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to raise the Scots in the north of Ireland and put them under arms, in order to resist the violent progress of the rebellion. It seems, then, nearly certain that the James Fullerton who came to Ireland was not the class-fellow, but the pupils of Andrew Melville, laureated at Glasgow in 1581. Hamilton may also have been under the same tutor at St. Andrew's, for in 1585 James Hamilton was made Master of Arts, and at that time Melville had been for some years Principal of New College.
To the school opened under such extraordinary circumstances James Ussher was sent when eight years of age, and he continued there for five years, exciting the admiration of his instructors by his diligence and quickness. The pupil was not insensible to the value of the instruction he received from his masters, for Dr. Parr states, that “whenever he recounted the providences of God towards himself, he would usually say, that he took this for one remarkable instance of it, that he had the opportunity and advantage of his education from those men, who came thither by chance, and yet proved so happily useful to himself and others.”
& Dr. M‘Crie, in his Life of Melville, gives the following account of the course which Melville taught at Glasgow, completing it in six years. The class were well grounded in Latin before he commenced. “ He began by initiating them into the principles of the Greek grammar. He then introduced them to the study of Logic and Rhetoric, using as his text-books the Dialectics of his Parisian master, Ramus, and the Rhetoric of Talæus. While they were engaged in these studies, he read with them the best classical authors, as Virgil and Horace among the Latins-and Homer, Hesiod, Theocritus, Pindar, and Isocrates among the Greeks; pointing out, as he went along, their beauties, and illustrating by them the principles of Logic and Rhetoric. Proceeding to Mathematics and Geography he taught the elements of Euclid with the arithmetic and geometry of Ramus, and the geography of Dionysius. And agreeably to this plan of uniting elegant literature with philosophy, he made the students use the Phenomena of Aratus, and the Cosmographia of Honter. Moral philosophy formed the next branch of study, and on this he read Cicero's Offices, Paradoxes, and Tusculan Questions, the Ethics and Politics of Aristotle, and certain dialogues of Plato. In Natural Philosophy he made use of Fernelius, and commented on parts of the writings of Aristotle and Plato. To these he added a view of Universal History, with Chronology, and the progress of the art of Writing. Entering upon the duties of his own immediate profession, he taught the Hebrew language, first, more cursorily, by going over the elementary work of Martinius, and after. wards by a more accurate examination of its principles, accompanied
Yet the course of instruction was not extensive, as it did not comprehend either Greek or Hebrew, for Ussher appears to have commenced learning both those languages after his admission into the University of Dublin.
On the 9th of January, 1593–4, Trinity College, Dublin, was first opened for the admission of students. The foundation of this College was closely connected with the family of James Ussher. His grandfather, Stanihurst", had made the first motion in Parliament for the establishment of an University in Dublin, and his uncle, Henry Ussher, Archdeacon of Dublin, and subsequently Archbishop of Armagh, had been sent' over twice to London, to negociate the matter, and had at length, in 1591, brought back with him the Queen's letter for its erection. At the time
with a praxis upon the Psalter and books of Solomon. He then initiated the students into Chaldee and Syriac, reading those parts of the books of Daniel and Ezra that are written in Chaldee, and the Epistle to the Galatians in the Syriac version. He also went through all the common heads of Divinity, according to the order of Calvin's Institutions, and gave lectures on the different books of Scripture.”—M.Crie's Life of Melville, vol. i. pp. 67-9.
Stanihurst appears to have been one of those persons who accommodated their religion to the times. He had been Speaker of the House of Commons under Mary, and he felt no scruples at continuing so under Elizabeth. From the letters of Campian, the Jesuit, to him, it seems evident that, as far as he had any religion, he continued a Roman Catholic to his death. The mother of Ussher, who professed to be a Protestant during the lifetime of her husband and for some years after his death, openly avowed herself a Roman Catholic when her son was absent in England, and resisted all his efforts to convert her from her errors. Her brother Richard was well known as a zealous controversialist in favour of Popery, and, after the death of his wife, took orders in the Roman Catholic Church.
Dr. Bernard, and he is followed by Dr. Smith, in his Life of Ussher, states that the Archdeacon of Dublin was sent over to defeat the plan which Sir John Perrot bad formed, of converting to his own use the revenues of St. Patrick's Cathedral. This is a most unfounded calumny against that unfortunate Deputy. The fact is, Sir John Perrot, like his successor in after times, Lord Strafford, fell a victim to his efforts for the recovery of the property of the Church : he was not able to struggle successfully with those who had scandalously seized her revenues. The plan of appropriating the revenues of St. Patrick's Cathedral to an Uni. versity had been proposed in the government of Sir Henry Sydney, and Sir John Perrot received instructions on coming to Ireland to inquire, “how St. Patrick's in Dublin, and the revenue belonging to the same.
of the College being opened, Fullerton and Hamilton were appointed Fellowsk, in addition to the three persons named in the charter, and James Ussher was admitted a student under the tuition of his former master, James Hamilton, being then thirteen years of age'.
