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both the plan and execution of these his public-spirited designs to the wisdom of his parent university. Resolving to dedicate his learned labours « to the benefit of posterity " and the perpetual service of his country," he was sensible he could not perform his resolution in a better and more effectual manner, than by extending to the youth of this place those assistanccs, of which he so well remembered and fo heartily regretted the want. And the sense, which the university has entertained of this ample and most useful benefaction, must appear beyond a doubt, from their gratitude in receiving it with all pollible marks of esteen 5; from their alacrity and unexampled dispatch in carrying it into execution h; and, above all, from the laws and conftitutions by which they have effectually 'guarded it from the neglect and abuse to which such institutions are liable '. We have seen an universal emulation, who best should understand, or most
† See the preface to the eighteenth ing.–The residue of this fund, arising volume of his abridgment.
from the sale of Mr Viner's abridgment, & Mr Viner is enrolled among the will probably be sufficient hereafter to publick benefactors of the university by found another fellowship and scholardecree of convocation.
thip, or three more scholarships, as shall h Mr Viser died June 5, 1756. His be thought most expedient. effects were collected and setticd, near a volume of his work printed, almost the i The statutes are in substance as folwhole disposed of, and the accounts lows. made up, in a year and a half from his 1. That the accounts of this bene. decease, by the very diligent and worthy faction be separately kept, and annually administrators with the will annexed, audited by the delegates of accounts and (Dr Welt and Dr Good of Magdalene, professor, and afterwards reported to Dr Whalley of Oriel, Mr Buckler of convocation. All Souls, and M; Bects of University 2. That a professorship of the laws college) to whom that care was con- of England be establithed, with a salary signed by the univerfity. Another half of two hundred pounds per annum; the year was employed in considering and profefior to be elected by convocation, settling a plan of the proposed institu. and to be at the time of his election at tion, and in framing the statutes there- least a master of arts or bachelor of civil upon, which were finaly confirmed by law in the university of Oxford, of ten convocation on the 3d of July, 1758. years standing from his matriculation; The profeffor was elected on the 20th of and also a barrister at law of four years October following, and two scholars on standing at the bar. the succeeding day. And, lastly, it was 3. That such profesor (by himself, agreed at the annual audit in 1761, to or by deputy to be previously approved by establish a fellowship; and a fellow was convocation) do read one folemn public accordingly elected in January follow, lecture on the laws of England, and in
faithfully pursue, the designs of our generous patron: and with pleasurewerecollect, that those whoare most distinguished the English language, in every acades of thirty pounds, be established, as the mical term, at certain stated times pre- convocation shall from time to time vious to the commencement of the com- ordain, according to the state of Mr mon law term; or forfeit twenty pounds Viner's revenues. for every omiffion to Mr Viner's general 6. That every fellow be elected by fund: and allo (by himself, or by deputy convocation, and at the time of election to be approved, if occasional, by the be unmarried, and at least a master of arts vice-chancellor and pructors; or if per- or bachelor of civil law, and a member manent, both the cause and the deputy to of some college or hall in the university be annually approved by convocation) do of Oxford; the scholars of this founyearly read one complete course of lectures dation or such as have been scholurs (if on the laws of England, and in the Eng- qualified anà approved of by convocation) lish language, consisting of fixty lectures to have the preference: that, if not at the leait; to be read during the uni- a barrister when chofen, he be called to versity term time, with such proper in the bar within one year after his electervals that not more than four lectures tion; but do reside in the university iwe may fall within any single week : that months in every year, or in case of nonthe profeffor jo give a month's-notice of residence do forfeit the stipend of that the time when the course is to begin, year to Mr Viner's general fund. and do read gratis to the scholars of Mr 7. That every scholar be elected by Viner's foundation; but may demand of convocation, and at the time of clection other auditors such gratuity as shall be be unmarried, and a member of some letded from time to time by decree of college or hall in the university of Oxconvocation; and that, for every of the ford, who fall have been matriculated said fixty lectures omitted, the professor, twenty-four calendar months at the leaft: on complaint made to the vice-chancellor that he do take the degree of bachelor within the year, do forfeit forty thillings of civil law with all convenient fpeed; to Mr Viner's general fund ; the proof (either proceeding in arts or otherwise) of having performed his duty to lie upon and previous to his taking the same, the said professor.
between the second and eighth year from 4. That every professor do continue his matriculation, be found to accend in his office during life, unless in case of two courses of the profesior's lectures, to such misbehaviour as Mall amount to be certified under the professor's hand; bannition by the university statutes; or and within one year after taking the unless he deserts the profefion of the fame to be called to the bar: that he do law by becaking himself to another pro- annually reside fix monihs till he is of fefion; or unless, after one admonition four years standing, and four months by the vice-chancellor and proctors for from that time till he is master of arts notorious neglect, he is guilty of ano. or bachelor of civil law; after which he ther flagrant omission : in any of which be bound to refidc two months in every cases he be deprived by the vice-chan. year; or, in case of non-residence, do cellor, with consent of tlie house of con- forfeit the stipend of that year to Mr vocation.
