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Title: The Colleges of Oxford: Their History and Traditions - XXI Chapters Contributed by Members of the Colleges
Author: Various
Language: English
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XXI Chapters Contributed by Members of the Colleges.

Edited by


Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford.

Methuen & Co.,
18, Bury Street, London, W.C.

[All rights reserved.]

Richard Clay & Sons, Limited,
London & Bungay.


The history of any one of the older Colleges of Oxford extends over a
period of time and embraces a variety of interests more than sufficient
for a volume. The constitutional changes which it has experienced in
the six, or four, or two centuries of its existence have been neither
few nor slight. The Society living within its walls has reflected from
age to age the social, religious, and intellectual conditions of the
nation at large. Its many passing generations of teachers and students
have left behind them a wealth of traditions honourable or the reverse.
Yet it seems not impossible to combine in one volume a series of
College histories. What happened in one College happened to some extent
in all; and if, therefore, certain periods or subjects which are fully
dealt with in one College are omitted in others, a single volume ought
to be sufficient, not merely to narrate the salient features of the
history of each individual College, but also to give an intelligible
picture of College life generally at successive periods of time.

This is what the present volume seeks to do. Brasenose and Hertford
chapters give a hint of the multiplicity of halls for Seculars out of
which the Colleges grew; in Trinity and Worcester chapters we have
a glimpse of the houses for Regulars which for a while mated the
Colleges, but disappeared at the Reformation. In Queen’s College,
early social conditions are described; in New College, early studies.
Balliol College gives prominence to the Renaissance movement; Corpus
Christi to the consequent changes in studies. In Magdalen College
we see the divisions and fluctuations of opinions which followed
the Reformation; in S. John’s, the golden age of the early Stuarts;
in Merton, the dissensions of the Civil War; in Exeter College, the
strong contrast between Commonwealth and Restoration. University
College naturally enlarges on the Romanist attempt under James II.
The bright and dark sides of the eighteenth century are exhibited in
Pembroke and Lincoln. To Corpus, which had described the Renaissance,
it belongs almost of right to depict the renewed love of letters which
distinguishes the present century. And as with successive phases of
social and intellectual life, so with other matters of interest.
Oriel College gives a full account of the different books of record
of a College, and of the long warfare of contested elections. Lincoln
College sets forth the constitutional arrangements of a pre-Reformation
College. Lincoln and Worcester show through what uncertainties
projected Colleges have to pass before they are legally settled. Christ
Church suggests the architectural and artistic wealth of Oxford.

It is only fair to the writers of the separate chapters to say that
the limits of length imposed on them, and the selection of subjects
for special treatment, are not of their own choosing. Space for fuller
treatment in each case is of necessity wanting; but somewhat greater
latitude has been allowed to those less fortunate Colleges which have
no history of their own, extant or in prospect. Colleges which have
found their historian, will not, it is hoped, grudge their sisters this

A. C.

_August 1891._


     CHAP.                                             PAGE

        I. UNIVERSITY COLLEGE                             1
             By F. C. CONYBEARE, M.A.

       II. BALLIOL COLLEGE                               24
             By REGINALD L. POOLE, M.A.

      III. MERTON COLLEGE                                59
             By the WARDEN OF MERTON.

       IV. EXETER COLLEGE                                76
             By the REV. CHARLES W. BOASE, M.A.

        V. ORIEL COLLEGE                                 87
             By C. L. SHADWELL, M.A.

       VI. QUEEN’S COLLEGE                              124
             By the PROVOST OF QUEEN’S.

      VII. NEW COLLEGE                                  150
             By the REV. HASTINGS RASHDALL, M.A.

     VIII. LINCOLN COLLEGE                              171
             By the REV. ANDREW CLARK, M.A.

       IX. ALL SOULS COLLEGE                            208
             By C. W. C. OMAN, M.A.

        X. MAGDALEN COLLEGE                             233
             By the REV. H. A. WILSON, M.A.

       XI. BRASENOSE COLLEGE                            252
             By FALCONER MADAN, M.A.

      XII. CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE                       273
             By the PRESIDENT OF C. C. C.

     XIII. CHRIST CHURCH                                301
             By the REV. R. ST. JOHN TYRWHITT, M.A.

      XIV. TRINITY COLLEGE                              323
             By the REV. HERBERT E. D. BLAKISTON, M.A.

      XV. S. JOHN BAPTIST COLLEGE                       347
             By the REV. W. H. HUTTON, M.A.

      XVI. JESUS COLLEGE                                364
             By the REV. LLEWELYN THOMAS, M.A.

     XVII. WADHAM COLLEGE                               389
             By J. WELLS, M.A.

    XVIII. PEMBROKE COLLEGE                             400
             By the REV. DOUGLAS MACLEANE, M.A.

      XIX. WORCESTER COLLEGE                            425
             By the REV. C. H. O. DANIEL, M.A.

       XX. HERTFORD COLLEGE                             449
             By the REV. HASTINGS RASHDALL, M.A.

      XXI. KEBLE COLLEGE                                461
             By the REV. WALTER LOCK, M.A.

    INDEX                                               471


Page 427, lines 25 and 26, should read:--‘surmounted by three shields
(of which two bear respectively the arms of Ramsey Abbey and St.


    p. 288, line 31, _for_ 1567 _read_ 1568

    p. 298, line 4, _for_ (perhaps) _read_ (most probably)

        ”   line 7, _for_ Miles Smith, _&c., read_ John Spenser,
       President of the College, and Miles Smith, Bishop of
       Gloucester, both amongst the translators of the Bible;




The popular mind concerning the origin of University College is well
exampled in the form of prayer which after the reform of religion was
used in chapel on the day of the yearly College Festival, and which
begins in these words--

“Merciful God and loving Father, we give Thee humble and hearty thanks
for Thy great Bounty bestow’d upon us of this place by Alfred the
Great, the first Founder of this House; William of Durham, the Restorer
of it; Walter Skirlow, Henry Percy, Sir Simon Benet, Charles Greenwood,
especial Benefactors, with others, exhibitors to the same.”[1]

However, Mr. William Smith, Rector of Melsonby, and above twelve years
Senior Fellow of our Society, who in the year 1728 published his
learned Annals of the College, sets it down that King Alfred was not
mentioned in the College prayers as chief founder until the reign of
Charles I., and he relates how “that Dr. Clayton, after he was chosen
Master (in 1665), when he first heard King Alfred named in the collect
before William of Durham, openly and aloud cried out in the chapel,
‘_There is no King Alfred there_.’”

For at an earlier date it had been of custom to pray indeed for the
soul of King Alfred, but only in the following order--

“I commend also unto your devout Prayers, the souls departed out
of this world, especially The Soul of William of Durham, our chief
Founder. The Soul of Mr. Walter Skirlaw, especial Benefactor. The Soul
of King Alfred, Founder of the University. The Soul of King Henry the
5th. The Souls of Henry Percy, first Earl of Northumberland; Henry the
2nd Earl, and my Ladies their Wives, with all their Issue out of the
World departed.… The Souls of all them that have been Fellows, and all
good Doers. And for the Souls of all them that God would have be prayed

The date of this form of prayer is concurrent with Philip and Mary;
between whose reign and that of Charles I. it is therefore certain
that King Alfred was lifted in our prayers from being Founder only of
the University to the being Founder of our College. And in so much as
during many generations the belief that this college was founded by
King Alfred has, by all who are competent to judge, been condemned
for false and erroneous, I will follow the example of the learned
antiquarian already mentioned, and recount its true foundation by
William of Durham; eschewing the scruples of those brave interpreters
of the law, who in the year 1727 said in Westminster Hall, “that King
Alfred must be confirmed our Founder, for the sake of Religion itself,
which would receive a greater scandal by a determination on the other
Side, than it had by all the Atheists, Deists, and Apostates, from
Julian down to Collins; that a succession of Clergymen for so many
years should return thanks for an Idol, or mere Nothing, in Ridicule
and Banter of God and Religion, must not be suffered in a court of

The historical origin of University College dates from the thirteenth
century, and was in this wise. There was in the year 1229, so Matthew
Paris relates, a great falling out between the students and citizens of
Paris, and, as was usual for Academicians then to do, all the scholars
removed to other places, where they could have civiller usage, and
greater privileges allowed them, as the Oxonians had done in King
John’s time, when three thousand removed to Reading and Maidstone (and
as some say to Cambridge also). It appears that the English king,
Henry III., was not blind to the advantages which would accrue to his
country from an influx of scholars, and therefore published Letters
Patent on the 14th July, of that very year, to invite the masters
and scholars of the University to England; and foreseeing they would
prefer Oxford before any other place, the said king sent several Writs
to the Burgers of Oxon, to provide all conveniences, as lodgings,
and all other good Entertainment, and good usage to welcome them
thither.[3] Among other Englishmen who left Paris in consequence of
these dissensions, was Master William of Durham, who repaired at first
to Anjou only. But we may well suppose that his attention was drawn
by the fostering edicts of the English king to Oxford as a centre of
schools. It is certain that when he died, at Rouen, on his way home
from Rome, twenty years later, in 1249, “abounding in great Revenues,
eminently learned, and Rector of that noble Church of Weremouth, not
far from the sea,” he bequeathed to the University of Oxford the sum of
three hundred and ten marks, for purchase of annual rents, unto the use
of ten or eleven or twelve, or more Masters, who should be maintained

The above information is derived from a report drawn up in 1280, by
certain persons delegated by the University of Oxford to enquire into
the Testament of Master William of Durham; which report is still kept
among the muniments of the College, and constitutes our earliest

In the thirteenth century there was not the same choice of investments
as to-day. The best one could do was to lend out one’s money to
the nobles and king of the Realm, or to purchase houses therewith.
The former security corresponded to, but was not so secure as, the
consolidated funds of a later age. Nor was house property entirely
safe. For in an age when communication between different parts of the
country was slow and insecure, it was not of choice, but of necessity,
that one bought house property in one’s own city; since farther afield
and in places wide apart one lacked trusty agents to collect one’s
rents; but in a single city a plague might in one year lay empty half
the houses, and so forfeit to the owners their yearly monies.

In laying out William of Durham’s bequest, the University had recourse
to both these kinds of security. As early as the year 1253, a house
was bought for thirty-six marks from the priors and brethren of the
hospital of Brackle; perhaps for the reception of William of Durham’s
earliest scholars. This house stood in the angle between School
Street and St. Mildred’s Lane (which to-day is Brazenose Lane), and
corresponded therefore with the north-east corner of the present
Brazenose College. Two years later, in 1255, was purchased from the
priors of Sherburn, a house in the High Street, standing opposite the
lodge of the present college, where now is Mr. Thornton’s book-shop.
For this piece of property the University paid, out of William of
Durham’s money, forty-eight marks down.

This house, the second purchase made out of the founder’s bequest,
after belonging to the College for upwards of six hundred years, was
lately sold to Magdalen College instead of being exchanged as it should
have been, if it was to be alienated at all, with a house belonging to
Queen’s College, numbered 85 on the opposite side of the street. And
at the same time, all properties and tenements, not already belonging
to us, except the aforesaid No. 85, intervening between Logic Lane and
the New Examination Schools, were purchased, to give our College the
faculty of some day, if need be, extending itself on that side.

The third house bought out of the same bequest adjoined (to the south)
the former of the two already mentioned, and fronting on School Street,
was called as early as A.D. 1279, Brazen-Nose Hall. It cost £55 6_s._
8_d._ sterling, and on its site stands to-day Brazen-nose College gate
and chapel. The purchase was completed in 1262. The last of the early
purchases made by the University for the College consisted of two
houses east of Logic Lane on the south side of the High Street. (The
old Saracen’s Head Inn on the same side of Logic Lane only came to the
College in the last century by the bequest of Dr. John Browne, who
became master in 1744.) These two houses paid a Quit Rent of fifteen
shillings, for which the University gave, A.D. 1270, seven pounds
of William of Durham’s money, proving, as Mr. Smith notes, that in
the thirteenth century houses were purchased in Oxford at ten years’
purchase, so that you received eleven per cent. interest on your money.

The rents of all these houses, so we learn from the Inquisition of the
year 1280 already mentioned, amounted to eighteen marks. As to the
rest of the money bequeathed, the Masters of Arts appointed by the
University in 1280 to enquire found, “That the University needing it
for itself, and other great men of the Land that had recourse to the
University; the rest of the money, to wit, one hundred Pounds and ten
Marks, had been made use of, partly for its own necessary occasions,
and partly lent to other persons, of which money nothing at all is yet

The barons to whom the University thus lent money had long been at
strife with King Henry for his extortions, and in May of 1264 won the
Battle of Lewes against him. With them the University took side against
the king, so far at least as to advance them money out of William of
Durham’s chest. It is not certain--though it seems probable--that some
few scholars were as early as 1253 invited by the University to live
together, as beneficiaries of William of Durham, in the Hall which was
in that year purchased out of his bequest. If it be asked how were they
supported, it may be answered: with the interest paid by the nobles
upon the hundred pounds lent to them; for, since the capital sum was
afterwards repaid, it is fair to suppose that the interest was also
got in year by year from the first. Although the University drew up no
statutes for William of Durham’s scholars till the year 1280, yet his
very will--which is now lost--may have served as a prescription ruling
their way of life, even as it was made the basis of those statutes of
1280. Perhaps, however, his scholars were scattered over the different
halls until 1280, when, after the pattern of the nephews and scholars
of Walter de Merton, they were gathered under a single roof for the
advancement of their learning and improvement of their discipline.
Even if they lived apart, the title of college can hardly be denied
to them, for--to quote Mr. William Smith--“taking it for granted and
beyond dispute, that William of Durham dyed A.D. 1249, and that several
purchases were bought with his money shortly after his death, as the
deeds themselves testifie; all the doubt that can afterwards follow is,
whether William of Durham’s Donation to ten, eleven, or twelve masters
or scholars, were sufficient to erect them into a society? and whether
that society could properly be called a college?” And the same writer
adds that a college “signifies not a building made of brick or stone,
adorned with gates, towers, and quadrangles; but a company, or society
admitted into a body, and enjoying the same or like privileges one with
another.” Such was a college in the old Roman sense.

We will then leave it to the reader to decide whether University
College is or is not the earliest college in Europe, even though its
foundation by King Alfred is mythical, and will pass on to view the
statutes made in the year 1280. In that year at least the Masters
delegated by the University “to enquire and order those things which
had relation to the Testament of Master William of Durham,” ordained
that “The Chancellor with some Masters in Divinity, by their advice,
shall call other masters of other Faculties; and these masters with
the Chancellor, bound by the Faith they owe to the University, shall
chuse out of all who shall offer themselves to live of the said rents,
four Masters, whom in their consciences they shall think most fit
to advance, or profit in the Holy Church, who otherwise have not to
live handsomely without it in the State of Masters of Arts.… The same
manner of Election shall be for the future, except only that those four
that shall be maintained out of that charity shall be called to the
election, of which four one at least shall be a Priest.

“These four Masters shall each receive for his salary fifty shillings
sterling[4] yearly, out of the Rents bought.…

“The aforesaid four masters, living together, shall study Divinity;
and with this also may hear the Decretum and Decretalls, if they shall
think fit; who, as to their manner of living and learning, shall
behave themselves as by some fit and expert persons, deputed by the
Chancellor, shall be ordered. But if it shall so happen, that any ought
to be removed from the said allowance, or office, the Chancellor and
Masters of Divinity shall have Power to do it.”

By the same Statutes a procurator or Bursar was appointed to take care
of rents already bought and procure the buying of other rents. This
Bursar was to receive fifty-five shillings instead of fifty. He was to
have one key of William of Durham’s chest, the Chancellor another, and
a person appointed by the University Proctors the third.

Three points are evident from these statutes: firstly, that in its
inception the College of William of Durham was entirely the care of the
University, which thus held the position of Visitor. Secondly, theology
was to be the chief, if not sole study of the beneficiaries. Perhaps
the founder viewed with jealousy the study of Roman law, which was
beginning to engross some of the best minds of the age. Thirdly, only
Masters were admissible as Fellows. It was the custom at the time to
have graduated in Arts before proceeding to teach Divinity.

After a lapse of twelve years, A.D. 1292, at the Procurement of the
Executors of the Venerable Mr. William of Durham, who were, it seems,
still living, the University made new statutes for the College. In
these new statutes we hear for the first time of a Master of the
College, of commoners, and of a College library. The Senior Fellow was
to govern the Juniors, and get half a mark yearly for his diligence
therein. Thus the headship of the College went at first by succession,
and not until 1332 by election; after which date the master was
required to be cæteris paribus proxime Dunelmiam oriundus, or at least
of northern extraction.

The first alien to the College who was elected Master was Ralph
Hamsterley, in 1509. Previously he was a fellow of Merton College,
where in the chapel he was buried. (Brodrick, _Memorials of Merton
College_, p. 240.) He was “nunquam de gremio nostro neque de comitiva,”
and was therefore chosen Master conditionally upon the visitors
granting a dispensation to depart from the ordinary rule. (W. Smith’s
MSS., xi. p. 2.)

The Master had until lately as much or as little right to marry as
any of the Fellows, and in 1692 the Fellows, before electing Dr.
Charlet, exacted from him a promise that he would not marry, or, if
he did, would resign within a year. It seems that in old days Fellows
of Colleges who were obliged to be in Holy Orders were free to marry
after King James the I.’s parliament had sanctioned the marriage of
clergymen. Already in 1422 the Master is called the custos, but he
was till 1736, when new statutes made a change, called “_the Master
or Senior Fellow, Magister vel senior socius_.” He had the key of
the College, but in time delegated the function of letting people
in and out to a statutory porter. The introduction of commoners or
scholars not on the foundation is thus referred to in these statutes
of 1292: “Since the aforesaid scholars have not sufficient to live
handsomely alone by themselves, but that it is expedient that other
honest persons dwell with them; it is ordained that every Fellow shall
secretly enquire concerning the manners of every one that desires to
sojourn with them; and then, if they please, by common consent, let him
be received under this condition, That before them he shall promise
whilst he lives with them, that he will honestly observe the customs
of the Fellows of the House, pay his Dues, not hurt any of the Things
belonging to the House, either by himself, or those that belong to him.”

In the year 1381 we find from the Bursar’s roll that the students
not on the foundation paid £4 18_s._ as rents for their chambers, a
considerable sum in those days.

As to the books of the College, it was ordained that there be put one
book of every sort that the House has, in some common and secure place;
that the Fellows, and others with the consent of a Fellow, may for the
future have the benefit of it.

For the rest it was ordained that the Fellows should speak Latin often,
and at every Act have one Disputation in Philosophy or Theology,
and have one Disputation at least in the principal Question of both
Faculties in the Vespers, and another in the Inception in their private
College. In these disputations it is clear that rival disputants
sometimes lost their tempers from the following ordinance--

“No Fellow shall under-value another Fellow, but shall correct his
Fault privately, under the Penalty of Twelve-pence to be paid to the
common-Purse; nor before one that is no Fellow, under the Penalty of
two shillings; nor publickly in the Highway, or Church, or Fields,
under the penalty of half a mark; and in all these cases, he that
begins first shall double what the other is to pay, and this in
Disputations especially.”

In those days a lesson was read during dinner. In these degenerate days
all the above salutary rules are inverted, and it is customary for the
senior scholar to sconce in a pot of beer any junior member who quotes
Latin during the Hall-dinner.

In the year 1311 fresh statutes were ordained by convocation for the
College, which, however, add little to the former ones. Of candidates
for a Fellowship, otherwise duly qualified, he was to be preferred who
comes from near Durham. After seven years a Fellow was to oppose in the
Divinity Schools, which was equivalent to nowadays taking the degree
of Doctor of Divinity. Each Fellow or past-Fellow was to put up a mass
once a year for the Repose of the soul of William of Durham; and all
alike were to cause themselves to be called, so far as lay in their
power, the scholars of William of Durham. Lastly, the Senior Fellow was
to be in Holy Orders. This, however, must not be taken to mean that
the other Fellows were not to be so likewise. They were till recently
expected to be ordained within four years of their degree, and the
Statutes of 1311 A.D. were reaffirmed in that sense by the visitors
under the chancellorship of Dr. Fell, 1666 A.D., when it was sought to
remove Mr. Berty, a Bennet Fellow, because he had not taken orders.

In or about the year 1343 the scholars of William of Durham removed to
the present site of the College, where a house called Spicer’s Hall,
occupying the ground now included in the large quadrangle, had been
bought for them. At the same time White Hall and Rose Hall, two houses
facing Kybald Street--which joined the present Logic Lane and Grove
Street half-way down each--were bought, and made part of the College.
Ludlow Hall, on the site of the present east quadrangle, was bought at
the same time, and a tenement, called in 1379 Little University Hall,
and occupying the site of the Lodgings of the Master (which in 1880,
on the completion of the Master’s new house, were turned into men’s
rooms), was bought in 1404. But Ludlow Hall and Little University Hall
were not at once added to the College premises.

During the first hundred years of the life of the College its members
were called simply _University Scholars_, and the ordinance of A.D.
1311, that they should call themselves _the Scholars of William of
Durham_, proves that that was not the name in common vogue. Their
old house at the corner of what is to-day Brazen-nose College was
called the _Aula Universitatis in Vico Scholarum_ (the Hall of the
University in School Street). After 1343, the probable year of their
migration, until at least 1361, the College was called as before _Aula
Universitatis_, only _in Alto Vico_, i. e. in High Street. After 1361
they assumed the official title of _Master and Fellows of the Hall of
William of Durham_, commonly called _Aula Universitatis_. It was not
till 1381 that the present title _Magna Aula Universitatis_, or Mickle
University Hall, was used, in distinction from the _Little University
Hall_, which was only separated from it by Ludlow Hall. But the
nomenclature was not uniform, and in Elizabeth’s reign, as in Richard
II.’s, it was called _the College of William of Durham_.

The legend of the foundation of the College by King Alfred has been
mentioned, and here is a convenient place to conjecture how and when
it arose. The first mention of it we meet with in a petition addressed
in French to King Richard II., A.D. 1381, by his “poor Orators, the
Master and Scholars of your College, called Mickil University Hall in
Oxendford, which College was first founded by your noble Progenitor,
King Alfred (whom God assoyle), for the maintenance of twenty-four
Divines for ever.” Twenty years before, in 1360, Laurence Radeford, a
Fellow, had bought for the College various messuages, shops, lands and
meadows yielding rents of the yearly value of £15. This purchase was
made out of the residuum of William of Durham’s money, now all called
in. But it turned out that the title to the new property was bad, and,
after forging various deeds without success, the College appealed
in the above petition to the king, Richard II., to exercise his
prerogative, and take the case out of the common courts, in which--so
runs the petition--the plaintiff, Edmond Frauncis, citizen of London,
“has procured all the Pannel of the Inquest to be taken by Gifts and

The petition prays the king to see that the College be not “tortiously
disinherited,” and appeals to the memory of the “noble Saints John
of Beverley, Bede, and Richard of Armagh, formerly scholars of the
College.” A petition so full of fictions hardly deserved to lead to
success, and the College was eventually compelled to redeem its right
to the estate by payment of a large sum of money to the heirs of
Frauncis. The interest of this petition, however, lies in the fact
that in 1728, on the occasion of a dispute arising for the mastership
between Mr. Denison and Mr. Cockman, it formed the ground upon which,
in the King’s Bench at Westminster, it was held that the College is a
Royal foundation, and the Crown the rightful visitor; the truth being
that the whole body of Regents and non-Regents of the University were
and always had been the true and rightful visitor.

But the French Petition to Richard II. was not the only fabrication to
which William of Durham’s unworthy beneficiaries had recourse in order
to establish a fictitious antiquity and deny their real founder. About
the same time they stole the chancellor’s seal and affixed its impress
to a forged deed purporting to have been executed in A.D. 1220, the 4th
of Henry III., May 10th, by Lewis de Chapyrnay, Chancellor. This false
deed records the receipt of four hundred marks bequeathed by William,
Archdeacon of Durham, for the maintenance of six Masters of Arts, and
the conveyance of certain tenements to Master Roger Caldwell, Warden
and senior Fellow of the great hall of the University. The reader
will the more agree that this forgery was worthier of Shapira than of
“honest and holy clerks,” when he reads in Antony à Wood (_City of
Oxford_, ed. Andrew Clark, vol. i. p. 561)--who was not deceived by
it--that it was written “on membrane cours, thick, greasy, whereas,
in the reign of Henry III. parchment was not so, but fine and clear.”
There never were such persons as Chapyrnay and Caldwell, and William
of Durham did not die till 1249, and then left only three hundred and
ten marks. Mr. Twine, the author of the _Apology for the Antiquity of
Oxford_, said of this deed, “mentiri nescit, it cannot lie.” “But,”
says quaintly Mr. William Smith, “if ever there was a lie in the world,
that which we find in that Charter is as great a one as ever the Devil
told since he deceived our first Parents in Paradise.”

It would oppress the reader to detail all the other fictions which
followed on this early one. One lie makes many, and as time went on
outward embellishments were added to the College commemorative of its
mythical founder. Thus a picture of King Alfred was bought in the
year 1662 for £3--perhaps the same which one now sees in the College
library. There was--so Mr. Smith relates--an older picture of him in
the Masters’ lodgings.

A statue of Alfred also stood over the chapel door, and was removed by
Mr. Obadiah Walker, Master in 1676, to a niche over the hall door to
make place for a statue of St. Cuthbert, the patron saint of Durham, on
whose day the gaudy used to be celebrated until 1662, at which date it
was changed to the day of Saints Simon and Jude, out of respect to the
memory of Sir Simon Benet, who had lately bequeathed four Fellowships,
four scholarships, and various other benefits. This was the real cause
of the 28th of October being chosen for the gaudy, although afterwards
the Aluredians absurdly pretended that it was the day of King Alfred’s
obit. The statue of Alfred above-mentioned was given by Dr. Robert
Plot, the well-known author of _The Natural History of Oxfordshire_,
who was a Fellow-commoner of the College, and it cost £3 1_s._ 5_d._ to
remove it, as related, in the year 1686. A hundred years later a marble
image of Alfred was given to the College by Viscount Folkestone, which
is now set up over the fireplace in the oak common-room. A relief of
him is also set over the fireplace in the college-hall, and was given
by Sir Roger Newdigate, a member of the College, and founder of the
University annual prize for an English poem.

A picture of St. John of Beverley, mentioned in the French petition
to Richard II., was, we learn from Gutch’s edition of Antony Wood’s
_Colleges and Halls_ (ed. 1786, p. 57), set in the east window of
the old chapel in the beginning of the seventeenth century. The same
authority assures us that until Dr. Clayton’s time (Master, 1605)
there were in a window on the west side of the little old quadrangle
pictures of King Alfred kneeling and St. Cuthbert sitting, … the king
thus bespeaking the saint in a pentameter, holding the picture of the
College in his hand, “Hic in honore tui collegium statui,” to whom the
saint made answer, in a scroll coming from his mouth--“Quæ statuisti in
eo pervertentes maledico.”

