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Title: Oxford
Author: Peel, Robert, Minchin, H. C.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Oxford" ***

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By Robert Peel And H. C. Minchin

With 100 Illustrations In Colour

New York

The Macmillan Company


|THIS volume is not intended to compete with any existing guides to
Oxford: it is not a guide-book in any formal or exhaustive sense. Its
purpose is to shew forth the chief beauties of the University and City,
as they have appeared to several artists; with such a running commentary
as may explain the pictures, and may indicate whatever is most
interesting in connection with the scenes which they represent. Slight
as the notes are, there has been no sacrifice, it is believed, of
accuracy. The principal facts have been derived from Alexander Chalmers'
_History of the Colleges, Halls, and Public Buildings of the University
of Oxford_, from Mr. Lang's _Oxford_, and from the _Oxford and its
Colleges_ of Mr. J. Wells.

The illustrations, with the exception of six only, which are derived
from Acker-mann's _Oxford_, are reproduced from the paintings of living
artists, mostly by Mr. W. Matthison, the others by Mrs. C. R. Walton,
Walter S. S. Tyrwhitt, Mr. Bayzant, and Miss E. S. Cheesewright.



|OXFORD is so naturally associated with the idea of a University, and
the Collegiate buildings which confront one at every turn have such an
ancient appearance, that a stranger might be excused for thinking that
the University is older than the town, and that the latter grew up as
an adjunct to the former. Of course, the slightest examination of facts
suffices to dissipate this notion. Oxford is a town of great antiquity,
which may well have been in existence in Alfred the Great's time, though
there is not a shred of documentary evidence to prove that he was,
as tradition so long asserted, connected with the foundation of a
university there: it certainly existed in the reign of his son
and successor, Edward the Elder, because--and this is the earliest
historical mention of the place--the English Chronicle tells us that
Edward took "Lundenbyrg and Oxnaford and all the lands that were
obedient thereto." That was in 912, a date which marks the first
authenticated appearance of Oxford on the stage of English history. .

There is a passage in Domesday Book which gives us a fair idea of the
size of the town in the Conquerors day. It contained over seven hundred
houses, but of these, so harshly had the Normans treated the place,
two-thirds were ruined and unable to pay taxes. William made Robert
D'Oily, one of his followers, governor of Oxford. D'Oily's is the
earliest hand (a heavy one, by the way, as the townsfolk learnt to their
cost) whose impress is visible on the Oxford of to-day. We may indeed,
if we please, attribute a certain piece of wall in the Cathedral to
a remoter date, but the grim old tower (which appears in the first
illustration) is the first building in Oxford whose author can with
certainty be named. It is all that remains of the Castle which Robert
D'Oily built in order to control the surrounding country; and he
built his stronghold by the riverside because he thereby dominated the
waterway, along which enemies were apt to come, as well as wide tracts
of land in every direction. No doubt the hands of the conquered English
laboured at the massive structure which was to keep them in subjection.

[Illustration: 0023]

[Illustration: 0024]

A queen was once besieged in the castle, Matilda, Henry I.'s daughter.
When food gave out she made her escape in a romantic manner, so the
story tells. The river was frozen and the ground covered with snow. The
queen was let down from the tower by night with ropes, clad in white,
the better to escape observation. Three knights were with her, clad in
white also, under whose guidance she reached Wallingford on foot, and so
escaped King Stephen's clutches.

To the period of the Norman Conquest belongs also the tower of St.
Michaels Church, in the Cornmarket. It has been usual to describe this
edifice as Saxon; but antiquaries incline to think that if Robert D'Oily
did not build St. Michael's tower, he at least repaired it. This tower
formed a part of the city wall, and from its narrow windows arrows
may have rained upon advancing foes. Adjoining it was Bocardo, the old
north-gate of the city, whose upper chamber was long used as a prison.
Nothing of Bocardo now remains; but Robert D'Oily's handiwork
is traceable, as many think, in the crypt and chancel of St.
Peter-in-the-East and in the chancel arch at Holywell.

In these buildings, then, the history of Norman Oxford is written, so
far as history can be written in stone; yet here and there about the
city are to be seen structures which, although two or three centuries
younger, have an appearance hardly less venerable. Year after year the
aged walls and portals are thronged with fresh generations of the youth
of England; and it is in this combination of youth and age that no
little of the charm of Oxford lies. We speak within the limitations of
mortality: but, could we escape them for a moment, "immortal age beside
immortal youth" might be her most appropriate description.

|WHEN did the University come into existence? That is a question which
many people would like to have answered, but which still, like Brutus,
"pauses for a reply." It is to the last degree improbable that we shall
ever know. There were teachers and learners in Oxford at an early date,
but so there were in many other English towns; the plant struck deeper
in Oxford than elsewhere, that is all that one can say. There are
various indications that in the twelfth century the town had acquired a
name for learning. In 1186, Giraldus Cambrensis, who had written a book
about Ireland and wanted to get it known, came and read his manuscript
aloud at Oxford, where, as he tells us, "the clergy in England chiefly
flourished and excelled in clerkly lore." That was fifty years after the
death of King Henry the Scholar, who--was it only a coincidence?--had
a residence in Oxford. It is pleasant to find Oxford students, even in
those early days, with ears attuned to hearing "some new thing."

"Doctors of the different faculties," we are told, were among Giraldus'
auditors: a fact which shows that learning was already getting
systematised. A little later it has clothed itself in corporate form,
and possesses a Chancellor. That official (when, and by whom appointed,
is the mystery) is first mentioned in 1214, and we can henceforth look
upon the University as a living body. He is named in connection with the
first recorded "town and gown" row, when the citizens of Oxford took
two clerks and hung them. The papal Legate (this was in the evil days of
King John) intervened, and the citizens were very properly rebuked and

A century passed before "The Gown" had a building set specially apart
for the transaction of their affairs. Then, in 1322, Bishop Cobham of
Worcester added a chapel to the north-east corner of St. Mary's, and
gave it to the University as a House of Congregation. The office of
Proctor had already been instituted, and that functionary had plenty of
students to employ his time--30,000 one writer assures us, but him we
cannot credit. A fourth of that number is a liberal estimate. They lived
in Halls and lodgings, a hard and an undisciplined life, preyed upon
by the townsfolk and biting their thumbs at them in return (whence
collisions frequently ensued) until Walter de Merton devised the College
system, to the no small advantage of all concerned.

[Illustration: 0031]

Benefactions poured in upon the several Colleges, but the greater
institution was not forgotten. In the Divinity School, within whose
walls Latimer and Ridley defended their opinions, and Charles II.'s
Parliament debated, the University possesses, as is fit and proper, the
most beautiful room in Oxford and one of the most beautiful in England.
The style is Perpendicular and the ceiling is particularly admirable.
Together with the fine room above it, in which Duke Humphrey's
manuscripts were housed, the Divinity School was completed in 1480.

Those six hundred manuscripts of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, which he
bestowed on the University, had a sad history. They were dispersed by
Edward vi.'s Commissioners, who judged them to be popish in
tendency, and only four of them were ever restored to their old home.
Nevertheless, Duke Humphreys gift was the origin of the Bodleian
Library. One does not like to think what the Library was like in the
days which followed, when its manuscripts were scattered abroad and its
shelves sold; but in the last years of the sixteenth century there arose
a man who took pity upon its desolation. This was Sir Thomas Bodley,
Fellow of Merton, a man of travel and affairs, who devoted the last
years of his life to the creation of what is now one of the most famous
libraries in existence. It has ever been the delight of scholars since
the days of James I., who wished he might be chained to the Library, as
some of the books were.

[Illustration: 0032]

The original chamber did not long suffice to contain the volumes; an
east and then a west wing were added, the latter over Archbishop Laud's
Convocation House (1640) which superseded Cobham's Chapel. From these
the books overflowed into various rooms in the Old Schools Quadrangle,
which had been rebuilt in James I.'s reign. Further space was gained in
1860, when the Radcliffe, set free by the removal of its collection of
scientific works to the New Museum, was lent to the Bodleian; and again
in 1882, on the opening of the New Examination Schools (sketched by Mr.
Matthison), when the Old Schools were rendered available for the uses of
the Library.

[Illustration: 0035]

[Illustration: 0036]

The various public buildings belonging to the University erected during
the nineteenth century, such as the Taylor Institution, the University
Art Galleries, the New Museum, and the Indian Institute, can hardly
escape attracting the attention of visitors to Oxford. It remains to
say a word of two older structures, which appear side by side in Mr.
Matthison's next drawing--the Clarendon Building and the Sheldonian

[Illustration: 0039]

The Clarendon Building was designed by Vanbrugh, and completed in 1713.
It is named after the author of the _History of the Rebellion_, and was
partially built out of the profits of the copyright of that work, which
Clarendon's son presented to the University. It was the home of the
University Press until 1830, and is now occupied by the offices of
various University Boards.

The Sheldonian Theatre, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, is associated
with less tranquil occupations. It is here that honorary degrees are
conferred and the Encænia held; here the _Terrce Filius_, a licensed
jester, used to hurl his witticisms at whomsoever he pleased; and
here, in later times, the occupants of the Undergraduates' Gallery have
endeavoured to keep up his tradition. Here, too, Convocation sometimes
meets, when a burning question is to be discussed and Masters of Arts
assemble in their hundreds. On such occasions the Sheldonian has
been known to be as full of clamour as at the Encaenia. It is perhaps
pleasanter to view Wren's stately building when it is void alike of
undergraduate merriment and of graduate contention.


[Illustration: 0046]

|ALTHOUGH St. Mary's, being a parish Church, cannot be numbered among
the buildings which are University property, it has been almost as
closely connected as any of them with the life and history of the
University. Cobham's Chapel, as has been already said, was the first
House of Congregation; and in the room above it the University kept its
manuscripts, until Duke Humphrey's Library was built. The chancel and
nave, moreover, were used by the gownsmen for both religious and secular
purposes; and it is strange to reflect that consecrated walls heard not
only sermons and disputations, but the jests of the _Terrce Filius_ and
the uproar which they excited. It was only when the Sheldonian was built
(1669) that St. Mary's ceased to be the scene of the "Act"--the modern
Encænia--and was restored to its original intention.

[Illustration: 0047]

The porch, with its spiral columns and statue of the Virgin and Child,
is much later than the rest of the building, being the work of Dr. Owen,
Archbishop Laud's chaplain. Architecturally it is not in keeping with
the nave and spire, but in itself, especially when the creeper which
en-wreathes it takes on its autumnal colour, it is very beautiful.
It was found necessary, in 1895, to restore the spire, which with the
pinnacles at its base is the special glory of St. Mary's.

The Church is intimately connected with the religious history of the
nation. Here Keble preached the famous Assize Sermon, which is regarded
as the beginning of the Oxford Movement; here, too, Newman, before he
withdrew to his retirement at Littlemore, preached those many sermons to
whose spiritual force men of all schools of thought have borne witness.
A later vicar was Dean Burgon, to whose memory the west window was put
up in 1891.

But Cranmer's connection with St. Mary's transcends all its other
associations. On September 12, 1555, he was here put on trial for his
religious opinions, which he defended with as much ability as courage.
He was then recommitted to his prison, and in December Rome pronounced
him guilty. The hardships of his imprisonment told upon his resolution,
and he was induced to write several letters of submission, in which
his so-called errors were recanted. On March 21, 1556, he was once more
brought to St. Mary's. His life was to be taken, but he was to crown
his humiliation by a public confession. Placed upon a wooden stage over
against the pulpit, he had to hear a sermon, at the close of which he
was to speak. His fortitude returned, and to the amazement of all he
recanted his recantation. "As for the Pope"--these were his memorable
words--"I utterly refuse him, as Christ's enemy and Antichrist, with all
his false doctrine; and as for the Sacrament, I believe as I have taught
in my book against the Bishop of Winchester. And for as much as my hand
offended, writing contrary to my heart, my hand shall first be punished
therefore; for, may I come to the fire, it shall be first burned." He
was hurried off to the stake, and there

               "lifted his left hand to heaven,

     And thrust his right into the bitter flame;

     And crying in his deep voice, more than once,

     'This hath offended--this unworthy hand!'

     So held it till it was all burn'd, before

     The flame had reach'd his body."


