? Mr. Wood could not w rite so, since nobody knew better that the Oath of Supremacy only, & not the Oath of Allegiance, is then taken. Nor does the Statute require an Oath of Allegiance at that time. But this wns added to bring a slur upon the University, and out of Cl trimming Design, as it ..'as also out of Design to please the Trim mers that the 0', ITannerl hath left out the just Characters of Dr , WaIJ is & O r, Bathurst, weh he ought to have kept in,23 Both O ark and Weinbrot have drawn attention to this passage, but they have interpreted it in very different ways. Oark has cited Hearne's remarks as evidence that Oxford oath-taking practices continued to follow the require- ments set out in the Laudian statutes, without alteration. Weinbrot has cited the remarks as evidence that uni versity practices were modified and that the oath of allegiance was added to the matriculation procedures. The disagree- ment turns on the words 1 have italicized in the quotation above: "this was added." The questions are wlralwas added?-and by wholll? Weinbrot and Oark have very different ideas about this. [n his discllssion of this passage, Weinbrot quotes Hearne as saying that the "Oath of Al legiance ... was added to bring a slur upon the university, and out of a trimming Design." Weinbrot then notes that "He [Hearne] does not claim that the addition was limited to Foundation- ers" (Aspecls, p. 315). In other words, Weinbrot presents the "addition" as a reference to the modification he believes was made to lUliversity oath-taking procedures. He argues that it was lire IIIliversily officials who added something -specifically, the oath of allegiance-and he cites Hearne as acknowledging this addition as fact. If, however, the passage from Hearne's diary printed above is read in toto, it becomes quite clear that this is not what Hearne is saying at all. Hearne is clea rly stating-as he stated on numerous other occasions-that university practices have 1101 d1anged and that the oath of allegiance is still not required of most students lU1til graduation.Hearne claims
  13. 13. 180 THE AGE OF JOHNSON that it is Tanner, not the university officials, who has made an addition:in his revision of Athenae Oxol'lienses, Taru1er has added to what Wood had written in the earlier edition. He has erroneously-and, Hearne believes, deliberately- added the oath of allegiance to the list of matriculation requirements given there, thus giving an inaccurate account of actual wuversity practice. More- over, Hearne argues that Tanner made tIus "addition" to bring a slur upon the university-just as he made deletions elsewhere in Ius edition, e.g., when he onutted comments on Wallis and Bathhurst that were distasteful to the "Trimn1ing" (moderate, complying, anti-Jacobite) interest at Oxford.When the passage is read in context, it dearly supports Clark's daim that oath-taking requirements continued to conform to the guidelines in the Laudian stahltes, without an alteration of the sort Weinbrot has hypothesized. Hem'ne made sinular statements about the timing of the oaths elsewhere in Ius diary. When one of Ius enemies decided to reprint Ius "Vindication of Those Who Take the Oath of Allegiance" in February 1729/30, Heame wrote that the republication of this youthful essay was pointless. All it proved was that he had once held views whid1 he had long since renoLUlced. As for the oath of allegiance, there was no need to prove that Hearne had previously taken it. Heame admitted as mud1 himself. Indeed, there was no reason for him to admit it. It was "plain" and obvious to all, Heame wrote, that he had taken it, "from my being a regular Graduate, degrees taken regularly [i.e., non- honorary degrees1being not done without taking the Oath of Allegiance at the same time" (Hearne, 10:243). Hearne's point is that those who were familiar with Oxford practices in 1729/30 would naturally (and correctly) assume that Thomas Heame, B.A. and M.A., had sworn the oath of allegiance when he took his degrees in 1699 and 1703. Here again Hearne's remarks imply that the tin1ing of the oath of allegiance did not d1ange from 1699 to 1729/30, and also that the basic pattern of requirements did not vary from college to college. Because practice was consistent at the wuversity level, one could reliably infer that a graduate like Hearne had taken the oath ofallegiance, without bothering to ask whid1 college he had attended." In another entry dated 17 Marm 1730/31, Heame wrote of the oath of allegiance, "whim all are obliged to take, that take Degrees regularly in our Universities" (Hearne, 10:395-96 n.l). He did 110t say that all who matriculate are obliged to take the oath of allegiance. Nor did he say tI,at practice varied from college to college. Across all of these remarks, Hearne's position is quite consistent. His comments strongly suggest that oath-taking arrangements associated with matriculation and graduation were standardized at the wUversity level and that the typical Oxford shldent was not required to take the oath of allegiance until he took a degree.
