Evidences, 1882
Magee College, Londonderry


Centre for Metropolitan History



City of London Livery Companies Commission

Year published




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'Evidences, 1882: Magee College, Londonderry', City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 1 (1884), pp. 247-252. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=69409 Date accessed: 18 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Wednesday, 19th July 1882.


The Right Honourable the Earl of Derby, Chairman.

His Grace the Duke of Bedford, K.G.

The Right Hon. Viscount Sherbrooke.

The Right Hon. Sir Richard Assheton Cross, G.C.B., M.P.

Sir Sydney H. Waterlow, M.P.

Mr. Alderman Cotton, M.P.

Mr. Walter H. James, M.P.

Mr. Pell, M.P.

Mr. Thomas Burt, M.P.

Mr. H. D. Warr, Secretary.

The following gentlemen attended as a deputation from Magee College, Londonderry: the Rev. J. M. Rodgers, M.A., John Cooke, Esq., and Professor Dougherty, M.A The deputation was introduced by the following gentlemen: Sir Thomas McClure, M.P., Mr. Lea, M.P., Dr. Kinnear, M.P., Mr. T. A. Dickson, M.P., Mr. James Dickson, M.P., Mr. John Givan, M.P., Mr. William Findlater, M.P., Mr. J.N. Richardson, M.P., Mr. William Shaw, M.P.

2120. (Chairman, to Sir Thomas McClure.)—We should be happy to hear what you have to say on behalf of the college whose interests are represented by this deputation.

(Sir Thomas McClure.) We attend with a deputation from Londonderry, who desire to submit the claims of Magee College to your consideration in any arrangement for the allocation of the funds arising from the estates of the city livery companies. The constitution and position of the college will be submitted to you by members of the deputation. It is only necessary for me to add that this college is the only place affording higher education in the north-west of Ireland. It is most convenient for persons coming from the counties of Londonderry, Donegal, Tyrone, and the northern part of Antrim, the populations of which counties are of the same class as those who send their sons to the universities in Scotland. I may remark also that it appears to me that at the present time it is of importance to encourage farmers to send their sons to college to obtain a liberal education rather than to attempt to subdivide their farms. These sons might thus become useful members of the community in other professions, at home and abroad. Many of the sons of farmers in Scotland who have obtained education at the universities in that country have not only gained high positions for themselves but have rendered good services to the empire in different parts of the world. The professors in Magee College at the present time are all men of undoubted high character and high standing in their different departments; but several other professorships are urgently required in order fully to equip the college. On a former occasion I called your Lordship's attention to the purposes and objects for which the grants of these estates were made, and surely it would be a fair and proper adaptation of a portion of the funds, and in accordance with the intention of the founders so to apply them as to enable the trustees to provide greater facilities for literary and scientific instruction, and thus to make the college a credit to the citizens of London, and honourable to the county of Londonderry, which bears the name of London. There are three gentlemen here present, who are trustees of the college. One of them is Mr. Dickson, member for the county of Tyrone, another is Mr. Givan, member for Monaghan, and the third is the Rev. James Maxwell Rodgers, of Londonderry. Our friends here have kindly accompanied me in order to show their sympathy in the movement, and amongst others our friend from county Cork has been kind enough to come forward.

(Chairman.) We shall be happy to hear anything they have to tell us.