In a window of the outer chapel were also the arms of William of
Durham, which were, “Or, a Fleur de lis azure, each leaf charged with
a mullet gules.” Round these arms was written on a scroll: “Magistri
Willielmi de Dunelm … huius collegii”; the missing word, so Wood had
been informed, was “Fundatoris,” erased, no doubt, by an Aluredian.
The arms of the College to-day are those of Edward the Confessor, to
wit--“Azure, a cross patonce between five martlets Or.” We would do
well to resign our sham royalty, and return to the arms of William of
Durham, our true founder.

The crowning fiction was the celebration in the year 1872 of the
millennium of the College, during the mastership of the Rev. G.
G. Bradley, afterwards Dean of Westminster. It is said that a
distinguished modern historian ironically sent him a number of burned
cakes, purporting to have been dug up at Athelney, to entertain King
Alfred’s scholars withal. It is not recorded if they were served up or
no to the guests, among whom were Dean Stanley and Mr. Robert Lowe,
both past tutors of the College. At the dinner which graced this festal
occasion, the late Dean of Westminster is said to have ridiculed the
idea of King Alfred having bestowed lands and tenements on scholars in
Oxford, which place was in A.D. 872 in possession of Alfred’s enemies
the Danes; whereupon Mr. Lowe made the happy answer, that this latter
fact was itself a confirmation of the legend, for King Alfred was a man
much before his time, who in the spirit of some modern leaders of the
democracy took care to bestow on his followers, not his own lands, but
those of his political opponents.

This legend of King Alfred sprang up in the fourteenth century, when
people had forgotten the Norman Conquest and time had long healed all
the scars of an alien invasion. Then historians began to feel back to a
more remote period for the origin of institutions really subsequent.
In so doing they fed patriotic pride by establishing an unbroken
continuity of the nation’s life. So to-day we see asserting itself, and
with better historical warranty, a belief in the antiquity of English
ecclesiastical institutions. The best minds are no longer content
with that idol of the Evangelicals, a parliamentary church dating
back no more than three centuries. It may be even that a good deal of
the Aluredian legend was earlier in its origin than the fourteenth
century, and shaped itself at the first out of anti-Norman feeling.
In the reign of King Richard, anyhow, all sections of the now united
nation accepted it, and not only have we the writ of King Richard
II., dated May 4th, 1381 (in answer to the French petition), setting
down the College to be “the Foundation of the Progenitors of our Lord
the King, and of his Patronage,”[5] but in that very reign, if not
later, a passage was interpolated in MSS. of Asser’s _Life of Alfred_,
identifying the schools--which Alfred undoubtedly maintained--with the
schools of Oxford. The Fellows of University only took advantage of a
feeling which was abroad, and by which they were also duped, when they
declared themselves in the French petition to be a royal foundation.
Antony Wood was not deceived by the legend, though he credits it in
regard to the University. It is strange to find Hearne the antiquary,
and Dr. Charlet, Master, 1692-1722, both acquaintances of Mr. W. Smith,
adhering to the belief. Mr. Smith declares that Dr. Charlet did so from
vanity, because he thought that to be head of a royal foundation added
to his dignity. Obadiah Walker had sided with the Aluredians, because
he was a papist, and because Alfred had been a good Catholic king and
faithful to the Pope. What is most strange of all is that, although
the king’s attorney and solicitor-general, being duly commissioned to
inquire, had, in October 1724 pronounced that the College was not a
royal foundation, nor the sovereign its legitimate visitor, yet the
Court of King’s Bench three years after decided both points in just
the opposite sense. It is an ill wind that blows no one any good. We
then lost the University as our visitor, but have since obtained gratis
on all disputed points the opinion of the highest law officer of the
realm, the Lord Chancellor.

Between the years 1307 and 1360 as many as sixteen halls in the
parishes of St. Mary, St. Peter, St. Mildred, and All Hallows were
bought for the College. They were no doubt let out as lodgings to
University students, and were in those days, as now, a remunerative
form of investment; some of them standing on sites which have since
come to be occupied by colleges.

It was not till the fifteenth century that the College acquired
property outside Oxford, and then not by purchase, but by bequest. In
those days locomotion was too difficult for a small group of scholars
to venture on far-off purchases. But in 1403 Walter Skirlaw, Bishop
of Durham, left to our College the Manor of Mark’s Hall, or Margaret
Ruthing, in Essex. The proceeds were to sustain three Fellows “chosen
out of students at Oxford or Cambridge, and if possible born in
the dioceses of York and Durham.” It has already been remarked how
closely connected was the College with the North of England. No other
conditions were attached to the benefaction save this, that “all the
Fellows shall every year, for ever, celebrate solemn obsequies in their
chapel upon the day of the Bishop’s death, with a Placebo and Dirige,
and a Mass for the dead the day after.” Is it altogether for good that
we have outgrown those customs of pious gratitude to the past? Bishop
Skirlaw’s Fellowships, it may be added, figure in the Calendar as of
the foundation of Henry IV., because the lands were passed as a matter
of legal form through the sovereign’s lands in order to avoid certain
difficulties connected with mortmains.

The next great benefactor of the College after Bishop Skirlaw was
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, who in 1442 left property and the
advowson of Arncliffe in Craven in Yorkshire. Three Fellows drawn from
the dioceses of Durham, Carlisle, and York were to be sustained out of
his benefaction. The next chief benefaction was that of John Freyston
or Frieston, who in 1592 bequeathed property in Pontefract for the
support of a Fellow or Exhibitioner, who should be a Yorkshire man,
and also by his will made the College trustee to pay certain yearly
sums to the grammar schools of Wakefield, Normanton, Pontefract, and

Coming to the seventeenth century, we find a Mr. Charles Greenwood, a
past-Fellow, leaving a handsome bequest to the College, out of which,
however, only £1500 was secured from his executors, which money paid
for the present fabric to be partially raised; the north side of the
quadrangle, the chapel, and hall and old library being first begun A.D.
1634. The present library was partly built out of money given by the
executors and trustees of the second Lord Eldon, past-Fellow of the
College. It shelters the colossal twin-image of his kinsmen, and was
designed by Sir G. G. Scott, and is better suited to be a chapel than a
library. Then in 1631, Sir Simon Bennet, a relative and college pupil
of Mr. Greenwood’s, left lands in Northampton to maintain eight Fellows
and eight scholars; though they turned out sufficient to maintain but
four of each sort. The last great benefactor of this century was the
famous Dr. Radcliffe, formerly senior scholar, of whom the eastern
quadrangle, built by his munificence, remains as a monument. Beside
completing the fabrics he founded two medical Fellowships, and, dying
in 1734, bequeathed in trust to the College for its uses his estate of
Linton in Yorkshire.

It is beyond the limits of a short article to narrate all the
vicissitudes which during the epochs of the Reformation and
Commonwealth the College underwent. In the reign of Elizabeth it sided
with the Roman Catholics, and the Master and several Fellows were
ejected on that account. Later on, in 1642, the College _lent_ its
plate, consisting of a silver flagon, 8 potts, 9 tankards, 18 bowles,
one candle-pott, and a salt-sellar to King Charles I., one flagon alone
being kept for the use of the Communion. The gross weight as weighed at
the mint was 738 oz. The Fellows and commoners also contributed on 30th
July, 1636, the sum of 19li. 10s. for entertaining the king; and again
on 17th Feb., 1636, 4li. 17s. 6d. Subsequently the College sustained
for many months 28 soldiers at the rate of 22li. 8s. per month. After
all this show of loyalty we expect to learn that Cromwell ejected the
Master, Thomas Walker, and instituted a Roundhead, Joshua Hoyle, in his

Another member of the College of the same name, but who achieved
more fame, was Obadiah Walker, who was already a Fellow under Thomas
Walker’s mastership, and was ejected by the Long Parliament along with
him, and also with his old tutor, Mr. Abraham Woodhead. Woodhead and O.
Walker retired abroad and visited Rome and many other places. At the
Restoration they both regained their Fellowships, but Woodhead never
more conformed to the English Church. O. Walker, however, continued
to take the Sacrament in the College chapel, and after that he was
elected Master distributed it to the other Fellows, till, on the
accession of James II., he “openly declared himself a Romanist, and
got a dispensation from his Majesty for himself and two Fellows, his
converts, who held their places till the king’s flight, notwithstanding
the laws to the contrary.” William Smith, who was a resident Fellow at
the time, has “many good things to say of Obadiah Walker, as that he
was neither proud nor covetous, and framed his usual discourse against
the Puritans on one side, and the Jesuits on the other, as the chief
disturbers of the peace, and hinderers of all concessions and agreement
amongst all true members of the Catholic Church.” He complains,
however, that “as soon as he declared himself a Roman Catholic, he
provided him and his party of Jesuits for their Priests; concerning
the first of which (I think he went by the name of Mr. Edwards) there
is this remarkable story, that having had mass said for some time in a
garret, he afterwards procured a mandate from K. James to seize on the
lower half of a side of the quadrangle, next adjoining to the College
chapel, by which he deprived us of two low rooms, their studies and
their bed-chambers; and after all the partitions were removed, it was
someway or other consecrated, as we suppose, to Divine services; for
they had mass there every day, and sermons at least in the afternoons
on the Lord’s Day.”

Smith goes on to relate how the Jesuit chaplain was one day preaching
from the text, “So run that you may obtain,” when one of many
Protestants, who were harkening at the outside of the windows in the
quadrangle, discovering that the Jesuit was preaching a sermon of Mr.
Henry Smith, which he had at home by him, went and fetched the book,
and read at the outside of the window what the Jesuit was preaching
within. For this it seems the particular Jesuit got into trouble.
Smith complains also that by mandate of the king, Walker sequestred
a Fellowship towards the maintenance of his priest, and incurred the
College much expense in putting up the statue of James II., presented
by a Romanist,[6] over the inside of a gate-house. He adds that “Mr.
Walker that had the king’s ear, and entertained him at vespers in their
chapel, and shewed the king the painted windows in our own, so that
the king could not but see his own statue in coming out of it, never
had the Prudence nor kindness to the College, as to request the least
favour to the society from him.”

That Mr. William Smith, who writes the above, could also make himself a
_persona grata_ to the great men of State who came to Oxford to attend
on the king, we see from the following letter written by Lord Conyers,
who in 1681 lodged with his son in University College, on the occasion
of the Parliament meeting in Oxford. It is dated Easter Thursday,
London, 1681, and is as follows (MSS. Smith):--


    I cannot satisfy my wife without giving you this trouble of
    my thanks for your very greate kindnesse to me and my sonn:
    we gott hither in v. good time on Thursday to waite on y^{e}
    king before night; who was in a course of physick, but God be
    praised is v. well & walked yesterday round Hide Parke. My son
    also desires his humble services to you: And we both of us
    desire our services & thanks to Mr. Ledgard & Mr. Smith for
    y^{r} great civilities to us; & whenever I can serve any of
    you or the College, be most confident to find me

                     “Y^{r} most affect. friend &

                                     “humble Servant


In 1680, March 30, London, Lord Conyers writes to O. Walker about
sending his son to the College, “who is growne too bigge for schoole
tho’ little I fear in scholarship … he is very towardly & capable to
be made a scholar.” He desires [letter of London, April 9, 1682] Mr.
Walker to provide a tutor for “his young man.”

Smith’s account of Obadiah Walker’s doings at the College is fitly
completed by the following passage from a letter sent by a Romanist
priest at Oxford, Father Henry Pelham, to the Provincial of the
Jesuits, Father John Clare (Sir John Warner, Bart.), preserved in the
Public Record Office in Brussels, and given in Bloxam’s _Magdalen
College and James II._ (p. 227)--

“Oxford, 1690, May 2.--Hon. Sir, You are desirous to know how things
are with us in these troublous times, since trade (_religion_) is so
much decayed. I can only say that in the general decline of trade we
have had our share. For before this turn we were in a very hopeful
way, for we had three public shops (_chapels_) open in Oxford. One
did wholly belong to us, and good custom we had, viz. the University
(_University College Chapel_); but now it is shut up. The Master was
taken, and has been ever since in prison, and the rest forced to

Thus ended the last attempt to force the Romanist religion upon Oxford.
In the following December we find “Obadiah Walker” in the list of
prisoners remaining at Faversham under a strong guard until the 30th of
December, and then conducted some to the Tower, some to Newgate, and
others released. Mr. Obadiah Walker lived for many years afterwards,
and added to the literary work he had already accomplished in Oxford a
history of the Ejected Clergy. His memory long survived in Oxford, and
with the mob was kept alive in a doggrel ballad which bore the refrain,
“Old Obadiah sings Ave Maria.”

In University College, under Obadiah Walker, were focussed all
the propagandist influences of the time. Dr. John Massey, Dean of
Christchurch, 1686, referred to in Pelham’s letter, was originally a
member of University College, and was converted by Obadiah Walker.
There was also a printing press kept going in University to publish
books of a Romanist tendency, which the University would not authorize
to be printed by its Press.

The official College record (in the Register of Election) of the
deposition of Mr. Obadiah Walker from the headship of the College is as
follows (MSS. of Will. Smith, vol. vii. p. 113)--

“About the middle of Dec., A.D. 1688, Mr. Obadiah Walker attempted to
flee abroad, but was taken at Sittingbourne in Kent, and carried to
London, and there lodged in the Tower on a charge of high treason.

“On Jan. 7, 1689, the Fellows of University deputed Master Babman to
go to him and ask him if he would resign his post, to whom, after
deliberation lasting many days, Walker answered that he would not.

“On Jan. 22, after this answer had been brought to Oxford and conveyed
to the Vice-Chancellor, the latter summoned the Fellows to appear
before the Visitors on Jan. 26, in the Apodyterium of the Venerable
House of Convocation.

“Where on Jan. 26, between 9 and 10 a.m., there appeared in person
and as representing the College the following Fellows--Mr. Will.
Smith, Tho. Babman, Tho. Bennet, Francis Forster, and besought the
Vice-Chancellor, Proctors, and Doctors of Divinity representing
Convocation to remedy certain grievances in the College, specially
concerning the Master and two Fellows. To them a citation was then
issued by the Vice-Chancellor, Proctors, Doctors of Divinity, and
others, as the ordinary and legitimate patrons and visitors of the
College, to appear before them in the College Chapel on Monday, Feb. 4
following between 8-9 a.m.

“On the appointed day there met in the chapel between 8-9 a.m. the
Vice-Chancellor, Gilbert Ironsyde, S.T.P., Rob. Say, Byron Eaton,
Master of Oriel, W. Lovett, Tho. Hyde, Chief Librarian, Tho. Turner,
President of C.C.C., Jonath. Edwards, S.T.P., Thom. Dunstan, Pres. of
Magdalen College, Will. Christmas, Jun. Proctor, and others. After the
Litany had been repeated, the Vice-Chancellor prorogued the meeting
to the common-room, where were present the afore-mentioned Fellows,
and in addition Edw. Farrar, Jo. Gilve, Jo. Nailor, Jo. Hudson. The
Fellows preferred a complaint that the statutes of the Realm, of the
University, and of the College had been violated by Obadiah Walker,
Master or Senior Fellow of the College. They objected in particular
that he had left the religion of the Anglican Church, established
and confirmed by the statutes of this Realm, and betaken himself to
the Roman or papistical religion; that he had held, fostered, and
frequented illegal conventicles within the aforesaid College; that he
had procured to be sequestred unto wrong uses and against the statutes
the income and emoluments of the Society; also that he had had printed
books against the Reformed religion, and that within the College, and
had published the same unto the grave scandal as well of the University
as of the College. All these charges were amply proved by trustworthy
witnesses, whereupon the visitors decreed that the post of Mr. Obadiah
Walker was void and vacant. At the same time, at the instance of the
said Fellows, Masters Boyse and Deane, Fellows of the College, who had
left the religion of the reformed Anglican Church, were ordered to be
proceeded against so soon as a new Master or Senior Fellow was chosen.”

Mr. Obadiah Walker lived for many years after the accession of William
and Mary. He was a man of great piety and vast and varied learning, as
is shown by his books upon Religion, Logic, History, and Geography. He
wrote a book upon Greenland, and made experiments in physics. A near
friend of the great benefactor of the College, Dr. John Radcliffe,
he sought to convert that famous physician to the Roman faith, but
found him as little inclined to believe in transubstantiation as “that
the phial in his hand was a wheelbarrow.” In spite of their want of
religious sympathy, however, the two men liked each other’s society,
and the great physician, who respected Walker’s learning, gave him a
competency during the latter years of his life. In the College archives
is an elegant letter addressed by O. Walker, then Master, to Radcliffe,
thanking him for his gift of the east window of the College chapel. It
runs thus:

    “Sir, we return you our humble and hearty thanks for your
    noble and illustrious benefaction to this ancient foundation;
    your generosity hath supplyed a defect and covered a blemish
    in our chapell; the other lesse eminent windows seemed to
    upbraid the chiefest as being more adorned and regardable than
    that which ought to be most splendid; till you was pleased to
    compassionate us and ennoble the best with the best work. Other
    benefactions are to be sought out in registers and memorialls,
    yours is conveyed with the light. The rising sun displays
    the gallantry of your spirit, and withall puts us in mind as
    often as we enter to our devotions to remember you and your
    good actions towards us. Nor can we salute the morning light
    without meditating on y^{e} Shepherds and y^{e} Angells adoring
    the true Sun. And y^{r} holy praise and prostration by your
    singular favour is continually proposed, as to our sight and
    consideration, so to our example also. And so we do accept and
    acknowledge it, not only as an object moving our devotions,
    but as praise of y^{e} artificer who hath not only observed much
    better decorum and proportion in his figures, but hath all so
    ingeniously contrived that the light shall not be hindred as by
    y^{e} daubery of y^{e} others.”--The letter concludes with a prayer
    that Dr. Radcliffe may prosper in his profession.

The following quaint “letter sent by the College to begge contributions
towards the building the East Side of the quadrangle about y^{e} end of
1674 or beginning of 1675 to the gentlemen in the North Parts” may
fitly conclude our notice of this college (_vide_ MSS. W. Smith, x.


    “Your aged mother, and not yours alone, but of this whole
    University, if not all other such nurseries of Learning, at
    least in this nation, craves your assistance in the Time of
    her Necessity. It is not long since her walls Ruining and her
    Buildings, almost, after so many years, decayed; It pleased
    God to excite two of her sonnes in especiall manner, M^{r}
    Charles Greenwood, the tutor, and S^{r} Simon Benett, his pupill,
    to compassionate her decay, Repair her Ruins and Renew with
    Great Augmentation her former glory. But the late civil warrs
    and other alterations intervening not only interrupted that
    progresse which in a small time would have finished the work;
    But also disappointed her of the Assistance of Diverse, who
    were willing to contribute to her repairs.

       *       *       *       *       *

    “And we have very good Hopes that you will not be wanting to us
    in this our Necessity; this being a college designed for and
    most of the preferment in it limitted to Northern Scholars.
    A college which hath had the felicity to be herselfe at this
    present time DCCC. years old.… In recompense she may justly
    expect that as she hath fostered your youths, so you would
    cherish her age.”

_Additional Notes._

p. 9. On Clerical Fellows.--It should be added that the statutes
of 1736 provided that the two senior Fellows of the foundation of
Sir Simon Bennet might study Medicine or Law. In 1854 the general
ordinances of the Commissioners provided that there should be six
(_i. e._ half of the) Fellows in Holy Orders. More recently clerical
Fellowships have been practically abolished in the College.

p. 14. Anti-Norman feeling.--A spirit of Rivalry with Cambridge may
with more reason be alleged in explanation of the acceptance of the
Aluredian Legend.

p. 14. On the Legend of King Alfred.--The Court of King’s Bench only
decided that the College is a Royal Foundation, not that it was
actually founded by King Alfred. Cp. the Preamble of Statutes of 1736:
“it manifestly appears by a Judgement lately given in our Court of
Kings Bench that the college of the great Hall of the University,
commonly called University College, in Oxford, is of the foundation of
our Royal Progenitors.”

p. 23. On Northern Scholars.--The College lost its one-sided Northern
character in 1736, when new statutes ordained that Sir Simon Bennet’s
Fellows were to come from the Southern Province of Canterbury (in
partibus regni nostri Australibus oriundi).




The precedence of Balliol over Merton College depends upon the fact
that John Balliol made certain payments not long after 1260 for the
support of poor students at Oxford, while Walter of Merton’s foundation
dates from 1264; but it was not until the example had been set by
Merton that the House of Balliol assumed a corporate being and became
governed by formal statutes. The “pious founder” too was at the outset
an involuntary agent, for the obligation to make his endowment was
part of a penance imposed on him together with a public scourging
at the Abbey door by the Bishop of Durham.[8] John Balliol, lord of
Galloway, was the father of that John to whom King Edward the First of
England adjudged the Scottish crown in 1292. His wife, the heiress,
was Dervorguilla, grandniece to King William the Lion. It is to her
far more than to her husband that the real foundation of the College
bearing his name is due, and husband and wife are rightly coupled
together as joint-founders, the lion of Scotland being associated with
the orle of Balliol on the College shield. A house was first hired
beyond the city ditch on the north side of Oxford, hard by the church
of St. Mary Magdalen, and here certain poor scholars were lodged and
paid eightpence a-day for their commons.[9] It was in the beginning a
simple almshouse, founded on the model already existing at Paris, it
depended for its maintenance upon the good pleasure of the founder, and
possessed (so far as we know) no sort of organization, though customs
and rules were certain to shape themselves before long without any
positive enactment.

This state of things lasted until 1282, when Dervorguilla,--her
husband had died in 1269,--took steps to place the House of Balliol
upon an established footing. By her charter deed[10] she appointed two
representatives or “proctors” (one, it seems probable, being always
a Franciscan friar, and the other a secular Master of Arts) as the
governing body of the House. The Scholars were, it is true, to elect
their own Principal, and obey him “according to the statutes and
customs approved among them,” but he and they were alike subordinate
to the Proctors or (as they came to be distinguished) the Extraneous
Masters. The Scholars, whose number is not mentioned, were to attend
the prescribed religious services and the exercises at the schools, and
were also to engage in disputations among themselves once a fortnight.
Three masses in the year were to be celebrated for the founders’
welfare, and mention of them was to be made in the blessing before
and grace after meat. Rules were laid down for the distribution of
the common funds; if they fell short it was ordered that the poorer
Scholars were not to suffer. The use of the Latin language (apparently
at the common table) was strictly enjoined upon the Scholars. Whoever
broke the rule was to be admonished by the Principal, and if he
offended twice or thrice was to be removed from the common table, to
eat by himself, and be served last of all. If he remained incorrigible
after a week, the Proctors were to expel him. One feature of the
Balliol Statutes which deserves particular notice is that none of them,
until we reach the endowments of the sixteenth century, placed any sort
of local restriction upon those who were capable of being elected to
the Foundation.

This charter was plainly but the giving of a constitution to a society
which had already formed for itself rules and usages with respect to
discipline and other matters not referred to in it. The “House of
the Scholars of Balliol” was placed on a still more assured footing
when its charter was confirmed by Bishop Sutton of Lincoln two years
later,[11] in which year the Scholars removed to a house bought for
them by the foundress in Horsemonger-street, a little to the eastward
of their previous abode;[12] and soon afterwards the Bishop permitted
them to hold divine service, though they still attended their parish
Church of St. Mary Magdalen on all great festivals.[13] Before the
middle of the fourteenth century the society had considerably enlarged
its position. It had bought houses on both sides of its existing
building, so that it now occupied very nearly the site of the present
front-quadrangle.[14] It received from private benefactors endowment
for two Chaplains; and in 1327, with help furnished through the
Abbot of Reading,[15] the building of a Chapel dedicated to Saint
Catherine--the special patron whom we find first associated with the
College in the letter of Bishop Sutton--was carried into effect.
But the College remained dependent upon its parish Church for the
celebration of the Mass until the Chapel was expressly licensed for
the purpose by Pope Urban the Fifth in April 1364. As early as 1310
the College had become possessed of a messuage containing four schools
on the west side of School-street, which were, according to the usual
practice, let out to those who had exercises to perform, and thus added
to the resources of the College.[16] Some unused land on this property
was afterwards conveyed to the University to form part of the site
of the Divinity School, and the University still pays the College a
quitrent for it.[17]

During this time there seems to have been an active dispute among the
Scholars as to the studies which they were permitted to pursue. Bishop
Sutton had expressly ordained that they should dwell in the House
_until they had completed their course in Arts_. It seemed naturally
to follow that it was not lawful for them to go on to a further course
of study, for instance, in Divinity, without ceasing their connection
with the House. At length in 1325 this inference was formally ratified
by the two Extraneous Masters in the presence of all the members as
well as four graduates who had formerly been _Fellows_ (a title which
now first appears in our muniments as a synonym for Scholars) of the
House.[18] One of the Extraneous Masters was Nicolas Tingewick, who
is otherwise known to us as a benefactor of the Schools of Grammar in
the University;[19] and one of the ex-Fellows was Richard FitzRalph,
afterwards Vice-Chancellor of the University and Archbishop of Armagh,
the man to whom above all others John Wycliffe, a later member of
Balliol, owed the distinguishing elements of his teaching.[20] It was
thus decided that Balliol should be a home exclusively of secular
learning; and it reads as a curious presage, that thus early in the
history of the College the field should be marked out for it in which,
in the fifteenth century and again in our own day, it was peculiarly
to excel.

But the theologians soon had some compensation, for in 1340 a new
endowment was given to the College by Sir Philip Somerville for their
special benefit. From the Statutes which accompanied his gift[21]
we learn that the existing number of Fellows was sixteen; this he
increased to twenty-two (or more, if the funds would allow), with the
provision that six of the Fellows should, after they had attained their
regency in Arts, enter upon a course of theology, together with canon
law if they pleased, extending in ordinary cases over _not more_ than
twelve or thirteen years from their Master’s degree in Arts. Such was
the rigour of the demands made upon the theological student in the
University system of the middle ages; with what results as to solidity
and erudition it is not necessary here to say.

Somerville’s Statutes further made several important changes in the
constitution of the Hall or House, as it is here called. The Principal
still exists, holding precedence among the Fellows, much like that
of the President in some of the Colleges at Cambridge; but he is
subordinate to the Master, who is elected by the society subject to
the approval of a whole series of Visitors. After election the Master
was first to present himself and take oath before the lord of Sir
Philip Somerville’s manor of Wichnor, and then to be presented by two
of the Fellows and the two Extraneous Masters to the Chancellor of the
University, or his Deputy, and to the Prior of the Monks of Durham
at Oxford. By these his appointment was confirmed. There was thus
established a complicated system of a threefold Visitatorial Board. The
powers of the lords of Wichnor were indeed probably formal; but those
of the Extraneous Masters subsisted side by side by, and to some extent
independently of, the Chancellor and the Prior. The former retained
their previous authority over the Fellows of the old foundation; they
were only associated with the Chancellor and Prior with respect to the
new theological Fellows. Finally, over all the Bishop of Durham was
placed, as a sort of supreme Visitor, to compel the enforcement of
the provisions affecting Somerville’s bequest. One wonders how this
elaborate scheme worked, and particularly how the society of Balliol
liked the supervision of the Prior of Durham College just beyond their
garden-wall. But the curious thing is that the benefactor declares that
in making these Statutes he intends not to destroy but to confirm the
ancient rules and Statutes of the College, as though some part of his
extraordinary arrangements had been already in force.[22]

It is easy to guess that the scheme was impracticable, and in fact so
early as 1364 a new code had to be drawn up. This was given, under
papal authority, by Simon Sudbury, Bishop of London, afterwards
Archbishop of Canterbury; but unfortunately it is not preserved. We
can only gather from later references that it changed more than it
left of the existing Statutes, and that it established Rectors (almost
certainly the old Proctors or Extraneous Masters under a new name[23])
to control the Master and Fellows, and possibly a Visitor over all.
But the one thing positive is that a right of ultimate appeal was now
reserved to the Bishop of London, who thus came to exercise something
more than the power which was in later times committed to the Visitor.
It was by his authority that in the course of the fifteenth century
the property-limitation affecting the Master was abolished, and he was
empowered to hold a benefice of whatever value;[24] and that Chaplains
were made eligible, equally with the Fellows, for the office of
Master.[25] On the one hand the dignity of the Master was increased; on
the other the ecclesiastical element was brought to the front.