  14. 14. Oxford Oath-Taking and Heame's Diaries 181 HEARNE AS WITNESS: KNOWLEDGE AND BI AS In The Age of Joh115011, vo!. 7, Weinbrot presented Hearne as Exhibit A in his case against Clark: "The Nonjuror Thomas Heame's evidence begins a refutation of Or. Clark" ("Historiography of Nostalgia," p. 192). An examina- tion of Hearne's Remarks a11d Collectiol1s, however, suggests that it is not, on the whole, a helpful source for Weinbrot. Although there are some passages that are problematic for Clark (see especially n. 14), Hearne's diaries and letters offer a great deal of support for his claim that Oxford oath-taking procedures continued to follow the Laudian statutes without a major alteration. Hearne's diary entries repeatedly contradict Weinbrot's claim that Oxford practice evolved to the point where the oath of allegiance was tendered to all students at matriculation. 111e evidence in Hearne's diaries suggests that the oath of allegiance continued to be required of all students at graduation, but was not required of most students at matriculation, and that Nonjurors exploited this loophole to enrol!. But how reliable a source is Hearne? As far as kl10wledge of Oxford culture and practices is concerned, one could hardly ask for a better source. Heat'ne spent his entire adult life in Oxford, He took the oath of allegiance at Oxford tlu'ee times in his early career, at least once (and probably a second time) on the basis articulated in his 1699 letters, and a third time with the help of mumbling and equivocation. However, Hearne's sense of what he could do in good faith cl1anged over tin1e at1d he felt lmable to subscribe the oath of allegiance in his later years, once it was "clogged" with the oath of abjuration. He thus had experience of Oxford's oath-taking requirements as a juror and a Nonjuror, in the pre-abjuration oath period and the post-abjuration oath period, Hearne's career as a librarian was derailed by his lmwillingness to subscribe the oaths from 1716 on, and he spent his remaining years in Oxford, denolmcing those who took the oaths and reconunending the "honest" men who refused or avoided them. Weinbrot has argued that it is very unlikely that Hearne "would be ignorant of ceremonies in whid1 [he himself] participated" (Aspects, p. 315). I agree, but if Heame is indeed a reliable witness, I am afraid that does not bode well for Weinbrot's thesis. The question of bias may give readers who are familiar with Heat'ne more pause. Heat'ne had a very strong political bias, which is visible in almost everything he wrote. However, there is no reason to think that this bias would lead him to misrecord the oath-taking arrangements at Oxford. Heame's Jacobitism certainly colors how he reacts to oath-related decisions: he applauds Samuel Parker for discouraging, or preventing, his son Rid1ard from taking the oath of allegiance, and he criticizes the YOLmger Dodwells for taking this oath and thus tacitly repudiating their father's Nonjuring principles, But there
  15. 15. 182 THE AGE OF JOHNSON does not appear to be any reason why Hearne's political outlook would make him an unreliable witness as to the oath-taking arrangements themselves. If anything, his Jacobite and Nonjuring principles made him acutely aware of what one could and could not do at Oxford without subscribing the oaths of allegiance and abjuration. Weinbrot is on firmer grOlmd when he cites Thomas Tanner, Nicholas Amllurst, and Benjanun Kennicott. Unlike Hearne, these men really are saying that the oath of allegiance was required at matriculation. The question is whether they were correct to say so, and on that score there are some grounds for doubt. On the whole, Hearne seems to be a more persuasive witness than any of the other three. Tanner, Amhurst, and Kennicott made isolated assertions. Hearne recorded the practice of the university commUluty on multiple occasions, over a period of three decades. Tanner, Aml1Urst, and Kennicott were writing for a public audience and may have been guided by