[Illustration: 0051]

|AT the east end of the choir aisle of the Cathedral there is a portion
of the wall which is possibly the oldest piece of masonry in Oxford, for
it is thought to be a part of the original Church of St. Frideswyde, on
whose site the Cathedral Church of Christ (to give its full title) now
stands. Even so it is not possible to speak with historical certainty of
the saint or of the date of her Church, which was built for her by her
father, so the legend says, when she took the veil; though the year
740 may be provisionally accepted as the last year of her life. St.
Frideswyde's was a conventual Church, with a Priory attached, and
both were burnt down in 1002, but rebuilt by Ethelred. How much of his
handiwork survives in the present structure it is not easy to determine;
but the Norman builders of the twelfth century effected, at any rate,
such a transformation that no suggestion of Saxon architecture
is obtruded. Their work went on for some twenty years, under the
supervision of the then Prior, Robert of Cricklade, and the Church was
consecrated anew in 1180. The main features of the interior--the massive
pillars and arches--are substantially the same to-day as the builders
left them then.

The Priory was surrendered to Henry VIII. in 1522, who made it over to
Wolsey. That cardinal, in his zeal for the new College, which he
now proceeded to found, shewed little respect for the old Church.
He practically demolished its west end to make room for his building
operations. The truncated Church was used as a chapel for his students,
until the new and magnificent one which he had planned should be
completed. That edifice was never built. Wolsey was disgraced, and the
king took over St. Frideswyde's, to be the Cathedral Church of his newly
created diocese of Oxford.

From this date, then, 1546, it is a Cathedral, but a College chapel
also; for Henry was content that the one building should serve the two
purposes. The Cathedral was restored in the seventeenth century and
again in the nineteenth, with considerable alterations. It is hardly
worth while here to enumerate these in their entirety; but when one sees
in old engravings the beautiful east window, put up in the fourteenth
century, which was removed at the time of Sir Gilbert Scott's
restoration, it is impossible not to regret a change which appears to
be quite unjustifiable. At the same time it may be readily admitted that
the east end, designed on Norman lines, which the architect substituted,
has considerable beauty, and harmonises with the general tone of the
building. Regret is unavailing, and it is perhaps wiser to console
oneself with the reflection that at any rate things might have been

[Illustration: 0054]

[Illustration: 0055]

The Cathedral is so hemmed in by the various buildings of Christ Church
that it is difficult to obtain a comprehensive view from the outside.
Perhaps one sees it best from Merton Fields, with the beautiful Rose
Window prominently visible. Even so the Cathedral is in part hidden by
the ancient Refectory of St. Frideswyde's (long since converted into
rooms). This is the view, sketched from the nearer foreground of the
Canon's Garden, which appears in Mr. Matthison's drawing, only that the
Rose Window is hidden by trees. The spire--or spire and tower
combined--no longer holds the bells which chimed originally in Osney
Abbey, on the river's farther side; they were removed to the new Belfry
(completed in 1879), which appears to the left of the Refectory.

We are now to speak of the interior of the building. It is sketched from
various points of view in the accompanying six illustrations: but twice
as many would not suffice to exhaust its interest. At no time does the
nave appear more impressive than when a shaft of sunlight strikes across
the massive columns; and Miss Cheesewright has sought to fix upon her
canvas the charm of such a moment. The Lady Chapel was added early
in the thirteenth century; here are enshrined the remains of St.
Frideswyde, which were moved several times before they reached their
final resting-place. The Latin Chapel dates from the fourteenth century,
and is full of interest. Some of its carved woodwork is to be referred
to Wolsey's time, and it contains the tombs, among others, of Lady
Elizabeth Montacute, the Chapels reputed builder, and of Sir George
Nowers, a comrade-in-arms of the Black Prince. Other notable tombs in
various parts of the Cathedral are those of Robert Burton, author of the
Anatomy of Melancholy; Bishop Berkeley, the metaphysician and upholder
of the virtues of tar-water; Bishop King, last Abbot of Osney and first
Bishop of Oxford; Dean Liddell and Dr. Pusey. A window in the south
transept depicts the murder of Thomas à Becket, whose head has been
obliterated, by the order, it is said, of Henry VIII. Another window in
the same transept commemorates Canon Liddon. The art of Burne-Jones has
contributed not a little to the Cathedral's beauty. In the east
window of the Latin Chapel he has set forth the romantic story of St.
Frideswyde. Another of the windows which he designed is at the east
end of the Lady Chapel, and serves as a memorial of Mr. Vyner, who was
murdered by Greek brigands in 1870; another, at the east end of
the north aisle of the choir, commemorates St. Cecilia, with which
corresponds a "St. Catherine of Alexandria" in the south aisle, put up
in memory of Miss Edith Liddell, daughter of Dean Liddell. Lastly, at
the west end of this aisle, the artist has chosen "Faith, Hope, and
Charity" as his subject.

[Illustration: 0058]

[Illustration: 0059]

The Cloister and Chapter-House (thirteenth century) must not be
overlooked. The entrance to the Chapter-House is by a singularly fine
Norman doorway. The Cloister saw the unworthy degradation of Archbishop
Cranmer, after the Pope had pronounced him guilty of heresy.

Enough has perhaps been said to shew intending visitors to Oxford that
the interest of the Cathedral is both great and varied. To those who
already know it, these hints will seem a poor and inadequate attempt
to express its manifold charm, but the pictures may serve to emphasise
their vivid recollections. Those who have yet to make acquaintance with
it will perhaps exclaim, as the Queen of Sheba did of Solomon's wisdom
and prosperity, "Behold, the half was not told me."

[Illustration: 0062]

[Illustration: 0063]


|WHERE is the centre, the [Greek words] of Oxford? The average
undergraduate will probably place it within the walls of his own
College; but we, detached observers whose salad days, presumably, are
over, look for a definition worthy of more catholic acceptance. To us
Oxford is not a city of Colleges only, but of noble streets and wide
spaces. Them it is our purpose to explore, not with the hasty stride of
one bound for lecture-room, or cricket-ground, or river, but leisurely
and with discrimination; we are ready to be chidden for curiosity, so we
incur not the gravamen of indifference. Where, then, shall we start on
our pilgrimage, and from what centre? If there be in any city a place
where four principal roads meet, as at the Cross in Gloucester, we may
listen there for the pulsations of that city's heart.

Such a place there is in Oxford, Carfax,--_Quatre voies_,--the spot
where four ways meet. This, not too arbitrarily, we will name the centre
of Oxford, and thence will wend upon our pilgrimage. But let us pause a
moment, before we set out, at the parting of the ways.

The old Church of St. Martin's at Carfax was pulled down in 1896, and
only the tower left. St. Martin's was the church of the city fathers, as
St. Mary's was (and is) the church of the University. Nowadays the
civic procession winds its way to All Saints, a nearer neighbour of
St. Mary's. Such propinquity would have sorted ill with the manners of
mediaeval Oxford, when the enmity of town and gown, at times quiescent,
was never wholly quelled. In an age when the clerks, regular and
secular, fell out among themselves in the precincts of St. Mary's, even
to the shedding of blood, it is idle to look for a more civil temper in
the burgesses: and the bells of Carfax and St. Mary's summoned those who
frequented them to battle as well as to prayer. They rang out with the
former intention on the feast of St. Scholastica in 1354. It is sad to
record that the quarrel arose in a tavern, where two gownsmen abused
the vintner for serving them with wine of wretched quality. The conflict
which ensued was of a very deadly nature. The scholars held their own
until evening, when the citizens called the neighbouring villagers of
Cowley and Headington to their aid, and the Gown were routed. As many as
forty students were slain, and twenty-three townsmen. Then Edward
111. took steps to protect the men of learning, lowering, among other
measures, the tower of Carfax, because they complained that in times of
combat the townsmen retired thither as to a castle, and from its summit
grievously annoyed and galled them with arrows and stones. The burgesses
also were forced to attend annually at St. Mary's Church, when mass
was offered for the souls of the slain, bearing on their persons sundry
marks of degradation; and though these were subsequently done away, it
was only in 1825 that they were excused the indignity of attending the
commemorative service.

[Illustration: 0068]

[Illustration: 0069]

Such are some of the memories evoked by the Tower of Carfax, the best
view of which is given in Mr. Matthison's first drawing. The second
illustration is from a point rather farther to the eastward. Both give
a glimpse of the Mitre Hotel, most picturesque of old Oxford hostelries,
and the second a part of the front of All Saints. At this point we may
for a moment leave the High Street (which we have begun to traverse,
half insensibly, under the artist's guidance) and wander down "The
Turl," as Turl Street is commonly called. "Turl" is said to be
a corruption of Thorold, and Thorold to have been the name of a
postern-gate in the old city walls. The quiet old street has Colleges on
either hand, Lincoln, Exeter, and Jesus. Retracing our footsteps, we get
the fine view of All Saints which is given in the third illustration.
The history of this Church, known originally as All Hallows, goes back
to the twelfth century, but the present building, designed by Dr.
Aldrich, a former Dean of Christ Church, has only been in existence
since 1708, the old one having been destroyed in 1699 by the fall of its
spire. The present graceful tower and spire are a worthy memorial of
Dean Aldrich's versatility.

[Illustration: 0072]

[Illustration: 0073]

We now return to our exploration of "The High," whose magnificence of
outline become more and more apparent as one walks eastwards. It was
a poet bred at Cambridge, no less a poet than Wordsworth, whom the
manifold charm of Oxford tempted "to slight his own beloved Cam"; and
he it is who has written the most quotable description of "The High" in
brief. "The streamlike windings of that glorious street," he writes: and
indeed its curve suggests nothing so much as the majestic bend of some
noble river. We may cite, too, Sir Walter Scott's testimony, who claimed
that the High Street of Edinburgh is the most magnificent in Great
Britain, _except the High Street of Oxford_. It is not at all difficult
to assent to this opinion. As the view gradually unfolds itself, we have
on our left successively the new front of Brasenose, St. Mary's, All
Souls, Queen's, and Magdalen; on our right the long, dark front of
University, and many old dwelling-houses, whose architecture does not
shame their situation. Looking backward for a moment at Queen's College
(perhaps when the west is rosy, as in Mr. Matthison's drawing), one sees
substantially the same view which delighted Wordsworth in 1820; and we,
if we are wise, shall take as much delight in it as he. Many thousand
times since then has the sun set behind the spires of St. Mary's and All
Saints, but the unaltered prospect obliterates the intervening years,
and we are at one with the great poet in his admiration.

Contrast is always pleasant, and one may reach Broad Street (which
certainly must not be neglected) by several thoroughfares totally unlike
"The High." We may traverse Long Wall Street, with Magdalen Grove on our
right, a pleasance hidden from the wayfarer by a high wall, but visible
to such as lodge in upper rooms on the other side of the way; thence
along Holywell Street, with its queer medley of old houses, many of them
pleasing to the eye. Or, still greater contrast, we may go by Queen's
and New College Lanes, with their rectangular turns and severe masonry
on either side. Or, again, we may go through the Radcliffe square with
its massive buildings on every hand--the Radcliffe dome in the centre,
girt about with St. Mary's, Brasenose, All Souls, and the Old Schools.
In any case we find ourselves, at the last, in Broad Street.

[Illustration: 0076]

[Illustration: 0077]

It is a wide and quiet street, with comparatively little traffic, a
street dear to meditation. Some such suggestion is conveyed by Mr.
Matthison's sketch. He has not given us here the fronts of Balliol,
Trinity, or Exeter,--views of the first two will be found later on,--but
just the old houses (the one in dark relief is Kettell Hall, built by a
President of Trinity in the seventeenth century) asleep in the
sunshine, with the Sheldonian on the right, whose guardian figure-heads,
traditionally said to represent the twelve Cæsars, seem by the
expression of their stony countenances to be thinking hard of nothing in
particular. At the other end of Broad Street, marked by a flat cross in
the roadway, is the spot where tradition says the martyrs suffered for
their faith.

