We hear that a certain Northern University, justly infamous for Physical Diplomas, hath lately, by Request, transmitted one to this Place, in order to varnish the irregular Education, and to decorate the illegal Promotion of a person now in a lucrative station, in the physical way here. It is therefore necessary, that the Publick may not be imposed upon, to acquaint them with the nature of diplomas: They are mostly confined to Theology, Physick, and Surgery, and cannot be obtained from any creditable University, or Corporation, but by Persons of a liberal Education, and that on the strictest examination, after having defended a Thesis on a subject assign’d. Indeed, such as lately appeared here, may be obtained without any of the above requisites, as is verified in the cafes of Dr. Rock, and Dr. A–r–o–bie; both of which are the Merchandize of the same University, and that without ever having seen, or examine the persons on whom they are conferred. The practice of such an University, is by all men of sense despised, and the possessors of such diplomas held in contempt, insomuch that by a late act of parliament, and a later order of His Majesty and Council, no man can be legally admitted into his Service without undergoing a public Examination, and bringing a certificate of his being qualified for the Office he is to be employed in. And so grossly absurd it is, to claim merit from such diplomas, that producing them as a Qualification, or as a testimony of a regular education, will be ridicul’d, and gain no credit, but with the prejudiced, the ignorant, and the illiterate, it being well known that such Diplomas can be obtained for a Horse, an ass, or A be’r.
Halifax Gazette, Aug 17, 1754. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=4p3FJGzxjgAC&dat=17540817&printsec=frontpage&hl=en