partisan political motives. All three men were Wlugs who were active in denigrating the Tory-Jacobite segment of the Oxford community. It would have been tempting for them to add the oath of allegiance to the list of oaths taken by all students on matriculation:ifOxford students could be represented as having sworn allegiance to the reigning monarcll at matriculation, any subsequentJacobite activities could be presented as perfidious violations of the promises they had made at matriculation. Hearne, by contrast, wrote his observations in a private diary, not intended for public consumption. Wl1at reason could he have for nusrepresenting Oxford requirements and proce- dures in a private journal? In "Religion and Political Identity," C1ark put forward a suggestion that might account for the reports of Amhmst and Kennicott: if both men were "foundationers," they would, presumably, have been caJled upon to subscribe the oath of allegiance on matriculation, in accordance with the 1703 act of Parliament. They may have assUlned that other incoming students had the same experience (pp. 89-94). In other words, if they were not led to make their statements about oath-taking arrangements deliberately, from political bias, as Hearne thought Tanner clearly was, Amhurst and Keruucott might have been led to make them, inadvertently, generalizing inappropriately from their own experiences as foundationers. In short, there would appear to be more and better reasons for doubting the accmacy of the public, politically charged claims of Turner, Amhurst, and Kennicott than there are for doubting the accuracy of the repeated, private observations of Hearne.
  16. 16. Oxford Oath-Taking and Hearne's Diaries 183 HEARNE'S RECO RDS AND j OHNSON'S CAREER AT OXFORD The excerpts from Hearne's diaries quoted above are relevant for a study of Samuel Jol111son's career at Oxford because they document wUversity-wide practices and the experiences of specific students from multiple colleges in the years before, during, and immediately after Jol111son's own time at Pembroke College. Just how relevant they are becomes clear when we rearrange the events and remarks described earlier and present them in cIlIonological order: 22 November 1721: Hearne states (contra Tanner) that the oath of suprem- acy is required at matriculation, but the oath of allegiance not until graduation (Hearne, 7:300-301). 17 April 1723: Nonjuring scion Henry Dodwell, j 1'., of Magdalene Hall matriculates (Foster, Aluu1I'1i Oxonienses, later series, 1:376). 11 October 1725: Nonjuring scion Richard Parker of Lincoln College matriculates (see note 18). 23 March 1725/26: Nonjuring scion William Dodwell of Trinity College matriculates (Foster, AluI/1I'1i Oxoniel1ses, later series, 1:376). 9 FebnJary 1726/27: Henry Dodwell, Jr., takes B.A., scandalizing Hearne (Foster, Alunmi Oxolliellses, later series, 1:376; Hearne, 9:287). 31 October 1728: Jol111son enrolls at Pembroke College.'s 16 December 1728: Jol111son matriculates (Foster, Alul11l1i Oxol1ienses, later series, 2:758). June 1729: Richard Parker withdraws from Lincoln College, apparently to avoid objectionable oaths (see note 19). November/December 1729: William Dodwell takes B.A., scandalizing Hearne (Foster, Alu/I'/I'li Oxol1iellses, later series, 1:376; Hearne, 10:202, 217). December 1729: Samuel Johnson leaves Pembroke College (see note 25). 14 February 1729/30: Hearne notes in his diary that degrees "taken regu- larly" require the oath of allegiance (Hearne, 10:243). 14 May 1730: Samuel Parker (1703?-1767) subscribes required oaths for position as a clerk at Magdalen College (see n. 20). 17 Marcl1 1730/31: Hearne states that all Oxonians who "take Degrees regularly" must take the oath of allegiance (Hearne, 10:395--96 n. 1). The evidence in Hearne's diary suggests the following conclusions: • General practice at the University of Oxford seems to have been substantially consistent with the regulations set out in the Laudian statues and the parliamentary legislation of 1703.
