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Cover of Hist of Univ OxThe history of the University of Oxford vol VII, 'Nineteenth Century Oxford, Part 1' edited by M.G. Brock and M.C. Curthoys Oxford: Clarendon Press

1. 'The Oxford of Peel and Gladstone' M.G. Brock

p. 10 'Once the examinations had been reformed no one could qualify for an Oxford BA without showing a knowledge of the Gospels in Greek, the Thirty-Nine Articles, and Joseph Butler's Analogy of Religion (1736). 

p. 13-14 'The peculiarity of Oxford's position lay in the contention that the [p. 14] classics constituted the only effective mind-sharpener, there being no study which could combine, to any considerable extent, mind-sharpening with the acquisition of useful knowledge. This is where the critics dissented.'

p. 25-6 'The most damaging effect of Oxford's largely classical examination syllabus ... defending the mind-sharpening properties of a classical syllabus of little utility could easily entail decrying the educational value of more useful studies. ... It was mitigated by recurrent pleas to undergraduates not to be outdone by their social inferiors in modern and technical knowledge, but these ran counter to [p. 26] the examination requirements; and once the honours examinations became dominant such please were apt to be disregarded. 'Practical applications', whether in research or teaching tended to be viewed with suspicion. It was easily assumed that an interest in them betrayed not a thirst for knowledge, but a commercial materialism unworthy of a university. In 1823 Buckland consulted anxiously about an invitation to lecture at the Royal Institution, but ended by refusing it. He feared compromising 'the dignity of the University' by acceptance. For all his unconventionality this immensely gifted geologist shrank from lecturing to people who were concerned with mining problems. It became accepted doctrine in Oxford that professional studies in law and medicine, and those in chemistry, mineralogy, or geology which had an industrial application, could be pursued only in a larger city. This view was not unfounded in the conditions of Victorian Britain, but it became an excuse too easily used when change and adaptations had been proposed. Such inhibitions and excuses were to prove harmful, not merely within the University but far beyond it.'

p. 68 'The Oxford heads met the new era with a gesture which, while showing the University to be conciliatory and forward-looking, would discourage any undue emphasis on its links with the Church. When the British Association visited Oxford in June 1832 for the first of its regular annual meetings, four scientists, including a Quaker and a Sandemanian ... received Honorary DCLs without fee. The visit went well ... Scant attention was paid during the visit to the sensitivities of the anti-liberals. ... It fell to a Unitarian minister (Lant Carpenter) to express the Association's thanks to their hosts. He said privately that 'Oxford [had] prolonged her existence for a hundred years by the kind reception he and his fellows had received.''

2. 'The European University in the Age of Revolution, 1789-1850' L.W.B. Brockliss

p. 77-9 'The universities of the late Middle Ages and early-modern-period were typical ancien régime institutions with a common European identity forged in the first centuries of their existence. Whatever their date of foundation, continental universities in the eighteenth century were privileged, [p. 78] self-governing corporations, entirely male preserves, ... and only accessible to those who had sufficiently trained in the language of learned instruction, Latin. University privileges were legion. They might be fiscal and judicial as well as academic, but their most important right in law was the power to bestow the degrees of bachelor licentiate and doctor on faculty students. The faculties were the fundamental units of university organization. Their numbers and nomenclature was determined by the medieval divisions of human knowledge into four parts: grammar and philosophy (called the arts), theology, civil and canon law, and medicine.

The faculties primary function was to teach and examine in their particular subject area. The historical responsibility to examine had become peculiarly significant by the end of the eighteenth century. Traditionally, universities held a monopoly in the teaching of sciences, but from the time of the Renaissance an increasing number of rival educational institutions had been founded offering a similar curriculum. ... However, the educational primacy of the universities was never effectively challenged because they alone were empowered by state and Church to offer degrees. This ensured the universities a central role in the acculturation of an important section of Europe's administrative and professional élite. In most parts of eighteenth century Europe it was impossible to enter certain kinds of state employment, such as the judiciary, ... plead at the Bar, or practise medicine without a university qualification. ... The development of the university as a degree factory was not a late nineteenth and twentieth century occurrence ... 

[p. 79] Oxford and Cambridge, as two of the earliest university foundations, had helped to shape this common institutional identity. However, ... [b]y the turn of the eighteenth century, if they remained recognizable members of the educational genus, they were no longer a representative species but a distinctly distant relative. ... The English universities had a faculty organization but the faculties had virtually ceased to exist except for the conferment of higher degrees. At Oxford, the head of the University, the Vice-Chancellor, was not an elected figure at all, but the appointee of the absentee Chancellor. The latter was not an academic but an influential nobleman who was elected to his office for life by a poll of the University's MAs ... The Vice-Chancellor, however, had limited powers, for his actions were determined by the Hebdomadal Board, an oligarchic body comprised of the heads of the halls and colleges and the two proctors. At Oxford (and Cambridge), therefore, it was the colleges, not the faculties, which really controlled the University. ...'

p. 131-2 '... Oxford and Cambridge were able to swim against the European tide in the first half of the nineteenth century.  Indeed, so successfully ha the Coplestonian ethic been propagated that when the sword of Damocles finally fell in the shape of the 1850 Royal Commission, its cutting edge proved remarkably blunt. The Universities lost their confessional character (and then not entirely until 1871), but otherwise they remained substantially unchanged. In the second half of the nineteenth century, Oxford was still a corporate, collegiate institution dispensing a largely non-professional education in the arts and sciences. ...

By the end of the nineteenth century Oxford, too, would have to accept that research had a part to play in the university's life. As an arts university, not a professional school dominated by a utilitarian faculty of law, the transition would be relatively painless. Apart from medicine, the research emphasis in the Western world in the late nineteenth century focussed on just those areas--philology, mathematics, history and natural science--to which the University after 1850 devoted its teaching resources. But the new ethic would be introduced into an institution largely independent of state control [p. 132] and the continued beneficiary of private endowments. Such an institution was unknown on the Continent. ... it offered a model which would prove in the long run influential all over the English-speaking world.'

3. '11 The Examination System' M.C. Curthoys

p. 339 'The undergraduate honours course, occupying three or four years' study of a single subject, culminating in a series of three-hour written examinations and a published class list, became an established institution of many English universities during the twentieth century. For most of the nineteenth century these features were peculiar to Oxford and Cambridge: the Oxford system originating in 1800 ...'

'By 1870 examinations had come to dominate undergraduate education at Oxford. The Oxford University Gazette, established in January 1870 to publish the university notices formerly posted in college butteries, assigned much of its space to list of examinees and the details of changes in examination regulations. These regulations were the subject of a major overhaul in 1872 ...'

p. 347 'Although paper work [rather than examination by viva], lasting five days for those seeking honours, was rapidly established aftr 1830 as the decisive element of the BA examination, a peculiarity of the Oxford system, compared to Cambridge and London, was the survival of the viva. One explanation for this lies in the importance attached by the Oxford examinations to religious knowledge.'

p. 348 'In 1830 it was specified that the examination in the rudiments of faith and religion should always be oral. ... the authorities saw the viva, which took the catechetical form (that is, the candidate answered, and was given no opportunity to dispute), as a means of enforcing public submission by the undergraduate to a test of his knowledge of the Articles of the Church. Failure in divinity was irredeemable by excellence in other subjects.'

