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Regulations at Yale College (1745)

(From Franklin B. Dexter: Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College,1896, II:2-18)


Concerning Admission Into College

That none may Expect to be admitted into this College unless upon Examination of the Praesident and Tutors, They shall be found able Extemore to Read, Construe and Parce Tully, Virgil and the Greek Testament: and to write True Latin Prose and to understand the Rules of Prosodia, and Common Arithmetic, and shall bring Sufficient Testamony of his Blameless and inoffensive Life.

That no Person shall be admitted a Freshman into this College who is more than Twenty one Years old, unless by the special allowance of ye President and Fellows or their Committee.

That no Person shall be admitted Undergraduate in this College until his Father, Guardian or some proper Person hath given a Sufficient Bond to the Steward of the College, to pay the Quarter Bills of the sd Scholar allowed by the authority of College from Time to Time as long as He shall continue a Member of sd College....



Of a Religious and Virtuous Life

All Scholars Shall Live Religious, Godly and Blameless Lives according to the Rules of God[']s Word, diligently Reading the holy Scriptures the Fountain of Light and Truth; and constan[t]ly attend upon all the Duties of Religion both in Publick and Secret.

That the President, or in his absence One of the Tutors Shall constantly Pray in the College-Hall every morning and Evening: and Shall read a Chapter or Suitable Portion of the Holy Scriptures, unless there be Some other Theological Discourse or Religious Exercise: and Every Member of the College whether Graduates or Undergraduates, whether Residing in the College or in the Town of New-Haven Shall Seasonably Attend upon Penalty that every Undergraduate who Shall be absent (without Sufficient Excuse) Shall be Fined one Penny and for comeing Tardy after the Introductory Collect is made Shall be fin'd one half penny.

The President is hereby Desired as he hath Time & Opportunity to make and Exhibit in the Hall Such a publick Exposition, Sermon or Discourse as he shall think proper for the Instruction of ye Scholars, and when He Shall See cause So to do and Give public Notice thereof, Every Undergraduate Shall be Obliged to Attend upon the Same Penalty as aforesaid ....

No student of this College Shall attend upon any Religious Meetings either Public or Private on the Sabbath or any other Day but Such as are appointed by Public Authority or Approved by the President upon Penalty of a Fine, Public Admonition, Confession or Otherwise according to the Nature or Demerit of the Offence.
That if any Student Shall Prophane the Sabbath by unnecessary Business, Diversion, Walking abroad, or making any Indecent Noise or Disorder on the Said Day, or on the Evening before or after, or Shall be Guilty of any Rude, Profane, or indecent Behaviour in the Time of Public Worship, or at Prayer at any Time in the College Hall, He Shall be punished, Admonished, or otherwise according to the nature and Demerit of his Crime ....



Concerning Scholastical Exercises

Every Student Shall diligently apply himself to his Studies in his Chamber as well as attend upon all Public Exercises appointed by the President or Tutors, and no Student Shall walk abroad, or be absent from his Chamber, Except Half an hour after Breakfast, and an hour and an half after Dinner, and from prayers at Night to Nine o' the Clock, without Leave, upon Penalty of Two Pence or more to Six pence, at the Discretion of ye President and Tutors.

To this End the President or Tutors Shall, by Turns, or as They conveniently can visit Student's Chambers after Nine o'Clock, to See whether They are at their Chambers, and apply themselves to their Studies.

That the President and Each of the Tutors Shall according to the best of their Discretion Instruct and bring forward their respective Classes in the Knowledge of the Three Learned languages, and in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. In the first Year They Shall principally Study the Tongues & Logic, and Shall in Some measure pursue the Study of the Tongues the Two next Years. In the Second Year They Shall Recite Rhetoric, Geometry and Geography. In the Third Year Natural Philosophy, Astronomy and Other Parts of the Mathematicks. In the Fourth Year Metaphysics and Ethics. And the respective Classes Shall Recite Such Books, and in Such a manner as has been accustomed, or Such as the President upon the Consultation with the Tutors Shall think proper.

