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Cambridge University Library


The duties of the Orator are ‘to write addresses for presentation to the Sovereign and formal letters for presentation to other universities and institutions’ and to ‘present to the Chancellor and University persons on whom the titles of degrees are conferred honoris causa.’ The office was founded by statute in (probably) 1521, but there are both earlier and later records of one-off payment for such compositions. There is an excellent account of the history of the office prefixed to James Diggle’s Cambridge Orations 1982-1993 (Cambridge University Press, 1994). The title changed from ‘Public Orator’ to ‘Orator’ in 1926. For a list of Orators go to http://