Dr. Bernard states that Ussher was the first scholar entered into Dublin College, and that he had heard “it
may be made to serve for the purpose of an University, as hath been heretofore intended.”—See Desider. Cur. Hiber. vol. i. p. 28. Perrot, in fulfilment of these instructions, proposed that the revenues of St. Patrick's Cathedral, then worth 4000 marks, should serve to begin the foundation of two Universities, and endow a couple of colleges in them with £1000 per annum a-piece. In each of these colleges six masters, with one hundred scholars, were to be settled. The six masters to be chosen out of the most learned residentaries of the Cathedral, who in their turns, three and three of each college, were to reside and keep hospitality in the several prebends whereunto the cure of souls was annexed. This plan would have removed many of the difficulties which impeded the progress of Trinity College, in consequence of want of funds, and does not afford the slightest appearance of an attempt, on the part of the Lord Deputy, to secure any property for himself. On the other hand, Archbishop Loftus had notoriously alienated to his family the revenues of two prebends, and had got a valuable lease from his brother-in-law, the Dean of St. Patrick's. These spoils would certainly have been wrested from him, had an inquiry been made into the revenues of the Cathedral, before they were transferred to the new colleges. The fear of being compelled to make this restitution can alone account for the rancorous hostility with which the Archbishop pursued his victim. The biographer of Sir John Perrot says: “ The Archbishop stuck to him to the last, and was a main instrument in bringing him to his condemnation; and Perrot, in his last will, solemnly testified, that the Archbishop falsely belied him in his declaration against him.” The biographer of Archbishop Loftus truly says: “ The great qualities of this prelate were something tarnished by his excessive ambition and avarice. For, besides his promotions in the Church and his public employments in the State, he grasped at every thing that became void, either for himself or family.” There was indeed one part of Sir John Perrot's plan which was most objectionable, his proposal to desecrate the cathedral and make it the courts of law, but this did not draw forth any animadversion from the Archbishop.
Parr, in his Life of the Archbishop (and he has been followed by others), says that Hamilton was appointed a senior Fellow; but this is a mistake, for the distinction of senior and junior Fellows appears to have been first made in the year 1614.
"Dr. Parr states that Ussher was admitted into the College in the thirteenth year of his age : but this must be a mistake. He was in the fourteenth year of his age, for he was born on the 4th of January. 1580-), and the College was opened on the 9th of January, 1593_4.
was so ordered upon design by the governors of it, observing the
pregnancy and forwardness of him; that it might be a future honour to it to have it upon record, in the frontispiece of their admission-book, and so accordingly the first graduate, fellow, proctor, and all other degrees originally from thence.” And Dr. Parr says, “ that his name as the first Scholar there stands to this day on the first line of their rollm.” He may have been the first student, but he certainly was not the first Scholar; for the list of them, in the handwriting of Provost Alvey, is still extant, and after the three named in the Charter stand Abel Walsh, Jacobus Ussher, Jacobus Lee. Ussher says of himself that he was “inter primos in illam admissos"."
The system of instruction adopted in the new College is thus described by Dr. Bernard : “The education which that College then gave was very eminent. At the first foundation there were but fouro Fellows, and yet the tongues and arts were very exactly taught to all the students, being divided into several classes. Aristotle's text was read in Greek by each tutor to his pupils. Three lectures a day every Fellow read, at each of which there was a disputation upon what had been then read, or the lecture before, and, among other ways, they were ordered to dispute more Socratico. On Saturday, in the afternoon, each tutor read, in Latin, a lecture on divinity to his pupils, and dictated it so deliberately that they easily took it in writing; and so were their other lectures also."
The religious education of young Ussher appears to have been watched with unceasing vigilance, and at fourteen years of age he was called upon to receive the holy communion. This sacred rite produced a great effect upon his religiously disposed mind; and his biographer informs us that, in advanced life, he was accustomed to look back with complacency upon the strict retirement and rigorous
m The oldest admission-book now extant commences in the year 1637, and the first name is William, eldest son of Lord Strafford, aged eleven years and a balf. n Ussher's Letter to Hevelius.-Works, vol. xvi., p. 167.
Henry Ussher, the Archdeacon of Dublin, named in the Charter as the first Fellow, does not appear ever to have acted.
self-examination which always preceded his approach to the Lord's table, and to lament the little improvement which increasing years had produced. He observed with peculiar strictness the Lord's day; and his early piety led him to deplore as a sin his too great attachment to literary pursuits, that he could not welcome with more joy the approach of the day devoted to the service of his God than of that which restored him to his studies.
At this early period of his life he appears to have devoted himself to study with an ardour and perseverance extraordinary for his years. Admitted into the University, unacquainted with either the Greek or Hebrew languages, he must have used no common diligence to acquire the knowledge which he soon displayed in them. He was not inattentive to the study of logic and the Aristotelic philosophy then so much in fashion. But the decided leaning of his mind was to historical and chronological inquiries. It is said that he was first struck with the passage in Cicero, “ Nescire quid antea quam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum." And, indeed, he alludes to the circumstance in the dedication of the Antiquities of the British Churches to King Charles, using the strong expressions,
Indeque mihi insitum fuisse diffiteri non possum rerum gestarum et memoriæ veteris ordinem cognoscendi singulare quoddam et prope incredibile desiderium.” The first work which confirmed this inclination was, “Sleidan de quatuor monarchiis ;” and so rapid was the progress made by the youthful studentP, that, ere he reached his nineteenth year, he had drawn up, in Latin, a chronicle of the Bible, as far as the Book of Kings, differing not much from the Annals which were published at the close of his long and laborious life.
The circumstances of the times and the peculiar situation of his own family, divided as it was between the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches, exercised an irresistible force upon the mind of Ussher, to devote a considerable portion of his time to the study of polemical divinity. With that can
Some biographers have stated, that in his early life he manifested a strong inclination for poetry, and was much devoted to card-playing.