The latter point becomes more than ever clear in the Statutes which
were framed for the College in 1507, and which remained substantially
in force until the Universities Commission of 1850. The cause of their
promulgation is obscurely referred to the violent and high-handed
action of a previous--possibly the existing--Visitor. The matter was
laid before Pope Julius the Second, and he deputed the Bishops of
Winchester and Carlisle, or one of them, to draw up an amended body of
Statutes which should preclude the repetition of such misgovernment.
The Statutes[26] themselves are the work of the Bishop of Winchester,
the same Richard Fox who left so enduring a monument of his piety and
zeal for learning in his foundation of Corpus Christi College. That
foundation however was ten years later, and Fox had not yet, it should
seem, formed in his mind the pattern according to which a College in
the days of revived and expanded classical study should be modelled. In
Balliol he saw nothing but a small foundation with scanty resources and
without the making of an important home of learning. The eleemosynary
character of its original Statutes he left as it was, only slightly
increasing the commons of the Fellows.[27] The Master was to enjoy
no greater allowance than Fellows who were Masters of Arts, but he
retained the right to hold a benefice. He was no longer necessarily
to be chosen from among the Fellows. The unique privilege of the
College to elect its own Visitor--how the privilege arose we know
not--is expressly declared. But the essential changes introduced in
the Statutes of 1507 are those which gave the College a distinctively
theological complexion, and those which established a class of students
in the College subordinate to the Fellows.

We have seen how the Chaplains had been long rising in dignity, as
shown by the fact that, though not Fellows, they had since 1477[28]
been equally eligible with the Fellows for the office of Master. By the
new Statutes two of the Fellowships were to be filled up by persons
already in Priest’s orders to act as Chaplains. This was in part a
measure of economy, since Fellows could be found to act as Chaplains,
but the increased importance of the latter is the more significant
since these same Statutes reduced the number of Fellows from at least
twenty-two to not less than ten. Besides this, every Fellow of the
College was henceforth required to receive Priest’s orders within four
years after his Master’s degree. Doubtless from the beginning all the
members of the foundation had been--as indeed all University students
were--_clerici_; but this did not necessarily imply more than the
simple taking of the tonsure. The obligation of Priest’s orders was
something very different. The Fellows were as a rule to be Bachelors
of Arts at the time of election. Their studies were limited to logic,
philosophy, and divinity; but they were free to pursue a course of
canon law in the long vacation. The Master’s degree was to be taken
four years after they had fulfilled the requirements for that of
Bachelor. It may be noticed that, instead of their having, according to
the modern practice, to pay fees to the College on taking degrees, they
received from it on each occasion a gratuity varying according to the
dignity of the degree.

The reduction in the number of Fellowships was evidently made in
order to provide for the lower rank of what we should now-a-days call
Scholars. In the Statutes indeed this name is not found, for it was
not forgotten that Fellow and Scholar meant the same thing: and so the
old word _scholasticus_, which was often used in the general sense
of a “student,” was now applied to designate those junior members of
the College for whom Scholar was too dignified a title. They were
to be “scholastics or servitors,” not above eighteen years of age,
sufficiently skilled in plain song and grammar. One was assigned to the
Master and one to each graduate Fellow, and was nominated by him; he
was his private servant. The Scholastics were to live of the remnants
of the Fellows’ table, to apply themselves to the study of logic, and
to attend Chapel in surplices. They had also the preference, in case
of equality, in election to Fellowships. We may add that, although the
position of these Scholars (as they came to be called) unquestionably
improved greatly in the course of time, the Statute affecting them was
not revised until 1834.[29]

The Statutes throw a good deal of light on the internal administration
of the College at the close of the middle ages. Of the two Deans,
the senior had charge of the Library, the junior of the Chapel; they
were also to assist the Master generally in matters of discipline.
The Master, Fellows, and Scholastics were bound on Sundays and
Feast-days to attend matins, with lauds, mass, vespers, and compline;
and any Fellow who absented himself was liable to a fine of twopence,
while Scholastics were punished with a flogging or otherwise at the
discretion of the Master and Dean. The senior Dean presided at the
disputations in Logic, which were held on Saturdays weekly throughout
the term, except in Lent, and attended by the Bachelors, Scholastics,
and junior Masters. The more important disputations in philosophy were
held on Wednesdays, and were not intermitted in Lent. They were even
held during the long vacation until the 7th September. At these all the
Fellows were to be present, and the Master or senior Fellow to preside.
Theological disputations were also to be held weekly or fortnightly in
term so long as there were three Fellows who were theologians to make
a quorum. The College was empowered to receive boarders not on the
foundation--what we now call commoners or persons who pay for their
commons,--on the condition of their following the prescribed course of
study (or in special cases reading civil or canon law); and the fact of
their paying seems to have given them a choice of rooms.

The Bible or one of the Fathers was to be read in hall during
dinner, and all conversation to be in Latin, unless addressed to
one--presumably a guest or a servant--ignorant of the language. French
was not permitted, as it was at Queen’s,[30] but the Master might
give leave to speak English on state occasions,--evidently on such a
feast as that of Saint Catherine’s day, when guests were invited and
an extraordinary allowance of 3_s._ 4_d._ was made. The condition of
residence was strictly enforced; nevertheless _in order that when, as
ofttimes comes to pass, a season of pestilence rages, the Muses be not
silent nor study and teaching of none effect by reason of the strength
of fear and peril_, it was permitted that the members of the College
should withdraw into the country, to a more salubrious place not
distant more than twelve miles from Oxford, and there dwell together
and carry on their life of study and their accustomed disputations
so long as the plague should last.[31] The gates of the College were
closed at nine in summer and eight in winter, and the keys deposited
with the Master until the morning. Whoever spent the night out of
College or entered except by the gate, was punished, a Fellow by a fine
of twelve pence, a Scholastic by a flogging.

       *       *       *       *       *

Having now sketched the constitutional history of the College to the
end of the middle ages, we have now to mention a few facts of interest
during that time. These group themselves first round the name of John
Wycliffe the reformer of religion, and then round the band of learned
men and patrons of learning, the reformers of classical study, in the
century after him.

In 1360 and 1361 John Wycliffe is mentioned in the College muniments
as Master of Balliol. That this was the famous teacher and preacher is
not disputed, but there has been much controversy as to his earlier
history. That he began his University life at Queen’s is indeed known
to be a mistake; but the entry of the name in the bursar’s rolls at
Merton under the date June 1356 has led many to believe that he was a
Fellow of that College. It seems nearly certain that there were two
John Wycliffes at Oxford at the time; and since the Master of Balliol
could only be elected from among the Fellows, the inference seems
clear that the Wycliffe who was Master of Balliol cannot have been
Fellow of Merton. Besides, it has been pointed out that Wycliffe the
reformer’s descent from a family settled hard by Barnard Castle, the
home of the Balliols, would naturally lead him to enter the Balliol
foundation at Oxford; there was another Wycliffe also at Balliol,
and three members of the College--one himself Master--were given the
benefice of Wycliffe-upon-Tees between 1363 and 1369. Fellowships were
obtained by personal influence, and ties of this kind would easily
help his admission. Moreover, it was not common for a northerner to
enter a College like Merton, which appears in fact to have formed the
head-quarters of the southern party at Oxford.[32]

Whatever be the truth in this matter, Wycliffe’s connection with
Balliol is scarcely a matter of high importance. Men did not in those
days receive their education within the College walls. The College was
the boarding-house where they dwelt, where they were maintained, and
where they attended divine service. It is true that disputations were
required to take place within the House; but this was only to ensure
their regularity. It was an affair of _discipline_, not of tuition,
for the College tutor was an officer undreamt of in those days; the
duty of the Principal on these occasions was only to announce the
subject, to preside over the discussion, and to keep order. Nor again
was Wycliffe Master for more than a short time. He was elected after
1356, and he resigned his post shortly after accepting the College
living of Fillingham in 1361. When in later years he lived in Oxford
he took up his abode elsewhere than in Balliol; perhaps at Queen’s,
then, according to many, at Canterbury Hall, finally at Black Hall:
Balliol, it should seem, at that time had room only for members of the
foundation. The chief interest residing in his connection with the
College lies in the fact, to which we have alluded, that his great
exemplar, Richard FitzRalph, had been a Fellow of it about the time
of Wycliffe’s birth, and was probably still resident in Oxford when
Wycliffe came up as a freshman.

The age succeeding Wycliffe’s death is the most barren time in the
history of the University. Scholastic philosophy had lost its vitality
and become over-elaborated into a trivial formalism. Logic had ceased
to act as a stimulus to the intellectual powers, and had rather become
a clog upon their exercise; and men no longer framed syllogisms to
develop their thoughts, but argued first and thought, if at all,
afterwards. When, however, towards the middle of the fifteenth century,
the revival of learning which we associate with the name of humanism
began to influence English students, it was not those who stayed in
England who caught its spirit, but those who were able to pursue a
second student’s course in Italy, and there devote their zeal to the
half-forgotten stores of classical Latin literature and the unknown
treasure-house of Greek. It was only the ebb of the humanistic movement
which in England, as in Germany, turned to refresh and invigorate the
study of theology. In the earlier phase, so far as it affected England,
Balliol College took a foremost position, though indeed there is less
evidence of this activity among the resident members of the House than
among those who had passed from it to become the patrons and pioneers
of a younger generation of scholars. They were almost all travelled
men, who collected manuscripts and had them copied for them, founded
libraries and sowed the seed for others to reap the fruit.

First among these in time and in dignity was Humphrey Duke of
Gloucester, the Good Duke Humphrey, by whose munificence the University
Library grew from a small number of volumes chained on desks in the
upper chamber of the Congregation House at Saint Mary’s,[33] into a
collection of some six hundred manuscripts, of unique value, because,
unlike the existing cathedral and monastic libraries, it was formed at
the time when attention was being again devoted to classical learning
and with the help of the foreign scholars, whose work the Duke loved
to encourage, and whom he employed to transcribe and collect for
him. His library contained little theology; it was rich in classical
Latin literature, in Arabic science (in translations), and in the new
literature of Italy, counting at least five volumes of Boccaccio, seven
of Petrarch, and two of Dante.[34] Unhappily the whole library was
wrecked and brought to nothing in the violence of the reign of King
Edward the Sixth, and the three volumes which are now preserved in
the re-founded University Library of Sir Thomas Bodley were recovered
piecemeal from those who had obtained possession of them in the great
days of plunder.[35] That Duke Humphrey was a member of Balliol College
is attested by Leland[36] and Bale,[37] but further evidence is wanting.

Almost at the same time as the University Library was thus enriched,
five Englishmen are mentioned as students at Ferrara under the
illustrious teacher Guarino:[38] four of the five are claimed by our
College, William Grey, John Tiptoft, John Free, and John Gunthorpe.
Of these, two were men of letters and munificent patrons of learning,
the third was himself a scholar of high repute, and the last combined,
perhaps in a lesser degree, the characteristics of both classes.
William Grey stands in a peculiarly close relation with the College.
A member of the noble house of Codnor, he resided for a long time at
Cologne in princely style, and maintained a magnificent household.
Here he studied logic, philosophy, and theology. He was Chancellor of
the University of Oxford from 1440 to 1442, and then went forth again
for a more prolonged course of study in Italy, at Florence, Padua,
and Ferrara. Removing in 1449 to Rome, as proctor for King Henry the
Sixth, he lived there an honoured member of the learned society in
the papal city, and continued to collect manuscripts and to have them
transcribed and illuminated under his eyes, until he was recalled in
1454 to the Bishopric of Ely. It was his devotion to humanism and his
patronage of learned men that naturally found favour with Pope Nicolas
the Fifth, and his elevation to the see of Ely was the Pope’s act.
After his return to England he was not regardless of the affairs of
State,--indeed for a time in 1469 and 1470 he was Lord Treasurer,--but
his paramount interest still lay in his books and his circle of
scholars, himself credited with a knowledge not only of Greek but of
Hebrew. It was his desire that his library should be preserved within
the walls of his old College. One of its members, Robert Abdy, heartily
coöperated with him, and the books--some two hundred in number, and
including a _printed_ copy of Josephus,--were safely housed in a new
building erected for the purpose, probably just before the Bishop’s
death in 1478. Many of the codices were unhappily destroyed during
the reign of King Edward the Sixth, and by Wood’s time few of the
miniatures in the remaining volumes had escaped mutilation.[39] But it
is a good testimony to the loyal spirit in which the College kept the
trust committed to them, that no less than a hundred and fifty-two of
Grey’s manuscripts are still in its possession.[40]

Part of the building in which the library was to find a home was
already in existence. The ground-floor, and perhaps the dining-hall
(now the library reading-room) adjoining, are attributed to Thomas
Chase, who had been Master from 1412 to 1423, and was Chancellor of
the University from 1426 to 1430. It was the upper part of the library
which was expressly built for the purpose of receiving Bishop Grey’s
books, and it was the work of Abdy, who as Fellow and then, from 1477
to 1494, as Master devoted himself to the enlargement and adornment of
the College buildings, Grey helping him liberally with money. On more
than one of the library windows their joint bounty was commemorated:--

    Hos Deus adiecit, Deus his det gaudia celi:
    Abdy perfecit opus hoc Gray presul et Ely.

And again:--

    Conditor ecce novi structus huius fuit Abdy:
    Presul et huic Hely Gray libros contulit edi.

The bishop’s coat of arms may still be seen on the panels below the
great window of the old solar, now the Master’s dining-hall; and
elsewhere in the new buildings might be seen the arms of George
Nevill, Archbishop of York, the brother of the King-Maker, who was
also a member, and would thus appear to have been a benefactor, of
the College.[41] The future Archbishop was made Chancellor of the
University in 1453 when he was barely twenty-two years of age.[42] His
installation banquet, the particulars of which may be read in Savage’s
_Balliofergus_,[43] was of a prodigality to which it would be hard to
find a parallel: it consisted of nine hundred messes of meat, with
twelve hundred hogsheads of beer and four hundred and sixteen of wine;
and if, as it appears, it was held within the College, the resources
of the house must have been severely taxed to make provision for the
entertainment of the company, which included twenty-two noblemen,
seventeen bishops and abbots, a number of noble ladies, and a multitude
of other guests, not to speak of more than two thousand servants.

The other Balliol scholars who followed the instruction of Guarino at
Ferrara were a good deal younger than Grey; for Guarino lived on until
1460, when he died at the age of ninety. Tiptoft, who was created Earl
of Worcester in his twenty-second year, in 1449, was an enthusiastic
traveller. He set out first to Jerusalem; returned to Venice, and then
spent several years in study at Ferrara, Padua, and Rome.[44] During
this time he collected manuscripts wherever he could lay hands on
them, and formed a precious library, with which he afterwards endowed
the University of Oxford: its value was reckoned at no less than five
hundred marks.[45] His later career as Treasurer and High Constable
belongs to the public history of England. It is to be lamented that
he brought back from the Italian _renaissance_ a spirit of cruelty
and recklessness of giving pain, unknown to the humaner middle ages,
which made him one of the first victims of the revolution that restored
King Henry the Sixth to the throne. But in his death the cause of
letters received a blow such as we can only compare with that which
it suffered by the execution of the Earl of Surrey in the last days
of King Henry the Eighth. It is a strange coincidence that one of the
leaders of the restoration movement, one of those chiefly chargeable
with Tiptoft’s death, was his own Balliol contemporary, Archbishop
Nevill, the new Lord Chancellor.[46]

John Free, who graduated in 1450,[47] was a Fellow of Balliol College,
and was afterwards a Doctor of Medicine of Padua. During a life spent
in Italy he became famous as a poet and a Greek scholar, a civilist
and a physician.[48] Pope Paul the Second made him Bishop of Bath and
Wells, but he died almost immediately, in 1465.[49] Gunthorpe was his
companion in study at Ferrara, and he too became distinguished as a
scholar: but he was still more a collector of books, some of which he
gave to Jesus College, Cambridge--at one time he was Warden of the
King’s Hall in that University,--while others came to several libraries
at Oxford. Gunthorpe is best known as a man of affairs, a diplomatist
and minister of state. He became Dean of Wells, and is still remembered
in that city by the _guns_ with which he adorned the Deanery he
built.[50] He survived all his fellow-scholars we have named, and died
in 1498.[51]

       *       *       *       *       *

From the end of the middle ages down to the present century Balliol
College presents none of those characteristics of distinction which
we have remarked in the fifteenth century. During this time, indeed,
although in the nature of things a large number of men of note
continued to receive their education at Oxford, there was no College
or Colleges which could be said to occupy anything like a position
of peculiar eminence or dignity. In the general decline of learning,
education, and manners, Balliol College appears even to have sunk below
most of its rivals, and its annals show little more than a dreary
record of lazy torpor and bad living.[52] The Statutes of the College
received no alterations of importance. Its power to choose its own
Visitor was indeed for a time overridden by the Bishop of Lincoln, who
was considered _ex officio_ Visitor until Bishop Barlow’s death in
1691;[53] and the _Scholastici_ became distinguished as _Scholares_
from an inferior rank of _Servitores_ with which the Statutes of 1507
had identified them. Another lower class of students, called Batellers,
also came into existence. Every Commoner was required by a rule of 1574
to be under the Master or one of the Fellows as his Tutor;[54] Scholars
being apparently _ipso facto_ subject to the Fellows who nominated
them. In 1610 it was ordered, with the Visitor’s consent, that Fellow
Commoners might be admitted to the College and be free from “public
correction,” except in the case of scandalous offences; they were not
bound to exhibit reverence to the Fellows in the quadrangle unless they
encountered them face to face,--_reverentiam Sociis in quadrangulo
consuetam non nisi in occursu praestent_. Every such Commoner was
bound to pay at least five pounds on admission for the purchase of
plate or books for the College.[55] The sum was in 1691 raised to ten
pounds.[56] As the disputations in hall tended to become less and less
of a reality, and the lectures in the schools became a pure matter of
routine for the younger Masters, provision had to be made for something
in the way of regular lectures, but fixed tuition-fees were not yet
invented, and so the richest living in the gift of the College--that
of Fillingham in Lincolnshire, which had been usually held by the
Master and was now attached to his office--was in 1571 charged with the
payment of £8 13_s._.4_d._ to three Prelectors chosen by the College
who should lecture in hall on Greek, dialectic, and rhetoric.[57] The
lectures, it was soon after decided, were to be held at least thrice
a week during term, except on Feast Days or when the lecturer was
ill. Any one who failed to fulfil his duty--either in person or by a
deputy--was to pay twopence _to be consumed by the other Fellows at
dinner or supper on the Sunday next following_.[58] In 1695 the famous
Dr. Busby, who had before shown himself a friend to the College,[59]
established a Catechetical Lecture to be given on thirty prescribed
subjects through the year, at which all members of the College were
bound to be present.[60] This Lecture was maintained until recent years.

During the two centuries following the reign of King Edward the Third
the College had received little or no addition to its corporate
endowments, though, as we have seen, it had been largely helped by
donations towards its buildings, and above all by the foundation of
its precious library.[61] Between the date of the accession of Queen
Elizabeth and the year 1677, in the renewed zeal for academical
foundations which marked that period, the College received a number
of new benefactions; and these introduced a new element into its
composition. Hitherto all the Fellowships had been open without
restriction of place of birth or education; and although it is likely
that the College in its earlier days drew its recruits mainly from the
north of England, yet there was nothing in the Statutes to authorize
the connection. The College, it is true, was a very close corporation,
for Fellow nominated Scholar, and out of the Scholars the Fellows
were generally elected. Still, in contradistinction to the majority
of Colleges, there were no local limitations upon eligibility to
Scholarships. The new endowments, on the other hand, with the exception
of those of the Lady Periam, were all so limited. First, by a bequest
of Dr. John Bell, formerly Bishop of Worcester, two Scholarships
confined to natives of his diocese were founded in 1559,[62] and in
1605 Sir William Dunch established another for the benefit of Abingdon
School.[63] A little later Balliol nearly became possessed of the much
larger endowment, of seven Fellowships and six Scholarships, attached
to the same school by William Tisdale. Indeed part of the money was
paid over, six Scholars were appointed, and Cesar’s lodgings--of which
more hereafter--were bought for their reception.[64] But a subsequent
arrangement diverted the endowment, which in 1624 helped to change the
ancient Broadgates Hall into Pembroke College.[65] In the meanwhile
a more considerable benefaction, also connected with a local school,
accrued to Balliol between 1601 and 1615, when in execution of the will
of Peter Blundell one Fellowship and one Scholarship were founded to
be held by persons educated at Blundell’s Grammar School at Tiverton,
and nominated by the Trustees of the School.[66] The next endowment
in order of time was that of Elizabeth, widow of Chief Baron Periam
and sister of Francis Bacon. The nomination to the Fellowship and two
Scholarships which she founded in 1620, she reserved to herself for her
lifetime; afterwards they were to be filled up in the same manner as
the other Fellowships of the College.[67]

After the Restoration two separate benefactions set up that close
connection between the College and Scotland which saved Balliol from
sinking into utter obscurity in the century following, and which has
since contributed to it a large share of its later fame. Bishop Warner
of Rochester, who died in 1666, bequeathed to the College the annual
sum of eighty pounds for the support of four scholars from Scotland to
be chosen by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Rochester;
and about ten years later certain Exhibitions were founded by Mr.
John Snell for persons nominated by Glasgow University. The latter
varied in number according to the proceeds of Mr. Snell’s estate; at
one time they were as many as ten and of the yearly value of £116,
but their number and value have since been reduced. Both of these
foundations were expressly designed to promote the interests of the
Episcopal Church in Scotland.[68] Their importance in the history of
the College cannot be overestimated, and it is to them that it owes
such names among its members as Adam Smith, Sir William Hamilton, and
Archbishop Tait, to say nothing of a great company of distinguished
Scotsmen now living. The Exhibitioners have also as a rule offered an
admirable example of frugal habits and hard work; and perhaps it was
in consideration of their national thriftiness that the rooms assigned
them are noticed in 1791 as mean and incommodious.[69]

Among more recent benefactions to the College the most important is
that of Miss Hannah Brakenbury who, besides the questionable service of
contributing towards the rebuilding of the front quadrangle, endowed
eight Scholarships for the encouragement of the studies of Law and
Modern History. Nor should we omit to mention the two Exhibitions of
£100 a-year each, founded under the will of Richard Jenkyns, formerly
Master, which are awarded by examination to members of the College,
and the list of holders of which is of exceptional brilliancy. But in
recent years the number of Scholarships and Exhibitions has been most
of all increased not by means of any specific endowment but by savings
from the annual internal income of the College. In pursuance of the
ordinances of the Universities’ Commission of 1877, Balliol became
the owner of New Inn Hall on the death of its late Principal; and the
proceeds of the sale of the Hall, when effected, are to be applied to
the establishment of Exhibitions for poor students.

       *       *       *       *       *

We now resume the history of the College buildings. We have seen that
the Chapel was built early in the reign of King Edward the Third,
and that the hall and library buildings were added in the following
century.[70] A new Chapel was built between 1521 and 1529,[71] which
lasted until the present century. It contained a muniment-room or
treasury, “which,” says Anthony Wood, “is a kind of vestry, joyning on
the S. side of the E. end of the chappel;”[72] and there was a window
opening into it, as at Corpus, from the library.[73] With the present
Chapel in one’s mind it is hard to estimate the loss which from a
picturesque point of view the College has suffered by the destruction
of its predecessor. In modern times Oxford has ever been a prey to
architects. The rebuilding of Queen’s is an example of what happily
was not carried into effect at Magdalen and Brasenose in the last
century; but in the present, Balliol is almost peculiar in the extent
to which these depredations have run, and those who remember the line
of buildings of the Chapel and library as they looked from the Fellows’
garden say that for harmony and quiet charm they were of their kind
unsurpassed in Oxford. Among the special features of the old Chapel
were the painted windows, particularly the great east window given by
Lawrence Stubbs in 1529. The fragments of this are distributed among
the side windows of the modern Chapel, and even in their scattered
state are highly regarded by lovers of glass-painting.[74] Of the
later buildings of the College, “Cesar’s lodgings” must not pass
without notice. It had its name from Henry Caesar, afterwards Dean
of Carlisle--the brother of Sir Julius Caesar, Master of the Rolls
(1614-1636),--and stood opposite to where the “Martyrs’ Memorial” now
is. Being currently known as _Cesar_, an opposite stack of buildings
to the south of it was naturally called _Pompey_. The two were pulled
down, not before it was necessary, in the second quarter of the present
century.[75] Hammond’s lodgings, which came to the College in Queen
Elizabeth’s time, and stood on the site of the old Master’s little
garden and the present Master’s house, were occupied by the Blundell
and Periam Fellows.[76]

Before the front of the College was a close, planted with trees like
that in front of St. John’s.

    “Stant Baliolenses maiore cacumine moles,
    Et sua frondosis praetexunt atria ramis;
    Nec tamen idcirco Trinam sprevere minorem
    Aut sibi subiectam comitem sponsamve recusant--”

ran some verses of 1667.[77] But if we may judge from a story to be
told hereafter of the respective prosperity of the two Colleges, it
was rather Trinity which had the right to look down upon its rival at
that time. In the eighteenth century the buildings of Balliol were
considerably enlarged by the erection of two staircases westward of
the Master’s house, by Mr. Fisher of Beere, and of three running
north of these over against St. Mary Magdalen Church. The fronts of
the east side of the quadrangle, reputed to be the most ancient part
of the College, and of part of the south side adjoining it, were
rebuilt.[78] The direction of the hall was reversed, so that instead of
the passage into the garden, the entrance to the hall, and the buttery
being beneath the Master’s lodgings, they were placed on the northern
extremity of the hall.[79] In the present reign a further addition to
the College was made in the place of the dilapidated “Cesar,” and with
it a back porch with a tower above it was built. Then followed the
rebuilding of the Chapel and, after an interval, of two sides of the
front quadrangle and of the Master’s house. A little later the garden
was gradually enclosed by buildings on the north side, which were
completed in 1877 by a hall with common room, buttery, kitchen, and a
chemical laboratory beneath it.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is very difficult to obtain any accurate knowledge of the number
of persons ordinarily inhabiting a College in past times. A few lists
happen to have been preserved, but their accuracy is not free from
suspicion. Thus, a census of 1552 enumerates under the head of Balliol
seven Masters, six Bachelors, and seventeen others, these seventeen
including the manciple, butler, cook, and scullion.[80] In ten years
this list of thirty names has grown to sixty-five: six Masters,
thirteen Bachelors, and forty-six others, eight of whom were Scholars,
five “poor scholars”--presumably batellers,--and four servants.[81]
By 1612 the number appears to have nearly doubled, and comprises the
Master and eleven Fellows, thirteen Scholars, seventy commoners,
twenty-two “poor scholars,” and ten servants; in all a hundred and
twenty-seven:[82] a total the magnitude of which is the more perplexing
since the College matriculations between 1575 and 1621 averaged hardly
more than fifteen a-year.[83] No doubt, in the days when several
students shared a bedroom, it was possible even for a small College
to give house-room to a far larger number than we can imagine at the
present time; but still it is hard to understand how so many as a
hundred and twenty persons could be accommodated in the then existing
buildings of Balliol. According to the procuratorial cycle of 1629,
Balliol ranks with University, Lincoln, Jesus, and Pembroke, among the
smallest Colleges.[84] In recent times, taking years by chance, we
find the number of Fellows, Scholars, and Commoners in the _University
Calendar_ for 1838 to be 102, in that for 1859 to be 122, in 1878
about 195, and in 1891 about 187.[85] That the College has been able
to count so many resident members is partly owing to the extension of
the College buildings, but much more to the modern Statute whereby all
members of the College are not necessarily required to live within the
College walls.