Viner's general fund. 5. That such a number of fellow. 8. That the scholarships do become hips with a stipend of fifty pounds per void in case of non-attendance on the anrum, and scholarships with a stipend profeffor, or not taking the degree of by their quality, their fortune, their station, their learning, or their experience, have appeared the most zealous to promote the success of Mr Viner's establishment.
bachelor bachelor of civil law, being duly admo. profesorship, fellowships, or scholarships, nished so to do by the vice-chancellor and the profits of the current year be ratably proctors : and that both fellowships and divided between the predecessor or his scholarships do expire at the end of ten representatives, and the successor ; and years after each respective election, and that a new election be had within one become void in case of gross misbeha- month afterwards, unless by that means viour, non-residence for two years to- the time of election shall fall within any gether, marriage, not being called to the vacation, in which care it be deferred bar within the time before linited, to the airst week in the next full term, (being duly adinonished so to be by the And that before any convocation shall vice-chancellor, and proctors) or desert- be held for such election, or for any ing the profession of the law by follow other matter relating to Mr Viner's bene. ing any other profeffion : and that in faction, ten days public notice be given any of these cases the vice-chancellor, to each college and hall of the convo. with consent of convocation, do de- cation, and the cause of convoking it. clare the place actually void.
The advantages that might result to the science of the law itself, when a little more attended to in these seats of knowlege, perhaps, would be very considerable. The leisure and abilities of the learned in these retirements might either suggest expedients, or execute those dictated by wiser heads", for improving it's method, retrenching it's fuperfuities, and reconciling the little contrarieties, which the practice of many centu. ries will necessarily create in any human system: a talk, which those, who are deeply employed in business and the more active scenes of the profession, can hardly condescend to engage in. And as to the interest, or (which is the same) the reputation of the universities themselves, I may venture to pronounce, that if ever this study should arrive to any tolerable perfection eitherhere or at Cambridge, the nobility and gentry of this kingdom would not shorten their residence upon this account, nor perhaps entertain a worse opinion of the benefits of academical education. Neither should it be considered as a matter of light importance, that while we thus extend the pomoeria of university learning, and adopt a new tribe of citizens within these philofophical walls, we interest a very
k See lord Bacon's proposals and 9. THAT in case of any vacancy of the offer of a digest.
numerous and very powerful profession in the preservation of our rights and revenues.
For I think it past dispute that those gentlemen, who refort to the inns of court with a view to pursue the profession, will find it expedient (whenever it is practicable) to lay the previous foundations of this, as well as every other science, in one of our learned universities. We may appeal to the experience of every sensible lawyer, whether any thing can be more hazardous or discouraging than the usual entrance on the study of the law. A raw and unexperienced youth, in the most dangerous season of life, is transplanted on a sudden into the midst of allurements to pleasure, without any restraint or check but what his own prudence can suggest; with no public direction in what course to pursue his inquiries; no private assistance to remove the distresses and difficulties which will always embarrass a beginner. In this situation he is expected to sequefter himself from the world, and by a tedious lonely process to extract the theory of law from a mass of undigested learning; or else by an asliduous attendance on the courts to pick up theory and practice together, sufficient to qualify him for the ordinary run of business. How little ' therefore is it to be wondered at, that we hear of fo frequent miscarriages; that so many gentlemen of bright imaginations grow weary of so unpromising a search', and addict themselves wholly to amusements, or other less innocent pursuits ; and that so many persons of moderate capacity confuse themfelves at first setting out, and continue ever dark and puzzled during the remainder of their lives.
The evident want of some assistance in the rudiments of legal knowlege has given birth to a practice, which, if ever it had grown to be general, must have proved of extremely
| Sir Henry Spelman, in the preface “ ribemque linguam peregrinam, dialec to his gloffary, has given us a very « tum barbaram, met bodum inconcinnam,
lively pi&ture of his own diftress upon « molem non ingentem folum sed perpetuis · this occafion. « Emifit me mater Lon. « bumeris fuftinendam, excidit mibi fa.
“ dirum, juris nostri capefjerdi gratia ; " teor) anmus, &c." “ cujus cum vestibulum jalu:afem, repee
pernicious consequence. I mean the custom by some so very warmly recommended, of dropping all liberal education, as of no use to students in the law: and placing them, in it's stead, at the desk of some skilful attorney; in order to initiate them early in all the depths of practice, and render them more dextrous in the mechanical part of business. A few instances of particular persons, (men of excellent learning, and unble. mished integrity,) who, in spite of this method of education, have shone in the foremost ranks of the bar, have afforded fome kind of sanction to this illiberal path to the profession, and biassed many parents, of short-sighted judgment, in it's favour: not considering, that there are some geniuses, formed to overcome all disadvantages, and that from such particular instances no general rules can be formed ; nor observing, that those very persons have frequently recommended by the most forcible of all examples, the disposal of their own offspring, a very different foundation of legal studies, a regular academical education. Perhaps too, in return, I could now direct their eyes to our principal seats of justice, and suggest a few hints in favour of university learning - :--but in these all who hear me, I know, have already prevented me.
MAKING therefore due allowance for one or two shining exceptions, experience may teach us to foretell that a lawyer thus educated to the bar, in fubfervience to attorneys and folicitors", will find he has begun at the wrong end. If practice be the whole he is taught, practice must also be the whole he will ever know : if he be uninstructed in the elements and first principles upon which the rule of practice is founded, the least variation from established precedents will totally distract and bewilder him: ita lex fcripta effo is the utmost his knowlege will arrive at; he must never aspire to forin, and feldom expect to comprehend, any arguments drawn a priori, from the spirit of the laws and the natural foundations of justice.
m The four highest judicial offices Christ chureh ; and the fourth a fellow were at that tim filled by gentlemen, of Trinity college, Cambridge. two of whom had been fellows of All See Kennet's Life of Somatr, p. 67. Şouls college ; another, ftudcat of off. 40. g. 12.