'... although now voluntary, audiences continued to attend the examinations, though in rather smaller numbers than formerly. The examination in 1880 of D.S. Margoliouth, subsequently Laudian Professor of Arabic, was one of the last occasions where a performance was met by the applause of an audience.' [Vivas continued into the 20th century]

p. 349 'A European observer would have been as forcefully struck by the comparatively small part played by Oxford's professors in the assessment of candidates for degrees. Examining was largely in the hands of college tutors, nominated in rotation by the Vice-Chancellor and proctors, who showed some preference towards members of their own colleges.'

p. 350-1 'After the creation in 1872 of boards of studies to determine the composition of the various courses of study, examiners remained influential in establishing and passing on what was described as the 'vital tradition' of the Oxford honour schools, a body of lore whose continuity was ensured by including on each [p. 351] board of examiners at least one examiner who had held the office on a previous occasion.

p. 351 'A new development in the second half of the century was the co-option of scholars from outside Oxford to join the boards of examiners. ... After 1872 the office of examiner ceased to be restricted to Oxford MAs. The freedom to appoint external examiners was immediately used to bring Michael Foster, the Cambridge physiologist, to take part in the natural science shcool during 1873-5; Arthur Gamgee and Edward Schafer, Professors of Physiology at Owens College and University College London respectively, examined in the 1880s and 1890s. In recondite areas of knowledge, such as oriental languages, the heavy reliance on the specialist knowledge of outside examiners was much criticized. A lack of specialist teachers in Oxford to fill the position of examiners offered one ground for objection in 1903 to the proposal for a modern language honour school. ... No woman was appointed an examiner until 1922.'

p. 351-2 'The emergence of new, specialized academic disciplines was reflected in changes to the structure of the BA course and the examination system which regulated it. Between 1800 and 1914 the common basis of the curriculum was progressively eroded, though much of the traditional course survived. [p. 352] Before 1850 every undergraduate had to pass two examinations to qualify for the BA degree. The first, Responsions ... introduced in 1808, was an elementary examination in Greek, Latin and logic or Euclid, generally taken at the end of the first or during the second year of residence. The second was the public examination ... in the rudiments of religion and those subjects described in 1807 as Lit. Hum. taken in the third or fourth year of study. A common course of study was prescribed for all, though honours men went far beyond the minimum required.'

p. 352-3 'Compulsory Lit. Hum preserved the common arts course for all undergraduates until 1864. The first recognition of other subjects as a qualification for a BA degree came rather half-heartedly in 1850, when examinations were instituted in natural science and law and modern history, each with its own board of examiners. All those who sought a degree had to obtain at leasdt a pass in one of these, or in mathematics, in addition to Lit. Hum. In practice this change lengthened the degree course by as much as a year without providing more than a token recognition of the new disciplines, whose students [p. 353] were delayed by compulsory Lit. Hum. from embarking on their preferred studies.

p. 353 'Single-subject specialization was eventually permitted in 1864, when those who had obtained a minimum of third-class honours in any one honour school were permitted to proceed to their degrees. ... Once compulsory Lit.Hum. had been cast aside, the calims for the recognition of further alternative areas of study made themselves felt. ... From 1886 the particular branch of natural science school in which the candidate had specialized--chemistry, physics, physiology, zoology, botany, or geology--was specified, astronomy being added to the list in 1895, and engineering science in 1909.'

'A parallel trend was the gradual separation of the examinations of those seeking honours and those who were content to try for a pass degree. Originally all candidates, irrespective of their ambitions, were examined together by the same examiners ... After 1830 ... the examiners sifted out those who were seeking honours, and dealt with them separately. The same principle operated for the new degree-qualifying subjects created in 1850. For each subject, the reading required from those seeking honours was specified; a lesser amount, designated as 'the minimum' was prescribed for those aiming only at a pass.'

p. 354 'After 1864 ... [there was a] requirement that all candidates should pass Moderations. This exercise was established in 1850 as an intermediate stage in the BA course, usually taken at the end of the second year. Moderations ... comprised a pass and an honours examination in classical subjects, and a voluntary examination in pure mathematics.'

p. 355 [Until 1887] 'All undergraduates, no matter which final honour school they intended to read, had to spend at the very minimum the first year working for a predominantly classical examination. For Oxford scientists ths represented a particular grievance, and some looked to faculty bifurcation, creating a distinct science degree with its own preliminary requirements shorn of Greek, as a solution. ... But Oxford's BNS (bachelor of natural science) degree, allowing scientists to offer German or French as an alternative to one of the two classical languages, foundered in 1880 upon divisions among the scientists and legal doubts about the status and privileges attached to the new credential.'

'In November 1886 the scientists freed themselves from Moderations, when the natural science preliminary, set up in 1871 as part of the final examination, was recognized as a qualifying part of the first public examination.'

'The lurch after 1882 into what was described as 'that kind of specialization which is most foreign to the spirit and traditions of Oxford' brought a reaction in the following decade.' 

p. 356 'Responsions became essentially an examination of the work done at school, taken at progressively earlier points of the undergraduate course.'

'No university entrance examination existed at Oxford before 1914. ... Admissions were in the hands of the colleges, and the University was required to matriculate any man whom a college chose to admit.'

p. 366-7 [Ideas of gengtlemanly scholarship were exemplified by ...] 'Sir Henry Acland, later Regius Professor of Medicine, who took only a pass degree in 1840, but who published in the year of his graduation a treatise based on wide classical reading entitled The [p. 367] Plains of Troy, was an embodiment of the ideal.'

p. 367 'A second wave of criticism [against examinations] arose in the 1870s. This was expressed most vehemently by Mark Pattison and A.H. Sayce, a fellow of Queen's and later Professor of Assyriology, and was identified with the movement for the endowment of research. 'Originality, bold speculation, unrenumerative study, are antithetical to all qualities fostered by an examination,' Sayce contended.'

p. 367-8 'Oxford's rigid format of written examinations placed a heavy premium upon knowledge that was 'testable' ... Little headway was made by those who advocated that theses should count [p. 368] towards classes ... The limitations imposed by conventional examining seems to have dissuaded the anthropologists from seeking honour school status in 1914; in the anthropology diploma course the final assessment attached great importance to evidence of individual research, including 'printed matter, essays, collections of notes' undertaken by students durin gtheir course work. The natural science school alone achieved some success in breaking away from the restrictions of paper work. The first regulations for that school, produced in 1852, pre-dated the opening of the University Museum; and, in the absence of suitable accommodation, made no provision for practicals. But in 1858 the natural science examiners, memorialized the Hebdomadal Council to provide laboratory accommodation and materials for practical examinations. Acland introduced practicals into the BM examination in the same year, and by 1862, when the Museum was in full operation, part of the honours examination in all three constituent parts of the natural science school--chemistry, mechanical philosophy and physiology--was practical.'

4. [15] The Beginnings of Greats, 1800-1872 I Classical Studies' Richard Jenkyns

p. 513-4 'Seven years after the adoption of the examination statute in 1800 it was seen to comprehend too many subjects. Mathematics and physics were separated from the rest, which were grouped under the name of Literae Humaniores; law and Hebrew were silently dropped. Literae Humaniores at this date included logical and moral philosophy, but no mention was made of metaphysics and history; examination was mostly oral, and so in effect success depended largely on skill in construing the Greek and Latin languages. In 1825 the increase in the number of examinees led to the appointment of separate examiners for the two schools of classics and mathematics ... In consequence of the greater number of candidates it became necessary to conduct more and more of the examination on paper, with the result that philosophy and composition grew more important. In 1830 ... Literae Humaniores now included ancient history and political [p. 514] philosophy as well as rhetoric, poetry and moral philosophy and permission was given to illustrate ancient by modern authors. 

The statute of 1850 created Greats in the form in which it continued essentially until 1968 (in broad terms, literary tets in Mods., followed by history and philosophy) ... The final honour school required composition in Greek and Latin and the study of 'rhetoric' ... This apart the school contained no iterary study: the other branches were theology, logic, moral philosophy and political science, and ancient history. It was, in short, a study of history and ideas ...

Before proceeding to the final school, undergraduates had to pass two earlier examinations. During their first year (usually in their second term), they sat Responsions (selections from one Latin and one Greek author, and some simple mathematics); for the fifth term, an entirely new examination was brought in [Moderations] ... required candidates to be examined in the Gospels (in Greek) and in either logic or mathematics, but the core of it was the study of literary texts, principally the poets and orators.'

