THE OXFORD DECLARATIONS At a meeting of heads of houses and proctors in the Delegates' room, May 2, 1834. A Declaration... We, whose names are underwritten, declare it to be our deliberate and firm opinion, that a Bill, now before Parliament, “To remove certain Disabilities which prevent some Classes of His Majesty’s Subjects from resorting to the Universities of England, and proceeding to Degrees therein,” will, if it pass into a Law, violate our legal and prescriptive Rights; subvert the system of Religious Instruction and Discipline, so long and beneficially exercised by us; and, by dissolving the union between the University and the Church of England, will impair the efficiency, and endanger the security, of both. Oxford: Baxter, printer, 1834. Folio, 460 x 285 mm. pp. 4. old repairs to last page. The repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts in 1828 led the way for religious dissenters to enter public office, from which they had previously been barred. However, in many instances the freedoms were theoretical, nonconformists could not be legally married in their own chapels, nor buried in their own churchyards. Nonconformists were still barred from attending Oxford University; they could attend Cambridge, but not receive degrees there. A bill of 1834 would have removed these restrictions and passed the Commons but failed in the Lords. It was another 20 years before nonconformists could take bachelors degrees and it was not until 1871 that they were allowed to take higher degrees and hold offices at the universities. The number of signatories to this Declaration at the University of Oxford shows the strength of feeling of most academics.
Offered by Michael S Kemp Bookseller