       *       *       *       *       *

Notices of the domestic history of Balliol during the sixteenth,
seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries are surprisingly scanty. In the
following pages we have gathered together such particulars as we have
thought of sufficient interest to be recorded in a brief sketch like
the present. Early in the seventeenth century the life of the College
was varied by the presence of two Greek students, sent over by Cyril
Lucaris, the Patriarch of Constantinople, to whom England owes the
gift of the Codex Alexandrinus. One of these, Metrophanes Critopulos,
became Patriarch of Alexandria. The other, Nathaniel Conopios, we
are told “spake and wrote the genuine Greek (for which he was had
in great Veneration in his Country), others using the vulgar only,”
and was a proficient in music. He took the degree of B.D., and was
made Bishop of Smyrna. Evelyn remarks that he was the first he “ever
saw drink coffee, w^{ch} custom came not into England until 30 years
after.”[86] Our next note is of a different character. Soon after the
Scholars endowed by Tisdale[87] were established in Cesar’s lodgings,
a dispute arose between one of them, named Crabtree, and Ferryman
Moore, a freshman of three weeks’ standing. Crabtree called Moore an
“undergraduate” and pulled his hair; whereupon Moore drew his knife
and stabbed him so that he died. In the trial that followed Moore
pleaded benefit of clergy and was condemned to burning in the hand,
but at the petition of the Vice-Chancellor, Mayor, and other Justices,
received the Royal pardon on the 19th November, 1624,--the very year
in which the benefaction that had brought his victim to Balliol was
settled in its lasting home in Pembroke College.[88] A little later,
in 1631, we find one Thorne, a member of Balliol, preaching at St.
Mary’s against the King’s Declaration on Religion of 1628: he was
expelled the University by Royal order.[89] The famous John Evelyn,
who was admitted a Fellow Commoner of the College in May 1637, being
then in his seventeenth year, tells us that “the Fellow Com’uners in
Balliol were no more exempt from Exercise than the meanest scholars
there, and my Father sent me thither to one Mr. George Bradshaw,” who
was Master from 1648 to 1651. “I ever,” he adds, “thought my Tutor
had parts enough, but as his ambition made him much suspected of y^{e}
College, so his grudge to Dr. Lawrence, the governor of it (whom he
afterwards supplanted), tooke up so much of his tyme, that he seldom or
never had the opportunity to discharge his duty to his scholars. This
I perceiving, associated myself with one Mr. James Thicknesse, (then
a young man of the Foundation, afterwards a Fellow of the House,) by
whose learned and friendly conversation I received great advantage. At
my first arrival, Dr. Parkhurst was Master; and after his discease, Dr.
Lawrence, a chaplaine of his Ma’ties and Margaret Professor, succeeded,
an acute and learned person; nor do I much reproach his severity,
considering that the extraordinary remissenesse of discipline had
(til his coming) much detracted from the reputation of that Colledg.”
Later Evelyn mentions that his Tutor managed his expenses during his
first year. In January 1640 “Came my Bro. Richard from schole to be my
chamber-fellow at the University,” so that even Fellow Commoners did
not always have rooms to themselves. It is noticeable that the chief
studies which Evelyn speaks of engaging in are those of “the dauncing
and vaulting Schole” and music; and one is not surprised to read that
when he quitted Oxford in April 1640, without taking a degree, and made
his residence in the Middle Temple, he should observe, “My being at the
University, in regard of these avocations, was of very small benefit to

When King Charles was at Oxford, Balliol, with the great majority of
Colleges, handed over its plate to him, 20 January 1642/3. The weight
of the metal was only 41 _lb._ 4 _oz._, less than that of any other
College recorded.[91] When the Parliamentary Visitation began in 1647.
Thomas Lawrence was Master and also Margaret Professor of Divinity.
After a while he submitted to the Visitors’ authority and then resigned
his offices. In the Mastership he was succeeded by George Bradshaw,
Evelyn’s tutor.[92] Apparently about half the members of the College in
time made their submission.[93] From 1651 the Mastership was held by
Henry Savage, a man of cultivation, who had travelled in France, and
here at least deserves to be remembered as the author of the first and
only history of his College, a work to which we have been constantly
indebted for its transcripts and extracts from the muniments.[94] On
his death in 1672 he was succeeded by Thomas Good,--one of the first
of those who submitted to the Parliamentary Visitors[95]--whom Wood
describes as when resident in College “a frequent preacher, yet always
esteemed an honest and harmless puritan.”[96] He is best known from
the stories which Humphrey Prideaux tells about him. According to him
the Master “is a good honest old tost, and understands business well
enough, but is very often guilty of absurditys, which rendreth him
contemptible to the yong men of the town.”[97] One of these stories
he does “not well beleeve; but however you shall have it. There is
over against Baliol College a dingy, horrid, scandalous alehouse, fit
for none but draymen and tinkers and such as by goeing there have made
themselves equally scandalous. Here the Baliol men continually ly,
and by perpetuall bubbeing ad art to their natural stupidity to make
themselves perfect sots. The head, beeing informed of this, called
them togeather, and in a grave speech informed them of the mischiefs
of that hellish liquor cald ale, that it destroyed both body and soul,
and adviced them by noe means to have anything more to do with it; but
on of them, not willing soe tamely to be preached out of his beloved
liquor, made reply that the Vice-Chancelour’s men drank ale at the
Split Crow,[98] and why should not they to? The old man, being nonplusd
with this reply, immediately packeth away to the Vice-Chancelour,[99]
and informed him of the ill example his fellows gave the rest of the
town by drinkeing ale, and desired him to prohibit them for the future;
but Bathurst, not likeing his proposall, being formerly and [_sic_]
old lover of ale himselfe, answared him roughly, that there was noe
hurt in ale, and that as long as his fellows did noe worse he would not
disturb them, and soe turned the old man goeing; who, returneing to
his colledge, calld his fellows again and told them he had been with
the Vice-Chancelour, and that he told them there was noe hurt in ale;
truely he thought there was, but now, beeing informed of the contrary,
since the Vice-Chancelour gave his men leave to drinke ale, he would
give them leave to; soe that now they may be sots by authority.”[100]

Another story of the same time connecting Balliol and Trinity Colleges
is told of Dr. Bathurst, President of Trinity and the “Vice-Chancelour”
named in the foregoing quotation. “A striking instance,” says Thomas
Warton, “of zeal for his college, in the dotage of old age, is yet
remembered. Balliol College had suffered so much in the outrages of the
grand rebellion, that it remained almost in a state of desolation for
some years after the restoration: a circumstance not to be suspected
from its flourishing condition ever since. Dr. Bathurst was perhaps
secretly pleased to see a neighbouring, and once rival society,
reduced to this condition, while his own flourished beyond all others.
Accordingly, one afternoon he was found in his garden, which then ran
almost contiguous to the east side of Balliol-college, throwing stones
at the windows with much satisfaction, as if happy to contribute his
share in completing the appearance of its ruin.”[101]

Indeed, that Balliol was by no means in a state of prosperity after
the Restoration may be gathered from the facts that it is described
as possessing but half the income of Exeter, Oriel, and Queen’s, and
containing but twenty-five commoners;[102] and that in 1681 the College
was taken by the opposition Peers for lodgings during the Oxford
Parliament.[103] In January the Earl of Shaftesbury, together with the
Duke of Monmouth, the Earls of Bedford and Essex, and twelve other
Peers, subscribed a petition praying that the Parliament should sit
not at Oxford but at Westminster; and when they found they could not
move the King, Shaftesbury promptly set about securing rooms at Oxford.
John Locke, who conducted negotiations for him, reported on the 6th
February that the Rector of Exeter would be happy to place three rooms
in his house at his Lordship’s disposal, “but that the whole college
could by no means be had.” Dr. Wallis’s house was also inspected, and
it was soon discovered that Balliol College was at the Peers’ service.
From a letter however from Shaftesbury to Locke, of the 22nd February,
it seems that he himself and Lord Grey occupied Wallis’s house, and
“dieted” elsewhere, no doubt at Balliol.[104] On their departure
Shaftesbury and fourteen other Peers--almost exactly the same list as
that of the petitioners of the 25th January--presented to the College
“a large bole, with a cover to it, all double guilt, 167 _oz._ 10
_dwts_,”[105] which was melted down into tankards many years since.

The history of the College during the greater part of the eighteenth
century coincides with the life of Dr. Theophilus Leigh, who took his
Bachelor’s degree from Corpus in 1712, was appointed Master of Balliol
fifteen years later, and held his office until 1785. Hearne records the
circumstances of his election in a way which implies that he owed his
success to an informality, with more than a hint of nepotism on the
part of the Visitor.[106] Six years after his death Martin Routh was
elected President of Magdalen College. He died in 1855; so that the
academical lives of these two men overlapping just at the extremities
cover a period of not less than a hundred and forty-six years. In
Leigh’s days Balliol was sunk in the heavy and sluggish decrepitude
which characterized Oxford at large. The _Terrae Filius_--doubtless
an authority to be received with caution--reviles the Fellows for
the perpetual fines and sconces with which they burthened the
undergraduates;[107] and it is stated that Adam Smith, when a member
of the College, was severely reprimanded for reading Hume.[108] It is
certain that, at least when Leigh was first a Fellow, the College did
not even trust the undergraduates with knives and forks, for these, we
are assured, were chained to the table in hall, while the trenchers
were made of wood.[109] There was “a laudable custom” which lasted
on to a later generation “of the Dean’s Visiting the Undergraduats
Chambers at 9 o’ Clock at Night, to see that they kept good hours.”[110]

It was before nine o’clock on the 23rd February 1747-8 that a party
was gathered there which led to serious consequences. In spite of the
failure of the rebellion of 1745 the zealous ardour of some Jacobite
members of the College waxed so warm that they and their guests paraded
down the Turl shouting _G--d bless k--g J----s_, until they reached
Winter’s coffee-house near the High Street, where Mr. Richard Blacow,
a Canon of Windsor, was sitting “in company with several Gentlemen of
the University and an Officer in his Regimental Habit,” about seven
o’clock in the evening. Mr. Blacow tells us with righteous indignation
how he not only heard treasonable and seditious expressions in favour
of the exiled family, but also such cries as _d--n K--g G----e_. Being
a young Master of Arts and very much on his dignity, he went forth into
the street to check the outrage, but was only met by a rough handling
on the part of the rioters, who stood shouting in St. Mary Hall Lane
in front of Oriel College; so that Mr. Blacow was glad to make good
his retreat within the College gate. Reappearing after a while he was
on the point of being attacked, when his assailant was carried off by
the Proctor. Another, Luxmoore, B.A. of Balliol, took to his heels.
After this the loyal Canon sought in vain to induce the Vice-Chancellor
to take steps for the trial of the offenders; but he could by no
means be prevailed upon. At length, as the scandal spread abroad, the
Secretary of State, the Duke of Newcastle, requested Mr. Blacow to
lay an information before him; and three members of the University
were tried for treason in the King’s Bench. Of the two who belonged to
Balliol one, Luxmoore, was acquitted; the other Whitmore, with Dawes of
St. Mary Hall,--both undergraduates barely twenty years of age,--were
sentenced to a fine, to two years’ imprisonment, to find securities
for their good behaviour for seven years, “to walk immediately round
Westminster Hall with a libel affixed to their foreheads denoting their
crime and sentence, and to ask pardon of the several courts.”[111]

The letters of Robert Southey, who entered Balliol as a commoner in
1792, do not give an unfavourable impression of the condition of the
College just after Leigh’s death. His own peculiarities of taste and
temper placed him doubtless in uncongenial surroundings,--he refused
the assistance of the College barber and wore his curly hair long,--but
his complaint is not of the College but of the University system in
general. The authorities are “men remarkable only for great wigs and
little wisdom.” “With respect to its superiors, Oxford only exhibits
waste of wigs and want of wisdom; with respect to the undergraduates,
every species of abandoned excess.” In his second year, with the
haughty air of a senior man, he found the freshmen “not estimable”;
but he made friends in College, and two of his first four comrades
in the great Pantisocratic scheme were Balliol men. Even his tutor,
Thomas Howe, delighted him by being “half a democrat,” and still more
by the remark--“Mr. Southey, you won’t learn any thing by my lectures,
Sir; so, if you have any studies of your own, you had better pursue
them.” Rowing and swimming, Southey used to say, were all he learned
at Oxford; but with two years’ residence, and a term missed in them,
with Pantisocracy and _Joan of Arc_, we may doubt whether it was all
Oxford’s fault.[112]

The real revival of Balliol College began after the election of John
Parsons as Master in 1798. He succeeded to the Vice-Chancellorship in
1807 unexpectedly, on the death of Dr. Richards, Rector of Exeter,
after a single year of office. “He was a good scholar,” says Bedel Cox,
“and an impressive preacher, though he did not preach often; above all,
he was thoroughly conversant with University matters, having been for
several years the leading, or rather the working, man in the Hebdomadal
Board. Indeed, he had the great merit of elaborating the details of
the Public Examination Statute at the end of the last century. His
subsequent promotion” to the Bishopric of Peterborough “was considered
as the well-earned reward of that his great work. Dr. Parsons had also
the credit of laying the foundation of that collegiate and tutorial
system which Dr. Jenkyns afterwards so successfully carried out.”[113]
Those who may think the establishment of the examination system a
questionable benefit may be comforted by knowing that for many years it
was conducted entirely _vivâ voce_, while the requirements for degrees
in the time preceding the change were so notoriously perfunctory that
the old method could not possibly be maintained. In the Colleges
too the tutorial system, in its principle--as still at Cambridge--a
disciplinary system, had long outlived its vitality; and Dr. Parsons
deserves credit not merely for invigorating it, but for setting on a
firm foundation an organization for teaching undergraduates as well as
for keeping them in order.

But it was not to be expected that these reforms should bear full fruit
for many years. Sir William Hamilton, who was at Balliol from 1807 to
1810, describes himself as “so plagued by these foolish lectures of the
College tutors that I have little time to do anything else--Aristotle
to-day, ditto to-morrow; and I believe that if the ideas furnished by
Aristotle to these numbskulls were taken away, it would be doubtful
whether there remained a single notion. I am quite tired of such
uniformity of study.”[114] He was however unfortunately placed under
an eccentric tutor named Powell, who lived furtively in rooms over the
College gate and was never seen out except at dusk. “For a short time
Hamilton and his tutor kept up the formality of an hour’s lecture. This
however soon ceased, and for the last three years of his College life
Hamilton was left to follow his own inclinations.”[115] But, as Dr.
Parsons said, “he is one of those, and they are rare, who are best left
to themselves. He will turn out a great scholar, and we shall get the
credit of making him so, though in point of fact we shall have done
nothing for him whatever.”[116] Yet in later years the philosopher
speaks of the “College in which I spent the happiest of the happy
years of youth, which is never recollected but with affection, and
from which, as I gratefully acknowledge, I carried into life a taste
for those studies which have contributed the most interesting of my
subsequent pursuits.”[117]

Hamilton’s freshman’s account of the daily life and manners of the
College deserves quotation: its date is 13 May, 1807. “No boots are
allowed to be worn here, or trousers or pantaloons. In the morning we
wear white cotton stockings, and before dinner regularly dress in silk
stockings, &c. After dinner we go to one another’s rooms and drink some
wine, then go to chapel at half-past five, and walk, or sail on the
river, after that. In the morning we go to chapel at seven, breakfast
at nine, fag all the forenoon, and dine at half-past three.”[118]

Under Dr. Parsons as Master, and Mr. Jenkyns as Tutor and then
Vice-Master on the Head’s elevation to the see of Peterborough, the
College continued steadily to improve. Mr. Jenkyns succeeded to the
Mastership on the Bishop’s death in 1819. But there were still two
points in the constitution of the College which were felt to be out
of keeping with the spirit of modern education. One was the direct
nomination of each Scholar, except those on the Blundell Foundation,
by a particular Fellow in turn; and the other, the obligation under
which all the Fellows lay of taking Priest’s orders. The former
arrangement was revised by a new Statute sanctioned by the Visitor in
1834, which placed all the Scholarships, with the exception named,
in the appointment of the Master and Fellows after examination. At
the same time the College yielded to the tendency of the time which
brought undergraduates to the University older than formerly, and
raised the age below which candidates were admissible to scholarships
from eighteen to nineteen.[119] The other question was settled by a
decision in 1838 that the obligation of Fellows to take holy orders
did not debar candidates from election who had no such purpose in
mind, provided of course that their tenure of Fellowships terminated
at the date by which according to the Statutes they were bound to be

In the same year that this decision was given Mr. Benjamin Jowett,
afterwards Regius Professor of Greek and since 1870 Master of the
College, was elected to a Fellowship. He has committed to writing in a
most interesting letter to the son of William George Ward, famous for
his share in the Oxford Movement and for his degradation by Convocation
in 1845, his recollections of the Fellows as they were when he was
elected to their membership; but we have only room here for a short
extract from his account of Master Jenkyns, “who was very different
from any of the Fellows, and was held in considerable awe by them.
He was a gentleman of the old school, in whom were represented old
manners, old traditions, old prejudices, a Tory and a Churchman, high
and dry, without much literature, but having a good deal of character.
He filled a great space in the eyes of the undergraduates. ‘His young
men,’ as he termed them, speaking in an accent which we all remember,
were never tired of mimicking his voice, drawing his portrait, and
inventing stories about what he said and did.… He was a considerable
actor, and would put on severe looks to terrify Freshmen, but he was
really kind-hearted and indulgent to them. He was in a natural state
of war with the Fellows and Scholars on the Close Foundation; and many
ludicrous stories were told of his behaviour to them, of his dislike
to smoking, and of his enmity to dogs.… He was much respected, and his
great services to the College have always been acknowledged.”[121]

When we consider the progress made by Balliol College during the years
between 1813, when Jenkyns became Vice-Master, and 1854, when he
died, we may perhaps venture to question whether the balance between
“old manners, old traditions, old prejudices,” and new manners, new
traditions, new prejudices, does not hang very evenly. But into this
we are not called upon to enter. The Statutes made by the University
Commission of 1850 made fewer changes in the condition of Balliol
than of most Colleges, because the most inevitable reforms had been
carried into effect already. The Close Fellowships were opened, and the
majority of the Fellowships were released from clerical obligations.
The moment which witnessed the promulgation of the new Statutes
witnessed also the death of Dean Jenkyns and the succession of Robert
Scott. But here we may well conclude the story of the Balliol of the
past. To carry it down further would require much more space than the
limits of this chapter permit; and besides, the Balliol of the present
is a new College in a different sense from perhaps any other College
in Oxford. No other College has so distinctly parted company with its
traditions beyond the lifetime of men now living. The commemoration
of founders and benefactors on St. Luke’s Day has long been given up,
and the Latin grace in hall has not been heard for many years. The
College buildings are for the greater part the work of the present
reign. In the new hall the portraits which strike the eye behind the
high table are all those of men who were alive when the hall was opened
in 1877. Bishop Parsons and Dean Jenkyns are seen above them, while in
the obscurity of the roof may be discerned the pictures--unhistorical,
as in other Colleges, it need not be said--of John Balliol and
Dervorguilla his wife. A visitor from the last century would see little
that he could recognize; but when he entered the common room after
dinner he would notice one highly conservative custom revived. In 1773
it had been the lament of older men, that

    “Nec Camerae Communis amor, qua rarus ad alta
    Nunc tubus emittit gratos laquearia fumos;”[122]

but in late years the practice of smoking has been regularly admitted
even in those sacred precincts.

Every College has its own ideal, and that of Balliol has been by a
steady policy adapted to the modern spirit of work, employing the best
materials not so much for learning as an end in itself as a means
towards practical success in life. In this field, in the distinctions
of the schools, of the courts, and of public life, it has been seldom
rivalled by any other College. But it is remarkable that in the long
and distinguished list of its men of mark we find, speaking only of the
dead, no Statesman and not many scholars of the first rank. The College
has excelled rather in its practical men of affairs, diplomatists,
judges, members of parliament, civil service officials, college tutors,
and schoolmasters. At the present moment it counts among former members
no less than seven of her Majesty’s Judges and seven Heads of Oxford
Colleges. But to show that another side of culture has been represented
at Balliol in the present reign, we must not forget the band of Balliol
poets, Arthur Hugh Clough, Matthew Arnold, and Algernon Charles




In the year 1274, “the House of the Scholars of Merton,” since called
Merton College, was solemnly founded, and settled upon its present
site in Oxford, by Walter de Merton, Chancellor to King Henry III. and
King Edward I. Ten years earlier, in the midst of the Civil War, this
remarkable man had already established a collegiate brotherhood, under
the same name, at Malden, in Surrey, but with an educational branch
at Oxford, where twenty students were to be maintained out of the
corporate revenues. The Statutes of 1264 were very slightly modified in
1270; the Statutes of 1274, issued on the conclusion of the peace, and
sealed by the King himself, were a mature development of the original
design, worked out with a statesman-like foresight. These statutes
are justly regarded as the archetype of the College system, not only
in the University of Oxford, but in that of Cambridge, where they
were adopted as a model by the founder of Peterhouse, the oldest of
Cambridge Colleges. In every important sense of the word, Merton, with
its elaborate code of statutes and conventual buildings, its chartered
rights of self-government, and its organized life, was the first of
English Colleges, and the founder of Merton was indirectly the founder
of Collegiate Universities.

His idea took root and bore fruit, because it was inspired by a true
sympathy with the needs of the University, where the subjects of study
were then as frivolous as it was the policy of Rome to make them,
where religious houses with the Mendicant Friars almost monopolized
learning, and where the streets were the scenes of outrageous violence
and license. To combine monastic discipline with secular learning,
and so to create a great seminary for the secular clergy, was the
aim of Walter de Merton. The inmates of the College were to live by
a common rule under a common head; but they were to take no vows, to
join no monastic fraternity, on pain of deprivation, and to undertake
no ascetic or ceremonial obligations. Their occupation was to be
study, not the _claustralis religio_ of the older religious orders,
nor the more practical and popular self-devotion of the Dominicans and
Franciscans, “the intrusive and anti-national militia of the Papacy.”
They were all to read Theology, but not until after completing their
full course in Arts; and they were encouraged to seek employment in
the great world. As the value of the endowments should increase,
the number of scholars was to be augmented; and those who might win
an ample fortune (_uberior fortuna_) were enjoined to show their
gratitude by advancing the interests of “the house.” While their
duties and privileges were strictly defined by the statutes, they were
expressly empowered to amend the statutes themselves in accordance
with the growing requirements of future ages, and even to migrate from
Oxford elsewhere in case of necessity. The Archbishop of Canterbury,
as Visitor by virtue of his office, was entrusted with the duty of
enforcing statutable obligations.

The Merton Statutes of 1274, as interpreted and supplemented by several
Ordinances and Injunctions of Visitors, remained in force within living
memory, and the spirit of them never became obsolete. The Ordinances
of Archbishop Kilwarby, issued as early as 1276, with the Founder’s
express sanction, chiefly regulate the duties of College officers,
but are interesting as recognizing the existence of out-College
students. Those of Archbishop Peckham, issued in 1284, are directed
to check various abuses already springing up, among which is included
the encroachment of professional and utilitarian studies into the
curriculum of the College; the admission of medical students on the
plea that Medicine is a branch of Physics is rigorously prohibited,
and the study of Canon Law is condemned except under strict conditions
and with the Warden’s leave. The Ordinances of Archbishop Chicheley,
issued in 1425, disclose the prevalence of mercenary self-interest
in the College, manifested in the neglect to fill up Fellowships, in
wasteful management of College property, and so forth. The ordinances
of Archbishop Laud, issued in 1640, are specially framed, as might be
expected, to revive wholesome rules of discipline, entering minutely
into every detail of College life. Chapel-attendance, the use of
surplices and hoods, the restriction of intercourse between Masters and
Bachelors, the etiquette of meals, the strength of the College ale, the
custody of the College keys, the costume to be worn by members of the
College in the streets, and the careful registration in a note-book
of every Fellow’s departure and return--such were among the numerous
punctilios of College economy which shared the attention of this
indefatigable prelate with the gravest affairs of Church and State.
A century later, in 1733, very similar Injunctions were issued by
Archbishop Potter; and on several other occasions undignified disputes
between the Wardens and Fellows called for the decisive interference of
the Visitor. But the general impression derived from a perusal of the
Visitors’ Injunctions is, that a reasonable and honest construction of
the Statutes would have rendered their interference unnecessary, and
that it was a signal proof of the Founder’s sagacity to provide such a
safeguard against corporate selfishness and intestine discord, in days
when public spirit was a rare virtue.

While the University of Oxford has played a greater part in our
national history than any other corporation except that of the City
of London, the external annals of Merton, as of other Colleges, are
comparatively meagre and humble. The corporate life of the College,
dating from the Barons’ War, flowed on in an equable course during a
century of French Wars, followed by the Wars of the Roses. We know,
indeed, that in early times Merton was sometimes represented by its
Wardens and Fellows in camps and ecclesiastical synods, as well as in
Courts, both at home and abroad. For instance, Bradwardine, afterwards
Archbishop, rendered service to Edward III. in negotiations with the
French King; Warden Bloxham was employed during the same reign in
missions to Scotland and Ireland; two successive Wardens, Rudborn and
Gylbert, with several Fellows, are said to have followed Henry V. as
chaplains into Normandy, and to have been present at Agincourt; Kemp,
a Fellow and future Archbishop, attended the Councils of Basle and
Florence; and Abendon, Gylbert’s successor in the Wardenship, earned
fame as delegate of the University at the Council of Constance. But the
College, as a body, was unmoved either by continental expeditions, or
by the storms which racked English society in the Middle Ages; and its
“Register,” which commences in 1482, is for the most part ominously
silent on the great political commotions of later periods. During the
reign of Henry VII., indeed, occasional mention of public affairs is
to be found in its pages. Such are the references to extraordinary
floods, storms, or frosts; to the Sweating Sickness; to the Battle of
Bosworth Field; to Perkin Warbeck’s Revolt, and other insurrectionary
movements of that age; to notable executions; to the birth, marriage,
and death of Prince Arthur; to the death of Pope Alexander VI., and to
Lady Margaret’s endowment of a Theological Professorship. After the
reign of Henry VII. the brief entries in this domestic chronicle, like
the monotonous series of cases in the Law Reports, almost ignore Civil
War and Revolution, betraying no change of style or conscious spirit of
innovation; and it is from other sources that we must learn the events
which enable us to interpret some passages in the Register itself.