(Rev. J. M. Rodgers.) My Lord, it so happens that of the trustees who are present, I am the oldest, that is to say I have been the longest time in that office. In addition to myself Mr. Givan is a trustee, but he was appointed only a month ago. Mr. Dickson, member for the county Tyrone, and Mr. John Cooke were appointed about two years ago. I have been appointed for about seven years. The duty therefore has devolved upon me of speaking in the name of the trustees. I only regret that a person more able has not had that service to render. Our original trustees have unfortunately all died out, and as they were the men who had to bear all the great labour in connexion with originating the college as well as receiving the trust funds, none of us yet know as well as they did all the interests of the concern. I may say that this whole organisation may be traced back to the year 1844. If the Queen's colleges and the Queen's University had been established at that time, the Magee College I think never would have existed at all. In the year 1844 the General Assembly committed themselves to a great undertaking in the interest of higher education. A lady making her will (she was the widow of one of our own ministers) left 20,000l. for the purpose; one of our own ministers soon afterwards gave 10,000l. to increase the capital, and after this capital had lain past for a few years, the annual proceeds being added to the principal, the trustees began to see their way towards opening the institution. The Honourable the Irish Society have acted towards the college with very great consideration and liberality and were the very first of all the companies to do anything for it. It is a pleasure here, and now, to be in a position to bear testimony to those high and valuable services, without which indeed it is very likely that we might not have been here at all. The trustees, under the authority of the Lord Chancellor, had the right to choose the place in which this institution should be placed, and they selected Londonderry when it came to be open to them to build the structure simply because there was in the north-west of Ireland no place for higher education. A very respectable constituency gathers around Londonderry, first of all we have the whole county of Donegal with a population of 260,000, then we have the whole county of Tyrone with a population of 197,000, nearly the half of the county of Antrim with its population of 421,000, all the county of Derry with its population of 164,000, and the City, with, as nearly as possible, 30,000. This institution, placed in the city of Londonderry for the sake of this constituency, has four professorships in literature and science. As I have said already the Honourable the Irish Society have treated the institution with great generosity all along. I may here say that one of their benefactions was the endowment of the professorship of natural philosophy and mathematics, and the professor in that chair is called by the name of the Honourable the Irish Society, that is one of their benefactions. Among these four professors one is a fellow of the Royal University of Ireland, two have been appointed by the Senate of the Royal University, examiners in mathematics and in ancient classics, and of the professors three have been selected by the Board of Commissioners for Intermediate Education to conduct the examinations for that board. I mention these facts to show that the men who teach under this trust are men whose attainments are recognised generally, and who are recognised all over the country, in the learned professions, as men who can take their stand beside their associates in similar spheres. These gentlemen conduct their classes entirely in subjection to the scheme approved by the Lord Chancellor and recorded formally in court. We have a copy of that scheme which is available for examination, and one of the special characteristics of it is, that all those classes are to be conducted on such a plan that they are open to students of every religious denomination, nothing occurring in any of the classes at variance with absolute unsectarianism. In regard to our endowments, I have already mentioned the source of some of them. Our income last year was about 2,500l., this includes the income that we receive annually from the Honourable the Irish Society. We have a grant at present of 150l. a year, which that society gives for our incidental expenses. To their own professor they have more recently given 50l. a year for extra work, and for three years, just beginning, they have given him 50l. a year for house-rent (in reference to that matter I may be permitted to speak immediately) but in addition to this 2,500l. a year of income, we have within the last year increased our capital by about 7,000l. We have received 2,000l. from the son of an old County Derry man (who has prospered in Australia), with a view to the establishment of scholarships in the college, and we are collecting, for the building of dwelling-houses for our professors, a fund of which we have already raised the half. The fund will reach 10,000l. by the time it is finished. But in connexion with the advantage taken of the institution I need say nothing more than that we have been under the greatest possible disadvantages until quite recently. First of all, no examining body recognized our college course, nor indeed anybody, except the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. No university recognized our class tickets as entitling students to compete for degrees, and our students, whenever they distinguished