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Excerpt from Rectorial Addresses: Delivered Before the University of Edinburgh, 1859 1899
But our chief concern is with the office as constituted under the Act of 1858, through which, for the first time, the undergraduate element came to have a distinct voice in the government of the University. By that Act a triennial election was ordained to take place for the office of Lord Rector, who should act as President of the University Court, and who along with an Assessor, chosen by himself, was to repre sent the matriculated students ou the said Court. The first election under the new ordinances took place accordingly in 1859, the two candidates being Mr. Gladstone, at that time Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Charles N eaves, one of the Senators of the College of Justice; with the result that Mr. Gladstone was returned at the head of a poll of 1 1 69 by a majority of 115. The Faculties of Arts and Medicine both gave majorities for the successful candidate, whilst the Faculties of Law and Theology were favourable to Lord Neaves, and it is a tribute to the strong Conservative tendencies of the latter faculty that only one of its members voted for Mr. Gladstone Since that day the triennial election for the office of Lord Rector has occupied a very considerable place in the affairs of undergraduate life.
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