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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume III. Renascence and Reformation.

XIX. English Universities, Schools and Scholarship in the Sixteenth Century

§ 5. Edinburgh University, Trinity College, Dublin, and Gresham College

Three other foundations call for mention: Edinburgh (1582), Trinity College, Dublin (1591) and Gresham College (1596). The reformation struggle had all but extinguished university teaching in Scotland, which sent students to Padua or Douay, or to the College de Guyenne, at Bordeaux, where we meet with many Scottish names, that of George Buchanan among them. It is characteristic of the time that young Scotsmen very rarely found their way to Oxford or Cambridge. Andrew Melville, though as fanatic as Knox, was, however, a humanist and did something to restore learning at Glasgow and St. Andrews. Edinburgh was too young to take effective part in building up the fabric of Scottish protestant humanism. Trinity College, Dublin, an outstanding product of the English reformation, was, as Fuller describes it, a plantation settled from Cambridge. The first suggestion for a foundation in Dublin had come from archbishop Bourne, some forty years before, and was repeated after Elizabeth’s accession. The temper of the founder was revealed in the two men who filled the office of provost, the first, archbishop Loftus, a fellow of Trinity, Cambridge—and admirer of Cartwright—and the second, Travers, of Disciplina fame, puritan and arch-separatist. The college was, of course, part and parcel of the English occupation. Sir Thomas Gresham designed his college (1596), in London, to be “an epitome of a University.” Oxford chose the original seven professors, who included Henry Briggs, Napier’s collaborator. The professor of law was expressly directed to treat of contracts, monopolies, shipping and the like. “Medicine” covered not only the study of Galen and Hippocrates, but, also, modern theories of physiology, pathology and therapeutics. Geometry was to be both theoretical and practical. In divinity, the professor was charged specially to defend the Church of England. It was a notable attempt to adapt the widening knowledge of the day to the needs of “the spacious time.”

It is significant that, in both universities, the art of printing ceased at some date between 1520–30, to be restored at Cambridge, in 1582, when Thomas was recognised as printer to the university, and at Oxford, in 1585, when Barnes set up a press. But the centre of English printing and publishing was London, where fifty presses were at work under strict surveillance of court and bishop. From 1586, licence to publish was granted by the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of London, and the only two presses authorised without the London area were those of Oxford and Cambridge. Little of the first order was produced, however, by the university printers. The mass of texts for school and college were not of English origin, but bear the imprint of Plantin, Aldus, or Gryphius and of the busy workshops of Basel and Paris.