themselves very much with us, at once left us and went away to a college that could give them a degree, and where they could have such a connection with a university, as secured to them the rank which learned men like to have as they travel over the world. That some of our students, however, were thus able to acquit themselves is plain, because one of them, only the other day, took the Hebrew Sizarship in Trinity College Dublin, undergoing an examination in which he had to meet with the very weightiest competition; another is professor of astronomy in one of the universities, after having left us and gone to Queen's College and carried off very high honours at Cambridge. Three of our students have left us quite lately to go to Queen's College, Belfast to get a degree, and one has gone to Cambridge where he has carried off very high honours. At the very first matriculation examination for the Royal University, which was held last December, one of our students took the highest place and "first class honours," and another took a place second only to that, and every man we sent in to compete for the matriculation examination passed, with the exception of two. I may further state that the opening of the Royal University has told very considerably in our favour. In the years 1878 and 1879, our students were 33 matriculated and 85 non-matriculated; in the next year 35 matriculated and 37 non-matriculated; in the next year 43 matriculated and 92 non-matriculated; last year there were 47 matriculated and 75 nonmatriculated; that being the largest entrance we have ever had, and I may say that this year, we have, already, guarantees from different parts of the country in regard to young men coming to us, so that we shall have a much larger entrance this year than any we have ever had hitherto. The Intermediate Education Act has served us very materially also. According to Thom's Almanack there are some 16 intermediate schools which have existed for several years past in the County Derry, but anyone of us coming from that neighbourhood knows, that 8 or 10 new schools have been established within recent months, some of them doing very valuable work in regard to the intermediate education of young people and the consequence is, that from the farming class a great many people are sending their sons to school, because there is a hope of being able to acquire learning just at the door, and with the college at Derry, or with the possibility of studying without going to any college at all, the Royal University offers them an opportunity of taking degrees which will give them a position among the educated and qualify them for the Civil Service. If I am not trespassing too much upon your time I should like to say, that in connexion with the requirements of the Royal University our staff is quite incapable of doing the amount of work that is necessary. The Royal University with a view to its degrees and honours, requires a good deal in the way of modern languages, we have no stated teacher of modern languages; our faculty appoint a tutor from year to year, but we have not a stated tutor; secondly, we have no teacher of natural science. I do not speak now of natural philosophy or chemistry, but of mineralogy in its various departments,—botany, and matters of that kind,—and these departments are made very much of in the course of the Royal University. We can put in a copy of the statutes, and Acts of Parliament, which will evidence what the university requires. I might venture to say that in connexion with our present position and with the various disadvantages under which we labour, the work we have done has been very much recognised. I shall call your Lordship's attention to only one matter, namely, that the Gilchrist trustees (Dr. William B. Carpenter, as everyone who knows anything in science knows, is the secretary) have twice contributed to the purchase of instruments and apparatus for this college, with a view to recognise the high idea they have of the valuable service which has been rendered by the Honourable the Irish Society's professor of mathematics and natural philosophy to the cause of education in science, and a letter from Dr. Carpenter is here, in which he testifies to it, and if your Lordship will allow me, I shall lay this letter before you. I may mention that Dr. Fullerton, the gentleman in Sydney who has so succeeded, and to whom I have already referred, has out of consideration to our work given 2,000l. It has not been put into his will, but it has been handed over in solid money now, and within a month it is likely to be available in the hands of the trustees. 1,000l. of it is by Dr. Fullerton's requirement to be devoted to a scholarship for a young man who is studying for the medical profession. He insists that that young man who gets his scholarship shall take a degree in arts before entering the medical classes, because he says that the value of a complete education in arts to a medical man can scarcely be over-estimated, and it has been already suggested that with the opportunities we have through a very large hospital, a very large workhouse and an immense lunatic asylum, there would be very great advantages for medical students acquiring that medical knowledge, and it is already on the cards that we shall have a medical school in connexion with the college. It is very satisfactory to us to come here, not making any charge against anybody and not in antagonism to any person, but we have recently seen that high legal authority has indicated that the income of the London guilds is public money.