5. [16] 'Oxford's Scientific Awakening and the Role of Geology' N.A. Rupke

p. 543 'During the nineteenth century the natural sciences were made a major and integral part of higher education in most European universities. At Oxford, also, the idea of a university was extended to include the natural sciences. A monumental natural history museum and separate laboratory buildings were among the most discussed architectural additions to Victorian Oxford. The teaching of the natural sciences became an independent and respected profession, commonly connected to a well-defined research imperative. Financial support for this from the considerable endowments of the colleges, and much later, from the state, was called for by a growing number of specialized professionals who successfully used the presumed superiority of 'the German system' to argue for the reform of academic science in England. Although most of these developments occurred after 1850, they were the fruits of a natural sciences ideal that took root during the first half of the nineteenth century. ... the growth of this ideal and the influences that shaped it are examined at three levels: first, at the international level of Romantic learning; second, at a national level of Whig reform; and third, at an intramural level of debates about the usefulness of the natural sciences as part of a liberal education.'

p. 543-4 'During the period 1800-50 professors and readers gave classroom lectures on scientific subjects, but these subjects did not enter into the examinations, although candidates could choose to offer experimental philosophy and astronomy. Thus Oxford's formal requirements contained hardly any science, and the little that there was centred on mathematics  i.e. the sort [p. 544] of science that could be learned from books rather than from experimental or observational study of nature. This conformedto a prevailing view of the aims of an Oxford education: that it should be based on textual study, not on practical study of the sort undertaken in the law courts, hospitals or museums of natural history. For professional training in law, medicine or the natural sciences, it was argued that the nation's capital was a much better suited place.'

p. 545-6 'The institutionalization of the natural sciences during this period [1800-50] took the form of new positions and lecture courses, and some limited extensions to existing buildings, but not yet of formal degree requirements.

In 1806 shortage of space was already said to be hindering the display of apparatus for demonstrations in experimental philosophy. By 1817 encroachments on the space available for the chemistry laboratory and lecture-room in the basement of the Ashmolean gave concern that there was insufficient space for the professor's 'processes and experiments'. Two former readers of chemistry ... wrote to the [p. 546] Vice-Chancellor making the case for the entire area to be assigned to chemistry. With anything smaller 'Oxford would not support a decent exterior to the eye of the world.' The Hebdomadal Board agreed, and the area was given over. 

p. 546-8 '... the total public expenditure for scientific lectures amounted to no more than £400 in 1830 and to a mere £582 even in 1850 (£100 each for mineralogy, geology, experimental philosophy and chemistry, and later a further £182 for botany). Professorial salaries were correspondingly low. In order to make a living individuals were often obliged to hold positions in combination. Kidd, for example, combined the Regius professorship of Medicine, Tomlin's praelectorship in Anatomy, the Aldrichian professorship in Anatomy, and the mastership of Ewelme Almhouses. This netted him a yearly total of merely £466 18s 10d (after tax). Other professors earned even less. Buckland, on the other hand, was well off; although each of his readerships gave him only £100, he enjoyed a substantial living of Stoke Charity in Hampshire. ....

Salaries were supplemented by lecture fees. Buckland charged £2 2s for first appearance at his customary full course of sixteen lectures ... and an additional £1 1s for attendance during a second or a third year. Such sums were fairly substantial, and because the natural sciences were not part of the formal degree requirements, lecture attendances during the first half of the nineteenth century were a good measure of the popularity of the subject and of the lecturer. By far the best attended courses were Buckland's; he taught a yearly course in mineralogy (1814-49) and another in geology (1819-49) ... [gives student numbers] [p. 548] however, quite a few of those who attended were senior members of the University. [Tables showing Ashmolean Society membership and attendance at popular scientific courses on p. 547]

p. 548 'After about 1830 the numbers began to decline to half or even less. Attendances at the lectures by Daubeny, Kidd and Stephen Rigaud had always been lower than those at Buckland's ... In 1833, 1835, 1837 and 1839 Baden Powell had no students at all ...'

'In contrast to the declining trend in student attendances, a steady increase in the commitment to science took place among senior members of the University. The Ashmolean Society, established in 1828 for graduates of the University, saw its membership gradually grow, from ninety-two in 1830 to 333 in 1850. Accommodation for the natural sciences was also improved. In 1832 the cramped conditions of the Ashmolean Museum ... was partially relieved when the University Press moved out of the Clarendon Building and the empty edifice was appropriated to, amongst other things, a public lecture-room, rooms for the professor of experimental philosophy and rooms for the reader of mineralogy and geology, including exhibition space for Buckland's famous collection of fossils and minerals.'

p. 549 [asserts that there were 5 scientific scholars in pre-scientific science Oxford worth mentioning Daubeny, Hornsby, Kidd, Buckland and Baden-Powell but that only Buckland was a scientist of the first order]

p. 551-2 'These signs of scientific awakening at Oxford need to be seen as part of a pan-European phenomenon encouraged by the place these sciences occupied in the Romanticism of the period 1780-1830. Its champions rejected the rationalism of the French savants and the authority of the Encyclopédie.  The pendulum now swung away from the religious scepticism of the philosophes towards an interest in things metaphysical; there was a resulting emphasis on feeling and intuition, and on the grandeur of nature's primeval forces. This anti-rationalistic Weltbild included a keener appreciation of history, whose scope was widened by a more sympathetic investigation of those past ages which the Enlightenment had treated as barbaric. In the new trend towards organicism human civilization was examined in relation to its natural environment, and the successive periods of its history were studied [p. 552] as part of a connected development.'

p. 554 'Thus the natural sciences were not developing at Oxford under a utilitarian guise: they were not pursued for economic or financial reasons or even for the purpose of professional training. Quite the contrary; it was the perception of geology as history ... as a branch of humanistic learning, which made it suitable as a fashionable branch of liberal education. ... Moreover, Buckland presented the new scientific subjects as complementary to Oxford's system of classical education. ... In Buckland's opinion, the new sciences were in fact a necessary part of a proper liberal education and should be 'admitted to serve at least a subordinate ministry in the temple of our Academical Institutions'. 

p. 555 'In order to make geology as relevant as possible to the educational purposes of the University, and thus to justify the establishment of the new readerships in mineralogy and geology, Buckland and his colleagues made an effort to link the study of rocks and fossils to the 'deluge' and the 'creation' ...

[p. 555-9 discusses religious controversies of geology]

p. 559-60 '... in 1832 Buckland invited to Oxford, and presided over, the first full meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. ... In the eyes of the Tractarians the scientists had not only comprised the Anglican integrity of Oxford when they hosted the BAAS: they compounded the latitudinarian implications of this when they sided with Renn Dickson Hampden in the controversy over lessening the importance attached to the Church's Thirty-nine Articles.

In the debate about educational reform the Tractarians firmly sided with those traditionalists who regarded science as inferior to classics as a means of cultivating the mind. The anti-scientific sentiment of the 1830s and 1840s was aggravated by the fact that the scientists, too, altered their position. Having earlier disavowed any attempts to associate the teaching of science with 'base' utilitarian applications ... [p. 560] Oxford scientists in the 1830s became caught up in the enthusiasm for linking scientific education and research with agricultural and industrlal progress.' 

p. 560 'This change in emphasis coincided with a growing movement to provide not merely a foothold, but a prominent and secure place for the natural sciences at Oxford.'

p. 561 'When in the 1830s and 1840sit had become difficult to attract a student audience to their lectures, the scientists began to resent the subsiduary place which the University allocated to the study of their subjects. They attributed the decline in scientific interest to inadequacies of the educational system which did not encourage attendance at professorial classroom instruction.'

'However, the decline in scientific interest was not just the result of stiffer competition for honorary distinction in the examinations. ... The examination system of the 1830s was not very different from that of the 1820s, when geology had attracted as many as ninety students per course. The decline in popularity of the lectures by Buckland and his colleagues reflected the change in how the sciences were perceived at Oxford. Their fashionable novelty had gone ... Whereas Buckland's lecture-room had formerly been crowded, it was now Newman's sermons which were the centre of interest. ... Declining attendance at scientific lectures coincided with the high point of the Tractarian movement.'

p. 562 'In [Daubeny's] Brief Remarks on the Correlation of the Natural Sciences (1848) he advocated a solution of compulsory attendance 'on two courses at least of Public Lectures during the third year of residence, leaving it, however, entirely to the option of the Student to select any of the those relating either to the Literae Humaniores, as they are termed, or to Mathematics and Physics, according to the School in which he proposes to be examined'. In this he was joined by Acland and Walker, who, together with Duncan, had in 1847 circulated a gravaman intended to improve provisions for lecture-rooms and exhibition space of the natural history collections, at that time still dispersed across Oxford, in the geological museum of the Clarendon Building, in the Ashmolean Museum and in the Anatomical Museum of Christ Church. This concerted effort led to the establishment of a public examination in natural science in 1850; and the case for science was argued in the Oxford Commission's report in 1852, which was the prelude to the building of the University Museum.'

