Brian Pullan

This chapter illustrates the day-to-day workings of one tribunal, in the hope that readers will draw their own conclusions about the judges, the prisoner and the society in which they were placed. It presents in English translation the record of the trial of an obscure person who was arrested by the Inquisition in Venice. The tribunal which inquired into the misconduct of Giorgio Moreto, 'Swarthy George', was one of some forty Italian branches of the Roman Inquisition, responsible to the Holy Office created in 1542 and the Congregation of the Index of 1571. The ecclesiastical judges of the Inquisition functioned with the collaboration, sometimes grudgingly and sometimes enthusiastically given, of the lay authorities in the states and cities which housed their tribunals. Giorgio's offence was to challenge, perhaps unthinkingly, the orderly scheme which authorities, both clerical and lay, were seeking to impose upon Venice as upon other Catholic cities.

in Judicial tribunals in England and Europe, 1200–1700
The trial in history, volume I

This book examines trials, civil and criminal, ecclesiastical and secular, in England and Europe between the thirteenth and the seventeenth centuries. The cases examined range from a fourteenth century cause-célèbre, the attempted trial of Pope Boniface VIII for heresy, to investigations of obscure people for sexual and religious offences in the city states of Geneva and Venice. These are examples of the operation in the past of different legal, judicial systems, applied by differently constituted courts, royal and manorial, secular and ecclesiastical, which adopted different procedures, adversarial and inquisitorial. Ranging from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century, the book considers criminal trials and civil litigation conducted in royal, manorial and Church courts in late medieval and early modern England. These trials concentrate on the structure, jurisdiction, functions, and procedures of the courts and on the roles of the judges of fact and of law, both amateur and professional, who composed them. The trials of Giorgio Moreto and of Laura Querini were influenced by the politics of the Venetian State and its ongoing and highly charged relationship with the power of the Church. Discussing the legal history of continental Europe, the book then shifts the emphasis from the judges and jurors to the prisoners arraigned before the courts, to the victims of prosecution or to the highly questionable images of them created by their enemies.

This book provides an account of the University of Manchester's struggle to meet the government's demands for the rapid expansion of higher education in the 1950s and the 1960s. It looks at the University's ambitious building programme: the controversial attempts to reform its constitution and improve its communications amid demands for greater democracy in the workplace, the struggle to retain its old pre-eminence in a competitive world where new ‘green field’ universities were rivalling older civic institutions. The book tells the story, not just from the point of view of administrators and academics, but also from those of students and support staff (such as secretaries, technicians and engineers). It not only uses official records, but also student newspapers, political pamphlets and reminiscences collected through interviews.

Brian Pullan and Michele Abendstern

If the price of liberty had always been constant vigilance, it seemed that the price of survival in the late 1980s was constant surveillance and the price of efficiency constant competition and the publication of results. In return for their employment, academics must now submit to scrutiny, designed in part to establish whether or not they were giving value for money, and in part to identify strengths and weaknesses. Concern with the Research Selectivity Exercises threatened, as time passed, to become obsessive. ‘Publish or your department perishes’ became a nagging admonition, impossible to ignore. However, the improvement of research performance was a legitimate goal. The reorganisation of biological sciences demonstrated the University's ability to reform itself; it provided a model and a precedent for the refashioning of groups of departments into schools in other parts of the University.

in A history of the University of Manchester 1973–90
Brian Pullan and Michele Abendstern

In the late 1980s the students at Manchester had come to distrust the gesture politics and rituals of left-wing protest, partly, perhaps, because they offered no solution to the practical and material problems of student life. Student officers in 1989–90 came close to agreeing with the views adopted by the Vice-Chancellor in 1981—to the effect that the best way to impress the government was not to demonstrate on the streets but to lobby behind the scenes. Much of the fiercest campaigning, by Woolton Hall, was in the name of a traditional order, rather than in favour of change. Sexism rivalled, perhaps even replaced, racism and fascism as the principal target of progressive thinkers in the 1980s; it too was recognised as an evil which flourished within the University as well as outside it. Women students were now numerous, influential and self-confident enough to demand the respect which was due to peers.

in A history of the University of Manchester 1973–90
Brian Pullan and Michele Abendstern

The student activists of the 1980s were not the revolutionaries of the decade, the bearers or prophets of a new order; instead they seemed fated to be rebels, protesting against changes imposed from on high. The initiative had passed to a neoliberal, sink-or-swim, roll-back-the-state government which nevertheless contrived to interfere with universities as none of its predecessors had ever done. It appeared to be starving students of public money, ostensibly in an effort to make them more self-reliant. Individually, students suffered from deteriorating services, grants and benefits. Collectively, they—or their elected officers—faced attacks on the autonomy of student unions, measures designed to subject them to tighter control by the administrators of their own universities.

in A history of the University of Manchester 1973–90
Open Access (free)
Brian Pullan and Michele Abendstern

On 8 February 1982 the Vice-Chancellor to the Chairman of the UGC wrote, ‘the University of Manchester, as the largest unitary university in the country, has a scale of problems in absolute terms which is not faced by any other similar university’. Figures presented to Senate in November 1981 showed that the University's annual income was now about £60 million, and that expenditure, if allowed to continue unchecked, would amount to £64 million and immediately plunge the University into deep debt. Natural wastage, early retirements, and voluntary severance might conceivably make the required savings, but they would operate in a haphazard manner. Unless the University resorted to planned, compulsory redundancies it would be unable to carry out a balanced and rational reduction of its staff.

in A history of the University of Manchester 1973–90
Brian Pullan and Michele Abendstern

Endless arguments arose as to whether the new and increasingly formal system of management would actually make the University more effective. It provided machinery for procuring a general level of efficiency, keeping everyone up to the mark by constant scrutiny, and seeking to motivate academics by material rewards and gains in status. In abeyance was the liberal notion that academics should be their own managers, doing their own work with some encouragement from colleagues and friends.

in A history of the University of Manchester 1973–90
Open Access (free)
Brian Pullan and Michele Abendstern

Cuts in public spending forced universities to devise schemes for self-help which would reduce their dependence on public money. The University was again forced to adopt a host of economy measures, some of them seemingly trivial, and puritans began to attack minor extravagances as grave lapses of discipline. On the other hand, the University had to think of selling its services and of collaborating, not only with public institutions and government departments, but also with industrial and commercial concerns. Its purpose in doing so was not just to raise money, but to demonstrate its usefulness to society and the economy, to win friends and restore itself to favour; it was important not to get involved in contract or consultancy work which would increase income but have no academic value, or produce results which might be used for intellectually dishonest or nefarious purposes.

in A history of the University of Manchester 1973–90
Open Access (free)
Brian Pullan and Michele Abendstern

In October 1989 Senate and Council heard that Sir Mark Richmond had resigned his office with effect from 30 September 1990. He had presided with stoicism and courage over the most critical years in the University's history, when the position of Vice-Chancellor brought the least pleasure and the most pain. One year after Richmond's departure, Martin Harris, then Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex, agreed to succeed him, eventually arriving in August 1992. Harris had the formidable task of adjusting to the system of devolved management in the University of Manchester, whose staff was six or seven times larger than that of the University of Essex, where personal government had been much more practicable. An optimist in the Armitage tradition, with great faith in the University's capacity for self-improvement, he aspired above all to raise it to its rightful place in the league table. Oxford, Cambridge, University College London, Imperial College, and perhaps Edinburgh would be hard to overtake, but Manchester should at least be Number Six in the national race for acknowledged excellence in teaching and research.

in A history of the University of Manchester 1973–90