2121. Who has stated that ?—"High legal authority," I say. We do not commit ourselves to it, for we do not know a single thing about it, but we have heard that this Commission is sitting with a view of seeing what is to be done in the case, and we think it is right that our work should be known to you, when other colleges in England are speaking about these funds, and should the Government take the matter in hand, we think that we who live on the very place where the rents are paid, ought not be altogether left out or overlooked, and we determined that it should not be our fault if we were. I thank you very much for having heard me. Mr. Cooke has some observations to make bearing upon one or two points, if your Lordship will kindly hear him.

(Mr. Cooke.) My Lord and gentlemen, I rise to supplement the argument of Mr. Rodgers, by saying, that Derry is the centre of the north-west of Ireland, having a population around it entirely or almost entirely composed of farmers and farmers of the middle class; there are no extremely wealthy men amongst them, or perhaps there may be some few, but the great majority in the counties are men to whom money is an object; they are men who can afford to pay their way, to pay their rents when they are due, to make the best of the opportunities they have, but are very chary about parting with a single sixpence unless they know where it is going to. As Sir Thomas McClure said, in the north of Ireland there is no room for the development of the farming industry. If a man has two sons, only one can hope to succeed him; the second must look elsewhere for pushing his way in life. For that object it is a necessity, and it is extremely important, that education should be cheap and easily attainable to this class of people. This has been well recognised by the people in the north-west. The Irish Society in their liberality and in their connexion with the north-west of Ireland, have given large sums repeatedly in recognition of this necessity. The merchants (there are not very many but there are a few) who have made money have given largely out of their means for the same object. Mr. Rodgers has stated that this college is endowed with 20,000l.; it has also got several other endowments; the merchants of Derry and other friends are now raising some 7,000l. or 10,000l. to supplement the same. I might also say that realising the same necessity before the Intermediate Education Act came into existence they subscribed largely, in which again the Irish Society aided them, towards the institution which is called the Academical Institution, which provides high intermediate education, and which has been most successful with the boys who have been sent forward to the intermediate examinations, I may also say that the Fishmongers' Company (which I believe is one of the guilds that is being inquired into) have also in a measure, though in a small measure, recognised the same obligation by giving 200l. towards the building fund of the Magee College. The Ironmongers' Company in a measure, though in a small degree, recognise the same obligation, by giving a scholarship of 25l. a year for students who are sons of tenants upon their estates.

Now I might say, that the guilds deriving a large amount of revenue from the county of Londonderry, the city of Londonderry being the nearest place where the sons of tenants on their estates can hope to receive high education at reasonable expense, we think it is not unreasonable to ask, if their moneys or their income is being dealt with, that you should recommend that a certain portion of their income should be awarded towards making education (both intermediate and higher) in the city of Londonderry cheap and available to the citizens and to the farmers in the neighbourhood. I may just mention (and these facts I take from Thom's Almanac, which is recognised in Ireland as an authority upon most subjects) that the valuation of the companies' estates in the County Derry is 65,000l. annually, this deals with companies owning land at present in County Derry. I may also mention, though it would not be overlooked by you probably if I did not mention it, that six of the companies took away their property by the sale of their land in County Derry. There are 12 companies altogether, and we think that we have a reasonable claim upon the money, or funds, of those 12 companies; not merely on the six that at present hold but upon the 12, and that it is not unreasonable on our part to ask that the landlords of a large portion of the county of Londonderry should recognise their obligations by endeavouring to make education cheap for the people, not only on their own estates but in the surrounding counties. I do not wish to occupy your time, but I have got the particulars of the population and also of the electorate of these three or four counties, showing how large a number of agricultural people there are on those estates. I may say that the total electorate of these three counties is made up of farmers. If it were necessary I could give you the figures, but I think my object is fully attained by telling you that the population is largely, or nearly altogether, composed of farmers; and that it is a great object to them to get education easily within their reach. I might mention also that in the past the people in the north-west of Ireland had no alternative but to allow their sons to go elsewhere, that is, the great bulk of them; a certain portion who were perhaps in a better position would be able to send their sons to Queen's College, or to Edinburgh, and it is well known to every Englishman, that those Irishmen have held their own; and there are very few large towns in England or Scotland, or country districts, in which Irishmen do not occupy good positions in the medical and other professions; The want of education has been the means of driving out of the north of Ireland the best portion of our community, for they had no alternative (not having education within their reach which would enable them to enter into competition with Englishmen and Scotchmen) but to go to England or to America, and the most successful who have gone to America have been from the north of Ireland; and if education were cheap at home I think they would be retained at home, and the country would not be the loser.