  17. 17. 184 • • • • • • • • THE AGEOF JOHNSON Students who were sixteen or older at the time of their matriculation were evidently required to take the oath of supremacy, subscribe the Thirty-nine Articles, and pledge to uphold the regulations of the university at the time of matriculation. TIlese requirements might have prevented scrupulous Roman Catholics from enrolling, but they would presumably not have posed an obstacle to Anglican Nonjurors. The majority of undergraduates were 110t required to take the oath of allegiance or the oath of abjuration at matriculation; apparently, only those who were "of the foundation" and eighteen years of age were required to take these oaths at matriculation. The oath ofallegiance was, however, required of all students at gradua- tion. TIle realbarriers forconscientious Anglican Nonjurors who were not "of the foundation" were not the requirements associated with matricula- tion but the requirements associated wi th graduation (i.e., the oath of allegiance) and the assumption of a fellowship or teaclling post (i.e., the oaths of allegiance and abjuration). Conscientious Nonjurors could and did enroll at Oxford throughout the early decades of the eighteenth century, matriculating and shldying but not taking degrees. The oath-taking requirements passed by Whig administrations in the wake of the Revolution of 1688-89appear to have been quite effective at excluding Nonjurors from teaclling and adminis- trative positions in the wuversity (e.g., as fellows, professors, heads of halls, etc.) but rather less so in the case of undergraduates. Heam e's diary casts doubt on Weinbrot's claim that, by the time Johnson matriculated, Oxford practice had evolved to the point where the oath of allegiance was required of all shldents at matriculation. Heam e records no evidence ofSUcll a m ange and provides a great deal of evidence for continuity in uluversity practice from 1703 to 1735. TIle oaths were still a "live" issue in the late 1720s, when Johnson enrolled at Pembroke College. Indeed, Ricllard Parker withdrew from Lincoln College without a degree, evidently on account of the oaths, while JOl1l150/'l was e/'lrol/ed at Pembroke, and William Dodwell took a degree, forsaking the Nonjuring principles of his father and scandaliz- ing Hearne, withil1 a fl?l.u weeks of JOhI1S011'S departllre from Pembroke. Although the nwnber of Nonjuring students was probably on the wane by this point, there were clearly still a few of them in attendance. It is at least possible that Johnson exploited the "loophole" described in tlus article to enroll at Pembroke and that he left Oxford without a degree in part, as Clark has claimed, on account of the oaths that would have been required at graduation.
  18. 18. NOTES 1. The debate over Oxford oath-taking was sparked by the first edition of J. c. D. Clark's Ellglish Society, 1688-1832 (Ca mbridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1985), which argued that Johnson was Cl Nonjuror who had avoided the oath of allegiance by leaving Oxford without grad uating (pp. 186-89). Donald Greene replied in the second edition of The Politics of Sallluel /OliI/ SO II (Athens: Univ. of Georgia Press, 1990), asking, "what had graduation to do with taking oaths?" (pp. xxx-xxxi). Clark set out his case in more detail in Sallluel joJ/I'lsoll: Literature, Religioll, alld £I1glish Cl/Itl/rnl Politics/ram the Restoratioll to Romanticism (Ca mbridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1994), especially pp. 93-99. He also touched on the subject briefly in "The Politics of Samuel )ohn5011," The Age of ]oll1lsoll: A Scholarly Annllal 7 (1996): 27-56, especially pp. 39-40. Weinbrot entered the debate with an extended critical review, "Johnson, Jacobitism, and the Historiography of Nostalgia," The Age of JOIIIISOll: A Scholarly A/,/lIual 7 (1996): 163-212, which included a discussion of Oxford oath-taking (pp. 191-99). Clark replied to Weinbrot in "The Cu ltural Identity of Samuel Johnson," The Age O!IOhIlSOIl: A Scholarly AIIIIlIal8 (1997): 15-70, especially pp. 23-40. Weinbrot pressed his case in ")ohnson and