Whether John Wyclif was actually a Fellow of Merton is still an open
question, though no sufficient evidence has been produced to rebut a
belief certainly held in the next generation after the great Reformer’s
death. That his influence was strongly felt at Merton is an undoubted
fact, and the liberal school of thought which he represented had
there one of its chief strongholds until the Renaissance and the
Reformation. Being anti-monastic by its very constitution, and having
been a consistent opponent of Papal encroachments, Merton College might
naturally have been expected to cast in its lot with the Protestant
cause at this great crisis. A deed of submission to Henry VIII. as
Supreme Head of the Church, purporting to represent the unanimous
voice of the College, and professing absolute allegiance not only to
him, but to Anne Boleyn and her offspring, is preserved in the Public
Record Office. This deed bears the signatures of the Sub-Warden and
fifteen known Fellows, besides those of three other persons who were
perhaps Chaplains, but not that of Chamber, the Warden, though his
name is expressly included in the body of the deed. Nevertheless, the
sympathies of the leading Fellows appear to have been mainly Catholic.
William Tresham, an ex-Fellow, zealous as he was in the promotion of
learning, was among the adversaries of the Reformation movement, and
was rewarded by Queen Mary with a Canonry of Christ Church. Though he
signed the acknowledgment of the Royal Supremacy, Richard Smyth was a
still more active promoter of the Catholic re-action. He also received
a Canonry of Christ Church, with the Regius Professorship of Divinity,
and preached a sermon before the stake when Ridley and Latimer were
martyred, on the unhappy text--“Though I give my body to be burned,
and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” Dr. Martiall, another
Fellow of Merton, acted as Vice-Chancellor on the same occasion,
and his brother Fellow, Robert Ward, appears on the list of Doctors
appointed to sit in judgment on the doctrines of the Protestant
bishops. Parkhurst, afterwards Bishop of Norwich, is the only Fellow of
Merton recorded by Anthony Wood to have sought refuge beyond the seas
during the Marian persecution. On the other hand, four only, including
Tresham, are mentioned as having suffered the penalty of expulsion
for refusing the Oath of Supremacy under Elizabeth, though Smyth was
imprisoned in Archbishop Parker’s house, and Raynolds, the Warden, on
refusing that Oath, was deposed by order of a new Commission.

A more important place was reserved for Merton College in the great
national drama of the following century. Having been one of the
Colleges in which members of the Legislature were lodged during
the Oxford Parliament of 1625, and upon which the officers of a
Parliamentary force were quartered in 1641, it was selected, in July
1643, for the residence of Queen Henrietta Maria, who then joined the
King at Oxford, and remained there during the autumn and winter. She
occupied the present dining-room and drawing-room of the Warden’s
house, with the adjoining bedroom, still known as “the Queen’s Room.”
The King, who held his Court at Christ Church, often came to visit her
by a private walk opened for the purpose through Corpus and Merton
gardens; and doubtless took part in many pleasant re-unions, of which
history is silent, though a graphic picture of them is preserved in the
pages of _John Inglesant_.

It does not follow that Royalist opinions preponderated among the
Merton Fellows, and there is clear evidence that both sides were
strongly represented in the College. Sir Nathaniel Brent, the Warden,
being a Presbyterian, and having openly espoused the Parliamentary
cause, absented himself, and was deposed in favour of the illustrious
Harvey, Charles I.’s own physician, recommended by the King, but duly
elected by the College. Ralph Button, too, a leading Fellow and Tutor,
quitted Oxford, when it became the Royal head-quarters, lest he should
be expected to bear arms for the King. On the other hand, Peter Turner,
one of the most eminent Mertonians of his day, accompanied a troop of
Royalist horse as far as Stow in the Wold, was there captured, and was
committed to Northampton Gaol. A third Fellow, John Greaves, Savilian
Professor of Astronomy, drew up and procured signatures to a petition
for Brent’s deposition; and two more, Fowle and Lovejoy, actually
served under the Royal standard. But we search the College Register
in vain for any formal resolution on the subject of the Civil War. It
is certain that Merton gave up the whole of its plate for the King’s
use in 1643, and no silver presented at an earlier date is now in the
possession of the College. But it is interesting, if not consolatory,
to know that in the previous reign a large quantity of old plate had
been exchanged for new, so that, from an antiquarian point of view, the
sacrifice made to loyalty was not so great as might be imagined. No
College order directing the surrender is extant, and two of the Fellows
afterwards mutually accused each other of having thus misappropriated
the College property.

Other notices of the great struggle then convulsing the nation are
few and far between in the minutes of the College Register. It is
remarkable that, so far back as August 1641, the College directed
twelve muskets and as many pikes to be purchased, _bello ingruente_,
for the purpose of repelling any roving soldiers who might break in for
the sake of plunder. Anthony Wood particularly observes, that during
the Queen’s stay at Merton there were divers marriages, christenings,
and burials in the Chapel, of which all record has been lost, as the
private register in which the Chaplain had noted them was stolen
out of his room when Oxford was finally surrendered to Fairfax. The
confusion that prevailed during the Royalist occupation of Oxford is,
however, officially recognized by the College. It is duly chronicled,
for instance, that on August 1st, 1645, the College meeting was held
in the Library, neither the Hall nor the Warden’s Lodgings being then
available for the purpose; and several entries attest the pecuniary
straits to which the College was reduced. At last it is solemnly
recorded, under the date of October 19th, 1646, that by the Divine
goodness the war had at last been stayed, and the Warden (Brent) with
most of the Fellows had returned, but that as there were no Bachelors,
hardly any Scholars, and few Masters, it was decided to elect but one
Bursar and one Dean. It is added that, as the Hall still lay _situ et
ruinis squalida_, the College meeting was held in the Warden’s Lodgings.

When the scenes were shifted, and a solemn Visitation of the University
was instituted by “The Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament,”
Merton College may be said to have set the example of conformity to
the new order in Church and State. Sir Nathaniel Brent himself was
President of the Commission. Among his colleagues were three Fellows of
Merton, Reynolds, Cheynell, and Corbet, who had already been appointed
with four other preachers to convert the gownsmen through Presbyterian
sermons. The earlier sittings of the Commission were held in the
Warden’s dining-room, or, during his absence, in Cheynell’s apartments.
When the members of the College, including servants, were called before
the Visitors and required to make their submission, about half of them,
according to Anthony Wood, openly complied: most of the others made
answers more or less evasive, declaring their readiness to obey the
Warden, or submitting in so far as the Visitors had authority from the
King. French, who, as official guardian of the University Register, had
refused to give it up, now made his submission, but justified it on
the strange ground that he was bound by the capitulation of Oxford to
Fairfax. One Fellow only, Nicholas Howson, boldly refused submission,
declaring that he could not reconcile it with his allegiance to the
King, the University, and the College. He was of course removed; and
the same fate befell Turner, Greaves, French, and one other Fellow,
with a larger number of Postmasters, of whom, however, some were
condemned as improperly elected, and some were afterwards restored
through Brent’s influence. Even while the Commission was sitting, a
Royalist spirit must have lingered in the College, since we read that
four of the Fellows, three of whom had submitted, were put out of
commons for a week and publicly admonished by the Warden for drinking
the King’s health with a _tertiavit_, and uncovered heads. Brent
resigned the Wardenship in 1651; whereupon the Parliamentary Visitors
proceeded to appoint, by their own authority, but on the express
nomination of the Protector, Dr. Jonathan Goddard, who had been head
physician to Cromwell’s army in Ireland and Scotland--thereby improving
on Charles I.’s paternal but constitutional recommendation of Harvey.

With the suspension of this great Visitation, shortly to be followed by
the Restoration of Charles II., the short-lived connection of Merton
College with general history may be said to have closed. It had the
honour of lodging the Queen and favourite ladies of Charles II. in
the plague-year, 1665; it cashiered a Probationer-Fellow in 1681 for
maintaining that Charles I. died justly; it took part in the enlistment
of volunteers for the suppression of Monmouth’s rebellion; and it
joined other Colleges in the half-hearted reception of William III.
But its records are devoid of political interest, except so far as it
became a chief stronghold of Whig principles in the University during
the Jacobite re-action which followed the Revolution, was encouraged by
the avowed Toryism of Queen Anne, and almost broke out into civil war
on the accession of George I. Charles Wesley expressly mentions it with
Christ Church, Exeter, and Wadham, as an anti-Jacobite society; and
Meadowcourt, a leading member of the College, was the hero of a famous
scene at the Whig “Constitution Club,” when the Proctor, breaking
in, was reluctantly obliged to drink King George’s health. Shortly
afterwards the following entry appeared in the University “Black
Book”:--“Let Mr. Meadowcourt, of Merton College, be kept back from the
degree for which he next stands, for the space of two years; nor be
admitted to supplicate for his grace, until he confesses his manifold
crimes, and asks pardon on his knees”--a penalty, however, which he
managed to evade, being afterwards thanked for his loyalty by the Whig

In the absence of contemporary letters or biographies, it is only from
casual notices in Visitors’ Injunctions, Bursars’ Rolls, and (after
1482) the College Register, that we can obtain any light on the life
and manners of Merton scholars, whether senior or junior, before the
Reformation-period. That it was a haven of rest for quiet students,
and a model of academical discipline to extra-collegiate inmates of
halls and lodgings, during the incessant tumults of the fourteenth
century, admits of no doubt whatever. A notable proof of this is the
special exemption of Merton “_et aularum consimilium_”--probably
University, Balliol, Exeter, Oriel, and Queen’s Colleges--from the
general rustication of students which followed the sanguinary riot on
St. Scholastica’s day in 1354. But the rules laid down by the Founder,
and enforced by successive Visitors, were expressly directed to secure
good order in the Society. By the Statutes of 1274, summary expulsion
was to be the penalty of persistence in quarrelsome or disorderly
behaviour. By the Ordinances of Archbishop Peckham and several other
Visitors, the inmates of the College are strictly prohibited from
taking meals in the town or entering it alone, and enjoined always to
walk about in a body, returning before nightfall. Other Regulations,
of great antiquity, but of somewhat uncertain date, emphatically
warn the Fellows against aiding and abetting, even in jest, the
squabbles between the Northern and Southern “Nations,” or between
rival “Faculties.” In 1508, the College itself legislated directly
against the growing practice of giving out-College parties in the city
and coming in late, “even after ten o’clock.” By the Injunctions of
Archbishop Laud, it was ordered that the College gates should be closed
at half-past nine and the keys given to the Warden, none being allowed
to sleep in Oxford outside the College walls, or even to breakfast
or dine, except in the College Hall, carefully separated according
to their degrees. Whether the scholars of Merton, old and young,
originally slept in large dormitories, or were grouped together by
threes and fours in sets of rooms, like those occupied singly by modern
students, is a question which cannot be determined with certainty. The
structure of “Mob Quadrangle,” however, together with the earliest
notices in the Register, justifies the belief that most of them lived
in College rooms, and that in those days the College Library, far
larger than could be required for the custody of a few hundred or
thousand manuscripts, was the one common study of the whole College,
perhaps serving also as a covered ambulatory. This building is known to
have been constructed, or converted to its present use, about 1376; but
the dormer windows in the roof were not thrown out until more than a
century later; and in the meantime readers can scarcely have deciphered
manuscripts on winter-days, in so dark a chamber, without the aid of
oil lamps. Fires were probably unknown, except in the Hall, whither
inmates of the College doubtless resorted to warm themselves at all
hours of the day. It is to be hoped that, at such casual gatherings,
they were relieved from the obligation to converse in Latin imposed
upon them during the regular meals in Hall. But intimacy between
juniors and seniors was strictly prohibited; and though Archbishop
Cranmer allowed the College to dispense with the practice of Bachelors
“capping” Masters in the Quadrangle, it was thought necessary to revive
it. As for manly pastimes, which occupy so large a space in modern
University life, they are scarcely to be traced in the domestic
history of Merton, though a ball-court is known to have existed at the
west-end of the Chapel. Football, cudgel-play, and other rough games,
were certainly played by the citizens in the open fields on the north
of Oxford; but if Merton men took part in them, it was against the
spirit of Merton rules, since these playful encounters were a fertile
source of town and gown rows. There seem to have been no academical
sports whatever; rowing was never practised, cricket was not invented,
archery was cultivated rather as a piece of warlike training; and it
is to be feared that poaching in the great woods then skirting Oxford
on the north-east was among the more favourite amusements of athletic

It must not be forgotten, however, that, by the original foundation,
all the members of the College were both Scholars and Fellows, of equal
dignity, except in standing, the Scholar being nothing but a junior
Fellow, and the Fellow nothing but an elder Scholar. There were a few
boys of the Founder’s kin, for whom a separate provision was made; and
“commoners” were admitted from time to time at the discretion of the
College, but these were mere supernumeraries, at first of low degree,
afterwards of higher rank, and on the footing of fellow-commoners. It
was not until the new order of Postmasters (_portionistae_) was founded
by Wylliott, about 1380, that a second class of students was recognized
by the College; and this institution of College “scholarships,” in
the modern sense, long remained a characteristic feature of Merton.
Unlike the young “Scholares,” the Postmasters did not rise by seniority
to what are now called Fellowships, and were, in fact, the humble
friends of the Master-Fellows who had nominated them. It would appear
that at the end of the fifteenth century, if not from the first, each
Master-Fellow had this right; and the number of Postmasters was always
to be the same as that of the Master-Fellows. Until that period they
seem to have been lodged in the separate building, opposite the College
gate, long known as “Postmasters’ Hall.” It is not clear whether they
took meals in the College Hall, or lived on rations served out to them;
but it is perfectly clear that they fared badly enough until their
diet was improved in the reign of James I. by special benefactions of
Thomas Jessop and others. In the previous reign, they had been removed
into the College itself; and thenceforward for several generations they
slept, probably on truckle-beds, in the bedrooms of their respective
“Masters.” Indeed, a College-order of 1543 leads us to suppose that
some of them were expected to wait upon the Bachelor-Fellows in Hall.

Another institution characteristic of Merton in the olden times is one
now obsolete, but formerly known as the “Scrutiny.” The Founder had
expressly ordained in his statutes that a “Chapter or Scrutiny” should
be held in the College itself thrice a year--a week before Christmas,
a week before Easter, and on July 20; and that on these occasions a
diligent enquiry should be made into the life, behaviour, morals, and
progress in learning of all his scholars, as well as into all matters
needing correction or improvement. He also decreed that, once a year,
the Warden, bailiffs of manors, and all others concerned in the
management of College property, should render a solemn account of their
stewardship before the Vice-Warden and all the Scholars, assembled at
“one of the manors.” The bailiffs and other agents of the College were
to resign their keys, without reserve, into the hands of the Warden;
but the Warden himself was to undergo a like inquisition into his own
conduct, and was apparently to be visited with censure or penalties, in
case of delinquency, by the College meeting. It is by no means easy to
understand why this annual audit, for such it was, should not have been
appointed to be held at one of the stated “Chapters or Scrutinies,”
or why “one of the manors” should have been designated as the lawful
place for it. At all events, the distinction between a Scrutiny and
an Audit-meeting seems to have been lost at a very early period.
Scrutinies, or Chapters, were held frequently, though at irregular
intervals; but at least once a year the Scrutiny assumed the form of
an Audit, not only into accounts, but into conduct, being sometimes
held in the College Hall, and sometimes at Holywell Manor. The earliest
notice of such a Scrutiny in the College Register is under the date
1483, when three questions were propounded for discussion:--(1) the
conduct of College servants; (2) the number of Postmasters; and (3)
the appointment of College officers. Two years later, however, we
find three other questions laid down as the proper subjects for
consideration:--(1) the residence and conduct of the Warden; (2) the
condition of the manors; and (3) the expediency of increasing the
number of Fellows. At a later period, the regular questions were--(1)
the expediency of increasing the number of Postmasters; (2) the
conduct of College servants (as before); and (3) the appointment of a
single College officer, the garden-master. Practically, the Scrutiny
often resolved itself into a sort of caucus, at which a free and
easy altercation took place among the Fellows upon all the points of
difference likely to arise in a cloistered society absorbed in its own
petty interests. In Professor Rogers’ interesting record of a Scrutiny
held in 1338-9, long before the College Register commences, every
kind of grievance is brought forward, from the Warden’s neglect of
duty to the slovenly attire of the Chaplain, the excessive charge for
horses, and the incessant squabbles between three quarrelsome Fellows.
The same freedom of complaint shows itself in the briefer notices
of later Scrutinies to be found in the Register. Undue indulgence
in games of ball, loitering about the town, the introduction of
Fellow-commoners into Hall, the prevalence of noise in the bed-chambers
at night, as well as enmities among the Fellows, and abuses in the
estate-management, were among the stock topics of discussion at
Scrutinies; and in 1585 complaints were made at a Scrutiny against
suspected Papists. It is evident that reflections were often cast upon
the Warden; but it was known that he could only be deposed by the
Visitor after three admonitions from the Sub-Warden; and, though in one
case these admonitions were given, the Visitor, Archbishop Sancroft,
declined to adopt the extreme course. The practice of reviewing the
conduct of the Warden at Scrutinies appears, indeed, to have been
finally dropped under Warden Chamber, who, as Court physician to King
Henry VIII., had a good excuse for constantly absenting himself; but
the practice of inviting personal charges against Fellows survived much
longer, and Scrutinies were nominally held in the last century.

A third institution distinctive of Merton was the system of
“Variations,” or College disputations, of the same nature as the
exercises required for University degrees. This custom is thus
described by John Poynter, in a little work on the curiosities of
Oxford, published in 1749. “The Master-Fellows,” he says, “are obliged
by their Statutes to take their turns every year about the Act time, or
at least before the first day of August, to vary, as they call it, that
is, to perform some public exercise in the Common Hall, the Variator
opposing Aristotle in three Latin speeches, upon three questions
in Philosophy, or rather Morality; the three Deans in their turns
answering the Variator in three speeches in opposition to his, and in
defence of his Aristotle, and after every speech disputing with him
syllogistically upon the same. Which Declamations or Disputations were
amicably concluded with a magnificent and expensive supper, the charges
of which formerly came to £100, but of late years much retrenched.”
He adds that the audience was composed of the Vice-Chancellor and
Proctors, with several Heads of Houses, besides the Warden and all the
members of the College. As Variations were still in force when Poynter
wrote, we may accept his description of them as tolerably accurate;
but he is evidently wrong in supposing them to have taken place at
one season of the year only, for the College Register clearly proves
the actual date of them to have been moveable, so long as they were
performed within the two years of “Regency” following Inception. By the
old rule of the University, all Regent-Masters were obliged to give
“ordinary” lectures during that period. This obligation was enforced at
Merton by the oath required of Bachelor-Fellows before their Inception;
and by the same oath they bound themselves during the same period,
not only to engage in the logical and philosophical disputations
of the College, but also to “vary twice.” The system was regularly
established, and is mentioned as of immemorial antiquity, before
the end of the fifteenth century. From that time forward Variations
are frequently and fully recorded in the Register; and, whenever
dispensations were allowed, the fact is duly noted. In 1673 a Fellow
was fined £12--a large sum in those days--for neglecting his second
Variations; and the significant comment is appended:--“we acquitted
him, so far as we could, of his perjury.” Even the subjects chosen
by the Variators are carefully specified, and astonish us by their
wide range of interest. At first, metaphysical and logical questions
predominate; but there is a large admixture of ethical questions, and
a few bearing on natural philosophy. At the end of the sixteenth and
throughout the seventeenth century, politics enter largely into the
field of disputation; while in the eighteenth century a more discursive
and literary tone of thought makes itself clearly felt. Upon the
whole, we can well believe that, in the age before examinations, these
intellectual trials of strength played no mean part in education,
quickening the wits of Merton Fellows, if they did not encourage the
cultivation of solid knowledge.

It is to be hoped, no doubt, that they were preceded and supplemented
by sound private tuition; but upon this, unhappily, the Merton records
throw no light. It seems to be assumed in the original Statutes that
Scholars of Merton, though bound to study within the House, will
receive their instruction outside it. The only exception was the
statutable institution of a grammar-master, who was to have charge of
the students in grammar, and to whom “the more advanced might have
recourse without a blush, when doubts should arise in their faculty.”
This institution was treated by Archbishop Peckham as of primary
importance; and he specially censures the College for practically
excluding boys who had still to learn the rudiments of grammar. There
is good reason to believe that John of Cornwall, who is mentioned as
the first to introduce the study of English in schools, and to abandon
the practice of construing Latin into French, actually held the office
of grammar-master in Merton College. These Merton grammar-masters (who
continued to be appointed in the sixteenth century) were probably the
earliest type of College tutors--an order which inevitably developed
itself at a later period, but of which the history remains to be
evolved from very scanty materials. The medical lectures founded by
Linacre, and the Divinity lectures founded by Bickley, in the sixteenth
century, as well as the lectures delivered by Thomas Bodley on Greek,
were essentially College lectures, but seem to have been professorial
rather than tutorial. A College order of June 9th, 1586, the first year
of Savile’s wardenship, requires the Regent-Masters to deliver twenty
public lectures to the Postmasters on the Sphere or on Arithmetic, as
the Warden should think fit. Probably this rule was soon neglected; and
it is not until a much later period that we find the modern relation of
tutor and pupil a living reality in Colleges.

We may pass lightly over some other strange, though not unique,
customs of Merton which fill a large space in the Register and the
pages of Anthony Wood. One of these was the annual election of a _Rex
Fabarum_, or “Christmas King,” on the vigil of St. Edmund (Nov. 19th),
under the authority of sealed letters, which “pretended to have been
brought from some place beyond sea.” This absurd farce, reminding us
of the rough burlesques formerly practised on board ship in crossing
the Equator, was solemnly enacted year after year, and recorded in
the Register with as much gravity as the succession of a Warden. The
person chosen was the senior Fellow who had not yet borne the office;
and, according to Wood, his duty was “to punish all misdemeanours
done in the time of Christmas, either by imposing exercises on the
juniors, or putting into the stocks at the end of the Hall any of the
servants, with other punishments that were sometimes very ridiculous.”
This went on until Candlemas (Feb. 2nd), “or much about the time that
the _Ignis Regentium_ was celebrated.” The _Ignis Regentium_ seems
to have been nothing more than a great College wine-party round the
Hall fire, attended with various traditional festivities, and provided
at the cost of all the Regent-Masters, or only of the Senior Regent,
whose munificent hospitality is sometimes expressly commended. Of a
similar nature were the practical jokes and rude horse-play described
by Anthony Wood as carried on, by way of initiating freshmen, on All
Saints Eve and other Eves and Saints’ Days up to Christmas, as well as
on Shrove Tuesday, when the poor novices were compelled to declaim in
undress from a form placed on the High Table, and rewarded, or punished
with some brutality, for their performances. It is significant that,
under the Commonwealth, these old-world jovialities were disused, and
soon afterwards died out. The old custom of singing Catholic hymns in
the College Hall, on the Eves and Vigils of Saints’ Days between All
Saints and Candlemas Day, had been modified at the Reformation by the
substitution of Sternhold and Hopkins’ Psalms, which continued to be
sung in Anthony Wood’s times. Not less curious, and more important,
are the detailed regulations made for the health of the College during
frequent outbreaks of the plague, when the majority of Fellows and
students migrated to Cuxham, Stow Wood, Islip, Eynsham, or elsewhere,
and communication between the College and the town was strictly limited.

Were it possible for a Merton Fellow of the Plantagenet, Tudor, or
Stuart period to revisit his College in our own day, he would find but
few survivals of the quaint usages once peculiar to it. The recitation
of a thanksgiving prayer for benefits inherited from the Founder at
the end of each chapel-service, the time-honoured practice of striking
the Hall table with a wooden trencher as a signal for grace, and the
ceremonies observed on the induction of a new Warden, are perhaps the
only outward and visible relics of its ancient customary which the
spirit of innovation has left alive. But he would feel himself at
home in the noble choir of the Chapel, with its stonework and painted
glass almost untouched by the lapse of six centuries; in the Library,
retaining every structural feature of Bishop Rede’s original work down
to its minutest detail; in the Treasury, with its massive high-pitched
roof, under which the College archives have been preserved entire
since the reign of Edward I., together with a coeval inventory of the
documents then deposited there; in the College Garden, surrounded on
two sides by the town-wall of Henry III., extended eastward since the
close of the Middle Ages by purchases from the City, but curtailed
westward by sales of land for the site of Corpus. Perhaps, on reviewing
the unbroken continuity of College history through more than twenty
generations, crowded with vicissitudes in Church and State, with
transformations of ancient institutions, and with revolutions in human
thought, he would cease to repine over changes which the Founder
himself foresaw as inevitable, and would rather marvel at the vitality
of a collegiate society, which can still maintain its corporate
identity, with so much of its original structure, in an age beyond that
which mediæval seers had assigned for the end of the world.




In 1314 Walter de Stapeldon, Bishop of Exeter, founded Stapeldon Hall,
soon better known as Exeter College, for “Scholars” (_i. e._ Fellows),
born or resident in Devon and Cornwall, eight from the former and four
from the latter county; and he also founded a grammar-school at Exeter,
to prepare boys for Oxford. He had, at first, bought ground in and
near Hart Hall (now Hertford College); but this site not proving large
enough, he removed the students to St. Stephen’s Hall in St. Mildred’s
parish, and gave them Hart Hall, that by its rent their rooms might be
kept in repair and be rent-free.

The object of the early founders of Colleges was to pass as many men
as possible through a course of training that would fit them for the
service of Church or State: and so Stapeldon fixed fourteen years
as the outside period of holding his scholarships; he had no idea
of giving fellowships for life. The twelve scholars were to study
Philosophy; and a thirteenth scholar was to be a priest studying
Scripture or Canon Law. Aptness to learn, good character, and poverty
were the qualifications required of them; and they were to be chosen
without regard to favour, fear, relationship, or love. They were kept
in order by punishments, increasing from a stoppage of commons to
expulsion, at the discretion of the Rector, who was chosen annually
after the audit in October. The Rector also looked after the money,
and rooms, and servants; but, if two Fellows demanded the expulsion of
a servant he was to appoint another. The Rector must have been always
under thirty; it was the younger Masters of Arts that then directed
education in the University. Disputations were held twice a week, and
of three disputations, two were in Logic, one in Natural Science.
Tenpence a week was allowed for commons, and each scholar received in
addition the sum of ten shillings a year, the Rector and the Priest
twenty shillings each. If any scholar was away for more than four weeks
his commons were stopped; and by an absence of five months he forfeited
his scholarship.