(Mr. Givan, M.P.) As a trustee of this college I desire to add one word to the statements that have already been made by Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Cooke. They are both of them so thoroughly conversant with this subject that I do not think I have anything to add further than this; that I have been watching the career of this college for a considerable time, indeed since its foundation, and I have had ample opportunities of knowing the influence that it has exercised over education, not only in the neighbourhood of Derry but in the adjoining counties. I may say to your Lordship this, that there is a tradition, I will put it on no higher ground, amongst the people of Derry and the adjoining counties that these estates were originally granted, I suppose primarily for the benefit of the undertakers, but at all events in a secondary degree and in a very large degree indeed for the purpose of benefiting the County Derry and the north of Ireland generally, and I should say that if the whole of these estates should be realized and the funds taken away from the north of Ireland it will certainly produce an amount of irritation that would be disagreeable and inconvenient. I may also say that we have a notion amongst ourselves in Ulster, that whatever remedial legislation may be given to Ireland, unless our people are elevated by education, the remedial legislation will really fail to accomplish what we know the English people desire, namely to bring Ireland upon a level with England.

2122. You say that there would be a strong feeling if these funds were taken away from Ireland ?—Yes.

2123. Have they never been expended in Ireland ? —Yes, to some extent they have. One of the things that has been causing irritation for a very long series of years is the fact that this money has been taken away from time to time from Ireland and expended in London and I think I speak what is within the knowledge of every person conversant with the feeling in Derry that there has been for a great many years beyond my memory altogether, a very large amount of ill feeling in consequence of these funds being taken away and spent in London as they have been.

2124. Do you mean on the general ground that all money derived from Ireland ought to be spent in Ireland, or upon the more particular ground that it is trust money?—On both grounds I should say. Your Lordship is very well aware that there has been a good deal of talk about absenteeism, but the concentration of that feeling has to a large extent been upon the London companies; it has been intensified by their unique position with regard to landlordism, and as I have said before there has been that feeling existing, but if there were a prospect of this money being absolutely and irrecoverably taken away from Ireland and devoted to purposes in England, whether educational or otherwise, there would be a feeling left, at all events in Derry more strongly than in the other counties, which would not be eradicated for a considerable time. I do not say one word by way of recrimination against the London companies, because I think as a rule they have acted as fairly as other good landlords throughout Ireland upon large estates, but we all know this that upon the estates of some of the companies the rents have not been much below the actual full letting value of the lands including the tenants' improvements, and inasmuch as these rents have been taken away for a long series of years from the tenants, I do think it would be but justice that when the capitalised sum which must accrue from the annual income derived from the tenants' improvements as well as the original value of land comes to be realized, that a large portion, a very large portion, I should say, not a large proportion, but a large sum, and a substantial sum, ought to be given for the essential purpose of education in Derry (a purpose essential not only to Derry, but to the adjoining counties mentioned by Mr. Rodgers, the population of which has been given to your Lordship) and for the support of this most excellent and useful institution.

(Mr. Shaw, M.P.) I may perhaps be considered an interloper, but I happened to be in Parliament during the late Administration, and took a very great part in helping forward the Royal University Bill, and one of the principal arguments I was able to bring to bear upon the then Government, and one that weighed with my own mind, was this institution. It was situated in a district that I knew myself thoroughly as one of the most intelligent districts perhaps (for a middle class farming population) in the three kingdoms, and there could be no possible centre more thoroughly fitted for educational purposes, or one to which, in fact, if the facilities were afforded, the people would more readily come in to be benefited by such education. Now evidently this institution has done an immense deal with its very limited means. I am not going to raise any question here about the rights of property and how this property of the London companies is to be distributed, probably that would lead to a discussion, but I understand that you, as a Commission, have this question under your consideration. I am quite sure that the gentlemen who sit round this table, and who are on this Commission, will take a wise and a generous view of the question. I cannot myself think of any object which would more commend itself to every one, outside putting money into a man's own pocket, which I suppose these companies will hardly do with, at all events, the whole of it. I suppose that there is a proportion of this money at any rate which you will decide does not naturally go into their pockets, and if there is any such proportion I do not think there could possibly be any distribution of this money that would be more permanently useful than in endowing chairs and giving greater facilities in this college. I myself know the professors, many of them are men of high standing, and they are working against great odds, but now their path has been opened, they are now affiliated, as it were, to this university, and I believe that their career will reflect great credit on themselves and diffuse great benefits in the districts around.

