The Register of the Visitors of the University of Oxford, from A.D. 1647 to A.D. 1658

The Register of the Visitors of the University of Oxford, from A.D. 1647 to A.D. 1658

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The Register of the Visitors of the University of Oxford, from A.D. 1647 to A.D. 1658

The Register of the Visitors of the University of Oxford, from A.D. 1647 to A.D. 1658

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Excerpt

In one, and that the most obvious, sense, the government of Oxford University for fourteen years--from the Surrender of the City in 1646 to the Restoration in 1660--stands out distinct from all the years of the previous and later centuries, as an interruption, an anomaly, a suspension of rights and duties, an isolated period. It appears so in the Works of Anthony Wood, in such notices as we find in Lord Clarendon Works and Walker Sufferings of the Clergy, as well as in those of modern compilers. Even when treated by professed advocates of the Puritans, like Neal, in the middle of the last century, it seems much the same. It was the government, by a Republic or "Commonwealth," of an institution of which, from the earliest ages, kings had been the nursing fathers and queens the nursing mothers; and this a Republic founded in the sacred blood of a king who had stamped his mark on the City and University of Oxford far more distinctly than any monarch before or since; who had made the City his home, his central citadel, the members of the University his body-guard, its chief divines his Bishops, counsellors, and chaplains; and who, issuing from its bulwarks for the last time in his troubled life as a free man, went forth only, after a frightful imprisonment, to die. When this Government had passed away, amidst the execrations of those who had once shouted its welcome, it was succeeded by the sovereignty of the monarch whose popularity covered his faults, and to whom, as the son of the "Royal martyr," by the nation generally, and most assuredly by Oxford, all offences were forgiven.

Again, this Government was the triumph of the Nonconformists . . .

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