[Illustration: 0080]

Their Memorial is a little distance off, in the neighbouring street
of St. Giles'. It is an effective and graceful structure, with
characteristic statues of Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley, and an
inscription stating the manner of their death and the reasons for their
martyrdom. It was erected in 1841, by public subscription, when also the
north aisle of the adjacent Church of St. Mary Magdalen was rebuilt
out of the same fund. The Memorial appears twice in Mr. Matthison's
drawings; once at the approach of evening, looking towards the city,
and once as it is seen in full daylight, with the widening vista of St.
Giles' Street in the background. St. Giles' is surely the widest street
in the three kingdoms; Broad Street is narrow when compared with it.
Each September it is the scene of what is said to be the largest and
the oldest fair in England. But we have not chosen a fair-day for our


|IF the "towers of Julius" are, as Gray called them, "London's lasting
shame," the River is the lasting pride of Oxford. When does "The River"
cease to be Isis and become Thames? One might as well ask when it ceases
to be Thames and becomes Isis. The term is probably not used out of
Oxford, and with much vagueness there. Matthew Arnold speaks of "the
stripling Thames at Bablock-Hythe" (a very lovely ferry higher up than
Oxford), and at Abingdon nobody talks about the Isis. The use of the
name is one of the odd and pleasant conservatisms of Oxford.

Then, again, there are two rivers in Oxford, according to the map,
Thames and Cherwell; but to the undergraduate there are three--"The
River," "The Upper River," and "The Cher." For the sake of strangers it
may be well to elucidate this enigma. "The River" is that part of the
Thames which begins at Folly Bridge and ends at Sandford, except that on
the occasion of "long courses" and Commemoration picnics it is prolonged
as far as Nuneham. It is understood subsequently to pass through several
counties and reach eventually the German Ocean. You do not go upon "The
River" commonly for amusement, but for stern and serious work. You
aspire to a thwart in your College "torpid" first, then in your College
"eight," with the fantastic possibility of a place in the "Trials"
or--crown of all--in the 'Varsity "Eight" on some distant and auspicious
day! It is no child's-play that is involved, as every oarsman knows.
"The River" is an admirable school of self-control and self-denial, and
"training"--long may it flourish!--is one of the best of disciplines. It
has been said, and with truth, that boating-men are the salt of
undergraduate society.

[Illustration: 0084]

[Illustration: 0085]

The "Torpids" are rowed in March--you will appreciate this fact if you
are rowing "bow" and a hailstorm comes on--in eight-oared boats with
fixed seats. The name bestowed on them seems a little unkind. The
"Eights" come off in the summer term, when sliding seats are used--to
the greater comfort of the oarsmen, and the greater gratification of the
lookers-on, for this rowing is out of all comparison prettier, and of
course the boats travel at a greater pace. Both "Eights" and "Torpids,"
as most people are aware, are bumping races; that is, the boats start
each at a given distance from the one behind it, and the object is to
bump the boat in front, and so bump one s way to that proudest of all
positions, "the Head of the River." A bump in front of the Barges (which
Mr. Matthison has sketched), following a long and stern chase from
Iffley, is a thing to live for.

West of Folly Bridge "The River" might as well, for all the ordinary
undergraduate knows of it, sink for some distance, like a certain
classic stream, beneath the ground. Venturesome explorers tell of a
tract of water put to base mechanical uses, flanked by dingy wharves and
overlooked by attic windows.

But to most boating-men "The River" ends at Salter's, only to reappear
in the modified form and style of "The Upper River" at Port Meadow. "The
Upper River" is some distance from everything else, but it is well worth
the journey to Port Meadow. There is nothing strenuous about "The Upper
River." It always seems afternoon there, and a lazy afternoon. The
standard of oarsmanship may not be very high, but no one is in a hurry
and no one is censorious. To enjoy the Upper River as it deserves to
be enjoyed, you should have laboured at the Torpid oar a Lent Term, and
have found yourself not required (this year) for the Eight. You know
quite enough of rowing, in such a case, to cut a figure on the
Upper River; but you will not want to cut it. If you appreciate your
surroundings properly, you will want to sit in the stern while somebody
else does the rowing; or, if you take an oar, you will want to pull in
leisurely fashion and to look about you as you please, in the blissful
absence of raucous injunctions to "keep your eyes in the boat." There is
much that is pleasant to look upon--the wide expanse of Port Meadow on
the right, on the towpath willows waving in the wind, and on the water
here and there the white sail of a centre-board. As you draw near
Godstow, you may see cattle drinking, knee-deep in the stream; you may
land and refresh yourself, if you will, at the "Trout" at Godstow; may
visit the ruins of the nunnery, with their memories of "Fair Rosamond;"
or, leaning on the bridge-rail over Godstow weir, lulled by the
ceaseless murmur of the water, may muse upon the vanity of mere ambition
and the servitude of such as row in College Eights. Then, if the day be
young enough, you may go on to Eynsham or to Bablock-Hythe, and perhaps
afoot to Stanton-Harcourt, a most lovely village; and returning at dusk,
when the stream appears to widen indefinitely as the light fails, you
will vow that for sheer peace and enjoyment there is nothing like the
Upper River.

[Illustration: 0088]

[Illustration: 0089]

Unless, indeed, it be the Cherwell. This little stream, which flows into
the Isis near the last of the Barges, while it winds about Christ Church
Meadow, Magdalen, and Mesopotamia, is edged about, with shadowy walks;
but once clear of the Parks, it is embedded in grassy and flower-laden
banks, through which your boat passes with a lively sense of
exploration. Presently, at a break in all this greenery, you come
abreast of a grey stone building, with ancient gables and air of
reposeful dignity. Instinctively your oar-blades rest upon the water,
for so much beauty demands more than a moment's admiration. It is Water
Eaton Hall, one of those smaller Elizabethan manor-houses which have
survived the violence of the Rebellion and the neglect of impoverished
owners. All about its aged masonry is the growth and freshness of the
spring. Oxford is several miles away, but even so you are reminded
of her special charm--the association of reverend age with youth's
perennial renewal.


[Illustration: 0092]

[Illustration: 0093]

|MERTON is in several respects the most interesting of the Colleges of
Oxford. In the first place, it is the oldest; for though the original
endowments of University and Balliol were bestowed a little earlier,
Merton was the first College to have a corporate existence, regulated
and defined by statute. With the granting of Merton's statutes in 1264,
a new era of University life began. From being casual sojourners in
lodgings and Halls, students from this date tended more and more to
be gathered into organised, endowed, and dignified societies, where
discipline was one of the factors of education.

Such is Oxford's debt to Walter de Merton, Chancellor of England and
Bishop of Rochester, who died by a fall from his horse in fording a
river in his diocese, and was buried in Rochester Cathedral. His tomb
there has twice been renovated by the piety of the College which he

His statutes are preserved at Merton, and were consulted as precedents
when other Colleges were founded, at Cambridge as well as at Oxford. "By
the example which he set," runs the inscription on his tomb, "he is the
founder of all existing Colleges."

Another great distinction of Merton is its Library (whose interior
appears in Mrs. Waltons sketch), which was built in 1377, by William
Rede, Bishop of Chichester, and is the oldest Library in the kingdom.

In monasteries and other houses where learning took refuge, books had
hitherto been kept in chests, an arrangement which must have had its
drawbacks, considering the weight of the volumes of those days.

Mr. Matthison's first drawing shews the College as seen from Merton
Street, with the imposing tower of the Chapel in the background. A very
fine view of the buildings of Merton, in their full extent, is obtained
from Christ Church Meadow.

To speak of them in detail, the Muniment Room is the oldest collegiate
structure in Oxford, and possibly dates from the lifetime of the
Founder. The Hall gateway, with its ancient oak door and enormous iron
hinges, is of the same epoch. Of the three Quadrangles the small one
to the north (which contains the Library) is the oldest. The front
Quadrangle opens by a magnificent archway into the Inner, or Fellows'
Court, built in 1610 in the late Gothic style, its south gate surmounted
with pillars of the several Greek orders. The Common Room (1661) was the
first room of the kind to be opened in Oxford.

[Illustration: 0096]

[Illustration: 0097]

The beautiful Chapel has rather the appearance of a parish Church, which
indeed it is. St. John the Baptists parish, however, is so minute as
hardly to need, in a city of many churches, a place of worship all to
itself, and the building was assigned to Merton in the last decade
of the thirteenth century, with the proviso that one of the chaplains
should discharge such parochial duties as might arise. In the
ante-chapel are the monuments of the famous Sir Thomas Bodley, Sir Henry
Savile, once Master, and Antony Wood, greatest of Oxford antiquarians.
Wood (who died in 1695) was associated with Merton all his life. He was
born in the house opposite the College entrance, called Postmasters'
Hall, and there he passed most of his days.

It is from him that we get a great deal of our information about early
Oxford. Royalty has repeatedly enjoyed the hospitality of Merton, and
here is Wood's account of a visit paid by Queen Catherine, wife of
Henry VIII. "She vouchsafed to condescend so low as to dine with the
Merton-ians, for the sake of the late Warden Rawlyns, at this time
almoner to the king, notwithstanding she was expected by other
Colleges." Elizabeth and her privy council were equally gracious,
and were entertained after dinner with disputations performed by the
Fellows. One would like to know what subjects were disputed, and what
the queen thought of her entertainment. When Charles I.'s Court came to
Oxford, Queen Henrietta Maria occupied the Warden's lodgings, which were
again tenanted by Charles II.'s queen, when the Court fled from
plague-stricken London.

Merton has had great men among her Fellows, but none greater than John
Wycliffe; and among her postmasters (so the scholars are called here) no
name captivates our sympathies more readily than that of Richard Steele,
trooper and essayist, the friend of Addison and the husband of Prue.


|IT was long and hotly maintained that University College was founded by
Alfred the Great, and by celebrating its thousandth anniversary in 1872
the College would seem to have accepted this pious opinion. The claim
was raised as far back as 1387, when the College, being engaged in a
lawsuit about a part of its estates, tried to ingratiate itself with
Richard II. by representing that its founder was his predecessor,
Alfred, and that Bede and John of Beverley had been among its students.
Now, Bede and John of Beverley died about a century before Alfred was
born. _Ex pede Herculem_. The Alfred tradition need not keep us longer.

University College owes its existence to William of Durham, who, at his
death in 1249, beqeathed to the University the sum of three hundred and
ten marks for the use of ten or more _Masters_ (at that time the highest
academical title) to be natives of Durham or its vicinity. Certain
tenements were purchased, one of them on a part of the site of
Brasenose, and here, in 1253, Durham's scholars first assembled; but
only in 1280 were they granted powers of self-government. The recent
foundation of Merton no doubt suggested the idea of bestowing a
corporate life on what had hitherto been known as "University Hall."
Durham's scholars removed to their present locality in 1343.

One of the earliest benefactors whom "Univ." (as this College is
familiarly termed in Oxford) is bound to remember is Walter Skirlaw, who
became Bishop of Durham in 1403. He ran away from his home in youth
in order to study at Oxford, and his parents heard no more of him
(according to his biographer) till he arrived at the see of Durham. He
then sought them out, and provided for their old age. Another benefactor
(1566) was Joan Davys, wife of a citizen of Oxford, who gave estates for
the support of two Logic lecturers, and for increasing the diet of the
Master and Fellows. Had Mr. Cecil Rhodes heard of this lady? To touch on
the Masters of "Univ.," a curious career was that of Obadiah Walker, who
lost his Fellowship in Commonwealth times for adherence to the Church of
England; later on was made Master and turned Roman Catholic; enjoyed
the favour of James II.; and lost his Mastership at the Revolution for
adherence to the Church of Rome.

[Illustration: 0104]

[Illustration: 0105]

Of the present buildings of the College none is of earlier date than the
seventeenth century. The two Quadrangles form a grand front towards the
High Street, with a tower over each gateway at equal distances from
the extremities. Above the gateways are statues of Queen Anne and Queen
Mary, on the outside; two more, within, represent James II. and Dr.
Radcliffe. It was mainly at the cost of John Radcliffe, a member of the
College, that the smaller Quadrangle was completed. Other famous members
were the brothers Scott, afterwards Lords Stowell and Eldon; Sir William
Jones, the great Oriental scholar; and Sir Roger Newdigate,
responsible for so many thousand heroic couplets, who gave the handsome
chimney-piece in the Hall. It is curious to notice, by the way, that the
fireplace stood in the centre of this room until 1766. The Common Room
contains two specimens of an out-of-the-way art, portraits of Henry iv.
and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, burnt in wood by Dr. Griffith, a
former Master.