2125. (Sir S. Waterlow.) Professor Rodgers told us, I think, that the object of Magee College was to give a collegiate education at a small sum; can you tell us what sum the pupils now pay, and if there is more than one class the different payments to each class.

(Rev. J. M. Rodgers.) In the first place I am not one of the professors but one of the trustees, and in addition I may say that this place has been constantly misrepresented before the public as simply an intermediate school with one class, or two or three classes in one hand. It is of quite a different structure and of quite a different order. It is such a college as you find associated with an English university in which a full curriculum in arts is the ordinary course pursued by each student who enters, and in reference to that matter, in the calendar which I now put in as part of the evidence we give there is a statement made of the fees, and any nobleman or gentleman that wishes for particular information will find it here, everything in fact about the college is here. Speaking generally the fee for each class is 2l. or 2l. 2s.

2126. How much would a student going through the college have to pay per annum ?—About 7l. 7s. per annum. It depends altogether upon the number of classes that he takes, but that would be about the amount.

(Professor Dougherty.) Perhaps you will allow me, as I am conversant with the internal arrangements of the college, to answer the question. During the first year the fees amounted to 9l. 8s. 6d. per head. Each student who takes the full course pays 9l. 8s. 6d. for the session of six months. That does not include the fee for modern languages when a class of modern languages exists; the fee for that class is 2l. 2s. in fact 2l. 2s. is the usual fee for each class.

2127. It is a fact that the majority of the students in Magee College are preparing for the ministry of the Presbyterian church?—That is an undoubted fact, and for this reason, that up to the present time, that is to say until the foundation of the Royal University, our undergraduate classes and the certificates possessed by students who passed through them were not recognised by any public body save the General Assembly of the Irish Presbyterian church.

2128. May I ask whether the Presbyterian congregations generally in Ireland have contributed towards the support of the college by founding professorships, or by endowments or by annual contributions, and if so, whether a fair proportion of them have so contributed ?—You are perhaps not aware that the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has a theological college in Belfast specially designed for the training of Presbyterian ministers, and the liberality of the Presbyterian Church, and the congregations of the Presbyterian Church, has naturally flowed in the direction of that particular institution.

2129. May the Commission infer from that that the Presbyterian congregations, owing to what you have stated, have not generally contributed to any extent in support of Magee College ?—I am not aware that they have.

2130. (To Mr. Givan.) I think you referred to the large holdings of the London companies in Derry, and consequently to the claims which the college had upon the rents of such holdings, did you not ?—Yes.

2131. Are you aware that the Commission have already had representations made to them by tenants of the London companies, and that two or three, speaking for the rest, have declared that if they are to have landlords in Ireland at all they prefer to have the London companies, and that they should not sell their "properties," are you of the same opinion?—I am not of the same opinion, because I am very much in favour of the London companies selling their estates to the tenants, and the creation thereby of a peasant proprietary; but I think you perhaps misapprehended me. What I wish to point out is, that the liberality of the companies now as landlords will cease if they sell, and that there are no funds allocated for the purpose of keeping up even the subscriptions that they have been heretofore giving to local institutions.

2132. I will just put the question in another way. In your opinion have the London companies, as landlords, contributed more largely to such institutions as Magee College and to schools and religious purposes than ordinary landlords ?—I am not immediately conversant with the matter, but as I understand they have done so. It is my impression that they have. I do not know the figure exactly, but I have always understood that the Irish Society has been liberal and that the companies have been exceedingly useful to educational and local institutions.

