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Charter of Novodamus to Town Council of Edinburgh, giving rise to the establishing the University (owned by Edinburgh City Council: on permanent loan from (Edinburgh City Archives, 'Historical Charter Number 65' ).
This is the starting point of the University of Edinburgh. It is often described wrongly as the University's founding charter but is actually a charter of novodamus, or new giving, in which King James VI confirmed a previous gift of ecclesiastical revenues to the burgh of Edinburgh made by his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, and allowed the Town Council to use the resulting funds to build a college for the teaching of arts, theology medicine, law or any other branch of the liberal arts. In many ways the start of University was a product of the many religious and political conflicts which abounded in sixteenth century Scotland. Rival factions had differing schemes as to what should be taught and theology was often prominent, in order to train ministers for the Presbyterian Church, but following a Royalist backlash the more liberal arts curriculum emerged just three months before the new college opened its doors (owned by Edinburgh City Council: on permanent loan from (Edinburgh City Archives, 'Historical Charter Number 65' ).