DescriptionPetition for University in Manchester, England. One page, 8.5" x 12.5", Manchester, England, n.d. This document likely dates to the late 16th century or early 17th century. We make this assessment based on several linguistic and religious features of the document; for instance a portion of the letter reads, "…them wth out any degrees without University learning to pcure them holy-Orders & soe obtrude them upon ye gladly Ye great hopes we have ye from hence might issue able & learned men, laborious Pastoures & teachers to convince & discourage Papists & other sup-stitious people, who for want of able scholars, dayly take growth of exercise to ye great hindrance of Piety & true Religion…" [sic] The term papist is a slur referring to Roman Catholics. It was coined during the English Reformation to identify anyone who believed in the papal supremacy. It was mainly a pejorative term and can be seen as such by the Act of Settlement of 1701, which says that no one who professes the "popish religion" or marries "a papist" may succeed to the throne of the United Kingdom. This term allows us to ascertain that this document was possibly written during the Reformation. Secondly, the language itself is very archaic and looks to date to about the same time. The document itself is a request to Parliament for a University in Manchester. Five long reasons are laid out by the document. However, it unlikely that the request was granted since the University of Manchester was not established until the 19th century. Regardless of the acceptance or rejection of the petition, it is an excellent document to examine legal procedure and language of the Reformation.
The document is in Fine condition; usual folds are present; the bottom edge of the document is worn and torn; soiling present on face. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection.
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