Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-662rr Total loading time: 0.389 Render date: 2022-05-20T14:33:27.258Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

4 - The Law, the Advocates, and the Universities in Late Sixteenth-Century Scotland

from FOUNDATION AND CONTINUITY

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 October 2017

Get access

Summary

Some seventy years ago, W C Dickinson drew attention in this journal to a document in what is now the British Library (MS Additional 33531, folios 207–208) that, he argued, explained the failure of the project initiated on 16 January 1589 by the Lords of Council and Session to found a chair in Law in the University of Edinburgh. This unsuccessful attempt had been noticed in the standard histories of the university, but no satisfactory explanation of the failure had been offered. Dickinson argued convincingly that the document showed the project failed because of the opposition of the Advocates, on whom the Lords of Session had relied (along with the Writers to the Signet) for help with the necessary endowment. This the Advocates had refused to provide. They eventually contributed a share of the finance in 1597, but then the endowment was converted to fund the chair of Humanity and some bursaries. This recognised that the first two professors, though advocates, had actually taught only humanity. Dickinson therefore glossed the contentions sustaining the Advocates’ opposition as follows:

The arguments set forth in the “Protest” need no comment. The attitude of the Advocates towards a possible increase in their numbers when already there is “als mekle law in Edinburgh as thar is silluer to pay for it” their fear that those who have attended two or three lectures “for the fassioun” will then set themselves up as compeers even to Bartolus and Jason; and their shrewd thrust that within a short space the Chair may cease to exist “And than peraduenture sum courteour gett our siluer to spend”, are all expressed in terms so neat and trenchant as alone to justify the publication of this delightful piece of special pleading.

R K Hannay supplemented Dickinson's view with the surmise that “the opposition to a ‘doctor of the laws’ in the Town's College, and the ultimate modification of the plan in 1597, whereby a ‘regent of humanity’ was substituted, had something to do with teaching interests established by the advocates and the probationary expectants”.

Type
Chapter
Information
Law, Lawyers, and Humanism
Selected Essays on the History of Scots Law, Volume 1
, pp. 67 - 87
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2015

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×