6. [17] 'Medical Education'A.H.T. Robb-Smith

p. 572-3 'Acland's appointment to the Regius professorship in 1857 marked the beginning of a new and later much-contested phase in the history of Oxford medicine. Outstanding as an administrator with vision, and at his best, perhaps, in handling large schemes, such as the institution of the University Museum, modernizing the Radcliffe Infirmary, or pushing through sanitary improvements, Alcand exercised a dominating influence over Oxford medical education for half a century. Acland's ideal was that Oxford should educate gentlemen and men of science who would after undergoing a general literary education coupled with 'fundamental scientific training', [p. 573] go on to medical schools elsewhere to pursue their clinical studies.'

p. 574 'George Rolleston succeeded Acland to the Lee's Readership in Anatomy in 1857, and in 1860, on his appointment to the new Linacre professorship of Anatomy and Physiology, became responsible for the entire range of university teaching in anatomy, physiology and zoology. To these he later added anthropology. Of wide intellectual interests, Rolleston, who had taken a first in Greats in 1850 before graduating BM in 1854, aligned himself closely with Acland's view of Oxford's role in medical education. To Acland he was the embodiment of the ideal associated with the Oxford Museum; Rolleston undertook biological work 'of the widest kind': 'To him Man was the crown of the whole. But Man in his material origin and descent; Man in his evolution, social, moral, and intellectual; Man of every time, character, aspiration; Man in his highest relation to his fellow men, and to God.' [Acland, Oxford and Modern Medicine 1890: 28] Others, as the memoir to him delicately suggested, felt that Rolleston 'lost force' by diversifying into so many areas.'

'As Lee's Reader Rolleston had continued Acland's work in developing practical courses particularly directed to the needs of those undergraduates reading for the natural science honour school. 

'... a departmental demonstrator, Charles Robertson, who worked on preparing comparative anatomy specimens.'

p. 575 'Acland had always regarded human anatomy as an unsuitable activity for undergraduates; it was increasingly excluded from the range of instruction during Rolleston's tenure of the Linacre chair, even though Rolleston's chief research interests was the study of human skeletal remains. Dissections were rare,and intending medical students needing to cover this part of the preclinical curriculum were often obliged to do so in London. Nor was the university department keeping abreast of the new developments in physiological teaching. ... Rolleston, obtained a Home Office license under the 1876 Cruelty to Animals Act to undertake vivisection, ... [Rolleston] wished to restrict its use to medical students.'

7. 'The Ashmolean Museum' A.G. Macgregor

p. 598 'The role of the Ashmolean envisaged by its founder--that it should be an integrated centre for scientific research--suffered progressive erosion from the early eighteenth century ... In the Broad Street building the orginal elements of public display gallery (on the upper floor), lecture room(s) (on the ground floor) and laboratory (in the basement) still survived in the early 1800s  but the museum element had effectively become isolated from the other function and had stagnated.'

p. 599 '[John Shute] Duncan's appointment coincided with an upsurge of interest at Oxford in the study of natural history, fuelled by the writings of Paley on 'natural theology' and by the lectures of Kidd on comparative anatomy and Buckland on geology. With the general approval of the University, Duncan set about rearranging the collections into three parts: the first division followed the principles established by Paley, being designed 'to induce a mental habit of associating the natural phenomena with the conviction that they are the media of Divine manifestation, and by such association to give proper dignity to every branch of natural science'; the second division exhibited 'relics of antiquity, arranged according to the order of time', while the third featured zoological specimens displayed according to the method of Cuvier, with the name of every exhibit 'conspicuously affixed'. [Note: Duncan's draft notes for new display Ashmolean library AA AMS 44, 10]

'The extent of Duncan's committment to the guiding philosophy which he embraced is made clear in the texts of a number of 'tablets' preserved in the Ashmolean library ... intended to be hung from the appropriate display cases. That destined for the first cabinet reveals that the exhibits displayed there were chosen to illustrate ... the characteristics of 'unorganized objects' (stones, minerals) [were] contrasted with those of an 'organized object' (a clock displayed under glass in order to show its mechanism), the whole exemplifying 'power directed by Intelligence to good ends in the works of the Divine Creator. Ten other tablets ... deal with aspects of human and comparative anatomy, zoology, botany and astronomy ...'

p. 600 'Throwing himself into his self-appointed task, Duncan financed the refurbishments (including new cabinets covering entirely each end of the Museum') out of his own pocket, later being reimbursed £320 by the University. A survey of the entire collection by the Keeper--the first that had been undertaken for many decades--revealed losses of many of the older specimens, and the lack of inventories for certain elements of the collections (notably Reinhold Forster's benefactions of material collected on Cook's Pacific voyage of 1772-5). It also showed the addition of numbers of fresh natural history and ethnological specimens from Duncan himself and from his friends. Antiquities formed a much less important feature of the Ashmolean at this time ...'

'A list of the regulations for the running of the Museum, contained in a letter written by Duncan on 26 November 1827, reveals the institution performing its public functions in much the same way it had in the seventeenth century. The opening hours were 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Saturday inclusive, and the admission charge was 6d. The collections were to be viewed only in the presence of the Keeper or Underkeeper; not more than ten persons were to be admitted at any one time, and no one was to spend more than half an hour viewing the Museum without the consent of the Keeper.'

'With the freeing of the ground-floor premises consequent upon the departure of the geology professor and his specimens, Philip Duncan [who replaced his brother] put in motion another radical programme of reorganization of the displays. With the internal divsions which had encroached over the years now swept away, the ground floor was for the first time in the Museum's [p. 601] history given over to exhibits, principally of mammals. ... Philip Duncan's interests also encompassed antiquarian matters and provision was made in the new scheme for the inclusion of antiquities, along with coins and medals and small works of art, in a lesser room on the ground floor.'

p. 601-2 [public esteem for the Duncans raised public profile of museum] '... as exemplified by the founding in 1828 of a new Ashmolean Society 'for the purpose of promoting an interchange of [p. 602] observations on subjects connected with natural history, experimental philosophy, and other branches of modern research'.'

p. 602 'Before long, however, the advancement of the natural sciences elsewhere in the University far outstripped the capacity of the Ashmolean to provide adequate and relevant teaching resources, and with the acceptance by Convocation in 1854 of the need for an entirely new museum of natural history, the Ashmolean itself was faced with the need once again to adapt or die.

In that year ... Duncan resigned his keepership, to be succeeded by John Phillips, the University Deputy Reader in Geology ... [he] also had the task of overseeing the development of the new Natural Science Museum in Parks Road and was appointed its first Keeper, a position he held in plurality with his office at the Ashmolean. Under him the natural history collections (including the geological material previously removed to the Clarendon Buildings) were transferred to the Natural Science Museum and teaching ceased (in 1855) in the basement laboratory ...'

p. 603 'By 1862 a new role for the Ashmolean building was agreed. The upper floor, which had formed the original display gallery, was now to be given up to the examiners as a writing school; a new entrance was opened up on the east side of the building, giving access to the staircase. The internal stairs, meanwhile, were extended down to the basement ... and the ground floor was designated as 'an Archaeological Museum'. The necessary alterations were completed by the summer of 1864, when the Museum reopened ... A photograph of about this period reveals extreme crowding of exhibits in the gallery ... These [earlier losses to the collection] were compensated for by additions of ethnographical material ... Archaeological material also continued to accumulate ...'

[pp. 604 et seq discusses Parker's subsequent development of the archaeological collections, and his and Rowell's disputes, with Chester's supporting input]

[pp. 606 et seq Evans plans for the Ashmolean]

8. 'The University Galleries' J.J.L. Whiteley

p. 611 'In the early nineteenth century, most of the works of art belonging to the University (excluding those which belonged to the colleges) were exhibited in and around the Bodleian.'

[pp. 612 and on, establishment of new University Galleries at Beaumont Street]

p. 622 'Like his friends Henry Acland and John Ruskin, [Henry George Liddell] was an amateur water-colourist with a keen interest in promoting contemporary art.'