Stapeldon endowed his Hall with the great tithes of Gwinear in
Cornwall, and of Long Wittenham in Berks; and any surplus or legacy was
to go to public purposes, such as increasing the number of scholars
or buying books. There was a common chest with three keys, kept by
the Rector, the senior Scholar, and the Priest; and the audit-rolls
(_computi_) are extant from 1324, though with gaps, as for instance
during the Black Death (1349). There is something touching in the
number of legacies which Stapeldon left to individual poor scholars in
his will.

The scholars were very poor; and to relieve them, Ralph Germeyn
(Precentor of Exeter), Richard Greenfield (Rector of Kilkhampton in
Cornwall), and Robert Rygge (Fellow 1362-1372; afterwards Canon and
Chancellor of Exeter), at several times founded “chests” for making
loans to them without interest, on security of books or plate; but all
such funds have now disappeared, having been, it seems, absorbed in
Charles I’s war-chest. The College itself sometimes borrowed; in 1358
the College accounts show a payment of “£3 for a Bible redeemed from
Chichester chest”; in 1374, of “four marks to our barber for a Bible
pledged to him in the time of Dagenet” (John Dagenet had been Rector in

The life was simple. Besides the “commons” (_i. e._ allowances for
food), “liveries” (_i. e._ clothes) were supplied about once in three
years. The scholars were to wear black boots (_caligæ_); and conform to
clerical manners according to their standing as Sophists, Bachelors, or
Masters. Meals were taken in the hall (which stood a little north of
the present hall), where there was always a large bason with hanging
towels. A charcoal fire burned in the middle of the hall, under an
opening to let out the smoke; but men were not allowed to linger round
the fire, and they went off to bed early because candles were dear,
nearly 2_d._ a pound, _i. e._ 2_s._ of our money--they lacked therefore
the genial inspiration of writing by good candle-light. All had to be
in College by nine o’clock in the evening; and the key of the gate was
kept in the Rector’s room, which was over the gate. Lectures began at
six or seven in the morning; dinner was at ten; supper at five. Of
the servants, the manciple received five shillings a term, the cook
two, barber twelvepence, washerwoman fifteen pence. The barber was the
newsmonger of that as of other ages.

The scholars might by common consent make any new statutes, not
contrary to the Founder’s ordinances; and were to refer all doubts to
the Visitor.

The Bishops of Exeter were kind Visitors; and gave books and money
several times. Gradually more halls and lodging-houses were obtained,
some lying on the lane[124] which ran all along inside the city wall,
others along St. Mildred’s (now Brasenose) lane, and others along the
Turl. A tower was built on the site of St. Stephen’s Hall, with a gate
opening into the lane under the city wall; two windows of this tower
survive in the staircase of the present Rector’s house. The present
garden is on the site of some of the old buildings, but the ivy-clad
buttresses of the Bodleian and the great fig-trees along the College
buildings, which make such a show in summer, of course do not date from
such early times.

An agreement had to be made with the Rector of St. Mildred’s parish,
who feared lest the College-chapel should interfere with his rights.
This early chapel had rooms under it, and a porch. The _computus_
for building a library in 1383, shows that the building cost £57
13_s._ 5½_d._, the leaded roof costing £13 13_s._ 4_d._; and it was
completed between Easter and Michaelmas, before the beginning of the
Academic year. The timber came from Aldermaston in Berks, the stone
from Taynton in Gloucestershire and Whatley near Frome--the latter
corresponding to our present Bath stone. Carpenters and masons were
paid 6_d._ a day, and the masons had breakfast and dinner (_merenda_
and _prandium_). David, the foreman, had 6_d._ a week for “commons,”
and he held the place of a modern architect.

The regard paid to poverty brought forward some distinguished men, such
as Walter Lihert (Fellow 1420-1425), Bishop of Norwich, a miller’s
son from Lanteglos by Fowey in Cornwall. This consideration for poor
scholars did not often fail. Long afterwards John Prideaux (Fellow
1601, Rector 1612-1642) used to say, “If I could have been parish
clerk of Ubber (Ugborough in Devon), I should never have been Bishop
of Worcester.” Benjamin Kennicott was master of a charity school at
Totnes till friends helped him to come to Oxford, where (in 1747) he
obtained a Fellowship in Exeter College, and became a great Hebrew
scholar. William Gifford, the critic, was apprentice to a shoemaker
at Ashburton, where a surgeon helped him to gain a Bible clerkship
at Exeter (1779); when he became a leader in the literary world, he
remembered his own rise in life, and founded an Exhibition at Exeter
for poor boys from Ashburton school. Thus the Universities had formerly
something of the character of popular bodies in which learning and
study were recommendations, and the avenues of promotion were not
closed even to the poorest.

The Wiclifite movement largely influenced Exeter College, and a number
of the Fellows suffered in the cause. But, mixed with this, was a
wish to uphold the independence of the University, as against the
Archbishop of Canterbury’s power of visitation; and perhaps a feeling
for the _lay_ government, as against the clergy. A former Fellow,
Robert Tresilian, was among Richard II’s chief supporters; and his
fate is the first legend in _The Mirror for Magistrates_, written by
William Baldwin in 1559. Later on several Fellows were connected with
the House of Lancaster. Michael de Tregury (Fellow 1422-1427) was in
1431 made Rector of the new University, set up at Caen by the English
during their rule in France. The physicians of Henry VI. and Margaret
were both Fellows. But when Margaret was at Coventry in 1459, levying
an army for the War of the Roses, she took “Queen’s gold” from the
College, _i. e._ a tenth of an old fine paid the King for ratifying the
grant of a house.

The College was favourably known in the Revival of Learning. William
Grocyn taught Greek in the hall; and Richard Croke and Cornelius
Vitelli lodged in rooms in the College. Some of the Fellows too
were connected with Wolsey; but the College on the whole sided with
the opposition to Henry VIII’s measures, like their friends in the
West. John Moreman (Fellow 1510-1522) opposed Catherine’s divorce,
and was imprisoned under Edward VI. The Cornish insurgents in 1549
demanded that “Dr. Moreman and Dr. Crispin should be safely sent to
them.” Moreman was also famous as a schoolmaster; and as Vicar of the
College living of Menheniot, he taught the Creed, Lord’s Prayer, and
Commandments in English, the people having hitherto used only the old
Cornish tongue.

The _Valor Ecclesiasticus_ of 1535 states the College revenues at only
£83 2_s._ But Sir William Petre, a statesman trained under Thomas
Cromwell, wishing to benefit his old College, gave it some lands
and advowsons which he bought of Queen Elizabeth, and added eight
Fellowships for the counties in which his family held or should hold
land. Elizabeth’s Charter of Incorporation is dated 22nd March, 1566.

New Statutes were then framed by Petre and the Visitor. The Rectorship
had already been made perpetual. Petre allowed the Fellows to retire to
the Vicarage of Kidlington in time of plague, an oft-recurring trouble.
Under a later ordinance a Fellow was allowed, with Lord Petre’s
approval, to travel abroad for four years to study Medicine or Civil

Petre also gave the College a curious Latin Psalm-book, which had
been the family Bible of the Tudors, the most learned royal family in
Europe. It is from it that we know the birthday of Henry VII., 28th
Jan. 1457.

Exeter was still in sympathy with the old faith. Ralph Sherwine (Fellow
1568-1575) was hanged by the side of Edmund Campian of St. John’s, in
1581; and several Fellows fled abroad, such as Richard Bristowe, the
chief of the translators who put forth the Douai Bible. Elizabeth
remedied this by getting two loyal men appointed Rectors successively,
Thomas Glasier in 1578, and Thomas Holland in 1592--the latter was one
of the translators of the Authorised Version. Under them Exeter became
remarkable for discipline and learning, tinged by Puritan views.

John Prideaux was an equally well-known Rector under Charles I., and
came into conflict with Laud. There was more intercourse then between
English and foreign Protestant Universities than there is now; and
Sixtinus Amama, the Dutch Hebraist, speaks in the most grateful terms
of the kindness he received from Prideaux and the Fellows. Exeter was
now training men like Sir John Eliot, William Strode, William Noye, and
John Maynard. Maynard afterwards gave his old College money to found a
Catechetical and a Hebrew lectureship. In 1612 the members included 134
commoners, 37 poor scholars, and 12 servitors--the number of the whole
University was 2920. Western friends, the Aclands, Peryams, and others,
now built a new hall; and John Peryam also built the rooms between the
hall and the library, while George Hakewill, a Fellow, gave money to
build a new chapel in 1623.

As to the life of the place, Shaftesbury, the famous statesman, who was
a member of the College in 1637, gives an amusing account of “coursing”
(now become a sort of free fight) in the schools; of how he stopped the
evil custom of “tucking” freshmen (_i. e._ grating off the skin from
the lip to the chin); and how he prevented the Fellows “altering the
size of” (_i. e._ weakening) “the College beer.” Shaftesbury’s future
colleague in the Cabal, Clifford, was also at Exeter.

Charles I., in 1636, gave an endowment out of confiscated lands to
found Fellowships for the Channel Islands at Exeter, Jesus, and
Pembroke, that men so trained might devote themselves to work in the
Islands. He made John Prideaux (Rector 1612-1642) and Thomas Winniff
(Fellow 1595-1609), Bishops, the former of Worcester, the latter of
Lincoln, when he at last tried to conciliate the gentry, who were
almost all opposed to Laud’s innovations.

In the Civil War most of the Fellows took the King’s side, and
Archbishop Usher sojourned in some wooden buildings then known as
Prideaux Buildings, situated behind the old Rector’s house, buildings
now partly re-erected in the Turl. The College plate was taken by
Charles, although the Fellows had redeemed it by a gift of money; but
the King’s needs were overwhelming.

Under the Commonwealth John Conant became Rector, and increased
the fame of the College for learning and discipline. “Once[125] a
week he had a catechetical lecture in the Chapel, in which he went
over Piscator’s _Aphorisms_ and Woollebius’ _Compendium Theologiæ
Christianæ_; and by the way fairly propounded the principal objections
made by the Papists, Socinians, and others against the orthodox
doctrine, in terms suited to the understanding and capacity of the
younger scholars. He took care likewise that the inferior servants of
the College should be instructed in the principles of the Christian
religion, and would sometimes catechise them in his own lodgings.
He looked strictly himself to the keeping up all exercises, and
would often slip into the hall in the midst of their lectures and
disputations. He would always oblige both opponents and respondents to
come well prepared, and to perform their respective parts agreeably
to the strict law of disputation. Here he would often interpose,
either adding new force to the arguments of an opponent, or more
fullness to the answers of the respondent, and supplying where anything
seemed defective, or clearing where anything was obscure in what the
moderator[126] subjoined. He would often go into the chambers and
studies of the young scholars, observe what books they were reading,
and reprove them if he found them turning over any modern author, and
send them to Tully, that great master of Roman eloquence, to learn the
true and genuine propriety of that language. His care in the election
of Fellows was very singular. A true love of learning, and a good
share of it in a person of untainted morals and low circumstances,
were sure of his patronage and encouragement. He would constantly look
over the observator’s roll and buttery-book himself, and whoever had
been absent from chapel prayers or extravagant in his expenses, or
otherwise faulty, was sure he must atone for his fault by some such
exercise as the Rector should think fit to set him, for he was no
friend to pecuniary mulcts, which too often punish the father instead
of the son. The students were many more than could be lodged within
the walls: they crowded in here from all parts of the nation, and some
from beyond the sea. He opposed Cromwell’s plan of giving the College
at Durham the privileges of a University, setting forth the advantages
of large Universities and the dangers which threaten religion and
learning by multiplying small and petty Academies. He was instrumental
in moving Mr. Selden’s executors to bestow his prodigious collection
of books, more than 8000 volumes, on the University. In his declining
age he could scarce be prevailed upon by his physicians to drink now
and then a little wine. He slept very little, having been an assiduous
and indefatigable student for about threescore years together. Whilst
his strength would bear it, he often sat up in his study till late at
night, and thither he returned very early in the morning.”

The Restoration put an end alike to learning and to discipline, to
the grief of a few good men, such as Ken, though the Royalists in
general issued numerous squibs and satires against the Puritans,
which still impose on some writers. Anthony Wood, a strong Royalist
and constant resident in Oxford, makes frequent allusion in his
diaries to the disastrous effects of the Restoration. “Some cavaliers
that were restored,” he says in one place, “were good scholars, but
the generality were dunces.” “Before the war,” he says in another
place, “we had scholars that made a thorough search in scholastic and
polemical divinity, in humane learning, and natural philosophy: but
now scholars study these things not more than what is just necessary
to carry them through the exercises of their respective Colleges and
the University. Their aim is not to live as students ought to do, viz.
temperate, abstemious, and plain and grave in their apparel; but to
live like gentry, to keep dogs and horses, to turn their studies into
places to keep bottles, to swagger in gay apparell and long periwigs.”
The difference between a Puritan and a Restoration Head of a House is
strongly set out by the contrast between Conant’s government of Exeter
and that of Joseph Maynard, who was elected on Conant’s ejection for
refusing submission to the Act of Conformity (1662). Wood says--“Exeter
College is now (1665) much debauched by a drunken governor; whereas
before in Dr. Conant’s time it was accounted a civil house, it is now
rude and uncivil. The Rector (Maynard) is good-natured, generous, and
a good scholar; but he has forgot the way of a College life, and the
decorum of a scholar. He is given much to bibbing; and when there is
a music-meeting in one of the Fellows’ chambers, he will sit there,
smoke, and drink till he is drunk, and has to be led to his lodgings by
the junior Fellows.”

In 1666 pressure was put upon Maynard to resign, and he did so
on advice of the Visitor and his brother, Sir John Maynard. The
resignation was made smooth for him by the understanding that he
should be appointed Prebendary of Exeter in room of Dr. Arthur Bury,
who was now elected Rector of Exeter. Dr. Bury wrote a book, famous
in the Deist controversy, called _The Naked Gospel_, which had the
distinction of being impeached by several Masters of Arts, and formally
condemned and burnt by order of the Convocation of the University.
About the time of its publication, Bury got into trouble with Trelawney
the Visitor, the same whose name became a watchword in the West (“and
shall Trelawney die”), over questions of discipline and jurisdiction.
The Visitor expelled Bury and his supporters, July 1690; the decision
was appealed against in the Court of King’s Bench, and in the House of
Lords, but was finally upheld.

The evil effects of the Restoration in studies and in morals continued.
Later on, Dean Prideaux can still say, “There is nothing but drinking
and duncery. Exeter is totally spoiled, and so is Christ Church. There
is over against Baliol, a dingy, horrid, scandalous ale-house, fit for
none but dragooners and tinkers. Here the Baliol men, by perpetual
bubbing, add art to their natural stupidity to make themselves perfect

Exeter and Christ Church were both reformed by John Conybeare,[127]
a writer famous for his answer to the _Christianity as old as the
Creation_ of Matthew Tindal, also an Exeter man.

Jacobite feeling was strong in Oxford, and at the election of county
members in 1755, when the Jacobites guarded the hustings in Broad
Street, twenty men deep, the Whigs passed through Exeter and succeeded
in voting. The Vice-Chancellor, a strong Jacobite, remarked on “the
infamous behaviour of one College”; and this led to a war of pamphlets.
Christ Church, Exeter, Merton, and Wadham were the four Whig Colleges.

Early in the eighteenth century the front gate and tower and the
buildings between this and the Hall were erected by the help of
such friends as Narcissus Marsh, Archbishop of Armagh, formerly a
Fellow. But in 1709 the library was burnt. The fire began “in the
scrape-trencher’s room. This adjoining to the library, all the inner
part of the library was destroyed, and only one stall of books or
thereabouts secured.” The wind was west, and the smoke must have
reached the nostrils of Hearne as he lay abed at St. Edmund Hall, for
“he was strangely disturbed with apprehensions of fire.” The library
was rebuilt in 1778, and had many gifts of books and manuscripts, and a
fund for buying more was established by Dr. Hugh Shortridge.

When the time of religious revival came, John Wesley influenced some
members of the College, such as Thomas Broughton (Fellow 1733-1741).
During the present century other Fellows were noted in the Evangelical
movement; and in the Tractarian movement the names of William Sewell,
John Brande Morris, and John Dobree Dalgairns (better known as Father
Dalgairns), were conspicuous.

Nor did the College lack among the fellows and scholars names in
Science, such as Milman and Rigaud; or in Oriental Learning, as
Kennicott and Weston; or in Classics and Literature, as Stackhouse and
Upton; or in Law, as Judge Coleridge; or in Theology, as Forshall the
editor of Wiclif’s Bible, and Milman, Bishop of Calcutta, and Jacobson,
Bishop of Chester; while among its other members it counted Sir
Gardner Wilkinson and Sir Charles Lyell. Of the living men who uphold
the repute of the College, this is not the place to speak.

In 1854 the Commissioners threw the Fellowships open, and turned eight
of them into scholarships, ten open, ten for the diocese of Exeter,
and two for the Channel Islands. In the same year new buildings were
begun facing Broad Street, and next year a library, and the year after
a chapel and a rectory. Since the chapel absorbed the site of the
former rector’s house (east of the old chapel), the new house was built
on the site of St. Helen’s quadrangle. The liberality of the members
was conspicuous on the occasion of these buildings. Stained-glass and
carved oak stalls have been since given to the chapel, and some fine
tapestry, representing the Visit of the Magi, executed by Burne Jones
and William Morris, old members of the College.

Many changes have been made in old arrangements, but the foundation
of the new scholarships carried out the real spirit of the Founder’s
views, in passing men rapidly through a University training. It is
hoped that Walter de Stapeldon would, if now living, approve of the
care for educating scholars which he had so much at heart.




Adam de Brome, the actual, though not the titular, founder of Oriel
College, was at the beginning of the fourteenth century a well-endowed
ecclesiastic, in the service of King Edward the Second. He held
the living of Hanworth, Middlesex; he was Chancellor of Durham and
Archdeacon of Stow; he held the office of almoner to the King; and
in 1320 he was presented by the King to the Rectory of St. Mary the
Virgin, Oxford.

The College of Walter de Merton had then been in existence nearly
half a century; and the type which he had created, a self-governing,
independent society of secular students, well lodged and well endowed,
was that to which the aims of the struggling foundations of William of
Durham, Devorguilla of Balliol, and Bishop Stapeldon were directed.
The poor masters established out of William of Durham’s fund, and now
beginning to be known as the scholars of University Hall, were still
subject to Statutes issued by the University, and had not yet attained
to an independent position. It was not till 1340 that the scholars of
the Lady Devorguilla were set free from the authority of extraneous
Procuratores, and allowed to be governed by a Master of their own
choosing. The office of Rector of Stapeldon Hall was an annual one;
he was appointed by the scholars from among themselves, or if they
disagreed, by the Chancellor of the University, and his principal
duties were bursarial. But for the standard set by the completely
organised House of Merton, the development of these infant societies
might have taken a very different direction.

Adam de Brome appears to have chosen Merton as his model, and his
foundation was from the first intended to be styled a College, a title
perhaps till then exclusively enjoyed by Merton.[128]

By Letters Patent, dated at Langley, 20th April, 1324, he obtained
the royal license to purchase a messuage in Oxford or its suburbs,
and therein to establish “quoddam collegium scolarium in diversis
scientiis studentium,” to be styled the College of St. Mary in Oxford,
with power to acquire lands to the annual value of thirty pounds. In
the course of the same year he purchased the advowson of the church
of Aberford, in Yorkshire; and, in Oxford, Perilous Hall, in St. Mary
Magdalen parish, and Tackley’s Inn in the High Street; and by his
charter dated 6th December at Oxford, and confirmed by the King, 20th
December, 1324, at Nottingham, he founded his College of scholars
“in sacra theologia & arte dialectica studentium,” appointing John
de Laughton as their Rector, and assigning to them Tackley’s Inn as
their residence. This Society, if it ever came into actual existence
at all, lasted only a little more than a twelvemonth; and on the first
of January, 1325-6, its possessions were surrendered by Adam de Brome
into the King’s hands, as a preliminary to its re-establishment under
the King’s name. Edward the Second had already shown an interest in
the maintenance of academical students at the sister University; and
the scholars whom he supported there were the germ of the institution
afterwards developed by his son under the name of King’s Hall. He also
founded the Cistercian house at Oxford. He lent himself readily to the
suggestion of his Almoner; and by his Letters Patent, dated at Norwich,
21st January, 1325-6, he refounded the College, with Adam de Brome
as its head with the title of Provost, restoring the old endowments,
further augmented by the grant of the advowson of St. Mary’s. Leave
was given to appropriate the church to the use of the College on
condition of maintaining four chaplains for the performance of daily
service. License was given to take and hold lands in mortmain to the
annual value of sixty pounds. The original statutes are dated on the
same day as the charter of foundation. By these statutes, nearly all
the provisions of which are taken verbatim from the Merton statutes of
1274, the College was to consist of a Provost, and ten scholars to be
nominated in the first instance by Adam de Brome, and thereafter to
be elected by the whole body. The ten first nominated were to study
Theology; those elected in future were to study Arts and Philosophy,
until they were allowed to pass to the study of Theology or (to the
number of five or six out of ten) of Civil or Canon Law. The Provost
was to be chosen by the whole body of scholars from among themselves
and presented to the King’s Chancellor for admission. The second
officer of the College was the Dean, corresponding to the Sub-Warden at
Merton, filling the Provost’s place in his absence, and acting with him
at all times in the College government. Provision was made, similar to
that at Merton, for the appointment of other subordinate Deans, such
as were established elsewhere and in later foundations; this power has
however never been exercised, and the Dean of Oriel, alone of all who
bear that title, is in power and dignity second only to the head of
the College. The scholars were to be chosen from among Bachelors of
Arts, without preference for any locality, place of birth, or kindred.
Three chapters were to be held in the year, at the same times as those
appointed at Merton, Christmas, Easter, and St. Margaret’s day, at
which inquiry was to be made into the conduct of the members, and newly
elected scholars were to be admitted.

The foundation was now in contemplation of law, complete. The new
Society was a corporate body, having a license to hold land, and with
a common seal.[129] It probably was at first established either in
St. Mary’s Hall, the Manse or Rectory House of St. Mary’s Church, or
in Tackley’s Inn, a large messuage in the High Street, on the site now
occupied by the house No. 106.

But the College had not long been founded before Adam de Brome
perceived that the protection afforded by the King’s name would be
insufficient, unless he could also obtain the support of the Bishop of
Lincoln, Henry de Burghash. The Bishop’s approbation of the foundation
was not given until a new body of statutes had been drafted, differing
in many important particulars from the Foundation Statutes, and placing
the College under the control not of the Crown but of the Bishop. The
Provost when elected is to be presented to the Bishop for approval
or confirmation. Only three of the Fellows may be allowed to study
Civil or Canon Law, all the rest being required to betake themselves
to Theology. The Bishop is everywhere substituted for the King or his
Chancellor; his approval is required for alterations in the statutes;
the power of interpreting them on the occasion of any dispute is vested
in him; and he is constituted the sole and final judge in the removal
of a Provost or scholar for misconduct. Prayers are to be said for the
Bishop’s father and mother, Robert Lord Burghash and Matilda his wife,
his brothers Robert and Stephen, as well as for the King and Adam de
Brome; the name of Hugh le Despenser is significantly omitted. These
statutes were issued by the College 23rd May, and confirmed by the
Bishop 11th June, 1326; the Bishop’s charter approving the foundation
was first given on 13th March, but apparently was kept back until the
constitution of the College had been settled to his satisfaction,
and was only finally granted on 19th May. In the course of the same
year the appropriation of the church of St. Mary was approved by the
Bishop and the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln; and on Adam de Brome’s
resignation, the College was duly inducted by the Prior of St.
Frideswide (August 10).

By the close of the year the Queen’s party, to which Bishop Burghash
belonged, had triumphed over the Despensers, the deposition of the
King following in January 1327. The Bishop made use of the favour in
which he stood with the new government to obtain some substantial
benefits for the College which he had taken under his protection. The
advowson of Coleby, Lincolnshire, purchased by Adam de Brome, was
secured to the College by a Royal grant, with a view to its ultimate
appropriation. The Hospital of St. Bartholomew, near Oxford, and of
Royal foundation, was annexed to the College. The maintenance of the
almsmen was provided by a charge on the fee farm rent of the city; but
the possessions of the Hospital, consisting principally of tenements
and rents in Oxford, went to augment the slender endowments of the
College.[130] But the most important accession which the institution
now received was by the grant of a messuage, called “La Oriole,” the
nucleus of the site of the present College buildings. This messuage
stood in St. John Baptist’s parish, fronting Schidyard Street and St.
John Street, and occupying nearly the whole of the southern half of
the present quadrangle; the south-east corner, the site of the present
chapel, was not acquired till later. It had anciently been known as
Senescal Hall, but had since acquired the name of La Oriole. Queen
Eleanor, wife of Edward the First, had granted it to her chaplain and
kinsman James of Spain, and the reversion was now (Dec. 1327) conferred
upon the College. The life interest was surrendered in 1329, and the
Society probably removed there in that year.[131]

The increase in the College revenues since its first establishment was
probably the occasion of issuing some further supplementary statutes,
8th December, 1329. The commons or weekly allowance was raised from
twelve to fifteen pence a week for each scholar. The stipend of the
Provost was increased to ten marks. Ten shillings were allowed to
the Dean; five shillings apiece to the two Fellows, “collectores
reddituum,” who collected the income derived from the oblations in St.
Mary’s Church, and the rents of house and other property in Oxford;
five shillings to the collector of the Littlemore tithes; pittances
were allowed to the Fellows at Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide. The
Provost was allowed to keep a separate table, and to maintain a private
servant. By a more important provision, ex-Fellows were made eligible
to the office of Provost. These statutes were confirmed by the Visitor
26th Feb. 1330, and with those of May 1326, by Royal Letters Patent,
18th March, 1330.

The first chapter in the history of the College, recording the birth
and establishment of Adam de Brome’s foundation, closes with the Papal
Bulls ratifying and confirming the acts of the King and the Bishop, and
authorising the appropriation of the three benefices of St. Mary’s,
Aberford, and Coleby. These were obtained in answer to a letter of the
King, dated 4th December, 1330, in which the design of the foundation
is becomingly set forth. In a postscript to this letter the King calls
the Pope’s attention to another matter, the inconvenience arising
from the frequent occurrence of disturbances in St. Mary’s Church and
Churchyard, arising from the gatherings that habitually took place
there, and which led to “effusiones sanguinis” within the consecrated
precincts, calling for the Bishop’s sentence of reconciliation.
This was not always easily to be obtained, the Bishop being engaged
elsewhere in his extensive diocese; and the King suggests that the Pope
should authorise the Bishop to give a standing commission to the Abbots
of Oseney and Rewley to act for him whenever occasion should require,
and effect the necessary reconciliation. The Pope, having taken six
months to consider this application, issued on the 23rd June, 1331,
four separate Bulls, three of which provided for the appropriation to
the College of the three churches, and the fourth dealt with the matter
last referred to, the use of St. Mary’s Church for secular assemblies,
but very differently from the King’s expectations. Instead of acceding
to the proposal that a simple and expeditious machinery should be
provided for the reconciliation of the Church, on the not unusual
occurrence of a riot within its walls, he proceeded to forbid, under
penalty of excommunication, the holding of any meetings whatever,
“mercationes aliquas emendo vel vendendo seu conventiculas illicitas,”
in the church or churchyard. The Bulls authorising the appropriations
asked for were promptly put into execution, and the benefices secured
to the College, though Aberford did not fall vacant till 1341,
and Coleby not till 1346. But the fourth Bull was suffered to lie
unemployed in the College custody, until an opportunity[132] arose in
which it was thought likely to prove serviceable.