The beautiful monument to the poet Shelley, set up in the College in
1893, is the gift of Lady Shelley. Its honoured position within the
walls of the Foundation which drove him out so hastily and harshly is
indeed a fitting emblem of "the late remorse of love."


|THIS College was originated about 1260 by John de Balliol, a baron of
Durham, whose son for four years occupied the throne of Scotland. But
inasmuch as John de Balliol only made provision for four students, and
that as penance for an outrage, the greater credit attaches to his wife
Dervorguilla, who endowed a dozen more and hired them a lodging close to
St. Mary Magdalen Church, on the site where part of the present College
stands. Devorguilla gave her scholars their first statutes in 1282. She
bade them live temperately, and converse with one another in the Latin

Truth to tell, as the revenues at first yielded each scholar
only eightpence a week, riotous living seemed hardly practicable.
Benefactors, however, presently stepped in, notably Sir Philip
Somervyle of Staffordshire, who in 1340 raised the weekly allowance
to elevenpence, and to fifteenpence in case victuals were dear. The
grateful College accepted from Sir Philip a new body of statutes, in
which the now familiar title, "Master of Balliol," makes its first
appearance, a title associated twenty years afterwards with the honoured
name of John Wycliffe. Among later benefactors may be mentioned Peter
Blundell, founder of the Devonshire school which bears his name; Lady
Elizabeth Periam (a sister of Francis Bacon); and John Snell, a
native of Ayrshire,--it is to his endowment that Balliol owes her most
distinguished Scotsmen, such as Adam Smith, Lockhart (Sir Walter Scott's
son-in-law and biographer), and Archbishop Tait.

Balliol was an early friend to the new learning, and fostered the
scholarly tastes of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, son of Henry IV.,
and Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester (to name but two of her most prominent
humanists). Duke Humphrey left his books to the University, six hundred
in number--a very large collection for those days, when as yet Caxton
had not revolutionised the world. And in Reformation days, when the
humanities were called to account, learning found a zealous supporter in
Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham, who had been bred at Balliol.

[Illustration: 0110]

[Illustration: 0111]

The annals of the College during the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries are not particularly distinguished. After the Restoration
Balliol men seem to have been considerably addicted to malt liquors,
and much ale does not conduce to profound study. But modern Balliol men
might apply to their own use the words of Dr. Ingram's famous song,
"Who fears to speak of '98?" for it was in 1798 that Dr. Parsons became
Master of the College, and with his advent began the great days of

Parsons, with two other heads of houses, established the Examination
system, which has been so much belauded and so much abused. It was soon
apparent that Balliol tutors had the knack of equipping men to face the
ordeal of "the Schools"; the College speedily came to the front, and its
intellectual pre-eminence in Oxford during the nineteenth century is now
universally admitted. Men trained at Balliol during this period occupied
and still occupy some of the very highest positions in the State. Not to
mention the living, whose fame is in the mouths of all men, some of
the most prominent names are those of Lords Coleridge, Bowen, and Peel
(formerly Speaker of the House of Commons), Sir Robert Morier, and
Archbishop Temple. Matthew Arnold and Clough were undergraduates at
Balliol with Benjamin Jowett, afterwards its most famous Master; and,
to balance the severity of these poets, the lighter Muse of Calverley
sojourned for a time within its walls.

The buildings of Balliol, which Mr. Matthison has sketched from four
points of view, are extensive, but not conspicuously beautiful. The
front towards Broad Street was rebuilt in 1867 by Mr. Waterhouse.
Old prints assure us that it had previously a forbidding and almost
prison-like aspect. Mr. Matthison calls attention to the fact that this
picture shows the spot where the martyrs were burned. The automobile in
the foreground may suggest to the thoughtful reader that martyrdom is no
longer by fire. The drawing from St. Giles' perhaps conveys a pleasanter
impression. The third shews us that part of the College known as
"Fisher's Buildings," erected at the cost of a former Fellow in 1769.
The fourth drawing is of the Garden Quadrangle with the Chapel on the
left (rebuilt in 1856); here the surroundings are more attractive; we
are looking on "a grove of Academe," in which vigorous minds may still,
as heretofore, grow happily towards their maturity.

[Illustration: 0114]

[Illustration: 0115]


|THIS College," wrote Fuller the historian, in words which Exeter men
will approve, "consisteth chiefly of Cornish and Devonshire men, the
gentry of which latter, Queen Elizabeth used to say, were courtiers by
their birth. And as these western men do bear away the bell for might
and sleight in wrestling, so the scholars here have always acquitted
themselves with credit in _Palaestra literaria!'_

The western College was founded in 1314 by Walter de Stapledon, Bishop
of Exeter, who twelve years later met his death as a supporter of Edward
II., when that king was overthrown and murdered. A later and liberal
patron was Sir William Petre, father of Dorothy Wadham, a statesman of
the Tudor period. Of the ancient buildings of Exeter hardly anything
remains. The Hall dates from the seventeenth century, the fronts to the
Turl and Broad Streets from the nineteenth. The present Chapel is the
third in which Exeter men have worshipped. Designed by Sir Gilbert Scott
on the model of the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, it is certainly the most
attractive of the College buildings. Its interior is richly decorated,
and contains a tapestry representing "The Visit of the Magi," the work
of Burne-Jones and William Morris, formerly undergraduates of Exeter.

[Illustration: 0120]

[Illustration: 0121]

Among interesting members of this Foundation may be cited Dr.
Prideaux, Rector from 1612 to 1642, who began residence at Exeter as
a kitchen-knave, and lived to be a Bishop; the first Lord Shaftesbury,
Dryden's "Achitophel"; the Marquis of Winchester, a loyal Cavalier,
whose epitaph by the same poet may be read in Englefield Church,
Berkshire; William Browne, author of _Britannia's Pastorals_; and Sir
Simon Baskerville (ob. 1641), an eminent physician, who would take no
fee from any clergyman under the rank of dean. The Fellows' Gardens, a
secluded and beautiful spot, contains two noted trees, a large chestnut
known as "Heber's Tree," from the fact that it overshadowed his rooms
in Brasenose, and "Dr. Kennicott's Fig Tree." Dr. Kennicott, the great
Hebrew scholar, regarded this tree as peculiarly his own. During his
proctorate, some irreverent undergraduates stole its fruit, upon
which Dr. Kennicott caused a board to be hung upon it, inscribed
"The Proctor's Fig." Next morning it was discovered that someone had
substituted the audacious legend, "A fig for the Proctor."

[Illustration: 0120]

[Illustration: 0121]


[Illustration: 0125]

|ORIEL COLLEGE was founded by Adam de Brome, almoner to King Edward II.,
in 1324. He was Rector of St. Mary's, whose spire forms with the dome
of the Radcliffe a background to the view of Oriel Street, and obtained
leave from the king to transfer the Church and its revenues to his
College. The College originally had the same title as the Church, but
five years after its foundation it received from King Edward III. a
messuage known as _La Oriole_ (a title of disputed meaning), and from
this date was renamed "Oriel College."

The Front Quadrangle, whose exterior and interior are here depicted,
was erected in the first half of the seventeenth century. Viewed from
without, it has an air of quiet dignity; but the visitor will be even
better pleased when he has passed the Porters Lodge. A striking feature
is the central flight of steps, with a portico, by which the Hall is
reached. On either side of the statues of the two kings (Edward II. and
Charles I.) stretches a trio of finely moulded windows, flanked by an
oriel to right and left. Mr. Matthison clearly made his drawing when the
"Quad." was gay with flowers and Eights-week visitors, but at no season
is it anything but beautiful. The Garden Quadrangle, which lies to the
north and includes the Library, was built during the eighteenth
century. The adjacent St. Mary Hall, with its buildings, was recently
incorporated with Oriel, on the death of its last Principal, Dr. Chase.

Among famous men nurtured at this College were Raleigh, Prynne, Bishop
Butler, and Gilbert White, the naturalist; but it was in the first half
of the nineteenth century that Oriels intellectual renown was at its
highest. To recall the names of Pusey, Keble, Newman, Whately, and
Thomas Arnold suffices to indicate the subject which most preoccupied
the Oxford of that epoch. Oriel seemed fated to be the seat of religious
controversy, from the seventeenth century days of Provost Walter Hodges,
whose _Elihu_, a treatise on the Book of Job, brought him into suspicion
of favouring the sect of Hutchinsonians. Happily there was some tincture
of humour in the differences of those days. When this Provost resented
the imputation, his detractors told him that a writer on the Book of
Job should take everything with patience. Controversy apart, any College
might be proud of a group of Fellows of whom one became an archbishop,
another a really great headmaster, and a third a cardinal. Oriel has
had poets, too, within her gates, for in a later day Clough and Matthew
Arnold won fellowships here.

[Illustration: 0128]

[Illustration: 0129]

But Oriel has had no more dutiful son, if liberality is any measure of
dutifulness, than Cecil Rhodes. It is too soon to appraise the value of
his scholarship scheme, which provides an Oxford education for numerous
colonial and foreign students; but his old College, which benefited
so largely by the provisions of his will, can have no hesitation in
including him among its benefactors.


|OPINIONS will differ as to whether the Italian style, of which this
College is a fine example, is as suitable for collegiate buildings
as the Gothic, and whether the contrast which Queen's presents to its
neighbour, University, is not more striking than pleasing; but the
intrinsic splendour of its façade, as viewed from "The High," is
indisputable. "No spectacle," said Dr. Johnson, "is nobler than a
blaze"; and those who saw the west wing of the Front Quadrangle of
Queen's in flames, one summer night in 1886, must have felt their
regrets tempered by admiration, so imposing was the sight. Happily the
damage was mainly confined to the interior of the building. A fire had
already devastated the same wing in 1778. On that occasion, as Mr. Wells
narrates in _Oxford and its Colleges_, the Provost of the day "nearly
lost his life for the sake of decorum. He was sought for in vain, and
had been given up, when he suddenly emerged from the burning pile, full
dressed as usual, in wig, gown, and bands." This recalls Cowley's
story of a gentleman in the Civil Wars, who might have escaped from his
captors had he not stayed to adjust his perri-wig. Less fortunate than
the Provost, his sense of ceremony cost him his life.

[Illustration: 034]

[Illustration: 035]

Queen's College was founded by Robert Eglesfield of Cumberland,
Confessor to Philippa, Edward III.'s queen. Impressed with the lack of
facilities for education among Englishmen of the North, he practically
restricted the benefits of his Foundation to students from the north
country, and Queen's is still intimately connected with that part of
England. Philippa did her best for her Confessor's institution, and
later queens have shewn a similar interest. The statue under the cupola,
above the gateway, represents Queen Caroline.

With the exception of the Library (1696) and the east side of the Inner
Quadrangle, all the present buildings were erected in the eighteenth
century. The Library, a handsome room in the classical style, was
decorated by Grinling Gibbons, and contains, as well as a very valuable
collection of books, ancient portraits on glass of Henry v. and
Cardinal Beaufort. The Chapel (1714) was designed by Wren, and the Front
Quadrangle by his pupil Hawksmoor.

[Illustration: 0134]

[Illustration: 0135]

Queen's is tenacious of her old customs. Still the trumpet calls the
Fellows to dinner; still, on Christmas day, the boar's head is brought
in bedecked with bays and rosemary; a survival, possibly, of the pagan
custom by which at Yule-tide a boar was sacrificed to Freyr, god of
peace and plenty.

Peace and plenty, at any rate, have characterised the annals of Queen's;
and among those who have enjoyed these good things within her walls may
be mentioned "Prince Hal," Addison (before his migration to Magdalen),
Tickell, Wycherley, Bentham, Jeffrey of the _Edinburgh Review_, and Dr.
Thomson, late Archbishop of York.


[Illustration: 039]

|HALLS for the accommodation of students existed in Oxford before
Colleges were founded, and a few were established subsequently; of these
St. Edmund Hall is the only one which retains its independence. The
quaintness and irregular beauty of its buildings may plead with stern
reformers for its continued survival.

Opposite to the side entrance of Queen's, St. Edmund Hall is in another
respect under the wing of that College; for Queen's has the right of
nominating its Principal.

The origin of St. Edmund Hall is uncertain, but it is commonly supposed
to derive its name from Edmund Rich, Archbishop of Canterbury from
1234 to 1240. Its buildings, grouped round three sides of an oblong
quadrangle, date from the middle of the seventeenth century.