'On the death of Wellesley in 1866, Liddell became Senior Curator [of the Galleries] and with the support of Acland, who succeeded Wellesley on the Board, he brought a new sense of purpose into the care of the collections'.

p. 623 'In the 1840s and 1850s the presence of the Galleries drew attention to the lack of courses for studying art at the University. Richard Greswell, John Burgon, Richard Tyrwhitt and Henry Acland separately urged the University to establish the study of art in the undergraduate curriculum, but with neither adequate resources nor any obvious candidate to teach the subject, their suggestions could not be taken up. Charles Newton, who had known Acland and Ruskin since their undergraduate days at Christ Church, seems to have been a persuasive force behind a number of the schemes to promote the study of art at the University. Although he was a classical archaeologist, his belief that a knowledge of the history and 'figurative language' of art was as important to understanding past cultures as the study of the written word could apply .. to the study of Giotto, Raphael and Michaelanglo.'

[pp.627 et seq Development of archaeological collections at the Galleries from circa 1875, associated with the new Merton and Lincoln professorship in Classical Archaeology]

9. 22 'The University Museum and Oxford Science, 1850-1880' Robert Fox

p. 641 'The laying of the foundation stone of the University Museum by the Chancellor, Lord Derby, on 20 June 1855 was a great university occasion.' [discusses associated ceremonies]

p. 642 'The importance of creating a fitting home for the University's [natural science] collections had been widely recognized in the late 1820s, when subscriptions for the purpose had been gathered. But the campaign had been poorly led and despite the vogue for science which had briefly propelled the charismatic William Buckland to the forefront of Oxford intellectual life, both as lecturer and a practising geologist, it had soon foundered. Two decades later, the position of science within the University was, in important respects, weaker than it had been in Buckland's heyday. Persistently paltry attendances at lectures since the 1830s had demoralized the professoriate in virtually all disciplines ...'

p. 643 [Argument of Daubeny, Acland etc] 'Their argument, advanced relentlessly, was that a broad foundation in science should be an indispensable element in any liberal education and hence a compulsory part of the undergraduate curriculum.'

p. 645-6 'Despite the mixed quality and commitment of the scientific community the call for an improved provision for Oxford science that was voiced in a public memorandum of 12 July 1847 was a forceful one. Although the memorandum was signed by Daubeny, Walker, Philip Duncan and Acland, it drew heavily on views for which Daubeny seems to have been chiefly responsible. It urged the University to erect a building that would provide space not only for the rehousing of the scientific collections in the Clarendon building, the Ashmolean Museum and Christ Church, but also for [p. 646] lecture-rooms, a library and a room for meetings. The vision, fired by the support of visitors to the Oxford meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in the previous month, was an exhilarating one, founded on the ideal of the unity of knowledge and a suspicion of premature specialization which Acland, in particular, was to preach until his death in 1900.' [Copy of memorandum University Museum archives, UMA box 5 folder 1, the memorandum was later withdrawn]

p. 646 [Acland 'Remarks on the Extension of Education in the University of Oxford' 1848] 'Acland argued for the introduction of natural philosophy, chemistry, and general physiology (essentially biology) as compulsory subjects. The aim was not the training of 'professed' scientists, but the disciplining of the mind. For that purpose, as Acland maintained with his characteristically accommodating caution, twenty-four lectures in each subject would be ample, and at least for pass-men, the examination would be 'slight'. 

p. 647 'Acland's overriding goal, in fact, was that scientific studies should be recognized as a branch of instruction comparable in status and style with Literae Humaniores.'

pp. 670 et seq discussion of evolving natural sciences examinations and teaching

pp. 675-6 Rolleston

The history of the University of Oxford vol VII, 'Nineteenth Century Oxford, Part 2' edited by M.G. Brock and M.C. Curthoys Oxford: Clarendon Press

1. A 'Plastic Structure' M.G. Brock

p. 3 'The arrangements established by the Oxford University Act of 1854 and the Executive Commission had done something to increase the University's educational efficiency, but they were incomplete and, in places, defective.'

p. 4 'The reformers of 1854 had made large concessions to secure the enactments of their measures. The crucial issue concerned the nature of the college fellowships which made up the majority of Oxford's senior posts.' 'Gladstone had provided in his Bill that fellows who were not working in the University, a college or a parish ... had to reside in Oxford for at least twenty-four weeks a year and hold 'a certificate of study.'' [The latter clause was later dropped] 

p. 8 'During the fifties and sixties those bent on breaking down the wall which protected the clerical and classical preserve became stronger and more vocal; ad the view that school and university education ought not only to improve the mind but provide some knowledge ... about the culture, institutions, and languages of the modern world, began to gain ground.'

p. 9 'By the late 1860s criticism of Oxford was reaching a climax. Its colleges, with all their resources, were undertaking at any one time the education of fewer than 2,000 young men, and in scholarship the University did not seem to be achieving much even in the field of 'classical learning' when compared to the universities of Germany.' 

p. 9 'When Cambridge opened its Local Examinations to girls in 1865, London followed suit ... whereas Oxford's Hebdomadal Council ... declined to open the Oxford 'locals'. 

p. 11 'There was no entrance examination, but those who wanted a degree had to spend the first year of residence in improving the Latin and Greek they had brought from school. Oxford stood accused of two offences because of this concentration on the classics. First, it distorted school syllabuses. Secondly, while it necessarily delayed each undergraduate's start on his career, nothing was done to equip him for it. ... The Taunton Commission on the endowed grammar schools commented:

'Science ... teaching ... sometimes ... appears to be prosecuted with success in the lower forms, and then dropped altogether in the highest, simply because other subjects are better rewarded at the universities. We cannot wonder that when it is treated in this way it should be pronounced superficial and incapable of disciplining the mind.

p. 12 'No leading public man ... wanted the University to move towards becoming a technological institute. It was generally held that intending doctors and engineers should complete their training in, or close to, the hospitals and engineering works of the big cities ... Jowett's 'chief hope that the cultivation of science would become more general among the students of the University' lay ... in 'the degree in which it was made a preparation for the professions, particularly the medical profession and engineering'.

Each investigation revealed how far these aspirations diverged from the current position. Oxford had spent large sums on the University Museum; but, according to the British Association report published in March 1868, natural science scholarships accounted for only 3 per cent of those awarded by its colleges.'

p. 15 'Most of the honours teaching in science was already conducted by the University.' [as opposed to the colleges]

p. 18 'During the 1860s Oxford experienced a decade of religious doubt. Charles Darwin's Origin of Species ... and the various contributions to Essays and Reviews ... reinforced the scepticism which had long been the obverse of so much fervent faith, and shook the religious beliefs of many educated people. '

p. 21 'In 1868 ... [Liberal forces] pushed the whole University into an important reform by removing the ban on undergraduates living outside the college walls.'

p. 22 'The seven-year agitation to abolish the religious test attached to the Oxford MA ... [was made more likely to succeed by] the result of the 1868 election.'

p. 23 'Taking an MA involved signing a declaration, which from 1868 stated simply that the doctrine of the Church of England was 'agreeable to the word of God'; but some of Oxford's teachers never signed.'

p. 24 'In 1871 rather more than half of Oxford's fellows were clergymen or prospective clergymen ..'

2. 'The Colleges in the New Era' M.C. Curthoys

p. 117 'All Souls provided a possible model for accommodating natural science within the collegiate system. The idea of allocating a college to the sciences came before the Royal Commission on Scientific Instruction in the early 1870s, but was rejected in its report on Oxford, largely drafted by Henry Smith, which argued that science 'should rather be regarded as running through the whole of human knowledge', and that 'it should be better both for science and for learning, that they should be intermingled together in the different colleges.' Seizing a college for the benefit of science was, anyway, reckoned to be too revolutionary a proposal to be practical, though Robert Laing identified Wadham, on account of its historical association with the Royal Society and its proximity to the University Museum, as appropriate for the purpose. The wider aspirations expressed in the commission's report meant, however, that science never in this period enjoyed the particular encouragement from college endowments which All Souls offered to the study of modern history and jurisprudence, and was dependent upon whatever share of resources individual colleges chose to devote to it.'

p. 136 'Personal tuition was also adopted in the natural sciences. At first the colleges had seemed willing to cede the task of teaching scientists to the professors; with the opening of the University Museum in 1859, Balliol allowed its laboratory to fall into disuse and Christ Church, at Henry Acland's suggestion, moved its anatomical collections to the new centralized facility. During the following decade, however, college appointments in science began to be made, and laboratories were established, in the face of suspicion from the professors in the University Museum, who resented the college teachers as being outside their control, and viewed their laboratories as 'rival' establishments. [describes college arrangements for science teaching and development of new labs] ... Since numbers reading for the Natural Sciences school remained small, not all colleges were willing to appoint science tutors....

