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Dr. Moore, the learned Bishop of Ely, was one of the six Commissioners who had nominated Bentley for the Mastership; he sympathised with bis studies; and Bentley had been Archdeacon of the diocese since 1701. The judge, then, could hardly be suspected of any bias against the accused. He sent a copy of the accusation to Bentley, who ignored it for some months. In November the Bishop wrote again, requiring a reply by December 18. Bentley then petitioned the Queen, praying that the Bishop of Ely might be restrained from usurping the functions of Visitor. The Visitor of Trinity College, Bentley contended, was the Sovereign. Mr. Secretary St. John at once referred Bentley's contention to the Law Officers of the Crown, and meanwhile the Bishop was inhibited from pro.. ceeding. This was at the end of 1710.

Bentley's move was part of a calculation. In 1710 the Tories had come in under Harley and St. John. Mrs. Bentley was related to St. John, and also to Mr. Masham, whose wife had succeeded the Duchess of Marlborough in the Queen's favour. Bentley reckoned on commanding sufficient influence to override the Bishop's jurisdiction by a direct interposition of the Crown. He was disappointed. The Attorney-general and the Solicitor-general reported that, in their opinion, the Bishop of Ely was Visitor of Trinity College in matters concerning the Master; adding that Bentley could, if he pleased, try the question in a court of law. This was not what Bentley desired. He now wrote to the Prime-minister, Harley, who had recently escaped assassination, and, with the office of Lord High Treasurer, had been created Earl of Oxford. Bentley's letter is dated July 12, 1711. “I desire nothing more," he writes, “than that her Majesty would send down commissioners to examine into all matters upon the place, and to punish where the faults shall be found. ... I am easy under everything but loss of time by detainment here in town, which hinders me from putting my last hand to my edition of Horace, and from doing myself the honour to inscribe it to your Lordship’s great name.” The Premier did his best. He referred the report of the Attorney and Solicitor to the Lord Keeper, Sir Simon Harcourt, and Queen's Counsel. In January, 1712, they expressed their opinion that the Sovereign is the General Visitor of Trinity College, but that the Bishop of Ely is Special Visitor in the case of charges brought against the Master. The Minister now tried persuasion with the Fellows. Could they not concur with the Master in referring their grievances to the Crown? The Fellows declined. A year passed. Bentley tried to starve out the College by refusing to issue a dividend. In vain. The Ministry were threatened with a revision, in the Queen's Bench, of their veto on the Bishop. They did not like this prospect. On April 18, 1713, Bolingbroke, as Secretary of State, authorised the Bishop of Ely to proceed.

Bentley's ingenuity was not yet exhausted. He proposed that the trial should be held forthwith at Cambridge, where all the College books were ready to band. Had this been done, he must certainly have been acquitted, since the prosecutors had not yet worked up their

Some of the Fellows unwarily consented. But the Bishop appointed Ely House, in London, as the place of trial, and the month of November, 1713, as the time. Various causes of delay intervened. At last, in May, 1714, the trial came on in the great hall of Ely House. Five counsel, including Miller, were employed for the Fellows, and three for Bentley. Bishop Moore had two eminent lawyers as his assessors - Lord Cowper, an ex

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Dr. Moore, the learned Bishop of Ely, was one of the six Commissioners who had nominated Bentley for the Mastership; he sympathised with bis studies; and Bentley had been Archdeacon of the diocese since 1701. The judge, then, could hardly be suspected of any bias against the accused. He sent a copy of the accusation to Bentley, who ignored it for some months. In November the Bishop wrote again, requiring a reply by December 18. Bentley then petitioned the Queen, praying that the Bishop of Ely might be restrained from usurping the functions of Visitor. The Visitor of Trinity College, Bentley contended, was the Sovereign. Mr. Secretary St. John at once referred Bentley's contention to the Law Officers of the Crown, and meanwhile the Bishop was inhibited from pro ceeding. This was at the end of 1710.

Bentley's move was part of a calculation. In 1710 the Tories had come in under Harley and St. John. Mrs. Bentley was related to St. John, and also to Mr. Masham, whose wife had succeeded the Duchess of Marlborough in the Queen's favour. Bentley reckoned on commanding sufficient influence to override the Bishop's jurisdiction by a direct interposition of the Crown. He was disappointed. The Attorney-general and the Solicitor-general reported that, in their opinion, the Bishop of Ely was Visitor of Trinity College in matters concerning the Master; adding that Bentley could, if he pleased, try the question in a court of law. This was not what Bentley desired. He now wrote to the Prime-minister, Harley, who had recently escaped assassination, and, with the offi Lord High Treasurer, had been created Earl' Bentley's letter is dated July 12, 1711. “T more," he writes," than that her Majest commissioners to examine into a"

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... and to punish where the faults shall be found. ... I am easy under everything but loss of time by detainment here in town, which hinders me from putting my last hand to my edition of Horace, and from doing myself the honour to inscribe it to your Lordship's great name.” The Premier did his best. He referred the report of the Attorney and Solicitor to the Lord Keeper, Sir Simon Harcourt, and Queen's Counsel. In January, 1712, they expressed their opinion that the Sovereign is the General Visitor of Trinity College, but that the Bishop of Ely is Special Visitor in the case of charges brought against the Master. The Minister now tried persuasion with the Feilows. Could they not concur with the Master in referring their grievances to the Crown? The Fellows declined. A year passed. Bentley tried to starve out the College by refusing to issue a dividend. In vain. The Ministry were threatened with a revision, in the Queen's Bench, of their veto on the Bishop. They did not like this prospect. On April 18, 1713, Bolingbroke, as Secretary of State, authorised the Bishop of Ely to proceed.

Bentley's ingenuity was not yet exhausted. He proposed that the trial should be held forthwith at Cambridge, where all the College books were ready to hand. Had this

me, he must certainly have been acquitted, si

tors had not yet worked up their case.

lows unwarily consented. But the House, in London, as the place of of November, 1713, as the time. ay intervened. At last, in Mar, in in the great hall of Els Hoose. g Miller, were employed for the Bentley. Bishop Moore had to is assessors - Lord Cowper, sn er

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Chancellor, and Dr. Newton. Public feeling was at first with Bentley, as a distinguished scholar and divine. But the prosecutors had a strong case. An anecdote of the trial is given by Bentley's grandson, Cumberland. day the Bishop intimated, from his place as Judge, that he condemned the Master's conduct. For once, Bentley's iron nerve failed him. He fainted in court.

After lasting six weeks, the trial ended about the middle of June. Both sides now awaited with intense anxiety the judgment of the Bishop and bis assessors. The prosecutors were confident. But week after week elapsed in silence. The Bishop had caught a chill during the sittings. On July 31 he died. The next day, August 1, 1714, London was thrilled by momentous news.

Queen Anne was no more. The British Crown had passed to the House of Hanover. Ministers had fallen; new men were coming to power; the political world was wild with excitement; and the griefs of Trinity College would have to wait.

Bentley's escape had been narrow. After Bishop Moore's death, the judgment which he had prepared, but not pronounced, was found among his papers : “By this our definitive sentence, we remove Richard Bentley from his office of Master of the College.” Dr. Monk thinks that the Bishop had meant this merely to frighten Bentley into a compromise with the Fellows. Possibly; though in that case the Bishop would have had to reckon with the other side. But in any case Bentley must have accepted the Bishop's terms, and these must have been such as would have satisfied the prosecutors. If not ejected, therefore, he would still have been defeated. As it was, he got off scot-free.

The new Bishop of Ely, Dr. Fleetwood, took a different line from his predecessor. The Crown lawyers had held

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