The first view shews the entrance to the Hall, with the interesting old
Church of St. Peter-in-the-East in the background. The crypt and chancel
of this Church take us back to the times of the Conqueror, and may have
been the work of Robert D'Oily, one of William's Norman followers, who
is known to have built Oxford Castle.

[Illustration: 0142]

[Illustration: 0144]

In the view of the interior of the Quadrangle the building at the back
is the Library; the abundance of creepers on the left hand adds to the
idea of comfort suggested by the homeliness of the architecture.

The third illustration shews the Hall as seen from St. Peter's
Churchyard. The vicinity of the monuments may serve to remind members of
the Hall of their mortality.

Hearne, the antiquary, was a member of St. Edmund Hall; so also was Sir
Richard Blackmore, who was in residence for thirteen years. It was his
lot, says Johnson, "to be much oftener mentioned by enemies than by
friends"; but this is hardly surprising, in view of the interminable
epics which he inflicted upon his contemporaries.


|THIS College, in respect of its buildings and its endowments, is one
of the most splendid in the University. Its founder, William of Wykeham,
rose through the favour of Edward III. to high positions in Church and
State, being made Bishop of Winchester in 1366 and Chancellor of England
in the following year. He was a man of affairs, liberal and tolerant,
who took delight in building, and had himself great skill in
architecture. He had already, before he designed New College, as Clerk
of the Works to Edward III., rebuilt Windsor Castle. Doubtless, zeal
for education was one of his incentives; but he must have known a
deep gratification, as the work went on, in the growth of the stately
buildings which were to perpetuate his name. Richard II.'s sanction was
given in 1379, and Wykeham's Society took possession of its completed
home in 1386. During the six years which followed, its founder was
occupied with the building of Winchester College, the other great
institution connected with his name. He died in 1404, in his eightieth
year, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral, having lived long enough
to see his two Foundations prosperously started upon their several

New College, as left by William of Wyke-ham, consisted of the chief
Quadrangle (which includes the Chapel, Hall, and Library), the Cloisters
with their tower, and the gardens. It is this Quadrangle (shewing the
Chapel) which appears in Mr. Matthison's first drawing; but it is not
quite as Wykeham saw it, for the third storey was added, as at
Brasenose, in the seventeenth century, when the windows also were

Passing through this Quadrangle, the visitor reaches the Garden Court,
which is also the creation of the seventeenth century, and was built in
imitation of the Palace of Versailles. Seen from the garden (as in the
second illustration) it certainly has, with its fivefold frontage and
its extensive iron palisade, a most imposing appearance.

The garden contains a structure older by several centuries than any of
the Colleges--that fragment of the old City Wall which is shewn in Mr.
Matthison's third drawing. Its reverse side is visible from the back of
Long Wall Street, and another fragment now acts as the wall of Merton
garden. The city wall existed in its entirety in Wykeham's time, though
already falling into decay: there is a brief of Richard n., issued to
the then mayor and burgesses of Oxford, wherein the king complains of
the ruinous state of the fortifications, and demands that they be at
once repaired. He thought of taking refuge in Oxford, it appears, if his
enemies in France should invade the country. He was soon to learn, at
Flint Castle, how impotent is any masonry to protect a sovereign against
subjects whose affections he has estranged. One may climb the old wall
in New College garden and think of the days when it was a real defence,
when the occupants of the "mural houses" at its base were exempted from
all imposts, with the reservation that they should defend the wall with
their bodies, in the event of an enemy's assault. On some part of the
ground now occupied by the College and its garden stood several of those
Halls where students lodged in the pre-collegiate days; but the greater
part was waste land, strewn with rubbish and haunted by all sorts of bad
characters. Certainly the whole community benefited, and not Wykeham's
scholars only, when king and pope sanctioned his undertaking.

[Illustration: 0151]

[Illustration: 0152]

The Cloisters, of which two views are given, are singularly beautiful.
They were designed, together with the area which they enclose, as a
burial-ground for the College. It is unfortunate that many of the brass
tablets were removed during the Civil War, when the College was used
as a garrison. Royalist pikes, in those days, were trailed in the
Quadrangle, and ammunition was stored in Cloisters and Tower. Later on
the College was tenanted by soldiers of the Commonwealth, who in course
of fortifying it did some damage to the buildings.

The Chapel is perhaps the finest extant specimen of the Perpendicular
style. It suffered severely during the Reformation, when the niches of
the reredos were denuded and filled up with stone and mortar, with a
coat of plaster over all. In course of time the original east end was
rediscovered, and the reredos renewed. By 1894 statues were erected in
the niches; and as the open timber roof had been replaced in 1880,
the whole may now be considered to have been restored, as far as
is possible, to its original appearance. The west window (in the
ante-chapel) is famous as having been designed by Reynolds. An
illustration of it is here given. The beauty of the figures and of the
colouring is universally admitted.

[Illustration: 0155]

[Illustration: 0156]

The last illustration shews the New Buildings, through which is a back
entrance to the College, as seen from Holywell Street. Of these it must
be said that they are far less interesting than the quaint old street in
which they are situated. The best of them is the most recent addition,
a fine tower put up in 1880 to the memory of a former Bursar, Mr.

The Hall is a fine building, though its original proportions have been
altered, not for the better. Here on August 29, 1605, King James I. with
his queen and the Prince of Wales were entertained to dinner; and here
on festival days the scholars were bidden by their Founder to amuse
themselves after supper with singing and with recitations, whose themes
were to be "the chronicles of the realm and the wonders of the world."
On the walls are portraits of Chichele and William of Waynflete,
members of the College, who were presently to rival, as Founders, the
munificence of William of Wykeham himself; of Warham, Archbishop of
Canterbury, friend of Erasmus and promoter of humanism; and of Sydney

The exclusive connection between Winchester and New College, which the
Founder planned, proved in course of time a disadvantage. In 1857
half the fellowships and a few scholarships were thrown open to public
competition. Since then the College has largely increased its numbers,
and representatives of all the great schools of England are sojourners
within its walls. The Founder's motto, "Manners Makyth Man," is of too
wide an application to be limited to the members of any one school;
and it is permissible to think that William of Wykeham, shrewd
and liberal-minded as he was, would approve the change. An earlier
alteration he would certainly have endorsed. He secured as a special
privilege to the Fellows of his Foundation, that they should be
admitted to all degrees in the University without asking any grace of
congregation, provided they passed a satisfactory examination in their
own College. His object was to impose a severer educational test than
that which the University then afforded; when, however, University
examinations became a reality, his good intention was nullified.
Wykehamists pleaded their privilege, and so evaded the ordeal which
members of other Colleges must undergo. Thus was an originally good
custom corrupted. The College, to its credit, voluntarily abjured this
questionable privilege in 1834; and is now second only to Balliol in the
intellectual race.

[Illustration: 0159]


|JOHN FLEMMYNGE, Bishop of Lincoln, was for the greater part of his life
a sympathiser with the Lollards; but on changing his opinions--for what
reason is not known--he founded a College for the express purpose of
training divines who should confute their doctrines. Such was the origin
of Lincoln College, in the year 1429.

Mr. Matthison's first picture shews the entrance to the College, as seen
from Turl Street. Farther on is a part of the front of Exeter, and
the spire of its Chapel, with Trinity in the background. Lincolns
entrance-tower dates from the Founder's time.

[Illustration: 0163]

[Illustration: 164]

The second gives the interior of the Front Quadrangle. Reference to old
engravings, such as that given in Chalmers' _History of the Colleges,
Halls, and Public Buildings of the University of Oxford_ (1810),
shews the battlements to be a modern addition, and anything but an

The Chapel, which stands in the inner court, was built at the expense of
Dr. John Williams, Bishop of Lincoln and afterwards Archbishop of York,
and was consecrated on September 15, 1631. Its roof and wainscoting are
of cedar, the roof in particular being richly ornamented. The painted
windows are also noteworthy. Tradition says that they were bought by Dr.
Williams in Italy. That at the east end represents six principal events
of the gospel narrative, with their corresponding types in the Old
Testament. The following is the complete list:--The Creation of Man--the
Nativity of Christ; the Passage through the Red Sea--the Baptism of
Christ; the Jewish Passover--the Lord's Supper; the Brazen Serpent in
the Wilderness--the Crucifixion; Jonah delivered from the Whale--the
Resurrection; the Ascent of Elijah in the Chariot of Fire--the

John Wesley spent nine years in Lincoln College, being elected Fellow
in 1726. Among its members may be named Sir William Davenant, Poet
Laureate; and Dr. Robert Sanderson, Bishop of Lincoln, a man of great
piety, learning, and amiability, who forms the theme of one of Izaak
Walton's Lives. It is to him that our English Liturgy owes the beautiful
"Prayer for all Conditions of Men" and "General Thanksgiving." A recent
Rector of Lincoln was Mark Pattison, B.D., who might rival Sanderson
in learning, though not in the quality of forbearance. His Memoirs,
posthumously published, contained, with much that was of interest, some
unusually outspoken judgments upon his contemporaries in Oxford.


|C_OLLEGIUM Omnium Animarum Fidelium defunctorum de Oxon_. This title
expresses one of the purposes for which All Souls was founded. It was a
Chantry first, a home of learning afterwards. An obligation was imposed
upon the Society to pray for the good estate of the Founders, during
their lives, and for their souls after their decease; also for the souls
of Henry v. and the Duke of Clarence, together with those of all the
dukes, earls, barons, knights, esquires, and other subjects of the Crown
of England who had fallen in the French War; and for the souls of all
the faithful departed. To think of All Souls is to think of Agincourt.

As to learning, sixteen of the Fellows were directed to study civil and
canon law, the rest philosophy, theology, and the arts.

The Founders were Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury, and King
Henry vi. Chichele is the Archbishop who in Shakespeare's _King Henry
V_. urges the king (quite in accordance with history) to vindicate his
claims to the crown of France. Educated in all the prejudices of his
age, he set his face against the followers of Wyckliffe; at the same
time he protested against the encroachments of Rome, and was spoken of
in Oxford as "the darling of the people, and the foster-parent of the
clergy." He was deeply read in the law, and All Souls still bears the
impress of his legal tastes.

The buildings are very extensive, and are grouped around three
quadrangles. The first view (which gives also a glimpse of the Radcliffe
and the Old Schools) shews the front of the North Quadrangle, as
seen from St. Catherine Street, with the windows of the magnificent
Codrington Library.

[Illustration: 0169]

[Illustration: 0170]

But the Library is eclipsed, in general opinion, by the Chapel. "It
is usually observed," says Chalmers, "that whatever visitor remembers
anything of Oxford, remembers the beautiful Chapel of All Souls, and
joins in its praises." It is characterised by dignity and simplicity,
and its great reredos has a remarkable history. The Chapel was wrecked
in Reformation days, and the remains of the reredos were covered with
plaster in the reign of Charles II. In 1870 some workmen accidentally
discovered, on removing some of the plaster, the ruins of the now
forgotten reredos. It was then reconstructed, and the empty niches
refilled with statues of Chichele, Henry VI., and the great ones of
their time. The College also owns a fine sundial, the work of Sir
Christopher Wren, who was one of its Fellows.

The four Bible-clerks, as is well known, are the only undergraduates. An
All Souls' Fellowship is now what an Oriel Fellowship was in the early
part of the nineteenth century, the blue ribbon of Oxford. Since its
foundation in 1437 the following are a few of the eminent men who have
been members of this Society:--Linacre, Sheldon, Jeremy Taylor, the poet
Young, Blackstone, and Bishop Heber.


[Illustration: 0174]

|WILLIAM OF WAYNFLETE, who founded this College, was brought up in the
traditions of William of Wykeham, and maintained them most worthily.
A member of Wykeham's school, and perhaps of New College, he became
Headmaster of Winchester, only leaving it to act as first Headmaster
of Eton, on the foundation of that College by Henry vi. Like Wykeham
he lived through troubled times, and like him occupied the see of
Winchester and was Chancellor of England. The latter post he resigned in
the last year of Henry vi., but remained Bishop of Winchester until his
death in 1486. He was buried in Winchester Cathedral, where eighty-two
years earlier Wykeham had been laid to rest.

On the present site of Magdalen College stood an old hospital, named
after St. John the Baptist. This hospital, with its grounds, was made
over to William of Waynflete in 1457; some remains of its buildings
still survive in what is known as the Chaplains' Quadrangle; and in
this hospital the new society found temporary shelter. Waynflete did not
proceed at once to build his new College; the times were disturbed, and
with the victory of the Yorkist faction he found himself in some peril.
Pardoned, however, by Edward IV., he was at liberty to carry out his
designs. If not his own architect, he certainly superintended the
building; and with the exception of the famous Tower, the work was
completed before his death.

