Back to index
WE, Frederick the Sixth, by the Grace of God King of Denmark, the Venders and Gothers, Duke of Slesvig Holsten, Stormarn, Ditmarsken, Limessborg and Oldenborg, by writings these make known and publicly declare, that whereas William Carey and Joshua Marshman, Doctors of Divinity, and John Clark Marshman, Esq., inhabitants of our town of Fredericksnagore (or Serampore) in Bengal, being desirous of founding a College to promote piety and learning particularly among the native Christian population of India, have to secure this object erected suitable buildings and purchased and collected suitable books, maps, etc., and have humbly besought us to grant unto them and such persons as shall be elected by them and their successors to form the Council of the College in the manner to be hereafter named, our Royal Charter of Incorporation that they may the more effectually carry into execution the purposes above-mentioned:--We, being desirous to encourage so laudable an undertaking, have of our special grace and free motion ordained, constituted, granted and declared, and by the presents We do for ourselves, our heirs and successors ordain, constitute, grant and declare:
1. That the said William Carey, Joshua Marshman and John Clark Marshman, and such other person or persons as shall successively be elected and appointed the Council of the said College, in the manner hereafter mentioned, shall by virtue of the presents be for ever hereafter one body politic and incorporate by the name of the Serampore College for the purposes aforesaid to have perpetual succession and to have a common seal, and by the said name to sue and be sued, to implead and be impleaded, and to answer and be answered unto in every court and place belonging to us, our heirs and successors.
2. And We do hereby ordain, constitute and declare that the persons hereby incorporated and their successors shall for ever be competent in law to purchase, hold and enjoy for them and their successors any goods and chattels whatsoever and to receive, purchase, hold and enjoy, they and their successors, any lands, tenements or hereditaments whatever, and that they shall have full power and authority to sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of any real or personal property to be by them acquired as aforesaid, unless the sale or alienation of such property be specially prohibited by the donor or donors thereof, and to do all things relating to the said College or Corporation in as ample a manner or form as any of our liege subjects, or any other body politic or corporate in our said kingdom or its dependencies may or can do.
3. And We do hereby ordain, grant and declare that the number of Professors, Fellows or Student Tutors and Students, shall be indefinite and that the said William Carey, Joshua Marshman and John Clark Marshman, shall be the first Council of the said College, and that in the event of its appearing to them necessary during their life-time, or in the case of the death of any one of the three members of the said first Council, the survivors or survivor shall and may under their respective hands and seals appoint such other person or persons to be members of the Council of the College, and to succeed each other so as to become Members of the said Council in the order in which they shall be appointed, to the intent that the Council of the said College shall for ever consist of at least three persons.
4. And We do hereby further ordain, grant and declare, that for the better government of the said College, and the better management of its concerns, the said William Carey, Joshua Marshman and John Clark Marshman, the members of the first Council, shall have full power and authority for the space of ten years from the date of these presents, to make and establish such statutes as shall appear to them useful and necessary for the government of the said College, in which statutes they shall define the powers to be entrusted to their successors, to the Professors, the Fellows or Student Tutors and the other Officers thereof, and the duties to be performed by these respectively for the management of the estates, lands, revenues and goods--and of the business of the said College, and the manner of proposing, electing, admitting and removing all and every one of the Council, the Professors, the Fellows or Tutors, the officers, the students and the servants thereof, and shall make and establish generally all such other statutes as may appear to them necessary for the future good government and prosperity of the said College, provided that these statutes be not contrary to the laws and statutes of our realm.