3. 'All Souls' J.S.G. Simmons

p. 209 'At Oxford in 1846 there had come about a turn of the tide in favour of reform. In that year the University had started moves to introduce new subjects to be added to the two existing honour schools of Lit. Hum. and Mathematics and Physics, and in 1850 there had been established two new [p. 210] schools--Natural Science, and Law and Modern History.'

4. 'Ancient History, 1872-1914' Oswyn Murray

p. 356 'The second tendency in Edwardian scholarship is more often connected with Cambridge and the influence of Sir James Frazer's Golden Bough ... But there was a more firmly grounded contemporary movement in Oxford. L.R. Farnell had been a protagonist of the importance of archaeology and comparative studies for the history of ancient religions since the eighties, and Gilbert Murray was a strong exponent of the importance of anthropology for the classics ... The Oxford department of Anthropology owes its origins to classical scholars: although E.B. Tylor had been appointed Reader in Anthropology in 1884, and was later made Professor, no formal course in the subject existed until his retirement in 1909. Meanwhile a Committee for Anthropology had been formed in 1905 with J.L. Myres as its first secretary; and a Diploma in Social Anthropology was sanctioned by Convocation nem.con in June. Myres was succeeded by the first lecturer in the subject, R.R. Marett in 1907, and formal teaching began the next year with a set of six public lectures on 'Anthropology and the Classics', delivered under the auspices of the Committee and organized by Marett; the lectures were given by Arthur Evans, Andrew Lang, Gilbert Murray, F.B. Jevons, J.L. Myres, and Warde Fowler. The Diploma was first examined in 1909.'

5. 'Modern History' Reba N. Soffer

p. 360 'Modern history was introduced to Oxford in the 1850s and established on its own as a honours degree course by 1872. Beginning (at the latter date) with the fall of Rome and concluding for England at 1847, elsewhere at 1815, history was a subject that was hardly 'modern', nor was it an innovative or experimental study of recent, let alone contemporary, issues and events. Instead, the study of history began and continued as an epic illustration of the qualities required of England's governing élite. ... while the tutors concentrated largely on English constitutional history to meet the demands of the examination, the professors wanted undergraduates to receive a more 'professional' education. The professors defined 'professional' in at least two meanings of the word. [First] they maintained that public officers who made decisions about, for example Indian agriculture or British policy towards Germany should be specially or professionally instructed in Indian or German languages, history, politics, society, economics, and culture. ...'

p. 361 'The study of modern history began modestly in 1853 as part of the School of Law and Modern History. Created by the Examination Statutes of 1850 as one of two new courses, the new school could be taken only after completing the classical school of Lit. Hum. successfully. After 1864, when this requirement was abolished for those obtaining at least third-class honours ... Then, in 1872, the uneasy alliance between the two disciplines was dissolved and independent schools emerged. ...'

6. 'Modern Languages and Linguistics' Rebecca Posner

p. 413 'In Britain interest in Oriental languages had been nurtured particularly by colonial contacts ... study of living languages was usually thought to involve purely practical skills, lacking the scholarly discipline of classical philology. ... the 'new philology' that came to the fore in the early nineteenth century, under the leadership of German scholars, though it was historically orientated, seeking the origins and studying the development of modern languages, did lay the foundations of the scientific study of language as an autonomous discipline.'

p. 414 ''Philology' in Oxford was traditionally used for what is called elsewhere 'historical linguistics', rather than in its more widespread sense of 'the study of texts' ...'

7. ''Oxford for Arts': The Natural Sciences, 1880-1914' Janet Howarth

p. 457 'The reputation of Oxford science deteriorated sharply in the half-century following the Commission of the 1870s. The Devonshire Commission had bestowed qualified praise on both ancient Universities for their efforts to promote the natural sciences. ... After the high hopes raised by the opening of the University Museum and the Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford science failed to keep pace with developments at Cambridge. ... From a national perspective it could, of course, be argued that neither University responded adequately to the growing industrial need for scientists.'

p. 457 'Both Universities were criticized for retaining compulsory Greek.'

p. 459 [Table] Percentage of all Honours graduates at Oxford doing Natural Sciences 1855-59 = 8.1; Percentage of all Honours graduates at Oxford doing Natural Sciences 1860-4 = 8.3; Percentage of all Honours graduates at Oxford doing Natural Sciences 1865-69 = 6.6; Percentage of all Honours graduates at Oxford doing Natural Sciences 1870-4 = 6.8; Percentage of all Honours graduates at Oxford doing Natural Sciences 1875-9 = 8.9; Percentage of all Honours graduates at Oxford doing Natural Sciences 1880-4 = 7.6; Percentage of all Honours graduates at Oxford doing Natural Sciences 1885-9 = 6.7; Percentage of all Honours graduates at Oxford doing Natural Sciences 1890-4 = 8.4; Percentage of all Honours graduates at Oxford doing Natural Sciences 1895-9 = 10.9; Percentage of all Honours graduates at Oxford doing Natural Sciences 1900-4 = 10.8; Percentage of all Honours graduates at Oxford doing Natural Sciences 1905-9 = 11.9; Percentage of all Honours graduates at Oxford doing Natural Sciences 1910-4 = 13.7.

'The founders of the Museum had not aimed to attract large classes but rather to attract a select band of first-class men by the excellence of Oxford's facilities. These aspirations persisted.'

p. 460 'The [University] Museum was connected to the [electrical] mains supply in 1902 ...'

p. 462 'Between the ideals of mid-Victorian enthusiasts for science and the realities of successful department-building there was a gap, illustrated by the contrast--which was not confined to physics--between the Gothic elegance of early building in the Museum area and the squalid huts that served, at least temporarily, to accommodate expansion in the next generation.'

 p. 465-6 'The biological sciences and fields that played little part in the undergraduate curriculum--astronomy, anthropology, geology, mineralogy--were small, centralized departments. They included few, if any, college [p. 466] teachers and the quality of work depended mainly on the professor. Professorial control of biological teaching was strengthened by the creation of the Waynflete chair of physiology in 1882 and the provision in 1884 for the teaching of physiology ... in a new laboratory adjacent to the Museum. The Museum was necessarily the focus for disciplines that were served by its collections, which gradually and not without inter-departmental disputes and acrimonious exchanges with the Keeper, E.B. (later Sir Edward) Tylor, passed into the control of the Professors. When Tylor retired, his successor, Henry Miers, was designated Secretary, rather than Keeper of the Museum, in recognition of the autonomy of its departments...'

p. 466-7 'In Zoology ... the basis was laid--in this case by George Rolleston's teaching of comparative anatomy at the Museum-- [p. 467] for an indigenous research tradition that continued into the inter-war years. The Linacre department developed into a productive centre for research within a strongly Darwinian framework, as did the Hope department of entomology after the departure of its first professor, J.O. Westwood who had been the only entrenched opponent of Darwinism at the Museum. George Rolleston was succeeded with distinction in the Linacre chair by two of his pupils, H.N. Moseley and E. Ray Lankester, and a third, E.B. Poulton, became Hope Professor of Zoology in 1893. The Hope and Linacre departments each published research papers in a series of Reports and in 1891 Lankester started a research seminar for zoologists at the Museum. The proceedings were informal, refreshments--tea, bread and butter, and tobacco--were provided, and unlike the Alembic Club, it was open to women as well as men.'

p. 467 'In the field of anthropometry, however, a research tradition had already been established by Rolleston's work on craniology and continued in the Human Anatomy department under Arthur Thomson ... In 1895 Galton presented his collection of instruments to Thomson's department where an anthropometric laboratory was set up, foreshadowing the more elaborate researches set in motion by Weldon in response to the recommendations of the Inter-departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration (1904). 

p. 468 'Other professors, who had established reputations as independent scholars or at other universities, also promoted research in the smaller science departments. E.B. Tylor, for whom the first readership in Anthropology in the UK was created in 1884, and upgraded in 1896 to a personal chair, was the leading British scholar of the time in his field--ethnology was, in effect, in Max Müller's words, 'Mr Tylor's Science'. R.R. Marett, who followed him as Reader, developed the Diploma in Anthropology after 1905 as a training in research.'

p. 468-9 'In geology Joseph Prestwich, President of the Geological Society and 'one of the last of the old heroic race of geologists', was followed by two Cambridge graduates, A.H. Green and [p. 469] W.J. Sollas. Both were active, field-working professors. Sollas's long tenure of the chair (1897-1936) was marked by increasing eccentricity, but the department's reputation before 1914 rested on his standing as an authority on Palaeolithic man and prolific contributions to many branches of geology.' 

p. 469 '... a proposal to make Anthropology a degree course was defeated in 1895 and in later years the department did not seek to revive it, preferring instead to concentrate resources on its successful diploma course.'

