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History of UniversitiesVolume XXVI/2$
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Mordechai Feingold

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199668380

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199668380.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 September 2021

The Death of a Vice-Chancellor

The Death of a Vice-Chancellor

Cambridge, 1632

Chapter:
(p.92) The Death of a Vice-Chancellor
Source:
History of Universities
Author(s):

David Cressy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199668380.003.0003

This chapter focuses on the suicide of Henry Butts, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, in 1632. Butts's death brings to light the stresses of academic administration and the vicious world of academic politics, the career ambitions of college heads, and the cultural history of the early modern English university at that time. It also ended a social drama that involved tensions within the university, rivalries between colleges, and issues of patronage and preferment, not to mention entertainment for the royal court. This chapter examines the law and history of suicide, conditions of melancholy and depression, and the factors that led Butts to end his life. It offers a glimpse into the stress of bubonic plague in Cambridge, along with the honour and reward in the progresses of Charles I.

Keywords:   suicide, Henry Butts, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge, academic politics, cultural history, patronage, depression, bubonic plague, Charles I

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