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St David's College, Lampeter

St David's College in Lampeter was founded in 1822 by Thomas Burgess, Bishop of St David's. It was intended to provide an education for intending clergy, who could not afford to go to Oxford or Cambridge. In 1852, the college gained the right to award the degree of Bachelor of Divinity, (BD), and in 1865 the degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA).

Although it continued as a centre of clergy training until 1978, there were always some students who did not intend to be ordained. In 1971, it joined the federal University of Wales, and suspended its own degree-awarding powers. It became the University College of St David, and in 1998, the name changed again to the University of Wales Lampeter.

Academic Robes

Undergraduates wore a black stuff gown, with bell-sleeves, with the whole sleeve split open in front.

Bachelor of Divinity. A black gown, of MA pattern (long closed sleeves), with a double crescent cut at the end of each sleeve. A black silk hood, lined with dark violet silk, and bound with 1" white silk. Originally, it could be made in either the Oxford or the Cambridge shape, but Cambridge became the norm.

Bachelor of Arts. A black stuff gown of Cambridge BA pattern. A black silk hood, part-lind and bound with 'miniver' - white fur with black spots. (Rabbit was usually used, with 'stick-on' spots, on account of the cost of real miniver!). As with the BD, it could be made in either the Oxford or the Cambridge shape, but Cambridge became the norm.

There was also a two-year course for those who could not afford the full three-year one. From 1884, this was called the License in Divinity (LD). Holders wore the undergraduate gown, with a black stuff hood, lined with black stuff, and bound for 1" with white silk. This was always Cambridge shape. The LD was not awarded after about 1940, and in 1969 the hood was used for the DipTh, which was awarded until the College ceased clergy training in 1978.

The College currently awards a number of Licences (Theology, Religious Studies, Islamic Studies, Latin, Classical Greek): holders may wear the University of Wales BA gown, with the old Lampeter BD hood.

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