Every Saturday Shall Especially be allot[t]ed to the Study of Divinity, and the Classes Shall dureing the whole Term recite the Westminster Confession of Faith received and approved by the Churches in this Colony, Wollebius, Ames Medulla, or any other System of Divinity by the Direction of the President and Fellows: and on Friday Each Undergraduate in his order about Six at a Time Shall Declaim in the Hall in Latin, Greek, or Hebrew and in no other Language without Special leave from the president; and Shall presently after Deliver up his Declamation to his Tutor, fairly written and Subscribed. And the two Senior Classes Shall Dispute in the Fall Twice a week; and if any Undergraduate Shall be Absent from Reciting or Disputeing without Sufficient Reason, He Shall be fined two pence; and from Declaiming Six Pence.



Of Penal Laws

If any Scholar Shall be Guilty of Blasphemy, Fornication, Robbery, Forgery, or any other such Great and Atrocious Crime he Shall be Expelled forthwith.

If any Scholar Shall deny the Holy Scriptures or any part of Them to be the Word of God: or be guilty of Heresy or any Error directly Tending to Subvert the Fundamentals of Christianity, and continuing Obstinate Therein after the first and Second Admonition, He shall be Expelled.

If any Scholar shall be Guilty of Profane Swearing, Cursing, Vowing, any Petty or Implicit Oath, Profane or Irreverent Use of the Names, Attributes, Ordinances or Word of God; Disobedient or Contumacious or Refractory Carriage toward his Superiours, Fighting, Striking, Quarrelling, Challenging, Turbulent Words or Behaviour, Drunkenness, Uncleaness, lacivious Words or Actions, wearing woman's Apparel, Defrauding, Injustice, Idleness, Lying, Defamation, Tale bareing or any other Such like immoralities, He Shall be Punished by Fine, Confession, Admonition or Expulsion, as the nature and Circumstances of the case may Require.

If any Person be Guilty of Stealing, He Shall besides the Fine Pay Trible Damage and in all other cases of Injustice Shall make full Restitution to the Party injured.

If any Scholar Shall break open any Other Scholar[']s Door or Open it with a Pick-Lock or a False Key, He Shall be Fined One Shilling for the first Offence: and Two Shillings for the Second: and for the Third publickly admonised, Degraded or Expelled.

If any Scholar Shall Play at Cards or Dice at all: or at any Lawfull Game upon a Wager: or Shall bring any Quantity of Run, Wine, Brandy or other Strong Liquor into College or into his Chamber where he Resides without Liberty from the President or Tutors, or Shall Go into any Tavern within Two miles of College and call for any Strong Liquor, or Spend his Time idly there unless with his Parent or Guardian, he sall for the first Offence be Fined Two Shillings and Sixpence, or be admonished: and for the Second Offence be Fined Five Shillings and be Degraded: and for the Third Offence be Expelled: and if any Scholar Shall Play at swords, Files or Cudgels, He Shall be Fined not Exceeding One Shilling.

That the President or Either of the Tutors may when he See Cause Break open any College Door to Suppress any Disorder; And if any Scholar Shall refuse to Give the President or Either of the Tutors admittance into his Chamber when Demanded, or to assist in Suppressing any Disorder when required; or to come when he is Sent for, or to Give in Evidence when he is called, he Shall be Fined Two Shillings; or be punished by Admonition, Confession, Degradation or Expulsion as the Nature of the Case may Require.

If any Scholar Shall behave himself obstinately, refractorily or Contemptionally toward the President or either of the Tutors, He Shall for the first Offence be punished by Fine, Admonition or Confession, or Being Deprived of the Liberty of Sending Freshman [see below] for a certain Time: For the Second offence he Shall be Degraded or Expell'd.

That if any Scholar Shall write or Publish any Libel: or raise any false or Scandalous Report of the President or either of the Fellows or Tutors or the Minister of the first Church of New-Haven, or Shall directly or indirectly Say that either of Them is a Hypocrite, or Carnal or Unconverted, or use any Such reproachful or reviling Language concerning Them, He Shall for the first Offence make a Public Confession in the Hall; and for the Second be Expelled.

If any Scholar Shall Go out of the College Yard without a Hat, Coat or Gown except at his Lawful Diversion, He Shall be Fined Three Pence: and if He Shall wear any indecent Apparell He Shall be punished not exceeding Two Shillings.

