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Cambridge University Library


Degrees awarded by the University as a mark of honour, rather than on the results of an examination of any kind. Until 1882 such degrees could only be conferred by royal mandate (see mandate degrees). From that date the University conferred full honorary degrees on, for example, persons appointed to University teaching posts (similar to the present conferment of the MA under Statute B.III.6) and on Cambridge graduates elevated to bishoprics, and titular degrees on other persons of distinction. The term is now confined to those titular degrees, usually conferred by the Chancellor at a much-enjoyed (and therefore much reviled) annual ceremony at the end of the Easter Term.