Adam de Brome died 16th June, 1332, on which day his obit. was long
observed by the College. By his will, proved in the Mayor of Oxford’s
Court, certain houses in Oxford--Moses Hall in Penyferthyng Street,
and Bauer Hall in St. Mary Magdalen parish--which he had acquired for
the further endowment of his College, were devised to Richard Overton,
clerk, his executor. Overton may have been one of the Fellows; at
all events he was intimately associated with Adam de Brome in the
establishment of the College and in the acquisition of its endowments;
and the property now left to him, and other property afterwards
acquired, were all ultimately secured to Oriel.

Adam de Brome was succeeded in the Provostship by William de Leverton,
Fellow and Master of Arts, unanimously elected by the College, and
instituted by the Bishop, 27th June. Leverton died 21st Nov. 1348, and
William de Hawkesworth, Doctor in Theology, was elected in his place.
The Bishop annulled this election on the ground of informality, and
himself appointed Hawkesworth to be Provost by his own authority.[133]
Hawkesworth’s tenure of the Provostship was short, and it is chiefly
memorable for the part he played in the disputed election to the
Chancellorship of the University, which occurred early in 1349.
Hawkesworth, who had already acted as the Chancellor’s Commissary, was
the candidate of the Northerners, the party with which the College
appears throughout to be connected; John Wylliot, Fellow of Merton,
was the candidate of the Southerners. On the 19th of March 1349,
Hawkesworth, as Chancellor, with his Proctors proceeded to St. Mary’s
for the performance of Divine service, and they were there attacked
by Wylliot and his party. It was then that Hawkesworth had recourse
to the neglected Bull of Pope John XXII., which had hitherto lain
unused in the College Treasury. It was now produced and publicly read
in the Church, with what immediate result does not appear, though
Wylliot’s action was complained of to the King, and a Commission sent
to inquire into the matter. Hawkesworth’s death followed soon after,
April 8th; he was buried in St. Mary’s, where an inscription still
remains to his memory. Before the election of his successor, an order
was received from the Bishop, prescribing the procedure to be followed,
probably with the object of preventing the irregularities which had
vitiated the last election. William de Daventre, who was now chosen,
had been an active member of the College for some years; his name
occurs frequently in deeds relating to the Oxford property. In 1361
the College found itself rich enough to obtain the King’s license to
add to its possessions divers messuages and small pieces of ground in
Oxford, which had been accumulating since the foundation, and which
were, up to this time, held in the name of members of the society in
trust. The earliest roll of College property, the rental for the year
1363-4, was drawn up shortly after the license had been obtained and
acted upon; and as a consequence of this increase in their corporate
revenues, a new ordinance or statute was issued in 1364, augmenting the
weekly commons, and assigning additional stipends to the Provost, and
to certain College servants.

Daventre died in June 1373, and was succeeded by John de Colyntre,
then one of the Fellows, and for some years past one of its leading
members. The entry of his election in the Lincoln Register records
the names of the electing Fellows, eight besides Colyntre himself,
and describes him in eulogistic language, “virum in spiritualibus et
temporalibus plurimum circumspectum literarum sciencia vita et moribus
merito commendandum scientem et valentem jura domus nostrae efficaciter
prosequi et tueri quin immo propter vite sue munditiam et excellentiam
virtutum apud omnes admodum gratiosum.” It was long before the Fellows
were again as completely in harmony upon the choice of their head.
Colyntre’s rule lasted till his death in 1385 or 1386.

All through the latter part of the fourteenth century the College
was engaged in increasing its scanty endowment, by the purchase, as
opportunity offered, of houses, quit-rents, and other property in
Oxford, contiguous to or in the neighbourhood of La Oriole. The chantry
of St. Mary in the church of St. Michael Southgate, founded by Thomas
de la Legh, was annexed to the College in 1357; as was also the chantry
of St. Thomas in the church of St. Mary the Virgin in 1392. Other
acquisitions were secured by successive licenses in mortmain, granted
in 1376, in 1392, and in 1394. In this way the greater part of the
ground lying between La Oriole and St. Mary’s Hall was acquired and
appropriated to the enlargement of the College buildings and garden.

The name of St. Mary’s College, the legal description of the College,
seems to have been little used: the Society is sometimes described
as the King’s Hall, or the King’s College, but it was more generally
known by the old name of the mansion in which it was lodged. The first
instance of the use of the name “Oriel” by the College itself in a
formal document is in 1367; but it was no doubt a popular designation
at a much earlier date.

In 1373 license was granted by the Bishop for the celebration of masses
and other divine offices in a chapel constructed, or to be constructed,
within the College. Previous to this the church of St. Mary had been
resorted to for all purposes. The legends on the painted glass windows
in this chapel, preserved by Wood, record its erection by Richard Earl
of Arundel, and by his son Thomas Arundel, about the year 1379.

Next in importance for the society of students which Adam de Brome had
founded, after providing them with a house to lodge in, a church or
chapel to worship in, and means to maintain them, was books for them
to study; and this he had, as he believed, secured in the infancy of
the foundation, by acquiring the library which Thomas Cobham, Bishop
of Worcester, had brought together, and which he had placed in the
new building he had erected adjoining St. Mary’s Church. The building
and the books placed in it were intended by the Bishop to be made over
to the University for the use of all its students; but his intention
was frustrated by his premature death; and his executors, finding
his estate unequal to the payment of his debts and funeral expenses,
were driven to pawn the books for the sum of fifty pounds. Adam de
Brome, who, as Rector of the church, had allowed the building to be
erected on his ground, pressed for the completion of the Bishop’s
undertaking; and the executors, unable otherwise to help him, told him
to go in God’s name, and redeem the books and hold them for the use
of his College. Acting upon this permission, he redeemed the books,
brought them to Oxford, and gave them, with the building which had
been built for their reception, to his newly founded Society. This
account of the transaction was not acquiesced in by the University;
and in the Long Vacation of 1337, five years after Adam de Brome’s
death, the Chancellor’s Commissary, at the head of a body of students,
made forcible entry into the building, and carried off the books, the
few Fellows who were then in residence not daring, as the College
plaintively records, to offer any resistance. Thirty years later,
proceedings were taken in the Chancellor’s Court to recover possession
of the building itself; and notwithstanding an urgent petition of the
College imploring the Bishop of Lincoln to interfere on its behalf,
the University took possession, and established, in the upper story
of what is still known as the Old Congregation House, the nucleus of
its first library. The College continued for a long time to assert
its claim; and it was not till 1410 that the dispute was finally set
at rest. But although disappointed in this quarter, other donors and
benefactors rapidly came forward to compensate the College for its
loss. Adam de Brome probably gave largely. Master Thomas Cobildik
appears in the earliest catalogue as the donor of a considerable part
of the then recorded collection. William Rede, Bishop of Chichester,
who died in 1385, left ten books to Oriel, and made a similar bequest
to most of the then existing Colleges. Provost Daventre, who died in
1373, left the residue of his books to the College. Two Fellows, Elias
de Trykyngham and John de Ingolnieles, whose names occur together in
a deed of 1356, gave books which are still in the College library.
In 1375 a catalogue was compiled, which is still preserved;[134]
this comprises about one hundred volumes, arranged according to the
divisions of academical study, the Arts, the Philosophies, and lastly,
the higher departments of Law--Civil and Canon--and Theology.

The Society for whose use it was intended was still a small one; the
number of Fellows remained, as Adam de Brome had left it, at no more
than ten. The average tenure of a Fellowship was about ten years. The
requirement to proceed to the higher faculties produced little result;
either it was disregarded, or the Fellowship was vacated from other
causes before the time came for obeying it. By the statutes a vacancy
was caused by entering religion, obtaining a valuable benefice, or
ceasing to reside and study in the College. Marriage must always have
been reckoned as a variety of the last disqualification; and it is
especially enumerated in a deed of 1395 reciting the various causes
which might bring about the avoidance of a Fellowship.

The Provost, on the other hand, generally held his office till his
death. This is the case during the whole of the first century of the
College (1326-1425).

Besides the members of the corporate society, room appears to have
been found in the Oriole for a few other members, graduates, scholars,
bible-clerks, commensales. Thomas Fitzalan, or Arundel, afterwards
Archbishop of Canterbury, is the most eminent name recorded in the
fourteenth century.

It is perhaps worth while here to dispose of the claim of the College
to be connected with the authorship of _Piers Ploughman_. The real name
of the author of this remarkable poem was, no doubt, William Langlande;
but a misunderstanding of a passage in the opening introduction led
Stowe hastily to infer that it was written by one John Malverne; and
a name something like this, John Malleson, or Malvesonere, occurring
as that of one of the Fellows of Oriel in deeds of the year 1387 and
subsequently, was sufficient ground for identification. It is enough
now to say that the poem was not written by any John Malverne, and that
no person of that name was ever Fellow of Oriel; that the only Fellow
with a name at all resembling it first appears some time after the date
of the poem (_c._ 1362); and that the internal evidence makes it highly
improbable that the writer was ever at any University. There has been,
however, this indirect advantage to the College, that, on the ground
of its supposed connexion, a valuable MS. of the poem was presented
to its library in the seventeenth century, which ranks among the best
authorities for the text.

On the death of Provost Colyntre in 1386 began the first of a long
series of disputes concerning the election of a head. The Fellows were
divided in their choice between Dr. John Middleton, Fellow and Canon of
Hereford, and Master Thomas Kirkton. Middleton had the support of five,
Kirkton of four of the Fellows. An attempt was made, though whether
before or after the election does not clearly appear, to deprive Master
Ralph Redruth, B.D., of his Fellowship, though on appeal to the King
he succeeded in retaining his place. Kirkton presented himself to the
Bishop of Lincoln, and was confirmed. From the Bishop appeal was made
to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and to the King. On the 18th of April,
1386, Letters Patent were issued, ordering two of the Fellows, John
Landreyn, D.D., and Master Ralph Redruth, to assume the government
of the College, pending the termination of the dispute; and by other
letters of May 23rd, the Archbishop, Robert Rugge, Chancellor of the
University, and John Bloxham, Warden of Merton, were commissioned to
hear the parties and give final judgment and sentence. Under this
commission some sentence may have been given in favour of Kirkton,
though of this no record has been discovered. At all events the King’s
Sergeant-at-arms was ordered, October 26th, to put him in peaceable
possession of the Provostship. This order was again, January 4th,
1386-7, revoked by Letters Patent, reciting that Kirkton had before
Arundel, then Chancellor and Bishop of Ely, renounced all his claims.
Meanwhile the Archbishop had proceeded independently and more slowly.
On the 4th of May he had commissioned Master John Barnet, official of
the Court of Canterbury, and Master John Baketon, Dean of Arches, to
hear Middleton’s appeal; and a like commission to Barnet alone was
issued on the 21st of November. Under the last commission sentence was
given in favour of Middleton, and an order was sent, 26th February,
1386-7, to the Chancellor of Oxford, and to John Landreyn for his due

Middleton died at Hereford, 27th June, 1394, and was succeeded by John
Maldon, M.A., B.M., and Scholar in Divinity, “nuper & in ultimis diebus
consocius et conscolaris juratus.” In the record of the election in the
Lincoln Register, the names of twelve other Fellows appear as electors.
The most important memorial of his period of office now preserved is
the Register of College muniments, compiled in 1397, perhaps under
the hand of Thomas Leyntwardyn, Fellow, and afterwards Provost. This
valuable record consists of a carefully arranged catalogue of all the
deeds, charters, and muniments of title then in the College possession.
Prefixed to the Register is a Calendar, noting the anniversaries,
obits, and other days to be observed in the College in commemoration
of its founders and benefactors. Maldon died early in 1401-2. By his
will, dated January 21st, he made various bequests to the College, and
to individual Fellows. One book, at least, belonging to him is still in
the library.

Hitherto the materials for the history of the College have mainly
consisted of the title-deeds relating to the property from time to
time acquired, the purchases being in the first instance made in the
names of a certain number of the Fellows, these again handing it
on to some of their successors, until the College felt itself in a
position to apply for a license in mortmain to enable it to hold the
property in its corporate character. In this way it is possible to
make out a tolerably full list of the early members of the College.
From about the time of the compilation of the earliest Register, in
1397, this source of information is no longer very productive. Compared
with the abundance of deeds of the fourteenth century, which are
catalogued in the Register of 1397, the fifteenth century is singularly
deficient. Fortunately, however, the want is supplied by other sources
of information of more interest. The earliest book of treasurer’s
accounts, still preserved, extends from 1409 to 1415. The income of
the College was made up of the rents of Oxford houses, about £53;
the tithes of its three churches, Aberford, Coleby, and Littlemore,
belonging to St. Mary’s, about £35; and the proceeds of offerings in
St. Mary’s Church, about £28. The net income, after deducting repairs
and other outgoings on property, was between £80 and £90. The principal
items of expenses were (1) the commons of the Provost and Fellows, at
the rate of 1_s._ 3_d._ per week per head; (2) battells, the charge for
allowances in meat and drink to other persons employed in and about
the College, servants, journeymen, labourers, tilers, and the like,
including also the entertainment of College visitors, the clergy of St.
Mary’s, or the city authorities; (3) exceedings, “excrescentiae,” the
cost incurred on any unusual occasion of College festivity, wine drunk
on the feasts of Our Lady, pittances distributed among the members
of the College on certain prescribed days, and similar extraordinary
expenses. The amounts expended are accurately recorded for each week,
the week ending, according to the practice which continues at Oriel
to the present day, between dinner and supper on Friday. The total of
these charges amounted to about £40. The stipends of the Provost and of
the College officers, the payments to the Vicar of St. Mary’s and the
four chaplains, the wages of College servants, and the ordinary cost of
the College fabric, are the principal other items of expenditure.

In 1410, the long-standing dispute with the University as to Cobham’s
library was set at rest, through the mediation of Archbishop Arundel.
Not long afterwards a sum of money was raised by contributions from
members of the College, and from parishioners of St. Mary’s, for
renewing the internal fittings of the church, the University giving
£10 _pro choro_. On the completion of the work, the Chancellor and the
whole congregation of regents and non-regents were regaled with wine,
at a cost of eight shillings, including oysters for the scrutineers.

It would not be easy to discover in the dry pages of the College
accounts, any indication of the domestic quarrels which at this time
violently divided the Society. The attempts made by the Archbishop,
with the support of the King, to suppress the Lollard doctrines,
aroused considerable opposition in the University. In 1395, Pope
Boniface IX. had issued a Bull, in answer to a petition from the
University, by which the Chancellor was confirmed as the sole authority
over all its members, to the exclusion of all archbishops and
bishops in England. This Bull, though welcome to the majority of the
Congregation, consisting largely of Masters of Arts, was resisted by
the higher faculties, and especially by the Canonists; and the King, at
the instance of the Archbishop, compelled the University, by the threat
of withdrawing all its privileges, to renounce the exemption. Another
burning question was the condemnation of the heretical doctrines of
Wycliffe. Under considerable pressure from Archbishop Arundel, the
University appointed twelve examiners to search Wycliffe’s writings,
and extract from them all the erroneous conclusions which deserved
condemnation. This task was performed in 1409; but the recalcitrant
party among the residents continued to throw considerable difficulty
in the way of the Archbishop’s wishes; and Oriel seems to have been
an active centre of resistance. In 1411, the Archbishop visited the
University, with the double object of asserting his metropolitical
authority, which had been threatened by the Papal Bull of exemption,
and of crushing out the Lollard heresies. He was not immediately
successful; but he had behind him the support of the King, and by the
end of the year the obnoxious Bull was revoked, and order was restored.
It was probably after this settlement that an enquiry was held at
Oriel into the conduct of some of the Fellows who had taken an active
part in opposition. William Symon, Robert Dykes, and Thomas Wilton,
all Northerners, are charged with being stirrers up and fomenters of
discord between the nations; they frequent taverns day and night, they
come into College at ten, eleven, or twelve at night, and if they find
the gate locked, climb in over the wall. Wilton wakes up the Provost
from his sleep, and challenges him to come out and fight. On St Peter’s
Eve, 1411, when the College gate was shut by the Provost’s order, he
went out with his associates, attacked the Chancellor in his lodgings,
and slew a scholar who was within. One witness deposed to seeing him
come armed into St. Mary’s Church, and when his sword fell out of his
hand, crying out, “There wyl nothing thryve wyt me.” In support of
the charge that Oriel College suffered in reputation by reason of the
misbehaviour of its Fellows, Mr. John Martyll, then Fellow, deposes
that many burgesses of Oxford and the neighbourhood are minded to
confiscate the College lands, rents, and tenements. Upon these general
charges of domestic misconduct, follow others against Symon and against
Master John Byrche of more public importance. Byrche was Proctor in
1411, and Symon in 1412.[135] Both appear to have taken an active part
in opposing the attempt of the Chancellor and the Archbishop to correct
the ecclesiastical and doctrinal heresies of the University. Byrche
as Proctor contrived to carry in the Great Congregation a proposal
to suspend the power of the twelve examiners appointed to report on
Wycliffe’s heresies; and when the Chancellor met this by dissolving
the Congregation, Byrche next day summoned a Small Congregation, and
obtained the appointment of judges to pronounce the Chancellor guilty
of perjury, and by this means frightened him into resigning his office.
When the Archbishop arrived for his visitation, Byrche and Symon held
St. Mary’s Church against him, and setting his interdict at naught,
they opened the doors, rang the bells, and celebrated high mass. When
summoned in their place in College to renounce the Papal Bull of
Exemption, they declined to follow the example of their elders and
betters, and flatly refused to comply.

Upon these charges a number of witnesses were examined; some, possibly
townsmen, giving evidence as to the disturbances in the streets between
the Northern and Southern nations; others, notably John Possell, the
Provost, Mr. John Martyll, and Mr. Henry Kayll, Fellows, Mr. Nicholas
Pont, and Mr. John Walton, speaking to the occurrences in College
and in the Convocation House. It does not seem that any very serious
results followed from the inquiry; Symon, and a young bachelor Fellow,
Robert Buckland, against whom no specific charge was made, confessed
themselves in fault; as to the others, nothing more is recorded. A
number of further charges were prepared against a still more important
member of the College, the Dean, John Rote (or Root), who by his
connivance, and by his refusal to support the Provost’s authority,
made himself partaker in the misconduct of the younger Fellows, and
was justly held to be the “root” of all the evil. Such was the weight
of his character in College, that none would venture to go against
his opinion; his refusing to interfere, his sitting still and saying
nothing when these enormities were reported to the Provost, was a
direct encouragement to the offenders. At other times, in Hall, and in
the company of the Fellows, he uttered the rankest Lollardism. “Are
we to be punished with an interdict on our church for other people’s
misdoings? Truly it shall be said of the Archbishop, ‘The devil go
with him and break his neck.’ The Archbishop would better take care
what he is about. He tried once before to visit the University, and
was straightway proscribed the realm. I have heard him say, ‘Do you
think that Bishop beyond the sea’--meaning the Pope--‘is to give away
my benefices in England? No, by St. Thomas.’” What was this but the
battle-cry of the new sect, “Let us break their bonds asunder, and
cast away their cords from us”? But no evidence was offered on these
charges, and Root remained undisturbed in his College eminence.

Possell, who is stated to have been sixty years of age at the time
of the commission of enquiry, seems to have died in September 1414;
and the proceedings which followed further illustrate the divided
condition of the College. A prominent candidate for the Provostship was
Rote, already conspicuous for his outspoken Lollardism, and who, by
his adversaries’ own admissions, was of far more weight and influence
in the College than the old and timid Provost. An election was held,
seemingly in the following October, at which he was chosen; and he
obtained confirmation from the Bishop of Lincoln on November 17th.
But the validity of the proceedings was at once contested by Mr. John
Martyll, one of the Fellows, on the ground of want of notice; and
Rote’s claim to the office was kept in suspense, pending an appeal
to Rome. From the College accounts, the payments due to the Provost
seem to have been made to Rote, under a salvo, pending the appeal.
Archbishop Courtenay, who had lately succeeded Arundel, interfered, and
summoned the parties before him at Lambeth, where on 14th February,
1415, Rote renounced his claims. A new election took place, at which
Dr. William Corffe was chosen; and he was confirmed by the Bishop of
Lincoln, on the 16th of March following, by John Martyll, his proxy.
He appears then to have been absent from England, representing the
University at the Council of Constance. From this embassy he perhaps
never returned; the proceedings of the Council record him as present in
June 1415; and a note in a MS. in the College library states that he
died at Constance. His name occurs as Provost in a deed dated 14th May,
1416; and he is mentioned as “in remotis agens” 3rd April, 1417. His
death may be presumed to have occurred about September 1417.

The period from 1429 to 1476, during which the College was under
the rule of its four great provosts--John Carpenter, Walter Lyhert,
John Hals, and Henry Sampson--was one of exceptional brilliance and
prosperity. Hitherto the College had been one of the most slenderly
endowed; but during this period a stream of benefactions flowed in
upon it, which materially altered its position. The first and most
considerable addition which it received was the legacy of John Frank,
Master of the Rolls, who left the sum of £1000 for the support of four
additional Fellows. The money was judiciously invested in the purchase
of the Manor of Wadley, near Faringdon, once the property of the Abbey
of Stanley, Wilts, and which had lately been forfeited to the Crown.
This property was acquired in 1440, and the statute providing for the
enlargement of the Foundation is dated 13th May, 1441. The adjoining
estate of Littleworth was purchased some time later by Hals, then
Bishop of Lichfield, and also given to the College. The manors of Dene
and Chalford,[136] in the parishes of Spelsbury and Enstone, Oxon, were
acquired by Carpenter, who had become Bishop of Worcester in 1443, and
were given by his will to the College, for the support of a Fellow
from the diocese of Worcester. Somewhat later William Smyth, Bishop
of Lincoln, and afterwards one of the founders of Brasenose College,
founded another Fellowship for his own diocese, and endowed the College
with the manor of Shenington, near Banbury. The last considerable
addition to the College property was made by Richard Dudley, sometime
Fellow, who in 1525 gave the manor of Swainswick, near Bath, to
maintain two Fellows. The whole of these new endowments, which exceed
many times over the value of the original possessions of the College,
were acquired in a period of less than a hundred years, and they are
the lasting memorial of what until recent times must be considered the
most splendid period in the College history.

By these benefactions the number of Fellows, fixed at ten in the
Foundation Statutes, was raised to eighteen, at which it remained down
to the changes of recent times. Four of these, founded by John Frank,
were to be chosen out of the counties of Wilts, Dorset, Somerset,
and Devon; one, founded by Bishop Carpenter, from the diocese of
Worcester; and one, founded by Bishop Smyth, from the diocese of
Lincoln. The two Fellowships founded by Dudley were not made subject
to any restriction; but the College bound itself, in acknowledgment of
Carpenter’s benefaction, to assign one of the original Fellowships also
to the diocese of Worcester. This provision was repealed in 1821. There
were therefore from the reign of Henry VIII. onwards seven Fellowships
limited in the first instance to certain counties and dioceses, and
eleven which were subject to no restriction. And there never grew up
at any time any class of junior members of the Foundation, entitled
by statute or custom to succeed to Fellowships, or indeed any class
whatever, corresponding to the scholars, postmasters or demies, to
be found at most other Colleges. Certain Exhibitions were indeed
established by Bishop Carpenter and Bishop Lyhert, and charged upon
lands given by them to St. Anthony’s Hospital in London. Others, again,
were founded by Richard Dudley. But neither the Exhibitions of St.
Anthony nor the Dudley Exhibitions ever grew to the least importance.
The small stipends originally assigned to them were never increased;
and with the change in the value of money, they sank into complete

New statutes to regulate these additions to the Foundation were enacted
in 1441, 1483, and in 1507. From another statute in 1504 dates the
establishment of the College Register, which thenceforward becomes the
sole authentic record of the history of the College. This Register is
directed to be kept not by the Provost, but by the Dean; and a similar
practice was established about the same time in several other Colleges,
such as Merton, where the Register begins in 1482, Magdalen, Brasenose,
and others. It was probably thought that the duty would be better
discharged by a subordinate officer, who could be called to account
by his superior, than by the Head himself, whose negligence it was no
one person’s business to correct. The Oriel Register, though first
instituted by the statute of 1504, contains also the record of some
transactions of earlier date; and the statute was probably intended
to put upon a regular footing a practice which had already begun, and
which was found to be of service. If this Register had been employed
as the statute directed, in recording “omnia acta et decreta, per
Praepositum et Scholares capitulariter facta,” it would be invaluable
for the history of the College; but unfortunately the tendency soon
showed itself to confine the entries to a limited number of cases, such
as the elections and admissions of the Provost and Fellows, and to
leave unnoticed many matters belonging to the ordinary daily life of
the Society, for the insertion of which no exact precedent was found.
When at a later time the character of the College changed from a small
Society of graduate students to an educational institution, receiving
undergraduate members, scarcely any notice is to be discovered in the
Register which betrays the existence of tutors or pupils, or of any
other members of the Society besides the Provosts and Fellows.

Another important source of information is the series of Treasurer’s
accounts, known as the Style. These begin in 1450, almost immediately
after the election of Provost Sampson, and the plan then introduced,
of which he may possibly have been the author, has lasted in unbroken
continuity to the present time. For some time this account records the
whole of the pecuniary transactions of the College; but after the
act of Elizabeth (18 Eliz. c. 6) came into operation, and the surplus
revenue of each year became divisible among the Provost and Fellows,
the practice soon established itself of excluding from both sides of
the account items of a novel or exceptional character. The rents of
the College estates are given in the fullest detail; but no mention
is made of the fines taken on the renewal of leases, although these
began very early to form an important part of the College revenue. The
whole of the domestic side of the account, the charges upon members
outside the Foundation, and the cost of their maintenance, the fees
paid by undergraduates to tutors and College officers, servants’ wages,
and other similar items, are nowhere noticed. When in the seventeenth
century the whole fabric of the College was pulled down and rebuilt, it
would be difficult to find in the pages of the Style any entry which
would give a hint that any unusual outlay was in progress.

The century which followed the resignation of Provost Sampson in 1475,
presents very little of general interest. At the visitation of the
College by Atwater, Bishop of Lincoln, in 1520, among other matters
of minor consequence, occurs the first recorded instance of an abuse
which was probably then and for long afterwards not unfrequent. Thomas
Stock had resigned his Fellowship in favour of John Throckmorton,
keeping back his resignation until he was sure that Throckmorton
would be elected. “Hoc potest trahi in exemplum perniciosum. Ita quod
in posterum socii resignabunt loca sua quibus voluerint. Dominus
injunxit ne deinceps aliquis talia faceret in electionibus ibidem.” The
Injunctions of Bishop Longland, following on his visitation in 1531,
seem to show a growing laxity of discipline. The Provost, then Thomas
Ware, is admonished to be personally resident in the College, and to
attend more diligently to his duties. The Bachelors are to observe the
regular hours of study in the library at night, and not to introduce
strangers into their sleeping-rooms. The new classical learning
(“recentiores literae, lingua Latina, et opera poetica”) is not to be
pursued to the prejudice of the older studies, the “Termini Doctorum
antiquorum.” The disputations and exercises are to be kept up as in
former times; the Provost, Dean, and senior masters are to attend the
disputations, and to be ready to solve the doubtful points. No Fellow
is to go out of residence without the leave of the Provost or the
Dean, and then only for a limited time, whether in term or vacation.
The vacant Fellowships are to be filled up in a month’s time, and no
Fellowship to remain vacant in future longer than one month.