jacobitism Redux: Evidence, Interpretation, and Intellect-ual History/' The Age of/011115011: A Scholarly Allllllal8 (1997): 89-125, especially pp. 92-99; Clark discussed Oxford oath-taking arrangements briefly in "Religious Affiliation and Dynastic Allegiance in Eighteenth-Century England," ELH 64, no. 4 (Winter 1997): 1029-67, especially pp. ]050-51, and at much greater length in "Religion and Political Identity: Samuel )ohnson as a Nonjuror:' in Samuel JOllllSOll ill Historical Call text, ed. j. C. D. Clark and Howa rd Erskine·Hill (Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002), pp. 79-145, especia lly pp. 87-102. Weinbrot republished his earlier essays, with revisions, in Aspects of Samuel Joll/Is01'l: Essays 011 His Arts, Milld, Afterlife, ami Politics (Newark: Univ. of Delaware Press, 2005), especia lly pp. 312-39. 2. The summary of Clark's position given in paragraphs 2-4 of this essay is based mainly on Clark's arguments in "Rel igion and Political Identity," especially pp. 88-89. All third·party quotations are reproduced from this article. 3. There were some other requirements for graduation, in addition to the oath of allegiance, but I have chosen not to enumera te them here because they are not relevant to the Clark-Weinbrot debate. 4. Weinbrot's clearest statement about the alleged changes in the timing of the oath of allegiance come from his " Historiography of Nosta lgia," p. ]93. See also the surrounding pages (pp. 191-99), and Aspects, pp. 314-15. 5. All citations to Hearne's diaries are to Remarks ami Collectiolls of Thomas H eamc, ]] vols. (Oxford: Oxford Historical Society, 1885-1921). 6. Biographical infornlation on Hearne is taken from Theodor Harmsen's article in the ODNS. Two other important sources are Hearne's Remarks and Collectiolls and )oseph Foster, AllllIIl'li Oxolliwses, ea rl y series, 4 vols. (London, 1891-92), 2:685. Allll1llli OxolliclIses is frequently cited in this article. The four volumes in the early series cover the years ]500-1714. The fo ur volu mes in the later series (London, 1888) cover the yea rs 1715-1886. 7. [Thomas Hearnej, A Villdicatioll ofTllose Wllo Take the Oath of Allegiance (London, 1731), pp. 1, 24. This essay was written in June 1700 and published in 1731 by John
  19. 19. 186 THE AGE OF JOHNSON Bilstone, whose ai m was to embarrass Hearne. 8. For Smith's influence on Hea rne, see T. Harmsen, "High-Principled Antiquarian Publishing: The Correspondence of Thomas Hea rne (1678-1735) and Thomas Smith (1638-1 71 0)," Lins 23 (1996): 69-98, and Harmsen's ODNB entry on H earne. 9. Sam uel Parker (1681-1730) identified himself w ith the Nonju rors from at least 1697. O n 12 Sept. 1697, he wrote to Smith, saluting him for his allegiance to "so just a cause" (Bodleian MS Smith 53, fol. 3). On 16 November, Smith replied, exhorting Parker to hold fast in his Nonjuring principles (Bodleian MS Smith 65, fol. 9(1.). I cannot prove that Parker was al ready a Nonju ro r at the time of his matriculation in 1694. He might ha ve identified with the Nonjurors after he ma tricu lated but before his 1697 letters to Smith. This, however, seems some<'ha t unlikely. His father, the bisho p of Oxford, was closely involved with james II du ring the last months of his reign, and it seems likely that Parker vould have worked ou t his political views w ithi n a year or two of his father's death and the deposition of James rT. For many Englishmen, August of 1690 was a crucial month, as that was the deadline by w hich incumbents V'lere requ ired to take the new oaths or forfeit their positions. 