2133. Then as landlords, relatively to other landlords, they have been more generous and contributed much more largely, as I understand you?—That is my belief, and that is why I exaggerate almost in my mind the great loss that it would be in case they should sell, and their influence and liberality be entirely removed from the counties.

2134. Then may I take it that you wish to convey to the Commission that if the lands are to continue to be held by landlords, they had better be in the nands of the London companies than in the hands of other landlords ?—Certainly. I think they have fulfilled their duties as a rule better than many others of the landlords of Ireland.

2135. I suppose you wish to convey to us that in your opinion it would be desirable to sell the lands if they could be sold to tenants in occupation ?—Yes, at a fair price.

(Mr. Cooke.) Might I be allowed to supplement one or two remarks in reference to the questions of Sir Sydney Waterlow. Sir Sydney Waterlow has asked as to what the Presbyterian congregations do. Now I for my part did not come here as one of the deputation solely on account of Magee College, but to advocate the claims of education generally; I do not care of what denomination, whether Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, or Presbyterian. If educational claims are going to be considered at all by this Commission, then I think that the trustees of Magee College have a reasonable ground on which to come forward and to advocate the claims of that institution. But Sir Sydney Waterlow has mentioned the word Presbyterian, and said what have the Presbyterian congregations done ? We here simply put forward that Derry is the capital of the north-west of Ireland, we do not say that Derry is the capital of the north of Ireland. It would be rather presumptuous for us to say that in presence of the great town of Belfast, which has one college for no other purpose than training young men for the Presbyterian ministry, or rather in theology. That is the object of that college, but around Londonderry, as we have said already, there are three counties, the population of which is agricultural; their means are limited and it is as great a tax as they can possibly bear to support the ministers of their own congregations. They have been taxed perhaps, and they have given to keep the ministers in their own localities as much as any people in the world. They have given large sums and are continually giving large sums in proportion to their means, to support their own ministers. I would like in relation to this point to give a few figures. The Roman Catholic population of the county Donegal is 157,000, the Episcopalian population of Donegal is 27,450, and the Presbyterian population of Donegal is 20,780, the Presbyterian population of Donegal being the least of the three. But on the electorate for the county of Donegal (that is men having a 12l. valuation and upwards) there are 5,000 in round numbers, of which the one half (2,500) is to be found in that denomination which is in the minority. Now my argument in this is to prove that the denomination to which Sir Sydney Waterlow has referred is purely and altogether agricultural, and occupying such a position in the counties as render them likely to avail themselves of such education as we think is required, and a grant to us in aid of it would be highly acceptable. In the county of Londonderry the population in round numbers is 173,000, of which the Episcopalians number 32,000, the Presbyterians 58,000, and the Roman Catholics 67,000. The total electorate for the county of Derry is something like 5,600 odd, in round numbers 6,000, out of which number 3,412 are Presbyterians, my argument being that those are the people who are most likely to need assistance in the matter of intermediate and higher education. The same argument applies to the county of Tyrone; and I think that considering the poverty, or rather the want of riches, of this largely agricultural population, it can scarcely be expected that such a population should give large sums out of their pockets towards education.

(Sir T. McClure.) I would like to add one word with reference to what Sir Sydney Waterlow has mentioned. I think I may say on behalf of the tenants of Londonderry, that they would be very glad to become the owners of their farms, and to purchase them, but they certainly would prefer that the Companies should not sell to anyone else. They would rather that the companies should remain as their landlords than that they should sell to strangers. Sir Sydney Waterlow has also asked some questions as to the Presbyterians' subscriptions. Sir Sydney's knowledge of the farmers of Londonderry, and altogether of the farming population and the Presbyterian population throughout the north of Ireland, might lead him to consider that they have a great deal to do. The Presbyterian Church supports several missions at home and abroad and their own ministry as well. The small farmers as a class are very highly pressed on those matters.

The deputation withdrew.


Appendix A. Statement on Behalf of the College.

I. The Magee College, Londonderry, was opened in 1866. Derry has an increasing population and is the capital of a wide district, the north-western counties of Ireland, in which the Magee College is the only place of higher education.