5. And we do hereby further ordain, grant and declare, that the statutes thus made and established by the said three members of the first Council, and given or left in writing under their respective hands, shall be valid and in full force at the expiration of ten years from the date of these presents, so that no future Council of the College shall have power to alter, change or vary them in any manner whatever and that the statutes shall for ever be considered the constitution of the said College. And we do hereby appoint and declare that these statutes shall be made and established by the said William Carey, Joshua Marshman and John Clark Marshman alone, so that in case either of them should die before the expiration of ten years, the power of completing or perfecting these statutes shall devolve wholly on the survivors or survivor; and that in case all three of them should die before the expiration of ten years, the statutes which they have left in writing under their hands, or under the hand of the last survivor among them shall be considered "The Fundamental Statutes and Constitution of Serampore College," incapable of receiving either addition or alteration, and shall and may be registered in our Royal Court of Chancery as "The Statutes and Constitution of Serampore College."
6. And We do hereby further appoint, grant and declare that from and after the completion of the statutes of the said College in the above said time of ten years, the said Council of the College shall be deemed to consist of a Master or President and two or four members who may be Professors or otherwise as the Statutes may direct so that the said Council shall not contain less than three, nor more than five persons, as shall be defined in the Statutes. The Council shall ever be elected as the Statutes of the College may direct, yet the said Master or President shall always previously have been a Member of the said College; and upon the decease of the said Master or President, the Council of the said College shall be unable to do any act or deed until the appointment of a new Master or President, save and except the appointment of such a Master.
7. And We further appoint, grant and declare, that the said William Carey, Joshua Marshman and John Clark Marshman, the members of the first Council, and their successors for ever, shall have the power of conferring upon the students of the said College, Native Christians as well as others, degrees of rank and honour according to their proficiency in as ample a manner as any other such College, yet the said Serampore College shall only have the power of conferring such degrees on the students that testify their proficiency in Science and no rank or other special right shall be connected therewith in our dominions. And We do hereby further appoint, grant and declare, that after the expiration of the said ten years, the said Council of the College and their successors for ever shall have power to make and establish such orders and bye-laws as shall appear to them useful and necessary for the government of the said College, and to alter, suspend or repeal those already made, and from time to time make such new ones in their room as shall appear to them most proper and expedient provided the same be not repugnant to the Statutes of the College, or to the laws of our realm, and that after the expiration of these ten years any member of the Council shall have power to move the enactment of any new bye-law, or the alteration, suspension or repeal of any existing one provided notice of such motion shall have been delivered in writing to the Master and read from the Chair at one previous meeting of the Council of the said College, but that no such motion shall be deemed to have passed in the affirmative, until the same shall have been discussed and decided by ballot at another meeting summoned especially for that purpose, a majority of the members then present having voted in the affirmative; and in this, as in all other cases, if the votes be equal, the Master or President shall have the casting vote.
Given at our Royal Palace in Copenhagen on the twenty-third day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred and twenty-seven, in the nineteenth year of our reign.
Under our Royal Hand and Seal.
June 12th, 1833.
1. Article the Third of the Charter granted by his Danish Majesty, having authorised the first Council of Serampore College in their lifetime to nominate under their hand and seal such other person or persons for colleagues or successors as may to them appear most proper, so that the Council shall always consist of at least three persons, their successors in the Council shall be competent in like manner to nominate in their lifetime, under their separate hand and seal, such person or persons as they may deem most proper to fill vacancies then existing or which may occur on their demise; members thus nominated and chosen shall succeed to the Council in order of their nomination.
2. It being fixed in the Charter that the Council must consist of the Master or President and at least two, but no more than four Members, and that on the demise of the Master no act shall be done until another be elected, the Master and Council for the time being shall appoint the next Master under their separate hand and seal. If on the demise of a Master no one be found thus appointed under the hand and seal of a majority of the Council, the Senior Member of the Council shall succeed as Master.
3. The Charter having given the casting vote to the Master, in all cases when the votes are equal the casting vote shall lie with the Master, and if there be no Master, it shall lie with the Senior Member of the Council.
4. Learning and piety being peculiar to no denomination of Christians, one member of the Council may at all times be of any other denomination besides the Baptist, to preserve the original design of the Institution; however, if on the election of a Master a number of the Council be equally divided, that part which is entirely of the Baptist denomination shall have the casting vote, whether it includes the Master or not.