10. Some key da tes in the academic career of Samuel Parker (168]-]730) are set down in Foster, Alu1IIIli Oxolliellses, ea rly series, 3:1116. Foster does not indicate when Parker left Trinity, but converging evidence points to the year 1700. Parker matriculated as a regular, fee-payi ng commone r (i.e., he was apparently not "of the foundation") in 1694 and pa id £7 caution money at that time. This caution money was returned to him in 1700 (Trinity College, Oxford, Archive, Cau tion Account B, r. 53 and 65d). The preface to Parker's Six Philosophical Essays UpOIl Severnl Subjects by S.P. Gelll. ofTr;,tity College ill Oxford (London, 1700) is signed "Trin. ColI. Oxon. Febr. 20,1699." The preface to his next book, Sylva: Familiar Letters UpOII Occasional Subjects, by Sam /lel Parker, Gellf., mentions his time at Trinity but is signed "Oxford," w ith no mention of a collegiate affiliation, and dated "September 29th 1700." I am grateful to Clare Hopkins, Archi vist at Trinity College, for the information on Parker's career at Trinity and images of the Trinity caution books (persona l com munica tion, 6 Jan. 2011 , 13 Jan. 201]). 11. The atti tudes of Samuel Parker and Thomas Hearne in terms of politica l and religious scrupulosity grad ually reversed themselves. Parker followed Dodwell's lead and returned tocommunion w ith the ju ri ng church in 1710. Hearne declined to do so and adhered to the more radical separatist Nonjurors, sometimes called "the church of Dr. Hickes." In political affairs, as well, Pa rker grew less militant over time, while Hearne grew more so. In the months before his death Parker came to think that the 5tuarts should resign their claim to the throne. He even allowed one of his sons to take the oaths of allegiance and abjuration, though he himself evidently never did. Hearne moved in the opposite d irection, fro m swearing the oaths- in a particu lar sense, and w ith reservat-ions- in the early yea rs of his career to a stricter refu sal in the post~ 1 7 1 5 yea rs. These differences contributed to a deterioration of relations between the two men from 1715 on. 12. On Bishop John Fullerton, see David M. Bertie, Scottish Episcopal Clergy, 1689-2000 (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 2000), p. 46.
  20. 20. Oxford Oath-Taking and Hearne's Diaries 187 13. For references to William Fu llerton's subsequen t difficu lties a t Oxford, see Foster, A/ul/llIi Oxoll icJlses, early series, 2:540. Ma ny yea rs la te r, in 1728, Fullerton was awarded two Oxford degrees " by diploma"-a B.Med. and D.Med . These we re honorary degrees, however, and as such they required no oaths. See Hea rne, 10:5-6. 14. For pa rticula rs of James Eccles, see Foster, A11//1/11; OXOlliellSeS, early series, 2:443. Several other men who participated in the Jacobite festivities of 10 Ju ne "1715 a rc not treated in the body of this essay. The bookselle r Richard Clements was not a unive rsity student and so is irrelevant to the present inquiry. lames Stirling and John Leake have been set aside because they were both, evidently, "of the foundation," and the refore would have fallen into a separate category, as d iscussed in the opening paragraphs of this essay. Stirling, who went on to become a well- know n ma thematician, was Snell Exhibi tioner and Warner Exhibitioner at Ballio!. He was only fifteen when he matricu la ted, but, in spite of being unde r the age of eighteen, he seems to have been threatened wi th the oath of allegia nce a t matricu lation. In Feb. 1710/1 1, within a month of his ma tricu lation, he wrote to his father, a Jacobite sympathizer, " I was lately matriculate, and w ith the help of my tu tor, I escaped the oaths, but with much ado." After several yea rs in residence at Balliol, Stirl ing appears to have been driven from the university c. Sept. 1716, apparently on accou nt of his participation in Jacobite political disturbances. He may, possibly, have been cha llenged to take the oa ths he had ma naged to avoid at ma tricu lation. See Foster, AlII11/1/ i OXOII iClIses, early series, 4:1425; Charles Tweed ie, "Life ofJames Sti rl ing, the Venetian," Ti,e Malhelllalienl Gnzette 10:147 Uuly 1920): 119-28; Hearne, 5:156, 268; 6:34-35. John Leake was a Pil ul ine Exhibitioner at Ha rt Hall from 1699 to "1708 (Foster, Allfl/llli Oxolliellses, eil rly series, 3:895). He was described as a Nonjuror by Hearne (7:73), bu t no t (so fa r as I can tell) until well after he had left Hart Hall. Leake might have adopted Nonjuring views after he left Hart Hall; or he might have arrived with Nonjuring views and somehow evaded the oaths on miltricu lation, as Stirling seems to have