I take the liberty of posting a very useful response from Trinity College to a request from one of our researcher-helpers. Clarence went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, for the Michaelmas term, 1861, to read mathematics. He had been "admitted", i.e. offered the place, in January 1861. Clarence graduated from Cambridge University with a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in 1865. He got his M.A. (Master of Arts) as a result, in 1873, and he subsequently took orders in the Church of England.
"Thank you for your enquiry that has been passed on to me by our alumni relations dept. In the absence of tutorial records, there is comparatively little to be found in the College Archive about our students before the 1960s, though it is possible to extract certain facts about them from various series of records, hence the following.
"Bicknell was admitted to Trinity on 8 January 1861 as a Pensioner (a full fee-paying student) on the side of J B Lightfoot, though Lightfoot was soon replaced as Tutor by James Lempriere Hammond and Robert Burn acting in partnership having become Hulsean Professor the year of Bicknell's admission. His college career was fairly undistinguished, being placed in the third of nine classes in the College Examinations in his first year, in the 7th in his second and in the 6th in his third.
"These examinations did not contribute to Bicknell's degree, but were used to weed out the complete no-hopers and give some idea of each student's progress. The comparatively good first year, when Classics dominated the subjects examined, may suggest that Bicknell took some time coming to terms with Cambridge mathematics. Nonetheless in January 1865 he graduated 15th among the Senior Optimes - the second class amongst the Honours mathematicians - which suggests he may have been better at the subject than his College exams suggested.
"I cannot find him listed in the register of Room Rents until Easter term 1863, when he was in residence at N4 Great Court. For the period before that I think we must assume that he was living outwith the College, presumably in a licenced hostel."
Trinity College Library