'Research-oriented professors who were not overburdened with undergraduate teaching tended to welcome women as collaborators or assistants--over thirty were recorded as working in the Museum departments and Observatory before 1914.'

 p. 480-2 'There were, however, echoes in the battle for the Parks of a longer-running controversy over the place of science in Oxford. It had both a national and a parochial dimension, and three distinct but interwoven strands. The dominant theme was a struggle for resources that went back to 1830 ... [p. 481] A second strand in the debate was cultural resistance to science, which had its counterpart, exemplified in Lankester's Romanes Lecture on 'Nature and Man', in the elevation of scientific knowledge at the expense of the humanities. ... Conflict over resources fostered a language of cultural antipathy ... Science could be represented as utilitarian, brutal to animals, ugly, hostile alike to nature and humane values--much to the chagrin of its exponents. ... Most scientists preferred to make common cause with colleagues in Arts subjects against features of the University that were seen as harmful to the progress of learning. This was the third strand in the discourse. Scientists back Edwardian reformers who criticized the college system, the commitment of effort to teaching for examinations rather than research, and the marginalization of the professoriate. ... The notion that cultural hostility to science was encouraged by Oxford's 'genius loci', or special associations with classical learning, and the Church, was canvassed at the time and has convinced some historians. Yet there were also--hardly surprisingly, in a generation fascinated by the implications of theories of evolution--areas in the sciences that positively attracted classical scholars and philosophers. J.A. Smith launched proposals, with support from J.L. Myres, Gilbert Murray, and others, for a new degree course in science and philosophy; they were overtaken by war, but the syllabus agreed by the Lit. Hum. and Natural Science Faculty Boards in 1914 included Special Subjects on 'The Psycho-Physical Problem', 'Natural Selection in Relation to Man and Society', and 'Primitive [p. 482] Religion'. Sometimes ... an overlap of interest between disciplines could lead to demarcation disputes. A move to make Anthropology a degree course within the NSS was defeated in 1895 because some classicists wanted instead to make it a Special Subject within Greats.'

p. 488 'Until 1887 all undergraduates were required to take classical pass or honour Moderations before proceeding to a final school, and this cut into the time available for science. Even when scientists were exempted from Mods. 'compulsory Greek' in the examinations--Responsions or its equivalents--that qualified undergraduates to embark on the NSS was relatively demanding.'

'When Natural Science was first made part of the undergraduate curriculum in 1850, the aim had been to produce graduates who were not narrow specialists but at once generally cultivated and thoroughly grounded in the 'basic' sciences, physics and chemistry, before they proceeded to advanced work. The Natural Science Preliminary examination, introduced in 1871, which originally counted towards the assessment of candidates in the final honour school, gave them a training in the physical sciences, while in the NSS an element of breadth was achieved by a system of accumulating marks across the range of subjects offered. ... The intention was, as Acland put it, to prevent students 'amateuring in advanced subjects'. Changes in the syllabus introduced in 1885 retained the bias towards physical science while bringing a new emphasis on specialization. ... honours candidates could now offer on subject only within the NSS. The biological sciences--Morphology (zoology), Physiology, Botany, and Geology--were recognized as separate branches of the school and candidates had to choose between them.'

p. 489 [Account of Rolleston's teaching being criticized by Lankester in a petition to VC and Proctors, in which he charged that Rolleston brought irregular pressure to bear on examiners to exclude from the syllabus newer areas of botany and physiology that fell outside his fields of interest and when he examined in 1879 he made sure that the examinations included questions not covered in Rolleston's teaching with a deleterious effect on Rolleston's health 'and the syllabus was revised after the death of this much-loved Linacre professor in 1881'. Lankester himself did not profit as his behaviour caused much personal antagonism.]

[pp. 499-503 'The Pitt Rivers Collection' W.R. Chapman. See here]

8. 'The Self-Governing University: 1882-1914' Jane Haworth

p. 599 'From an international standpoint, ... the years between the 1860s and the 1930s are recognized as a transformative phase in the history of Western universities, marked by professionalization, diversification, and a dramatic expansion--occurring most rapidly in the pre-war era, when admiration for the achievements of German universities was at its peak. If we narrow the focus to Oxford and Cambridge, there is no doubt that in the three decades before the First World War they moved perceptibly closer to their modern form, as communities of professional scholars, in the business of education and the advancement of knowledge across an increasingly wide range of disciplines. Their students, though less democratically recruited than those of the ancient Scottish universities, now included a growing middle-class element, and they were destined overwhelmingly for secular careers and often for élite positions. ... the institutional framework of the modern University had also begun to take shape.'

p. 600 '... the Common University Fund [CUF] affirmed the principle of college liability to contribute to university purposes.'

p. 601 'Released from its bonds with the Anglican Church and ... not yet dependent for funds upon the State, Oxford was in some senses freer from external control than at any other period in its history.'

'... some narrowing of outlook was to be expected as a by-product of the professionalization of academic life and the emergence of a class of university-based intellectuals, whose livelihood--unlike that of earlier 'men of letters'--did not depend on cultivating a popular following.'

p. 602 'England remained a country which ... treated higher education as a luxury for the few. Although the ancient Universities had doubled their intake in the past thirty years, they educated a mere 5,000 students in a population of over 25 millions.'

p. 607 'Perhaps the most striking weakness of the University's system of government was its administrative structure. It was anarchically decentralized and placed heavy burdens on the dons who ran the place. Responsibility for University finance was divided between the Chest and the CUF ... There was virtually no central bureaucracy. The Vice-Chancellor had no secretary or office ...'

p. 608 'The number of University teachers increased nearly threefold between 1875 and 1912, when they numbered over 150, by comparison with 192 college tutors and lecturers. At the same time the academic practices and ethos of colleges changed: there was inter-collegiate co-operation in the organization of teaching and some colleges developed a strong commitment to research.'

p. 609 'Secularization took effect relatively quickly: by 1892 less than one college fellow in three (31 per cent) was in holy orders ... But the typical don was still a classicist by training ...'

p. 610 'Fewer were married than is sometimes supposed. Among the effective teaching community in 1912, ... 54 per cent were single ...'

'The Selbourne Commission played some part in broadening the University's range of studies by providing for new posts ... Of the new chairs projected by the Commission only five came into being before 1900--the Interpretation of Holy Scripture (1882), Physiology (1882, Classical Archaeology and Art (1884), English Language and Literature (1885) and Pure Mathematics (1892). The CUF ... did fulfil one of its purposes by supporting new posts in fields in which Oxford possessed rich library and museum holdings but which lay outside the range of college teaching interests. Early examples included CUF readerships for ... the anthropologist and keeper of the University Museum, E.B. Tylor ... In the 1890s extraordinary chairs were created for--among others--Tylor ...'