done. The case of Ja mes Stirling seems somewhat problematic for both Weinbrot and Clark. It is a problem for Weinbrot because it suggests tha t even Nonjurors who were "of the foundation" were sometimes able to enroll in Oxford colleges, albeit through conniva nce, a nd wi th "much ado." It is a problem for Cla rk because it seems to be an instance whe re university practice did not coincide with statutory guidelines, as Clark says it genera lly d id . Stirling's career at Oxford also seems to offe r S0t11e sup port for Wein brot's claim that evasion of university requirements WilS widespread and tha t that "scofflaws we re common place" (A spects, p. 313). For complexities surrounding fellow ships and scholarshi ps, see also n. 18, below. ]5. For biographical information on Samuel Parker, see Richard Sharp's DONB entry and the biography included in the fi nal installment of the Bibliotheca Biblia, 5 vols. (Oxford, 1720-35), 5:i-xi. 16. Parker's gestu res du ri ng the service were noted by Charles Secretan in his Memoirs of liIe Life IIlId Till/es of Ihe Piolls I~oberl Ne/SOli (London, 1860), pp. 82-83. 17. The portrilits of James III in Pa rker's dining rOOI11 ,<"e re noted by a forei gn visitor who happened to be a I-I anoverian spy; see Ed ward Gregg, "The Financial
  21. 21. 188 THE AGE OF JOHNSON Vicissitudes ofJames lIt" in TileStunr! COllrt ill Rome, ed. Edward Corp (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), p. 65. 18. According to And rew Mussell, Archivist at Lincoln College, the college registers indicate that Richard Parker was admitted there on 9 Oct. 1725. Foster records his university matricu lation two days later: Richard P<lrker, "son of Samuel, of St. Peter's, Oxford," and "brother of Samuel Parker 1730" matriculated from Lincoln College "11 Oct., 1725, aged 13, scholar" (Foster, A /Ill/Ill ; Oxollienses, la ter series, 3:1068). The volume that records Lincoln College battels for Nov. 1724 to Nov. 1725 is not available for inspection, but the next volume in the series, covering Nov. 1725 to Nov. 1726 is, and (per Andrew Mussell) a Pa rker appears regularly in the battels during that period. Mussel! states that no other person with the last name Parker was then in residence at Lincoln, and a review of Parkers in A lul1I"; O Xo/l;c/l ses, later series, confi rms this. It seems safe, therefore, to infer that the battels recorded are those of Sa muel Parker's son Richard (Andrew Mussell, personal communication, 10 July 2012). There are several ind ications that Richard Parker was the recipient of a scholarship. Foster indicates that Parker was matriculated as a "scholar/' which would seem to be an indication of his specific undergraduate status. Hearne says he eventually "left a scholarship" at Lincoln on account of the oaths. Most importantly, Mussell reports that the banels at Lincoln contain " regular notes that small sums of money were ... being paid to him, usually slightly more than his expenses, which must represent his scholarship." This raises a question: if Richard Parker was a scholarship student, would that not mean that he was "of the foundation"? And would that not mean that he would have been requ ired to subscribe the oaths of allegiance and abjuration at matriculation in accordance with the 1702 legislation? It would certainly seem to mean that Parker was "of the found ation." However, the Oxford records that suggest Parker was "of the foundation" are not necessarily inconsistent with Hearne's description of him as a Nonjuror's son 'Nho withdrew on account of the oaths. Parker might have been able to avoid the oaths on account ofhis age. As noted above (see paragraph 3), the parliamentary statute only requ ired these oaths of students who were eighteen at the time of matriculation. Richard Parker may have been able to avoid this requirement since he was only thirteen at the time of his matriculation. In general, it must be said that the minimum ages for swearing that are stipulated in the statutes (sixteen for general matr iculants and eighteen for those who were "of the foundation")add additional complexity to an already complex subject. If uni versity practice conformed to the statutes, as Clark maintains it did, then many students who doubted the legality of the government would have been able to take advantage of age-related loopholes to enroll at Oxford colleges-but, of course, Weinbrot has argued that practice did not conform to the statutes. 