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ACCOUNT OF THE COMMENCEMENT
HELD ON THE 18TH OF AUGUST, 1614,
AS GIVEN IN THE CHRONICLE OF LORD CHICHESTER'S GOVERNMENT OF IRELAND.-Desid. Cur. Hib. p. 316.
THE 18th of August, there was a great Commencement holden in the University at Dublin, but because the rooms in the Trinity College were very small, they held their acts of disputation in the high choir of St. Patrick's church, and there proceeded that day five doctors in theology, viz. :
The whole number of graduates at this Commencement, 38; besides three that were incorporated.
The manner of this Commencement was accomplished in this order: first, Dr. Hampton, Lord Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland, who having many years before proceeded Doctor in Theology at the University in Cambridge, was now at this Commencement incorporated into the University of Dublin, and was the Senior Doctor Cathedral and Moderator of theological acts in the Commencement; so upon the day appointed, viz., the 18th day of August, the said Dr. Hampton, Lord Primate, together with the Provost, Fellows, and Scholars of the house, passed from the College, through the City of b
Dublin, in very stately order; for the Lord Primate, and other ancient Doctors, and also those that were to proceed Doctors, were every one attired in scarlet robes, with their Doctors' hoods; also the Batchelors of Divinity, the Masters and Batchelors of Arts were attired in other scholar-like attire as appertained, which made a very beautiful show to the sight of all men; and they were further most highly graced with the presence of the Lord Deputy, the Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas Ridgway, Knt., Treasurer, and Treasurer at War, with divers others of the Council, who followed after them, and sat in St. Patrick's Church, to hear their disputation and discourses, which were performed as followeth :
First, when they were entered the choir of St. Patrick's Church, the Masters and Batchelors of Arts sat down in their places appointed for them, every one according to his degree; likewise Dr. Dun, being a Doctor in the Civil Law, and ViceChancellor of the University, took his place, which was appointed for him in the choir; and then Mr. Anthony Martin, Proctor for the College, ascended up into one of the pulpits, as Moderator of the philosophical acts. And the Lord Primate, who was father for the day of the theological acts, with those three which were to proceed in the publick disputations, as also two Batchelors of Divinity, did ascend up to their places which were appointed for them on the right side of the choir. And when the Lord Deputy, and the Lord Chancellor, and the Council, were set, and all things in good order, Dr. Dun, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, began an oration in Latin, being as a general introduction into all the acts of that day's disputation, which he performed learnedly; and when he ended his oration, the Primate began another oration in Latin, concerning the acts of Divinity, and those that were to proceed Doctors.
This oration contained a long discourse wherein he administered five academical ceremonies, as here do follow in order:
1. He set them in his chair.
2. He gave them square caps.
4. He put rings upon their fingers.
These ceremonies ministered severally to each of them, first to Dr. Usher, then to Dr. Richardson, and lastly, to Dr. Walsh; and the Lord Primate expounded to them the signification of each ceremony.
This manner of Commencement was never used in Ireland before this time. Now, all things being thus performed by the Lord Primate, as is said, Dr. Usher went down into the choir, and ascended up into one of the pulpits, where he made a sermon-like oration upon the text, "Hoc est corpus meum;" and after a long discourse thereon, the other two Doctors, viz., Dr. Richardson and Dr. Walsh, disputed with Dr. Usher upon the same point; in which disputation, the Lord Primate, who was the father of this theological act, was also Moderator in their disputation, and finishing the act, they rose up, and returned back to the Trinity College, where a stately dinner was provided for the Lord Deputy and Council. And thus were all things concerning the acts of Commencement in the University of Dublin performed and accomplished to their high commendations and credit.
The total sum of all the graduates that have commenced in this University, from the first foundation thereof to this present year, 1614, inclusive, containing the space of 23 years,
Besides those incorporated-3, viz., one Doctor and two Masters of Arts.
And whereas it hath pleased God, that in these few years of her infancy she hath brought forth such a learned issue, it is to be hoped for, that in her more ripe and mature years (God blessing her increase), she shall produce multitude of learned children, who shall flourish in the Church and Commonwealth, to the glory of God, and the increase of true Christian religion in Christ Jesus. Amen.