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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 372



366 SUBMISSION OF THE CLERGY. [XIV. king's policy—the Convocation was compelled to surrender its right of meeting and legislating, and to consent to a revision of the canon law to be carried into execution by a mixed body of clergy and laity whom the king should I appoint. This last concession sealed the fate of the old scientific study of the canon law, which, as we have seen, was a distinctly popish study; and, if it had not been accompanied by a limiting clause, allowing the old canons, so far as they were not opposed to the law of the land, to stand until the revision was published, there would have been an entire abolition of ecclesiastical jurisdiction of any kind. In 1535 Cromwell, as the king's vicegerent, visited the two Universities, and in both issued injunctions, that both the old scholastic teaching of the Sentences should cease, and that the teaching in the Decretals and the conferring of degrees in canon law should be abolished. What the exact legal force of Cromwell's injunctions was has never been determined; but in these points they were obeyed : the Universities ceased to teach the systematic theology of the Schools and the systematic jurisprudence of the Decretals ; and the ancient degrees of bachelor and doctor of the canon law are known, except during the reign of Mary, no more. How did this affect the civil law ? you ask : well, just as it might be expected ; the scientific study was abolished, the old canons were in abeyance, but the courts continued to practise, the civil law procedure was as lively as ever ; and students who intended to practise as advocates took degrees in civil law instead of in both. Oxford dropped the canon law degree altogether ; Cambridge, by adopting a more general form, retained a shadowy pre • sentment of the double honour. And now we come again to an Act which shows the continuity of the inherent rivalry between two systems which, for the sake of mutual profit, had so long worked together.


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