In the result, taste has generally decided, what most visitors feel
instinctively at first sight, that Magdalen is the most beautiful
College in Oxford. This distinction it owes partly to the perfect
proportions of its buildings, and partly to the loveliness of its
surroundings. To assure oneself of this, one may take a boat up the
Cherwell (as the people in Mr. Matthison's first drawing have done),
and, while the sculls rest idly on the water's surface, drink deeply of
the beauty of the scene.

[Illustration: 0177]

[Illustration: 0178]

The foundation stone of the famous Tower (which from different points
of view appears in three more of the illustrations) was laid in 1492.
Tradition says that it was designed by Wolsey, who was about that time
Bursar of Magdalen; and also asserts that a mass for the soul of Henry
VII. used, before the Reformation, to be performed upon the top of the
Tower on every May-day at early morning. It is certain that a hymn is
still sung there annually at that season, as those who are up early
enough may hear for themselves.

Whether one approaches Magdalen by the water-way or by "The High"--as in
the second illustration--the Tower is still the dominant feature of the
view. On the left are seen St. Swithun's Buildings, designed in happy
harmony with the older structure. When the Lodge is passed, one is
confronted with the old stone pulpit (sketched by Mrs. Walton), from
which an open-air sermon was formerly preached on St. John the Baptists
day. * The court on that occasion used to be fenced round with green
boughs, in allusion to St. John's preaching in the wilderness.

     * This custom has recently been revived.

The Cloisters are next entered, from which is obtained a splendid view
of Waynflete's Quadrangle and Tower (the "Founder's Tower" of the next
illustration). The perfect grace of Magdalen is here revealed, and
praise becomes superfluous. The Chapel, Hall, and Library open out
of this Quadrangle. The College choir is among the best in the three

Many theories have been suggested in explanation of the curious stone
figures in the Quadrangle, which were put up after Waynflete's day.
The most reasonable appears to be that which makes them represent the
several virtues and vices which members of the College should follow
after and eschew. But even so that interpretation seems a little forced
which makes the hippopotamus, carrying his young one on his shoulder,
emblematic of "a good tutor, or Fellow of a College, who is set to watch
over the youth of the society, and by whose prudence they are to be led
through the dangers of their first entrance into the world." *

     * _Oedipus Magdalensis_, in the College Library.

To speak now of the three remaining illustrations, the first shews the
garden, reached from the Quadrangle, the exterior of which forms the
background of the picture. From here a good view is obtained of the
new buildings, a stately eighteenth-century pile, which adjoin the
deer park; a part of them, as well as of the deer park, is seen in Mr.
Matthison's sketch. Finally, he gives his impression of the College
as seen at evening from the entrance of Addison's Walk, with the Tower
blue-grey against a paling sky.

[Illustration: 0181]

[Illustration: 0182]

That walk, which commemorates "the famous Mr. Joseph Addison," as Esmond
called him, was in part, at any rate, laid out in Queen Elizabeth's day;
and here the future essayist may have often strolled and meditated, in
the exercise of that gift of "a most profound silence" with which, half
in jest, he credited himself. There stood in his time at the entrance of
the water-walk an oak, which for centuries had been, according to
Chalmers, "the admiration of many generations." Evelyn, the diarist,
commemorates its huge proportions. It was overthrown by a storm in 1789,
and a chair made of its wood is preserved in the President's lodgings.

Magdalen in its time has welcomed many royal visitors, among them Edward
IV. in 1481, and Richard III. in 1483. Richard was so pleased with the
disputations provided for his entertainment that he presented the two
protagonists (one of them was Grocyn, the Greek scholar) with a buck
apiece and money as well. Other guests were Arthur, Prince of Wales,
elder son of Henry VII., and Henry, son of James I., whose great promise
was cut short by an early death. Cromwell and Fairfax dined at Magdalen,
when they received the degree of D.C.L. in 1649, and, instead of hearing
the usual disputations, played at bowls upon the College green.

Meanwhile the College had educated its fair share of prominent men:
Wolsey; Colet, afterwards Dean of St. Paul's; Cardinal Pole; William
Tyndale, translator of the Bible; Lyly, whose Euphues gave a name to a
certain style of writing; and John Hampden. A notable President (1561)
was Dr. Laurence Humphrey, who was among the Genevan exiles in
Queen Mary's time. On his return he retained the Genevan dislike for
ecclesiastical vestments, but was persuaded to wear them on the occasion
of Queen Elizabeth's visit to Oxford. "Mr. Doctor," said the queen, who
was aware of his usual practice, "that loose gown becomes you mighty
well. I wonder your notions should be so narrow."

[Illustration: 0185]

[Illustration: 0186]

The life of a College is in general self-contained, but in the last
year of James II.'s reign Magdalen becomes for a time the centre of a
constitutional struggle. There is no more glorious page in her annals.
James II. had done his best to turn University College into a Roman
Catholic seminary, and had made a professor of that religion Dean of
Christ Church. He now sought to impose upon the Fellows of Magdalen a
President of his own choosing, one Farmer, a papist, and a man of known
bad character. The Fellows replied by electing one of their own
number, John Hough, upon which they were cited before the Court of High
Commission and bullied by Judge Jeffreys, while Houghs election was
declared invalid. Farmer was so generally discredited that the king did
not press his claims, but shortly afterwards nominated in his stead
Dr. Parker, Bishop of Oxford. When the Fellows respectfully refused to
accept him, Hough and twenty-six Fellows were forcibly ejected, as well
as many of the "demies" (or scholars) who sympathised with their action.
Parker died after a few months' tenure of office, when James named
Gifford, a Roman Catholic, as his successor. It was only in October
1688, when moved to terror by the Declaration of William of Orange, that
the king, among other concessions, cancelled Gifford's appointment and
restored Dr. Hough and the ejected Fellows. But then, as we know, all
concessions were too late. Hough remained President until 1701.

During the eighteenth century Magdalen was not exempt from the general
somnolence which pervaded the University. Gibbon's residence there was
cut short by his becoming a Roman Catholic. His harsh judgment of
the College, warped as it was, cannot be entirely refuted. Famous
nineteenth-century members of Magdalen were Robert Lowe, Lord Selborne,
Charles Reade, and Professor Mozley. At present it does not look as
if the charge of inactivity could ever again be preferred against
Waynflete's Foundation.


[Illustration: 0192]

|THE first thing about this College to excite a stranger's curiosity is
its name. The explanation is trivial enough. Brasenose Hall (which was
in existence in the thirteenth century and became Brasenose College in
1509) was so called from the brass knocker--the head of a lion with a
very prominent nose--which adorned its gateway. In 1334 the members of
the Hall, from whatever reason, migrated into Lincolnshire, taking
the knocker with them, and set up their rest at Stamford. "There is in
Stamford," wrote Antony Wood, "a building in St. Paul's parish, near to
one of the tower gates, called Brazenose to this day, and has a great
gate, and a wicket, upon which wicket is a head or face of old cast
brass, with a ring through the nose thereof. It had also a fair
refectory within, and is at this time written in leases and deeds
Brazen Nose." This building was bought by "B. N. C." (to adopt Oxford
phraseology) in 1890, and the knocker brought back to Oxford, none the
worse for its prolonged rustication.

The College named after this venerable relic owes its foundation to
a pair of friends, William Smyth, Bishop of Lincoln, and Sir Richard
Sutton of Sutton, in the county of Cheshire, an ecclesiastically-minded
layman, who became Steward of the monastery of Sion, near Brentford.
"Unmarried himself," the knight's biographer informs us, "and not
anxious to aggrandize his family, Sir Richard Sutton bestowed handsome
benefactions and kind remembrances among his kinsmen; but he wedded the
public, and made posterity his heir."

The College which grew up under the personal supervision of these two
friends, occupies the ground on which stood no less than eight Halls: a
fact which seems to shew that these institutions were not large in bulk.
The Founders purchased Brasenose Hall, Little University Hall, Salisbury
Hall, with St. Marys Entry--a picturesque lane, which appears in the
first of Mr. Matthison's illustrations; and five more. Tennyson's
phrase, "the tumult of the Halls," must have been peculiarly applicable
in mediaeval Oxford. Distinctly mediaeval were the statues of the
new Foundation; those who drew them up adhered to the training of
the schoolmen, and made no provision for the new learning. When John
Claymond, first President of Corpus, endowed six scholarships at
Brasenose (in 1536), he stipulated that the scholars appointed should
attend the lectures of the Latin and Greek Readers of his own College.
However, Brasenose had her own lecturers in these humaner studies,
before the century was out.

[Illustration: 0195]

[Illustration: 0196]

If one would see the Front Quadrangle as the Founders viewed it, when
the last stones from Headington quarries were put in their places, he
must imagine it deprived of its third tier of windows and its parapet,
for these are Jacobean additions. The alteration, so far as it affected
the outside, can hardly have been for the better; for the additional
storey has certainly dwarfed the proportions of the fine Tower, which,
with its Gateway, is the most striking feature of the second picture.
As to the interior of the Quadrangle--sketched by Mr. Matthison from two
points of view--it is less easy to form an opinion; the dormer windows
are so quaintly ornamental that the severest critic may hesitate to wish
them gone.

Architecture of a totally different order meets the eye when the Inner
Quadrangle is reached, as a glance at the final illustration proves;
for the Italian style is much in evidence. The foundation stone of the
present Chapel, which represented an older one, was laid in 1656, and
tradition attributes the design of it, as well as that of the Library,
to Sir Christopher Wren, who was then quite a young man. Its windows
are Gothic, but the Corinthian pilasters and the general idea of the
structure shew that the architect's adherence was divided between the
older and newer methods. The ceiling is elaborately carved in fanwork
tracery. The Library stands between the Chapel and the south side of the
Quadrangle. There is a curious regulation in the statutes directing that
each volume it contained should be described in the catalogue by the
first word on the second leaf. The reason of this is that the first
leaf, being often splendidly illuminated, was liable to be torn out by
dishonest borrowers; and as it was important to be able to identify a
book, this could best be done by noting the first word on the second
page, because it would very seldom happen that two copyists would begin
that page with the same word. Hence the initial word of the second leaf
of a manuscript would in all probability mark that individual copy and
no other.

[Illustration: 0199]

[Illustration: 0200]

Famous members of Brasenose College were Foxe, the historian of the
Martyrs; Robert Burton, author of the _Anatomy of Melancholy_--we may be
sure _he_ used the Library; John Marston, satirist and dramatist, who,
along with Ben Jonson and Chapman, was thrown into prison for vilifying
the Scotch in _Eastward Ho_; Sir Henry Savile, afterwards Warden of
Merton, Founder of the Savilian Professorship of Astronomy; Bishop
Heber; Henry Hart Milman, the historian; and more noted cricketers and
oarsmen than we have space to mention.

Nowell, Dean of St. Paul's, was chosen Principal of the College when in
his ninetieth year, but resigned after two months of office. That was in
the sixteenth century.


|CORPUS--as this College is universally known among Oxford men--was
founded in 1516, during the days of the "new learning," by Richard Foxe,
Bishop of Winchester. Zealous for education, he took care that Greek as
well as Latin should be taught to his scholars, appointing two
"Readers" in those tongues, whose lectures were to be open to the
whole University. When, therefore, in 1853 Corpus endowed the new Latin
Professorship, it was acting in the spirit of its Founder. That spirit,
indeed, has animated the College throughout its history, for hard
work (by no means divorced from athletic excellence) is traditional at
Corpus. Bishop Foxes plate and crozier are still among the treasures of
his Foundation.

The first illustration shews the exterior of the College. Above the
gateway a curious piece of sculpture represents "Angels bearing the
Host," or Corpus Christi, in a monstrance; on either side is a shield,
the one engraved with Foxe's arms, the other with those of his see.

The second picture gives the interior of the Front Quadrangle. It is
perhaps not too fanciful to suggest that the solidity and simplicity
of the architecture are in keeping with the characteristics which
experience has taught us to look for in Corpus men. A touch of variety
is given by the ancient cylindrical dial, constructed in 1581 by Sir
Charles Turnbull, a Fellow. It is surmounted by the effigy of a pelican,
a bird dear to Corpus. Another stone pelican, by the way, broods over
the Library roof at Wadham.