19. Foster records no degrees for Richard Parker (A l ulIIlI ; Oxo/l;enses, later series, 3:1068). This is consistent with Hearne's account of his career. The Lincoln College battels allow us to deduce an approximate date for his departure from the college. According to Andrew Mussell, these volu mes for Nov.1725 to Nov. 1726 and Nov. 1726 to Nov. 1727 show regula r entries for Parker. The volu me for Nov. 1727 to Nov. 1728 is missing. Hmvever, entries for Parke r are found in the next volume in
  22. 22. Oxford Oath-Taking and Hearne's Diaries 189 the series, w hich covers Nov. 1728 to Nov. 1729. This volume shows that Parker paid fees a t regula r intervals up through June 1729. The last entry for him is dated 12 June 1729. This suggests that Parker withdraw from Lincoln College circa June 1729. He wou ld have been about seventeen yea rs old at the time. Could it be tha t he withd rew a t this time because his eighteenth birthday was looming and, as a scholar "of the fou ndation," he wou ld have been requ ired to take the objectionable oaths w hen he tllrncd eighteen? 20. Hearne's accounts of Samuel Parker (1703?-1767) at 10:332-33 and 11:21-22 a re confirmed by university records. Foster records that Samuel Pa rker, son of "Sam uel of Holywell, Oxford" of Magdalen College was matricu lated 14 May 1730, at the ripe old age of twenty-six (A ltllllll i OX01liellSeS, later series, 3:1068). The same entry has him serving as a clerk at Magdalen from 1728 to 1767, but the start date is probably a typo. I have not found any other mention of a pre-1730 uni versity affiliation. Sa muel Parker, Sr., died on '14 July 1730 (Hearne, 10:307). In 1731, Samuel Parker, Jr., was elected yeoman bedel. For n10re on his subsequent career, see Hearne (11:21-22) and W. Graham, A Register of tile Presidellts, Fellows, Demies, IlIstrllctors ill Grammar a1ld i1l M Ilsic, Chaploills, Clerks, Choristers, olld Other Members ofSailll Mary Magda/en College ill Ihe Ulliversily ofOxford (Oxfo rd, 1857), pp. 90-91. 21. Hearne, 10:217. Hea rne makes add itiona l comments about the younger Dodwells at 9:290; 10:202, 247; 11:55, 70, 164, 185-86, 235, 239, 473. 22. That matriculation and graduation were uni versi ty ceremonies seems clea r from everything rhave read on the subject and from my personal communication with several Oxford archivists, including Simon Bailey, Keeper of the Archi ves, University of Oxford, Bodleian Library (personal com munication, 17 Jan. 2011 ); Clare Hopkins, Archi vist, Trinity College, Oxford (pe rsona lcommunication, 13Jan. 2011 ); and Andrew Mussell, A rchivist, Lincoln College (personal communication, 16 July 2012). 23. Hearne, 7:300-1; emphasis added. This key passage in Hea rne's diaries is discussed by Cla rk in "Cultural Identity," pp. 30-32, and by Weinbrot in Aspecls, p. 315. 24. H. E. Salter, the editorof vol. 10 of Hearne's Remarks Gild Collections, agreed that the oath of a llegiance was required a t gradu ation: 11 As everyone knew that Hearne had taken the Oath of Allegiance, wh ich was necessary if a man was to obtain a degree, bu t had refused the Oath of Abjuration, the letter could do him no harm; but he was annoyed" (Hea rne, 10:v). 25. MostJohnsonians now agree that Boswell got the date ofJohnson's departure from Pembroke College -vrong.The current" consensus seems to be that Johnson entered Pembroke College on 31 Oct. 1728, matriculated in December (later than he was su pposed to), and remained in residence for roughly thi rteen months, unt il mid- December 1729. See Aleyn Lyell Reade, JO/lllsolliall Glenllill8s, 11 vols. (priva tely printed, 1909-52), 5:45-51 and appendix H; Robert DeMaria, The Life of Samuel J O/IIIS0n: A Crilica/ Biography (Ox ford: Blackweli, 1993), pp. 15-16; and Clark, Samuel JO/IIIS0ll, pp. 114-16.