9. 'Oxford and the Empire' Richard Symonds

p. 690-1 'The kind of imperialism which grew up in late nineteenth-century Oxford may be understood in the light of two earlier, and as it seemed to many Oxford men, cataclysmic events. One was the Tractarian or Oxford Movement of the 1830s and 1840s: the bitter theological feuds led to a reaction against organized religion. Secondly, the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species and the Descent of Man caused a wide questioning of the truths of [p, 691] the Bible. J. Macmillan-Brown described in his memoirs how undergraduates at Balliol in the 1870s had broken loose from their religious moorings, influenced not only by Winwood Reade's Martyrdom of Man (a favourite book of Cecil Rhodes) but also be ethnological works which suggested that much of the fundamental doctrine of the Christian creed originated in the beliefs of primitive peoples, rather than in divine inspiration. ... For a number of men of very different characters such as Rhodes, Milner, ... the imperial cause came to have a mystical nature which to some extent provided a substitute for, or annexe to, their religious faith. ...'

p. 691-2 'Ruskin, in his inaugural lecture as Professor of Fine Art delivered on 8 February 1870, ... called on Oxford men to go out and colonize for England every piece of land they could lay their hands on. He later expressed admiration for the autocratic style of the British rulers of the Punjab. Equally important was the impact of his teaching about the dignity of labour and the social role of the state on men assorted as Milner, Toynbee, Parkin and Oscar Wilde, who as undergraduates worked on the construction of the Hinksey Road under his direction ... Ruskin's message was reinforced on a philosophical basis by T.H. Green, who taught that the state should be regarded as a positive moral good, with a duty to introduce social reform. Arnold Toynbeee, as tutor to the Indian Civil Service probationers, taught the same doctrine in relation to political economy, maintaining that classical economic theories should not be applied in India. ... For [Benjamin Jowett] the importance of the Empire lay in the opportunities which it provided for Oxford men to do good. He took great pains with the ICS probationers, about half of whom in the early 1880s studied at Balliol when few other Oxford or Cambridge colleges wanted them. One reason why he did so was that he deplored the attitude of racial [p. 692] superiority of most British administrators in India and hoped that by studying at Balliol the probationers might acquire a more courteous manner in their later relations with Indians. The pupils of Jowett, Green, and Toynbee came to believe that service to the state and to poor and deprived people at home and abroad was the noblest way in which an Oxford man might spend his life.'

[talks about the influences of study of history [used to give moral guidance], colonial history and classics upon colonial attitudes on pp. 392-4]

p. 696 'At the same time as making a substantial positive contribution to imperial theory and faith, Oxford produced a continuous line of opponents or critics of Empire. One of the earliest was Goldwin Smith who, as Regius Professor of Modern History, wrote a series of articles in the Daily News in 1862-3 urging that the colonies of settlement be made independent because their existence dissipated Britain's strength and enfeebled her diplomacy. ... As a fellow of University College in the early 1850s Smith had associated with a group of Wadham men who ere also to become critics of Empire ... The Wadham Positivists, on the other hand, took up an anti-imperialist position on ethical grounds because their leader, the French philosopher Auguste Comte, had proclaimed that no nation was fit to rule over another.'

p. 700 'The Boden chair of Sanskrit was endowed by Lieutenant-Colonel J. Boden of the East India Company and established in 1832 with the object of furthering the conversion of India to Christianity. On Wilson's death the election of his successor by members of Convocation was fiercely contested between Monier Monier-Williams, supported by Conservative and Evangelical interests, and Max Müller, the foremost Sanskrit scholar in Europe, who was supported mainly by the Liberals. Monier-Williams was elected in December 1860 by 833 votes to 610 and the embittered Max Müller turned from Sanskrit to philology and comparative religion.

Monier Williams, with considerable help from Jowett, was responsible for starting the short-lived degree course in Indian Studies, which included not only Sanskrit but modern Indian languages, history, and economics; he also founded the Indian Institute in Oxford in 1884, built with money raised by private subscriptions in India and Britain. He hoped that the Institute would provide residential accommodation for Indian students and, with its library, museum, and lecture-rooms, would serve as a centre for the ICS probationers and all engaged in Indian Studies at Oxford. It would also instil some knowledge of India into those undergraduates reading Classics and Modern History who might in future, as Members of Parliament, civil servants, or in other capacities, have an influence n India's destinies.'

p. 701-2 'The complacent view of Oxford's influence on the Empire which was so often expressed by classicists and historians was not shared by the natural scientists. Several of these had studied in Germany and were also acquainted with the Empire at first hand through research travels and through participation in the annual meetings of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, which was sometimes held in Australia, Canada, and South Africa. Their work was often concerned with imperial problems, the Hope Department under E.B. Poulton became the entomological centre of the Empire at at time when the subject was of great importance in relation to insect-borne human and animal diseases which hampered colonial development.

Poulton and another Oxford scientist, E.R. Lankester, Linacre Professor of Comparative Anatomy, attacked the system which placed the appointments of the ICS, and of those who made and executed imperial policy, into the hands of Greats men who were ignorant of, and even contemptuous towards science. They criticized Oxford's neglect of research in general as harmful to the Empire. Lankester contrasted the scientific illiteracy of the British ruling class with the position in Germany, and compared Oxford with Nero, as it contentedly produced charming and beautiful studies while Britain was in mortal peril for lack of knowledge of nature. In an article on 'The Empire and University Life' (1905), Poulton invoked the needs of [p. 702] Empire in support of a broad attack on Oxford's educational methods by which young men were instructed by purveyors of second-hand knowledge and had their intellectual powers permanently damaged, whereas in German universities experts were trained in the making of knowledge through the association of the pupil with his professor. Poulton, who was a member of the Hebdomadal Council, sought through Milner to obtain a million pounds from the Rhodes Trust for the scientific equipment which was needed to make Oxford 'a great Imperial University'. [this was unsuccessful]

p. 702-3 'The two subjects which profited most from the interest in Empire were geography and anthropology. The Royal Geographical Society was concerned that those responsible for imperial policies had little geographical knowledge: the Society's offer in 1886 to pay half the costs of a readership ... was accepted in the following year: modern and indeed imperial geography was largely the creation of H.J. Mackinder, the first Reader. He had taken Oxford degrees both in natural science and in modern history, and had also studied geology and anthropology; he was thus well equipped to obtain broad cooperation within the University in the establishment of a Geography school and a diploma course. He was a strong [p. 703] advocate of Imperial federation ...

When Mackinder left Oxford ... in 1904, he was succeeded by A.J. Herbertson, who had an equal enthusiasm for Empire. Under him the Geography school organized lectures for the ICS probationers and taught surveying to those from Sudan. ..'

p. 703-4 'A readership in Anthropology was established in 1884 as a condition of the bequest [sic] of the Pitt-Rivers collection. The first Reader, E.B. Tylor, was respected as the father of British social anthropology, but failed to obtain degree status for his subject, being opposed not only by the classicists and theologians but by the natural scientists. His successor, R.R. Marett, was a skilful University politician who shrewdly played the imperial card; he justified a diploma course by the needs of the ICS probationers and Rhodes scholars; he [p. 704] obtained the support of the Greats teachers by persuading them that anthropology was an extension of their subject. The diploma's curriculum was aimed at missionaries and census officials as well as colonial administrators. In 1913 out of forty-one students studying for the diploma, twenty were officers serving under the Colonial Office and ten were seeking similar posts.

The pupils of Marett and of Henry Balfour ... remained their pupils for life. Among those who consulted them on leave or persuaded Balfour to visit them in the field were a remarkable succession of Oxford scholar-administrators in the ICS who had mostly come to anthropology through study of the classics and then through writing census reports and working with primitive tribes. ... While most of the anthropologists had read Classics, the interest of others were derived from studying Zoology and Botany with the Darwinists at the University Museum. Among the most distinguished of these was Sir Baldwin Spencer ... '

p. 647 [Meeting on 1 May 1847 of members of Convocation decided to create an Oxford Museum Committee with 62 members representing a wide range of college and disciplinary interests]

pp. 647 et seq [Plans, fund-raising etc for new Museum]

p. 648 [funding of museum in part from wind-fall profits of Oxford University Press, as well as public subscription]

p. 651 ''To increase the value of the Collections illustrative of Natural History, and to aid the School of Natural Science in the  University, it is desirable that a General University Museum be formed with distinct departments under one roof, together with Lecture-rooms and apartments for the use of Professor, and working rooms for students.' [details also given]

Notes by AP November / December 2012.

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