II. In the literary and scientific department of the college there are professorships of Latin and Greek: of Logic, Belles Lettres, and Rhetoric : of Metaphysics and Ethics: and of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.

The professor of Latin and Greek has been recently elected a fellow of the Royal University. Two of the professors have been examiners at the first matriculation examination of the Royal University, and three of the professors have been appointed examiners by the Intermediate Education Board.

The instruction given in the undergraduate classes is suited to young men who, for any object, desire to obtain a literary and scientific education; while all scholarships and prizes, except where the donor has imposed restrictions, are open to the competition of all students, irrespective of denominational connexion.

III. The funds of the college have been derived from private benefactions and public subscriptions.

The citizens of Derry have subscribed more than 7,000l. to the building fund.

The Honourable, the Irish Society of London, in addition to subscribing 1,000l. to this fund, has endowed the chair of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, and contributes, at present, 150l. annually to the incidental expenses.

The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers gave 200l. to the building fund, and the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers has founded an exhibition of the annual value of 25l.

IV. The Intermediate Education Act and the Act establishing the Royal University have greatly improved the position of the college. The former has increased the number of young men who prepare to enter its classes. The latter has, for the first time, enabled Magee College students, who have pursued the prescribed course of study, to compete for honours and obtain degrees at an Irish university.

V. Of the facilities thus provided, full advantage cannot be taken till the teaching staff of the college is increased. Under the scheme for the management of the college, sanctioned by the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, one professor teaches both Latin and Greek, another, Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. No provision was made in the original scheme for the teaching of chemistry, natural history, or modern languages. At the date of the foundation of the college, the importance of these subjects was not so fully recognised as at the present time, and the funds at the disposal of the trustees were not sufficient to provide an adequate endowment. Natural history has never been taught in the college. The provision for instruction in modern languages has been insufficient and precarious. The professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy has delivered occasional courses of lectures in chemistry, which have been largely attended by non-matriculated students. In recognition of the work thus done, the Gilchrist trustees through their secretary, Dr. W. B. Carpenter, have on two occasions made grants for the purchase of scientific apparatus.

VI. The time has now come to make permanent provision for the teaching of these subjects which have a prominent place in the curriculum of the Royal University. As the London guilds own valuable estates in co. Derry, it is respectfully submitted to this Royal Commission that the Magee College has a claim to be considered in the allocation of that portion of the funds of these companies available for educational purposes.

Appendix B.

Letter from Sir Edward Reid, Mayor of Derry.

12th July 1882.

My Dear Professor Dougherty,

I Regret that it is out of my power to go to London at present, owing to important duties connected with my office requiring my presence here.

It would give me pleasure to state before the Guilds Commission that Magee College is to Londonderry and the north-west of Ireland a very valuable institution, and one in the prosperity of which I take a great interest, subscribing and collecting funds for it and encouraging attendance at its classes, especially in its scientific department.

I would also testify, that, in my opinion, the encouragement Magee College has received from the London companies is neither creditable to them nor proportionate to its importance and usefulness. They were invested with authority in county Derry for the good of the north of Ireland, and especially of the plantation. How the object aimed at could be better served than by the advancement of education of the best and highest kind, I am at a loss to discover. And as Presbyterians are loyal, orderly and industrious, and alone in providing, in the north-west, for the highest training and teaching, there seems to be every reason why their efforts to promote education should be fully acknowledged and liberally aided.

We have a feeling that the guilds should have endowed "chairs" for teaching natural science and modern languages at least—subjects that some persons who are preparing for commerce wish to study; and as the sons of many of the agricultural tenants of the companies can, at Magee College, prepare for a professional life, without absenting themselves for a single night from their parents' homes, till their university course is finished, it seems natural that material assistance should be given, in other departments also, to an institution that brings the higher education to the doors of the people, and, in so far, contributes to diminish the number who live by cultivating the land.

I am, &c.

Edward Reid, Kt.

Mayor of Derry.