[Illustration: 0205]

[Illustration: 0206]

Jewel and Hooker among theologians, and Stowell and Tenterden among
lawyers, belonged to Bishop Foxes College. Here, too, was trained
Oglethorpe, philanthropist and founder of Georgia, whom Pope chose as a
type of "strong benevolence of soul" and J ohnson loved to honour; and
here were passed in close friendship the undergraduate days of Arnold
and Keble, who, though later estranged by differences of opinion on
religious questions, still retained their old personal regard.


|IF Magdalen is the most beautiful of Oxford Colleges, Christ Church
is assuredly the most magnificent. Building was one of the favourite
pursuits of Cardinal Wolsey, first Founder of Christ Church, as it was
of Wykeham and Waynflete before him: it is almost mysterious how men of
this type, who had the highest affairs of the State as well as of
the Church upon their shoulders, found so much leisure to devote to
architecture. Wolsey's plans were cut short by his fall from power, but
he had already shewn by his completed palace in Whitehall and by Hampton
Court, which he built as a present for his sovereign, the grandeur and
largeness of his ideas. Out of the revenues of suppressed monasteries
he had designed to establish a College far larger and far more richly
endowed than any of its predecessors; and three sides of the Great
Quadrangle had arisen before he fell upon adversity. Then the king
stopped the work, and for a century the unfinished structure stood as a
reminder of

          Vaulting ambition, that o'erleaps itself,

          And falls o' the other side.

Yet Wolsey had a public as well as a private ambition. He loved
learning, and desired to promote it: he sought to save the Church by
rearing instructed ministers for her service. If he failed, it was a
noble failure; for though Henry VIII., who now assumed the title of
Founder, sanctioned an establishment less wide and generous than Wolsey
proposed, even so the new College easily surpassed all others in the
scale of its endowments.

[Illustration: 0211]

[Illustration: 0213]

The finest view of Christ Church from without is that which is obtained
from St. Aidates Street, and is shewn in Mr. Matthison's first drawing.
"Tom" Tower, which forms the centre of the façade, was not part of the
original scheme, but was added in 1682, when Dr. John Fell was
Dean. The College owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Fell for employing
Wren as his architect, if for nothing else. Wolseys gate, which was
no higher than the two smaller towers between which his statue stands,
might easily have been spoilt by a less skilful designer, but Wren added
to its beauty, and made it one of the finest structures in Oxford. The
Tower is named after the great bell which it contains, brought from
Osney Abbey. Every night "Tom" tolls a curfew of a hundred and one
strokes at nine o'clock, and at the closing stroke all College gates are
shut and all undergraduates supposed to be within their College walls.
Dr. John Fell, by the way, is the Dr. Fell whom the epigrammatist
disliked without being able to assign a cause. His pictures shew a
forbidding countenance enough, but he deserved well of his College and
the University. In addition to the Tower, he completed the front towards
St. Aidates, fostered the University Press, and did his best to make
examinations a reality. He planted also the elms of the Broad Walk, a
beautiful avenue which custom has decreed as the regulation promenade on
"Show Sunday" (in Commemoration Week); but within the last twenty years
storms have made havoc of the trees, and little of the Walk's former
beauty remains.

The Great Quadrangle--"Tom Quad." in Oxford parlance--dwarfs by
its large dimensions all the other courts of Oxford. The arches and
rib-mouldings indicate the original intention of the first builders,
which was to surround the Quadrangle with a cloister. As it is, though
this design was never carried out, the impression conveyed is one of
great splendour. Never is the appearance of "Tom Quad." more effective
than at the moment when the white-robed congregation comes out of the
Cathedral doors. All undergraduates of "The House" wear surplices--worn
by scholars only, save here and at Keble--and the Cathedral is their
Chapel. Mr. Matthison has chosen such a moment for his drawing, when the
Quadrangle is in a moment flooded by the white surplices, varied here
and there by the crimson hood of a Master or a Doctor's scarlet robes.

On the left of the drawing appears the Cathedral spire; in the centre
the Belfry Tower, a solid and handsome structure put up in Dean
Liddell's day; and on the right the windows and pinnacles of the Hall.

[Illustration: 0216]

[Illustration: 0217]

To approach the Hall one passes through the archway at the south-east
corner of the Quadrangle, and ascends a wide staircase notable for the
wonderful fanwork tracery of the ceiling. This tracery dates from the
time of Dean Samuel Fell (father of Dr. John Fell), and was completed
in 1640; it appears in Mr. Matthison's fourth drawing. The Hall itself
(which is the subject of the next illustration) has no rival in Oxford
and no superior in England, Westminster Hall only excepted. It measures
115 feet by 40, and is 50 feet in height. The window above the dais
contains full length stained-glass representations of Wolsey, More,
Erasmus, Colet, and other great men of the Reformation era; and the
walls are hung with a very fine collection of portraits, including those
of Henry VIII. and Wolsey (by Holbein), Deans Aldrich and Atterbury (by
Kneller), Charles Wesley (by Romney), George Canning (by Lawrence),
Gladstone (by Millais), "Lewis Carroll" (by Herkomer), and Dean Liddell
(by Watts).

[Illustration: 0220]

[Illustration: 0221]

There is still much of Christ Church to explore, as the remaining
illustrations indicate. From Merton Street one approaches "The House"
by Canterbury Gate, which opens upon the small Canterbury Quadrangle
(erected towards the end of the eighteenth century). Beyond is Peckwater
Quadrangle, built in 1705 after the Italian model, on the site of
Peckwater's Inn. The black and crumbling walls of this quadrangle are
in striking contrast to the smooth surface of "Tom Quad.," but in
the summer term, when every window is gay with flowers, the gloom of
Peckwater is forgotten. On the right hand is the Library, which, beside
books, contains an interesting collection of paintings of the early
Italian schools. The outlook from the Meadow Buildings (1863), which
includes the Broad Walk, the Long Walk, and glimpses of the River, is a
pleasant one, though the buildings themselves are not, from the outside,
particularly attractive.

Some of the famous sons of Christ Church have already been incidentally
mentioned. As might be expected from its numerous muster-roll, it
has had members who attained distinction in every walk of life; but
statistics seem to shew that there is something in the atmosphere of
"The House" peculiarly favourable to the growth of statesmen. No other
College, at any rate, has given England three premiers in succession,
Mr. Gladstone (a double first), Lord Salisbury, and Lord Rosebery. To
make an exhaustive list might weary the reader, but the honoured name
of Sir Robert Peel must at least be mentioned. Strenuous as were these
men's labours in after-life, it is permissible to fancy that amid the
pleasant surroundings of their student days they did not altogether
"scorn delights." Here, for instance, is an extract from the diary
kept by Charles Wesley when an undergraduate: "Wrote to
V.--translated--played an hour at billiards." There is no harm in
supposing "V." a girl, if we choose.

          How strangely runs the little list

               Of Wesley's day, like Isis rippling,

          While yet the mighty Methodist

               'Mid striplings merry made, a stripling.

to quote the words of an anonymous rhymer.

Again, the expounding of mathematics term after term is a sober pursuit
enough, yet C. L. Dodgson, mathematical tutor of Christ Church, had
leisure to be "Lewis Carroll" also, the nursery classic, the delight
of children of all ages. The serious purpose of John Ruskin, who as
the anonymous "Oxford Graduate" took the Art world by storm, could not
extinguish his lambent humour. It is a part of the genius of Christ
Church to keep alive a certain sunshine of the mind. Let us hope that
this was the case even with her austerer thinkers; with Locke, who
was forced to leave the College on account of his Whig opinions;
with William Penn, who was sent down for nonconformity--you will
find sunshine as well as shadow in his little volume, _Some Fruits of
Solitude_, which he is thought to have composed, partly at any rate, in
prison; and with Dr. Pusey, as he searched for the way of perfection
among the dusty folios of patristic lore.

[Illustration: 0224]

[Illustration: 0225]


|TRINITY COLLEGE was founded by Sir Thomas Pope, a rich lawyer, in
1555. The site was previously occupied by Durham College, a now
extinct foundation, which existed for the training of students from the
Benedictine monastery of Durham.

There is much that is admirable about the buildings and grounds of
Trinity; and its position is so little secluded that anyone passing down
Broad Street or Parks Road can hardly help noticing its beauties. The
first illustration shews the College as seen from Broad Street. In the
foreground are the handsome wrought-iron gates--there is a companion
pair at the verge of the garden, in Parks Road--beyond which is the
square Entrance Tower leading to the Small Quadrangle, decorated by four
figures representing Astronomy, Geometry, Divinity, and Medicine. The
old cottage buildings on the right of the Porter's Lodge, facing Broad
Street, which are now used as College rooms, are in striking contrast
with the new buildings designed by Mr. T. G. Jackson, R.A., and finished
in 1887; these are some of the last century's most successful additions
to ancient Oxford.

The Chapel has an unwonted fragrance, for the wainscot is of cedar; it
is famous also for its carving, being in this particular one of the best
examples of the work of Grinling Gibbons. The Hall has an unusually good
collection of portraits. Of all the buildings the Buttery is probably
the most ancient.

[Illustration: 0231]

[Illustration: 0232]

The second illustration, taken from Parks Road, shews a part of the
garden, with the Inner Quadrangle in the background; this latter is
built in the Italian manner, after Wren's design. The costume of the
loiterers in the garden, of both sexes, suggests that Mr. Matthison
painted his picture on some warm day of spring. On such a day it is
pleasant to fleet the time carelessly amid such scenes as these; nor
must the beautiful Lime Tree Walk escape mention, whose pleached boughs
form a continuous archway of foliage.

Trinity can point to a remarkably long list of distinguished members, of
whom it may suffice to name here the poets Lodge and Denham, Harrington
(author of _Oceana_), Chatham, Professor Freeman, Bishop Stubbs, and
Richard Burton. But Burtons stay was a short one; he heard already "the
call of the wild."


[Illustration: 0236]

|ARCHBISHOP CHICHELE'S College of St. Bernard, established by him in
1437 and suppressed by Henry VIII., occupied the site of what is now St.
John's College. One reminder of the older foundation is the statue of
St. Bernard, which still stands in the Tower over the Gateway. This
Gateway, sketched from St. Giles', forms the subject of the second
illustration. The Hall and Chapel too, though much altered in later
times, were in the first instance used by the Cistercians.

St. John's was founded by Sir Thomas White, Lord Mayor of London, in
1555. His portrait hangs in the Hall, as well as those of Laud and
Juxon, successively Presidents of the College and Archbishops of
Canterbury, and that of George III. St. John's was devoted to the Stuart
cause, so it may be supposed that the likeness of the Hanoverian king
was not hung without compunctions on the part of senior members. The
Library contains a portrait of Charles I., and statues of him and of his
queen face each other in the Inner Quadrangle.

Reference has been already made to the second illustration. The first
shews the exterior of the Front Quadrangle, sketched from within the
walled row of elm trees. This Quadrangle was only finished in 1597, when
its eastern side (facing the Gateway) was built.

The Inner Quadrangle, which was begun at the same date and completed
in the first half of the seventeenth century, is, from an architectural
point of view, of unusual interest. The visitor may naturally inquire
what two classical colonnades are doing in a Gothic quadrangle. There is
no more satisfactory reply than that the architect, Inigo Jones, made a
somewhat bold experiment, combining Italian reminiscences with a Gothic
scheme. Individual taste may determine how far he was successful;
probably most critics will admire the colonnades in themselves, but
think them out of place where they are. Laud furnished the funds for
Inigo Jones' work, but happily the pair excluded the Italian element
from their Garden Front, which is certainly one of the most beautiful
things in Oxford. Diverse as are the judgments which have been passed
upon Laud's character and actions, there cannot be two opinions as to
the beauty and fitness of this building, nor could any Head of a College
desire a worthier memorial. Coming up to St. John's as a scholar in
1590, Laud became President in 1611, and on the completion of his
new buildings had the honour of receiving King Charles I. and Queen
Henrietta Maria as his guests. Full of stress as his life was, and
tragic as was its end, his most peaceful hours were probably passed
within the walls of the Foundation which his generosity did so much to
adorn. His body, which had been buried in London after his execution,
was brought to St. John's at the Restoration, and laid to rest, as he
had desired, beneath the altar in the Chapel. The Library contains a
valuable collection of ecclesiastical vestments which are said to be his

[Illustration: 0239]

[Illustration: 0240]

The third and fourth illustrations shew the north and south ends of the
Garden Front. The open window in Mrs. Waltons sketch is that of the room
occupied by Laud.