5. The management of the College, including its revenues and property, the choice of Professor and Tutors, the admission of Students, the appointment of all functionaries and servants, and the general order and government of the College, shall ever be vested in the Master and the Council. The Master shall see that the Statutes and Regulations of the Council be duly carried into effect, and take order for the good government of the College in all things. His signature is necessary to the validity of all deeds, instruments, documents and proceedings.
6. "The first Council and their successor for ever" being authorised by the Charter "to confer such degrees of rank and honour as shall encourage learning" in the same manner as other Colleges and Universities, they shall from time to time confer degrees in such branches of Knowledge and Science as may be studied there, in the same manner as the Universities in Denmark, Germany and Great Britain. In doing this the Master and Council shall ad libitum call in the aid of any or all the Professors of Serampore College. All such degrees shall be perfectly free of expense to the person on whom they may be conferred, whether he be in India, Europe or America.
7. No oaths shall be administered in Serampore College, either to the Members of Council, the Professors and Tutors, or the Students. In all cases a solemn promise, duly recorded and signed by the party, shall be accepted instead of an oath.
8. Marriage shall be no bar to any office or situation in Serampore College, from that of the Master to that of the lowest student.
9. The salaries of the Professors and Tutors in Serampore College shall be appointed, and the means of support for all functionaries, students and servants be regulated by the Council in such manner as shall best promote the objects of the Institution.
10. It is intended that neither the Master nor any Member of the Council in general shall receive any salary. But any Master who may not previously reside in the College shall have a residence there free of rent for himself and his family. And if the Council shall elect any one in Europe or in America, whom they deem eminent for learning and piety, a Member of the Council, with a view to choosing him Master, should they on trial deem him worthy, the Council shall be competent to appoint him such salary as they may deem necessary, not exceeding, however, the highest given to a Professor.
11. As the founders of the College deem the belief of Christs Divinity and Atonement essential to vital Christianity, the promotion of which is the grand object of this Institution, no one shall be eligible to the College Council or to any Professorship who is known to oppose these doctrines, and should any one of the Professors or any member of the Council unhappily so change his views after his election as to oppose these fundamental doctrines of Christianity, on this being clearly and decidedly proved from his teaching or his writings, he shall vacate the office he previously held. But every proceeding of this nature on the part of the College Council shall be published to the Christian world, with the proofs on which it may rest, as an Appendix to the succeeding Report.
12. Members of the Council are eligible from among the Professors of the College, or from among any in India, Europe, or America whom the College Council may deem suitable in point of learning, piety, and talent.
13. Students are admissible at the discretion of the Council from any body of Christians, whether Protestant, Roman Catholic, the Greek, or the Armenian Church; and for the purpose of study, from the Mussulman and Hindu youth, whose habits forbid their living in the College. No caste, colour, or country shall bar any man from admission into Serampore College.
14. Expulsion shall be awarded in cases of open immorality, incorrigible idleness, neglect of the College Statutes and regulations, or repeated disobedience to the officers of the College.
15. Any person in India, Europe, or America shall be at liberty to found any Professorship, or to attach to Serampore College any annual exhibition or prize for the encouragement of learning in the same manner as in the Universities of Great Britain, regulating such endowment according to their own will; and it shall be duty of the College Council to carry such benefactions into effect in strict consonance with the will of the donors as far as shall be consistent with the Statutes of the College.
16. It shall be lawful for the first Council of the College or their successors to make and rescind any bye-laws whatever, provided they be not contrary to these Statutes.
17. The Charter having declared that the number of the Professors and students in Serampore College remains unlimited, they shall be left thus unlimited, the number to be regulated only by the gracious providence of God and the generosity of the public in India, Europe and America.
"The rights and immunities granted to the Serampore College by Royal Charter of date, 23rd February, 1827, shall not be interfered with, but continue in force in the same manner as if they had been obtained by a Charter from the British Government, subject to the general law of British India."
Back to index