Jewish Chronicle 1870

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University Tests Bill

Jews had been prevented from being full members of the University of Oxford because of a University Regulation which required them to swear an Oath under the Article 39 mentioned below:

From the Jewish Chronicle 27th May 1870,  page 8

The Universities Tests Act 1871  in the United Kingdom abolished the communion “Tests” and allowed Roman Catholics, non-conformists and non-Christians to take up fellowships at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Durham.

Passed during the course of William Ewart Gladstone’s first ministry, the act was to obtain support from the non-conformists since these were a major support group for the Liberal Party.

The direct instigation for this legislation was the widely-publicised case of Numa Edward Hartog, the first Jewish Senior Wrangler in the history of Cambridge University, who could not accept the fellowship that would otherwise routinely be offered, because he could not subscribe to the required test on account of his religion. His testimony before the House of Lords helped secure passage of the bill, after the Lords had twice blocked similar legislation in 1869 and 1870

To comemorate the full passing and implementation of this Act in 1871, 150 years ago,  Oxford will host a programme of events under the title  Opening Oxford 1871 – 150 years of opening Oxford University to the world.     Details can be found by clicking HERE

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