Transfer to the Faculty In Virginia
The Transfer to the Faculty in Virginia, 27 February 1729, transferred the Royal Charter and the ruling authority of the College of William and Mary from the original founders named in the Charter and gave it to the President and masters of the College.
The Royal Charter names the original trustees of the College: Francis Nicholson, William Cole, Ralph Wormley, William Byrd, John Lear, James Blair, John Farnifold, Stephen Fouace, Samuel Gray, Thomas Milner, Christopher Robinson, Charles Scarborough, John Smith, Benjamin Harrison, Miles Cary, Henry Hartwell, William Randolph, and Matthew Page. It also says that "that so soon as the said college shall, according to our royal intent be erected and founded, the said Francis Nicholson, William Cole, &c., or the longer livers or liver of them, and their or his heirs, executors, administrators or assigns, shall by good and sufficient deeds and assurances in law give, grant and transfer to the said President and masters, or professors, or their successors, the said Lands, Manors, Tenements, Rents, Services, Rectories, Portions, Annuities, Pensions and Advowsons of Churches, with all other inheritances, franchises, possessions, goods, chattels and personal estate aforesaid, or as much thereof as has not been laid out and bestowed upon the building the said college, or to the other uses above mentioned."
By 1729, only Blair and Fouace remained alive and decided that it was time to enact the transfer. The Transfer was published on 27 February 1729 and the official ceremony occurred on 15 August 1729.
Transfer Day preceded the current celebration of Charter Day at the College of William and Mary. The annual celebration of Charter Day at the College of William and Mary was primarily a twentieth century development that was initiated by President John Stewart Bryan in 1937. Transfer Day was marked on August 15th. During the eighteenth century Transfer Day was the usual time of celebrating the birth of William and Mary by observing the anniversary of the Transfer of the Charter from the founders of the College to the President and Masters of the College on August 15, 1729.
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