If any Scholar Shall keep a Gun or Pistol, or Fire one in the College-Yard or College, or Shall Go a Gunning, Fishing or Sailing, or Shall Go more than Two Miles from College upon any Occasion whatsoever: or Shall be present at any Court, Election, Town-Meeting, Wedding, or Meeting of young People for Diversion or any Such-like Meeting which may Occasion Mispence of precious Time without Liberty first obtain'd from the President or his Tutor, in any of the cases abovesaid he Shall be fined not exceeding Two Shillings.

That all the Scholars Shall behave Themselves inoffencively, blameles[s]ly and justly toward the People in New-Haven; not unnecessarily Frequenting their Houses, or Interesting Themselves into any Controversy among Them. And upon Complaint of any Wrong done by any Scholar to any of Them, or any other Scholar, the President Shall Order Them to Do Justice and make Restitution. And if any Scholar Shall refuse So to do, He shall be publickly Admonished, and if he continue Obstinate He Shall be Expelled and his Bond put in Sale if need be.

That Every Freshman Shall be Obliged to Go any reasonable and proper and reasonable Errand when he is Sent by any Student in any Superior Class; and if he Shall refuse So to Do he may be punished: provided that no Graduate Shall Send a Freshman out of the College Yard, and no Undergraduate Shall Send a Freshman anywhere in Studying Time, without Liberty first had from ye President or Oone of the Tutors ....

If any Scholar Shall make an assault upon the Person of ye President or either of the Tutors or Shall wound, Bruise or Strike any of Them, He Shall forthwith be Expelled.

That no Scholar Shall undertake to Do or Transact any Matters or Affairs of Difficulty and Importance, or which are any ways new or beside the common & approved Customs & Practises of the College, without first Consulting with the President and obtaining his Consent ....



Of Chambers in or Out of College

The President Shall from Time to Time Dispose of the Chambers and Studies in College and assign Them to particular Scholars to Live in according to his Discretion. And if any Scholar Shall not Dwell in or Shall Move out of any Chamber assigned to him, or into any other Chamber not assigned without Liberty, he Shall be Fined One Shilling, or otherwise Punished according to the nature & Circumstances of the Offence ....

That Every Scholar who Shall Live out of College in the Town of New Haven Shall obtain Liberty of the President where to Live; and Shall not remove therefrom to any other House or Place without Liberty of the President, upon Penalty of Two Shillings.

That all Scholars who Live out of College in the Town of New Haven Shall be under the Same Regulations as those that live in ....



Of the Authority of College

The Legislative Authority of the college is in the President and Fellows; who have Power tomake & establish all Such Laws, Rules or Orders and Directions (not repugnant to the Laws of the Civil Government) as They Shall think proper.

That the Executive Power of this College is principally in the President; who hath Power to Govern the College & every Student thereof whether Graduate or Undergraduate; and to Order and direct all the Affairs thereof according to Such Laws and Rules & Orders as are made by the President and Fellows & in Defect of them according to the Established Customs of the College, and where there are no Such then according to the best of his Judgment and Discretion, provided that in all Cases of Difficulty & Importance he Shall consult & advise with the Tutors: and when any extraordinary Emergency Shall happen which Shall be of great Importance & require a Speedy Determination, then the President with any Two of the Fellows Shall call a Meeting of the Corporation: or if that cannot conveniently be, then he Shall consult with as many as conveniently be got together.

That Each Tutor appointed by the President & Feloows Shall under the President have the Care, Inspection and Government of the College; and the Tuition of their respective Classes: and Shall have Power to punish any Undergraduate for any Breach of the College Laws not exceeding one Shilling, provided that when any matter of Difficulty fall out he shall not proceed without the Advice & Discretion of the President ....

That every One who is chose[n] President or Tutor of this College shall before he enter upon his Office, publickly, in the College-hall give his Consent to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Ecclesiastical Discipline recieved [sic] by the Churches of this Colony, & Established by the Laws of this Government ....



Of the Library

That no Person shall have Liberty to Take or Borrow any Book out of the Library except the President, Fellows, Tutors, Steward, Masters & Bachellors Residing att College, & the two Senior Classes; provided that the president may Give Liberty that the Sophimores [sic] may have Some particular Books upon the Rudiments of Languages and Logic, which are rarely taken out by any Superior Class ...

That the Senior Tutor for the Time being shall be Library keeper and Shall Give his Attendance in the Library twice a week, immediately after Dinner on Such Days as the president shall Order; and no Student shall have Liberty to have out above three Books at a time.