The Garden is among the most delightful in Oxford; and for beauty and
diversity of flowers it certainly bears the palm. Like the garden at
Wadham, it was formerly laid out in the stiff Dutch style.

Sir Thomas White, the Founder, was a member of the Guild of Merchant
Taylors; and a considerable number of the scholarships are given to
members of that Company's London school.

[Illustration: 0243]


|JESUS COLLEGE since its birth in 1571 has always been closely connected
with Wales. Queen Elizabeth, who did not forget her Welsh ancestry, and
"took no scorn," perhaps, "to wear the leek upon Saint Tavy's day," was
willing to accept from Hugh Price, its actual originator, the honorary
title of Founder. The College possesses three portraits of this
sovereign, as well as pictures of Charles I. and Charles II. (who were

The buildings are in the late Gothic style. The two illustrations shew
different aspects of the Front Quadrangle, which conveys an impression
of beauty and restfulness.

The Chapel is interesting. Above the entrance is a Latin inscription,
signifying "May prayer ascend, may grace descend." Within are the tombs
of Dr. Henry Maurice, Professor of Divinity, 1691; Sir Edward Stradling,
a colonel in Charles I.'s army, 1644; and several Principals of the
College:--Dr. Francis Mansell, who held that office three times; Sir
Eubule Thelwall, Principal from 1621 to 1630; and Sir Leoline Jenkins,
appointed in 1661. First appointed in 1620, Dr. Mansell resigned the
following year in favour of Thelwall, who had completed the building of
the College. His second term of office was cut short in Commonwealth
days, but he was reinstated at the Restoration; the only Head of a
College, perhaps, who underwent such repeated vicissitudes. Sir Leoline
Jenkins did much to repair the damages which the College suffered in the
Civil Wars.

The service in the Chapel on Wednesday and Friday evenings is entirely
in the Welsh language.

Distinguished members in the past of Jesus College were Henry Vaughan,
the poet; "Beau Nash," the arbiter of fashion in Bath; Lloyd of St.
Asaph, one of "the Seven Bishops"; and J. R. Green, the historian.

Were Sir Hugh Evans and Fluellen, those embodiments of Welsh humours,
suggested by Jesus men? We may think so, if we will; for Shakespeare is
known to have visited Oxford, and is quite as likely to have picked up
his Welshmen there as anywhere else.

[Illustration: 0247]

[Illustration: 0248]


|IT can only be conjectured how long the vision of a stately building
which, like Absalom's Pillar, should preserve the memory of his
childless house, haunted the vacant hours of Nicholas Wadham of
Merifield, in the county of Somerset. What is certain is that death cut
short his day-dreams, and that he committed the accomplishment of his
design to his wife Dorothy. This remarkable woman was seventy-five years
of age when the task devolved upon her. She assumed its responsibilities
to such good purpose that within three years the College which bears her
name was completed. The members of the first Foundation were admitted in
1613, and the Foundress lived some five years more.

Wadham is one of the most perfect specimens of late Gothic architecture
in existence.

No alteration whatever has taken place in the Front Quadrangle since its
erection; only, where the stones have crumbled, they have been cunningly
replaced. The Chapel, though Perpendicular, was erected at the same time
as the other buildings. The late Mr. J. H. Parker made the reasonable
suggestion that the architect desired to emphasise by this variation of
style the religious and secular uses of the several structures. Wadham,
whether viewed from Parks Road or from its own delightful gardens, is a
veritable joy to the beholder, as our illustrations indicate. The Hall,
moreover, which is one of the finest in Oxford and contains a large
collection of portraits, should not be neglected, nor the interior
of the Chapel, with the sombre grandeur of its stained windows and
"prophets blazoned on the panes."

[Illustration: 0253]

[Illustration: 0254]

Wadham's early prosperity received a check in Civil War times, when
its plate was melted down for the king and its Warden driven out by the
Roundheads. Yet Wilkins, its new Warden, did not abuse his trust; and,
thanks to his interest in science, it was within the walls of this
College that the idea of the Royal Society was conceived.

Wadham has not lacked famous members, of diverse professions and highly
divergent opinions. There is Admiral Blake, whose statue watches to-day
over his native Bridgewater; Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, who was made
Master of Arts at fourteen; Onslow, Speaker of the House of Commons;
Lord Westbury, whose inscription in the ante-chapel tells us that he
"dated all his success in life from the time when he was elected
a scholar of Wadham at the age of fifteen"; Dean Church among
ecclesiastics and Dr. Congreve among Positivists. Finally, there is
Sir Christopher Wren, whose name has been kept to the end in order that
there may be coupled with it the name of Mr. T. G. Jackson, R.A.; for
these two architects, both sons of Wadham, have left impressions which
deserve to be indelible upon the Oxford that we know.


|PEMBROKE dates its collegiate life from 1624, but it had already
existed and flourished for several centuries as Broadgates Hall. It owed
its rise in the world to the benefactions of Thomas Tesdale and Richard
Wightwick, burgesses of Abingdon, who desired to endow a College for the
benefit of their native town, and its new name to the Earl of Pembroke,
then Chancellor of Oxford. Thomas Browne, who was later to be the author
of _Religio Medici_, being senior commoner of the Hall at this epoch,
delivered a Latin oration at the opening ceremony, in which he did not
fail to employ the metaphor of the Phoenix rising out of its ashes.

Architecturally, Pembroke is a little put out of countenance by the
neighbouring glories of Christ Church; nevertheless, the interior of
the Inner Quadrangle ("The Grass Quad.," as it is called), which is the
subject of the first illustration, possesses an irregular but restful
beauty. Up and down its staircases trod George Whitefield, who, as a
servitor, had the ungrateful duty of seeing that the students were in
their rooms at a fixed hour; yet not one syllable of discontent with so
humble a vocation disfigures the pages of his diary.

[Illustration: 0260]

[Illustration: 0261]

On the right hand, as one enters the Front Quadrangle, is
the Library, formerly the refectory of Broadgates Hall, and the only
surviving part of that institution. The Chapel, renovated and decorated
by Mr. C. E. Kempe in 1884, should be visited. The view of the gateway
possesses an added interest from the fact that Samuel J ohnson, when an
undergraduate of Pembroke, lodged in a room in the second storey over
the entrance. Johnson ever retained an affection for his University and
College, but it is to be feared that during his residence of fourteen
months poverty and ill-health combined to make him far from happy. To
others, perhaps, he appeared "gay and frolicsome," bent on entertaining
his companions and keeping them from their studies, but to Boswell
he gave a different explanation. "Ah, sir," he said, "I was mad
and violent. It was bitterness which they mistook for frolic. I was
miserably poor, and I thought to fight my way by my literature and my
wit, so I disregarded all power and all authority." In a more cheerful,
mood he spoke of Pembroke as "a nest of singing birds"; and it is on
record that he cut lectures to go sliding on Christ Church Meadow. Dr.
Johnson is Pembroke's most famous son; but she can also point to the
names of Francis Beaumont, John Pym, Shenstone, Blackstone, and Birkbeck
Hill, Boswell's greatest editor.


[Illustration: 0265]

|WORCESTER COLLEGE is the successor to Gloucester Hall, a hostel of
the Benedictine Order founded in the thirteenth century. This Hall was
originally designed for students from the monastery at Gloucester, but
was soon thrown open to other Benedictine houses. Suppressed at the
Reformation, it was called back to life in Elizabeth's reign by Sir
Thomas White, who had already shewn his zeal for education by founding
St. John's College, and for several generations had a successful
career. Among its distinguished members may be mentioned Thomas Allen,
mathematician; Sir Kenelm Digby, the romantic wooer of the brilliant and
high-spirited Venetia Stanley; and Richard Lovelace, the Cavalier poet.
At the Restoration bad times came, and Gloucester Hall, like the
earlier Hertford College of a subsequent age, seemed likely to perish of

At this crisis there stepped in a benefactor, Sir Thomas Crookes of
Worcestershire, with a bequest of £10,000; and the transformed Hall was
known, from 1698 onwards, as Worcester College.

Worcester is comparatively at some distance from the other Colleges,
a fact on which undergraduate humour loves to dwell; but jests on this
subject reflect rather on the poor walking powers of those who make
them. At any rate, a "well-girt" visitor to Oxford need not hesitate
to take the journey, and will certainly find his pains rewarded,
for Worcester has much to show that is of interest, and much that is

The first view gives the interior of the Front Quadrangle. The buildings
here are stately and dignified, if a little cold; they are obviously
of the same date as those overlooking the deer-park of Magdalen, and
suggest the genius of the eighteenth century.

There could hardly be a greater contrast to these than the ancient
structures which are at the left hand of the Quadrangle, as one enters;
for these old buildings take us back to the monastic days of Gloucester
Hall. A glimpse of them, as viewed from the Garden, is given in the
second illustration.

[Illustration: 0268]

[Illustration: 0269]

The Garden itself is delightful, and has, alone of Oxford pleasances,
the additional feature of a lake. Mr. Matthison's drawing shows how
beautiful this lake and its surroundings can be, when the colours are
newly laid on by the brush of summer.


|Hertford college consists of an anomalous collection of buildings,
of various styles and dates. The eye rests with most pleasure on the
Jacobean part of the Quadrangle, opposite the gateway. One view
gives the interior of the Quadrangle--in which is a sloping stairway
reminiscent of a larger one of the same type in Blois Castle, the other
shews the College from without, and includes the new buildings recently

This medley of structures is suggestive of the vicissitude through which
the College has passed.

[Illustration: 0272]

[Illustration: 0273]

So far back as the thirteenth century it was in existence as Hart
Hall; and here the students of Exeter and New College were successively
lodged, while their own Colleges were building. Rightly or wrongly,
Exeter College claimed the ownership of Hart Hall for four centuries;
but in 1740 the then Principal of the Hall, Dr. Newton, was successful
in asserting its independence, and Hart Hall became Hertford College.
The endowments, however, were insignificant; the members fell off
and the walls (or a part of them) fell down; and in 1820 a commission
declared that Hertford College no longer existed.

About this time Magdalen Hall, which stood close to Magdalen College,
was burned down, and the University allotted the buildings of Hertford
to its roofless inhabitants; and the name of Hertford was changed to
Magdalen Hall.

The final transformation came in 1874, when Hertford College, its title
revived by Act of Parliament, was endowed by Mr. Baring, the banker.
Thus, with finances very different to the slender endowments of Dr.
Newton's time, the College began a new era of prosperity.

The famous Selden was at Hart Hall, and Charles James Fox at Hertford;
the old Magdalen Hall bred William Tyndale, Sir Matthew Hale, Lord
Clarendon, and Thomas Hobbes, author of _Leviathan_.


|MEMBERSHIP of this College is restricted to those who belong to the
Church of England. Another primary purpose of Keble is to provide a less
expensive education than that afforded by other Colleges. At the moment
when the scheme was formulated died John Keble, author of the Christian
Year, and it was decided to name the new foundation after him, at once
as a tribute to his memory and in order to enlist the active sympathies
of his many admirers. An appeal for funds met with a liberal and
widespread response, and Keble College was opened in the Michaelmas term
of 1870.

[Illustration: 0276]

[Illustration: 0276]

The external appearance of Keble is not commonly admired. It is a
pleasanter task to dwell for a moment on the beauty of the interior of
the Chapel, which was presented by Mr. William Gibbs, and completed
in 1876. The visitor will be struck by the noble proportions of this
edifice, its finely toned windows and its elaborate mosaics. A small
ante-chapel contains Holman Hunts celebrated picture--The Light of the
World, presented by Mrs. Combe.

Keble soon took its place among the other Colleges, both in work and
play. It has a splendid Hall and Library, given by the Gibbs family.
In accordance with the economy of the scheme, the rooms of the
undergraduates are small, and all meals are taken in common in Hall.
There is consequently more of the air of a public school about Keble
than is looked for in ordinary College life. Its first warden, Dr.
Talbot, is now Bishop of Southwark.

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