Chapter 3 describes the conflict at Cambridge between Thomas Cartwright, Lady
Margaret lecturer in divinity, and John Whitgift, future Archbishop of
Canterbury. Cartwright, a gifted lecturer, threatened the establishment by
supporting the election of bishops on scriptural grounds. As an
undergraduate, Spenser witnessed the ‘takeover’ by Whitgift and Andrew
Perne, who ‘reformed’ the university statutes, making them more restrictive
than they had been under Catholic Mary Tudor, to oust Cartwright. Heads of
colleges had to approve degrees before they could be awarded. A spin-off
from these conflicts affected Gabriel Harvey’s receipt of the M.A. in 1573.
Since Spenser received the B.A. from Pembroke College in 1573, Harvey cannot
have served as Spenser’s tutor. His M.A. was not awarded until after Spenser
had graduated, and it required the intervention of John Young, Master of
Pembroke College, for the degree to be awarded.