Portrait of a College: A History of the College of Saint by Edward Miller

By Edward Miller

This affectionate yet faraway from sentimental background used to be released in 1961 to mark the 450th anniversary of the basis of St John's collage, Cambridge. Edward Miller (1915-2000) was once a medieval historian who spent such a lot of his profession instructing in Cambridge. An undergraduate and study fellow at St John's, he later went directly to turn into grasp of Fitzwilliam. His Portrait blends the heritage of St John's with wider advancements in schooling, in addition to social, political and monetary heritage. As such it's a advantageous instance of an institutional heritage written from inside, with an independent evaluate of the various alterations the school had obvious. The bankruptcy at the interval from 1918 to the early sixties, according to Miller's personal memories and people of his colleagues, is a vital checklist of lifestyles within the collage in an age of modernisation and alter.

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Burghley again nominated his successor, though he may not have counted the consequences. William Whitaker was a scholar of distinction, but he was a determined defender of the Calvinist position and perhaps too deeply engaged by scholarship to keep his hands on all the reins of power. These fell, by his default and favour, to Henry Alvey, leader of the Puritan group among the fellows. Naturally this raised an opposition faction among those who envied Alvey's authority or detested his theology. There were rumours of 'synods' and 'presbyteries' in the college and the master came under fire for his Calvinism and his support of Alvey.

He was succeeded by William Bill, friend of John Cheke (a former fellow and Edward Vl's tutor), brother of the court physician and a protege of Protector Somerset. Heartily in favour of the Reformation himself, he was still not so warm as others and it was a group led by Thomas Lever which made the pace. Bill, in fact, perhaps accepted translation to Trinity with relief in 1551, leaving the way open for Lever to succeed him. 3 For this reason the college was particularly affected by the Marian reaction.

He was all for discipline and was determined that the college should not be a nurse of'rash young heads that are so soon ripe to climb into pulpits' and that 'will content themselves with no limits in the church or in the polity'. On the other hand, his sympathies (hke those of Archbishop Whitgift) were emphatically Protestant, and he saw no reason why discipline should not be achieved without theological backsliding. 3 The Calvinist doctrines, which had secured a large following, were coming under fire; and in St John's opportunity was given for factions to revive by the fact that Howland, for two years before his resignation in 1587, had held his mastership in plurality with the bishopric of Peterborough.

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