This paper is concerned widi the puritan in office. It sets out to deal with an incident that took place in the university of Cambridge in 1589, and, in analysing that incident, to examine the tensions and ambiguities inherent in the position of the puritan divine (and here I mean both presbyterians and ‘fellow-travellers’) involved in the traditional administrative and jurisdictional hierarchies of the university. At first sight the affair in question appears to be little more than another clash between two young dons, with precisian proclivities, and the university authorities. Its significance for the study of establishment or moderate puritanism lies in the fact that by 1589 those university authorities included in their ranks men like Laurence Chaderton, Master of Emmanuel, William Whitaker, newly installed as Master of St John's and Roger Goad, Provost of Kings, all of whom were noted for their puritan sympathies. It was in 1589, of course, that Whitgift's final attack on the classis movement really got under way. Here, then, we have the interesting spectacle of erstwhile puritans (one of whom, Chaderton, was an avowed presbyterian) being called upon, in their capacity as university administrators, to support, or at least not to oppose or obstruct, a new hardline anti-precisian policy which was totally at variance with their own principles and sympathies.