Fifteen years later another set of Injunctions was issued by the
same Bishop. The Fellows are again enjoined to be diligent in their
studies, giving themselves to philosophy for three years following
their admission, and then going on to divinity. The unseemly behaviour
of Mr. Edmund Crispyne calls for special reprimand; he is to give up
blasphemy and profane swearing; he is not to let his beard grow, or
to wear plaited shirts, or boots of a lay cut; he is to be respectful
and obedient to the Provost and Dean, on pain of excommunication and
deprivation of his Fellowship. Mention is made of St. Mary Hall as a
place of education under the control of the College, but distinct from
it. The door opening from the College into the Hall is to be walled
up, and no communication between the two to be allowed henceforth. The
College is to appoint a fit person to be Principal of the Hall, who is
to provide suitable lectures for the instruction of the students there.

The Reformation makes but little mark in the recorded history of the
College. No difficulty was met with by the King’s Commissioner, Dr.
Cox, when he came in 1534 to require the acknowledgment of the Royal
supremacy. Four years later came the orders for depriving Becket of the
honours of saintship, and for removing his name from all service-books.
The thoroughness with which these orders were carried out is remarkably
illustrated at Oriel, where even in so obscure a place as the Calendar
prefixed to the Register of College Muniments, the days marked for
the observance of St. Thomas have been carefully obliterated. There
was, however, one member of Oriel, Edward Powell, who distinguished
himself by his opposition to the King’s policy. He had been Fellow of
the College from about 1495 to 1505; afterwards he became Canon of
Salisbury, and also held other ecclesiastical preferments. On the
first appearance of Luther’s writings he was selected by the University
as one of the defenders of orthodoxy, and recommended as such to the
King. When, however, the question of the King’s divorce arose, Powell
was retained by Queen Katherine as her ablest advocate; and from that
time he was conspicuous by his resistance to the King. In 1540 he
was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Smithfield for denying the Royal
supremacy, and for refusing to take the oath of succession.

In the pages of the College Register the affairs of St. Bartholomew’s
Hospital play a much more important part than any changes in religion.
It was in 1536 that the long-standing dispute between the College
and the City respecting the payment appropriated to the support of
the almsmen was finally settled. The charge, £23 0_s._ 5_d._, out of
the fee farm rent of the town, had been granted by Henry I. on the
first establishment of the Hospital; but ever since the annexation
to the College by Edward III., great difficulty had been experienced
in obtaining punctual payment. Charters confirming the charge had
been obtained from nearly every sovereign through the fourteenth
and fifteenth centuries; but the City persevered in disputing its
liability. In 1536 both parties agreed to stand to the award of two
Barons of the Exchequer, and by their decision the payment was settled
at the reduced amount of £19 a year, and the nomination of the almsmen
was transferred to the city.

On the resignation of Provost Haynes in 1550, the King’s Council
endeavoured to procure the election of Dr. William Turner, a prominent
Protestant divine, honourably known as one of the fathers of English
Botany. The Fellows, perhaps anticipating interference, held their
election on the day of Haynes’ resignation, and chose Mr. John
Smyth, afterwards Margaret Professor of Divinity. Smyth was promptly
despatched to the Bishop of Lincoln for confirmation, and on his return
to the College was duly installed Provost. Some days afterwards the
Dean was summoned to attend the Council and to give an account of the
College proceedings. His explanations were apparently accepted, and
no further action was taken. Smyth retained his place through all
the changes of religion under Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth. On his
resignation in 1565, Roger Marbeck of Christchurch, and Public Orator,
was chosen, although not statutably qualified, having never been a
Fellow. It is possible, though not hinted at in the account of the
election, that he was recommended either by the Queen or by some other
powerful personage; and a dispensation was obtained from the Visitor
authorising a departure from the regulations of the Statutes. Marbeck
held the office only two years, and was succeeded by John Belly,
Provost 1566 to 1574.

The long reign of the next Provost, Anthony Blencowe, covers the
period of transition from the old to the new era. The College of the
medieval type consisted of the Fellows only. Already Bachelors of
Arts at the time of their election, they carried on their studies
under the direction of the Head and seniors, proceeding to the
higher degrees, and ultimately passing from Oxford to ecclesiastical
employment elsewhere. William of Wykeham had indeed made one important
innovation on the type which Walter de Merton had created; for the
younger members of his foundation were admitted direct from school, and
only obtained their first University degree after they had been some
years at College. The example of New College was followed at Magdalen
and Corpus; but in these cases, as at New College, the admission of
undergraduates was only introduced as part of the regulations for
members of the Foundation, and it was not in contemplation to make the
College a school for all comers. No doubt a few _extranei_, graduate
or undergraduate, were occasionally admitted to share the Fellows’
table, and to profit by their advice and companionship; but the bulk
of the younger students remained outside the Colleges, lodging in the
numerous Halls in the town, and subject only to the discipline of the
University. Instances of such _extranei_ are Thomas Arundel, already
mentioned as a member of Oriel in the fourteenth century; Henry, Prince
of Wales, afterwards Henry V., at Queen’s College; Doctor Thomas
Gascoigne, who at different times resided at Oriel, at Lincoln, and
at New College. This class survived to recent times in the Fellow
commoners, or gentlemen commoners, whose connexion with the Colleges
is historically older than the more numerous and important class of
commoners, which has overshadowed and ultimately extinguished them.
It is worth observing that the three Colleges of William of Wykeham’s
type, New College, Magdalen, and Corpus, although they received
gentlemen commoners, did not admit ordinary commoners until the changes
which followed on the University Commission of 1854. All Souls has
remained to the present day a College of Fellows alone.

The religious changes of the sixteenth century were followed by great
alterations in the discipline of the University. Acting on pressure
from without, a Statute was passed in 1581 requiring all matriculated
students to reside in a College or Hall. The old Halls had nearly all
disappeared; of the few remaining most were connected more or less
closely with one of the Colleges. Queen’s College claimed, and was
successful in retaining, St. Edmund’s Hall. Merton had purchased Alban
Hall in the earlier part of the century. Magdalen Hall was dependent
on Magdalen College. The connexion between Oriel and St. Mary Hall was
older and closer than any. The Principal was, invariably, chosen or
appointed from among the Fellows. The holders of the small Exhibitions
founded by Bishop Carpenter and Dr. Dudley were lodged not in the
College but in the Hall; in times of plague the members of the Hall
were allowed to remove to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, for a purer
air. In the census of the University, taken in 1572, Oriel appears
to have numbered forty-two members; of these the Provost and Fellows
account for nineteen; three were servants; the remaining twenty, one
of whom may be perhaps identified with Sir Walter Raleigh, represent
the favoured class of _extranei_, of which we have already spoken.
In the same year the members of St. Mary Hall numbered forty-six.
The next half century sees this proportion completely reversed. The
matriculations at Oriel from 1581 to 1621 average a little over ten
a year; those at St. Mary Hall sink to five. The control over the
Hall was taken away by the Chancellor, Lord Leicester, though the
College might well have made out as good a claim as that successfully
asserted by Queen’s College over St. Edmund’s Hall. But the Principals
continued to be chosen from among Fellows of Oriel down to the time of
the Commonwealth.

As has been already stated, the Register contains but few notices from
which it could be gathered that any great change in the character of
the College took place at this time. In 1585 the Provost admonishes the
Fellows as to the behaviour of their scholars, and they are ordered
to be responsible to the butler for the battels of their scholars or
pupils. In 1594 an order was made that no Fellow should have more than
one poor scholar under the name of batler. In 1595 the Dean is invested
with the power of catechising. In 1606 one of the Fellows is appointed
public catechist for the instruction of the youth, as required by
University Statute. In 1624 a Mr. Jones, not a Fellow, is appointed, on
his own application, Praelector in Greek. A Register of the admission
of commensales, that is the members of the higher order only, or Fellow
commoners, was begun in 1596, and continued to 1610. It contains
eighteen names only, the first being that of Robert Pierrepont,
afterwards Earl of Kingston. With this exception the admissions into
the College have to be collected from the University Matriculation
Register, supplemented from about 1620 by the Caution Book.

It was this enlargement of its numbers that made it necessary for the
College to take in hand the question of rebuilding the fabric in a
manner suitable to the new requirements. The buildings then existing
had been erected at different times, and had gradually been brought
into the form of a quadrangle, occupying the site of the older part
of the present College. These are shown in Neale’s drawing, made in
1566. The chapel on the south side was that built by Richard, Earl of
Arundel, about 1373. The Hall on the north side had been rebuilt about
the year 1535, partly by the contributions of former Fellows. Provost
Blencowe died in 1618, and was succeeded by Mr. William Lewis, Chaplain
to Lord Bacon, and afterwards Master of St. Cross, and Prebendary of
Winchester. Lewis’ election was not unanimous, and though he was duly
presented to the Bishop of Lincoln and confirmed by him, he thought
it necessary to obtain a further ratification of his title from his
patron. This proceeding is remarkable, as it is almost the solitary
instance in which the original statutes of January 1326, superseded
almost immediately after their issue by the Lincoln statutes of May
in the same year, were quoted or acted upon. The Chancellor, assuming
cognizance of the case as of an election in discord, pronounced in
favour of Lewis, and by an order entered in the College Register and
authenticated by his own hand, confirmed Lewis in his place. Lewis
held the office for three years only, during which time, however,
the design of the new building was determined upon, and the first
part completed. Blencowe had left the sum of £1300 to be applied in
the first instance to the west side--“the primaria pars Collegii.”
This was undertaken in 1619, and in the following year the south side
was also taken down and rebuilt. Besides Blencowe’s legacy, £300 was
forthcoming from a College fund, and plate was sold to the value of
£90. The College groves at Stowford and Bartlemas supplied some of the
timber; the stone came from the College quarry at Headington. Timber
was also sold from other College estates. But it was in obtaining
contributions from former members, and from great people connected
with Oriel, that Provost Lewis’ talent was most remarkable. His skill
in writing letters--“elegant, in a winning, persuasive way”--was long
quoted as an example to other heads of Colleges. This “art, in which
he excelled,” had recommended him to Lord Bacon, and it was by his
patron’s advice that he employed it in the service of the College.
Among those whom he laid under contribution were the Earl of Kingston
and Sir Robert Harley, whose arms are still to be seen in the windows
of the Hall. Lewis resigned the Provostship in 1621, and was succeeded
by John Tolson. The completion of the new quadrangle was postponed for
some years, though the design had probably been determined on from the
first. In 1636 large sums of money were again raised by contributions
from present and former members, and the north and east sides of the
quadrangle were erected.

The plan of the new College is in its main features similar to that of
Wadham, erected 1613, and of University, which was built some years
after Oriel. In all of these the chapel and hall stand together
opposite to the gateway, and form one side of a quadrangle. The other
three sides are of uniform height, consisting of three stories,
containing chambers for the Fellows and other members. In Oriel the
library occupied a part of the upper story on the north side. The hall
is approached by a flight of steps under a portico on the centre of the
east side; above this portico are the figures of the Virgin and Child,
to whom the College is dedicated, and of King Edward II., the founder,
and King Charles I. in whose reign it was set up. Round the portico ran
the legend in stone--“Regnante Carolo.” By an unaccountable blunder,
this last figure has been described in all accounts of the College as
being that of King Edward III.; but there can be no doubt, both from
the dress and from the features, that it represents King Charles, and
no one else. Over the doorways round the quadrangle were stone shields
bearing the arms of the four great benefactors--Frank, Carpenter,
Smyth, and Dudley, and of the three Provosts--Blencowe, Lewis,
and Tolson--under whom the new building was planned and executed.
Blencowe’s are also to be seen in the treasury in the tower, and upon
the College gate. The whole building was completed in 1642, when the
chapel was first used for divine service.

This great work had scarcely been completed when the Civil War broke
out. In January 1642-3, the King being at Oxford, the College plate
was demanded: 29 lbs. 0 oz. 5 dwt. of gilt, and 52 lbs. 7 oz. 14 dwt.
of white plate was given, the College retaining only its founder’s
cup, and two other small articles--a mazer bowl and a cocoa-nut
cup, believed to have been the gift of Bishop Carpenter. A few days
afterwards a weekly contribution of £40 was assessed upon the Colleges
and Halls for the expenses of fortifying the city; the charge upon
Oriel was fixed at £1. This charge was joyfully acquiesced in by
the College, “ita quod faxit Deus Musae una cum Rege suo contra
ingrassantes hostium turmas tutius agant ac felicius.” But these hopes
were not to be realised; and the hardships of the siege soon came to
tell heavily on the College finances. The high price of provisions,
the difficulty of getting in rents, the debts incurred for the
College building, must have seriously crippled their resources; and
grievous complaints of their inability to complete the October audit
occur in the years 1643, 1644, and 1645. In the last of these years
extraordinary expedients had to be resorted to in order to maintain
even the common table; leases were renewed or promised in reversion
on almost any terms; the Oxford tenants were solicited to pay their
rents in advance, on the promise of considerate treatment at their
next renewal; all the timber at Bartlemas was felled at one stroke and
converted into money. Even these heroic remedies were inadequate; and
in March 1645-6 the commons’ allowance was reduced to one-half, and
the elections to vacant Fellowships suspended. The surrender of the
city to the Parliament in the summer of 1646 must have been felt as a
great relief. From that time, although the times were not altogether
prosperous, the distress of the years of siege never reappeared with
the same acuteness. The numbers of the undergraduate members, which
had sunk to almost nothing, soon revived; and the College was able
to build a Ball Court for their diversion in the back part of their
premises. The Hospital of St. Bartholomew was rebuilt in 1651. Although
now converted to other uses, this good gray stone house, with its eight
chambers for the eight almsmen, still stands and bears its history
on its face. On the several doorways, and also on the chapel, which,
though not rebuilt, was refitted and beautified, are the date of the
work, and the initials of the College,[137] the Provost, and the

The Parliamentary Visitation which descended upon Oxford in the year
following the siege dealt on the whole very tenderly with Oriel. It is
possible that Prynne, an old Oriel man, who was an active member of
the London Committee, may have stood its friend. The answers of the
Provost and Fellows to the Visitors’ questions were in almost every
case such as merited expulsion; but in the result only five Fellows
were removed, and of these two were soon afterwards allowed to return
to their place. Two Fellowships were suspended by the Visitors’ order,
in order to pay off the debts under which the College lay. Others were
filled up by the Visitors or the London Committee during the years 1648
and 1652. After the latter year no further interference seems to have
taken place, and on the death of Saunders, in 1652-3, Robert Say was
elected in the accustomed form, and admitted without any confirmation
from external authority. He held office till 1691, when he died after a
long but uneventful reign of nearly forty years.

Of the Fellows of the College during the seventeenth century, not
many achieved any distinction. Humphrey Lloyd, elected Fellow in
1631, and removed by the Visitors in 1648, became Bishop of Bangor.
William Talbot, successively Bishop of Oxford, Salisbury, and Durham;
Sir John Holt, who, after the Revolution, became Lord Chief Justice
of England; and Sir William Scroggs, one of his predecessors, who
gained an unenviable reputation in the political trials which arose
out of the Popish Plot, were educated at Oriel, but were not Fellows.
The most eminent name among the Fellows is undoubtedly John Robinson,
Bishop of Bristol and afterwards of London, Lord Privy Seal, and the
chief negotiator of the Peace of Utrecht. Soon after his election in
1675, he obtained leave to reside abroad, as chaplain to the English
Minister at Stockholm. His benefactions to the College will be more
conveniently mentioned later. With these exceptions the list of
Fellows contains very few eminent names; and the same remark continues
to be true in the main throughout the eighteenth century. The truth
probably is that the system of election to Fellowships was tainted
with corruption. Buying and selling of places was a common practice
in the age of the Restoration, and it has survived to our own time in
the army. In many Colleges this evil was to some extent kept in check
by the establishment of a regular succession from Scholars to Fellows;
but at Oriel, as has been already observed, the choice of the electors
was absolutely free, and, valuable as this freedom may be when honestly
exercised, it is capable of leading to corruption of the worst kind. In
1673 a complaint was made to the Bishop of Lincoln, the Visitor, by
James Davenant, Fellow, against the conduct of the Provost at a recent
election. The Bishop issued a commission to the Vice-Chancellor (Peter
Mews, Bishop of Bath and Wells), Dr. Fell (Dean of Christ Church), and
Dr. Yates (Principal of Brasenose), to visit the College. The conduct
of the business seems to have been chiefly in Fell’s hands; and in his
letters to the Bishop he expresses in strong terms his opinion of the
state of things he found in Oriel. He writes, 1st Aug. 1673--“When
this Devil of buying & selling is once cast out your Lordship will I
hope take care that he return not again lest he bring seven worse than
himself into the house after ’tis swept and garnisht.” He recommends
various regulations for checking the evil; among them that the election
be by the major part of the whole Society, “else ’twill always be
in the Provost’s power to watch his opportunity & when the house is
thin strike up an election”; also that the successor be immediately
admitted, “for there is a cheat in some houses by keeping the successor
out for a good while after the election.” The Bishop on this report
issued a decree, 24th Jan., 1673-4, prescribing the proceeding in
elections. Not to be baffled, the Provost, Say, hit upon the ingenious
device of obtaining a Royal letter of recommendation for the candidate
whose election he desired, and a letter was sent in favour of Thomas
Twitty for the next vacancy. He was probably elected and admitted upon
this recommendation; though the Vice-Chancellor refused to allow him to
subscribe as Fellow. The Bishop made his remonstrances at Court, and
obtained the withdrawal of the King’s letter, and Twitty’s election
was annulled before it had been entered in the College Register. The
Provost seems to have written an insolent letter to the Bishop, such
(says Fell) “as in another age a valianter man would not have written
to a Visitor.” Fell goes on--“Though I am afraid that with a very
little diligence the being a party to Twitty’s proceedings may be
made out, yet it will not be safe to animadvert on that act, however
criminal, as a fault, for notwithstanding the present concession, the
Court will never endure to have the prerogative of laying laws asleep
called in question. As to the letter I think ’twill be much the best
way not to answer it. It is below the dignity of a Visitor to contest
in empty words. If the Provost goes on with his Hectoring ’tis possible
he may run himself so in the briers that ’twill not be easy for him to
get out.”

The regulations of Bishop Fuller were more fully established by a
statute made by the College with the Visitor’s approval in 1721,
when the day of election was fixed to the Friday in Easter week, and
the examination on the Thursday before. But new disputes had already
begun which led to unexpected but most important consequences. At the
Fellowship election in July 1721, Henry Edmunds, of Jesus, the hero of
the ensuing struggle, received the votes of nine Fellows against those
of three other Fellows and the Provost. The Provost rejected Edmunds
and admitted his own candidate. Edmunds appealed to the Visitor, who
upheld the Provost. On the Friday after Easter, 1723, Edmunds stood
again, and he and four other candidates were chosen by a majority of
the electors into the five vacant Fellowships. The Provost refused to
admit them, and was again upheld by the Visitor, who claimed that the
right of filling up the vacancies had devolved upon himself. Three
places he proceeded to fill up at once; as to the other two he seems
to have been in consultation with the Provost as to his choice, but
not to have made any nomination. At the election in the following
April 1724, two candidates received the votes of eight of the Fellows,
against the votes of the Provost and of one other Fellow only, Mr.
Joseph Bowles. The Provost as before refused to admit them. Edmunds now
brought his action in the Common Pleas on behalf of himself and his
four companions, claiming to have been legally elected. He took his
stand on the original Foundation Statutes of January 1326, and claimed
that the Crown and not the Bishop of Lincoln was the true and lawful
Visitor of the College. These statutes, as has been already mentioned,
were superseded within six months of their issue, and although in a
few rare instances, questions had been brought before the King or his
Chancellor, the Visitatorial authority of the Bishop had never before
been disputed, but had been repeatedly exercised and acquiesced in for
four hundred years. The case was tried at bar, before Chief Justice
Eyre, and the three puisne judges, and a special jury; and on the 14th
May, 1726, judgment was given in Edmunds’ favour. The authority of the
statutes of Jan. 1326 was established, and the Crown declared to be
the sole Visitor. Edmunds and his four co-plaintiffs, as also the two
candidates chosen in 1724, were admitted to their Fellowships in July
1726 by the Dean, the Provost refusing, on the ingenious plea that if
the Crown was Visitor, it was for the Crown and not for the Common
Pleas to decide on the validity of the election.

Dr. Carter died in September 1727, and notwithstanding his disagreement
with the Fellows, he showed his affection for the College by leaving
to it his whole residuary estate. He had already, by the help of
Bishop Robinson, obtained the annexation to his office of a prebend at
Rochester, and he provided for its further endowment by leaving £1000
for the purchase of a living to be held by the Provost. With this
money the living of Purleigh, in Essex, was bought in 1730. Hitherto
the Provostship had been but scantily endowed. The Parliamentary
Visitors in 1648 had scheduled it as one of the Headships that required
augmentation. The fixed stipend and the allowances prescribed by the
statutes had, with the change in the value of money, shrunk to small
proportions; the principal part of his income was derived from the
dividend and the fines.

Both these sources of income were of modern growth. By the Act 18
Eliz., leases of College estates were limited to twenty-one years, and
one-third of the old rent was to be reserved in corn. House property
might be let for not longer than forty years. The beneficial effect of
these Acts on the corporate revenue was not immediate; in many cases
long terms had been granted shortly before, which did not expire for
many years. Notably the College estate at Wadley had been let in 1539
for 208 years; and in 1736, when this long period was approaching its
end, the lessees petitioned Parliament to interfere and prevent them
being deprived of what they had so long treated as their own property.
But few leases were of this extravagant duration; and in the course of
the seventeenth century the College income was considerably increased.
The Provost, however, received no more than one Fellow’s share and a
half in the dividend, _i. e._ the surplus income of the year, and one
share only of the fines. The ecclesiastical preferment which Provost
Carter secured to the Headship resulted in making it one of the best
endowed places in Oxford, without imposing any additional charge on the

Bishop Robinson, who obtained the Rochester stall for the Provost, was
also a benefactor in other ways. He founded three Exhibitions, to be
held by bachelor students; and he also erected at his own expense an
additional building on the east side of the College garden, containing
six sets of chambers, three of which were to be occupied by his
Exhibitioners. Dr. Carter erected at the same time a similar building
on the west side.

The effect of the decision given in the Court of Common Pleas, was to
restore the authority of the Foundation Statutes of January 1326. Under
these Statutes only an actual Fellow could be chosen Provost, and the
election must be unanimous. On Dr. Carter’s death, Mr. Walter Hodges
was chosen by a majority of votes only, but he was confirmed by the
Lord Chancellor, Lord King, upon whom, under these circumstances, the
election had devolved. Henceforward, the Fellows agreed to make the
formal election unanimous in every case, and no further instance of a
disputed election occurred.

The history of the College during the remainder of the eighteenth
century was quiet, decorous and uneventful. Its undergraduate members
were drawn from all classes, but always included many young men of rank
and family. Some of these showed their affection for the College in
after life by benefactions more or less important. Henry, fourth Duke
of Beaufort, founded four exhibitions for the counties of Gloucester,
Monmouth and Glamorgan. Mrs. Ludwell, a sister of Dr. Carter, gave an
estate in Kent for the support of two exhibitioners from that county.
Edward, Lord Leigh, who died in 1786, bequeathed to the College
the entire collection of books in his house at Stoneleigh. For the
reception of this bequest, the new Library was built in the following
year at the north end of the College garden.

Of the few eminent names connected with the College in the last
century, that of Bishop Butler is the greatest. He entered Oriel in
1715, and his early rise in his profession was in a great measure due
to the acquaintance he there made with Charles Talbot, afterwards Lord
Chancellor, who recommended him to the patronage of his father, the
Bishop of Durham, also an old member of the College. William Hawkins,
elected Fellow in 1700, was an eminent lawyer, whose treatise of the
Pleas of the Crown still keeps its place as a standard legal work.
William Gerrard Hamilton, admitted in 1745, is still remembered as an
early patron of Burke, and for his speech in the great debate in Nov.
1755, by which he gained his nickname. Gilbert White, of Selborne,
among all the Fellows of Oriel of this period, has left the most
lasting name. Yet his College history is in curious contrast to the
reputation which is popularly attached to him. Instead of being, as
is often supposed, the model clergyman, residing on his cure, and
interested in all the concerns of the parish in which his duty lay,
he was, from a College point of view, a rich, sinecure, pluralist
non-resident. He held his Fellowship for fifty years, 1743-1793, during
which period he was out of residence except for the year 1752-3, when
the Proctorship fell to the College turn, and he came up to claim it.
In 1757 he similarly asserted his right to take and hold with his
Fellowship the small College living of Moreton Pinkney, Northants,
with the avowed intention of not residing. Even at that time the
conscience of the College was shocked at this proposal, and the claim
was only reluctantly admitted. White continued to enjoy the emoluments
of his Fellowship and of his College living, while he resided on his
patrimonial estate at Selborne; and although it was much doubted
whether his fortune did not exceed the amount which was allowed by the
Statutes, he acted on the maxim that anything can be held by a man who
can hold his tongue, and he continued to enjoy his Fellowship and his
living till his death.

It was not till near the close of the century that the College took
the decisive step which at once lifted it above its old level of
respectable mediocrity, and gave it the first place in Oxford. As has
been already shown, the election to Fellowships was singularly free
from restriction; for most of them there was no limitation of birth,
locality, or kindred; and no class of junior members had any title to
succession or preference. When in 1795 Edward Copleston was invited
from Corpus to stand for the vacant Fellowship, the first precedent
was set for making the Oriel Fellowship the highest prize of an Oxford
career. The old habit of giving weight to personal recommendations was
not at once immediately laid aside. Even when Thomas Arnold was elected
in 1815, it was still necessary for the Fellows to be lectured against
allowing themselves to be prejudiced by the reports in Oxford that
the candidate was a forward and conceited young man. But the better
principle had the victory: the last election in which the older motives
were allowed to prevail was in 1798, and from that time the College
continued year after year to renew itself without fear or favour out of
the most brilliant and promising of the younger students.

It was the head of Oriel, Provost Eveleigh, who, backed by the growing
reputation of his College, induced the Hebdomadal Board to institute
the new system of examination for honours. Under this system Oriel
soon took and long retained the first place. It was an Oriel Fellow
who, as Headmaster of the Grammar School at Rugby, succeeded, as was
foretold of him, in changing the whole face of Public School Education
in this country. It was another Fellow who brought about that religious
movement which has worked a still greater change in the Church of

_List of Provosts._

    1326. Adam de Brome: first Provost under Charter of 21 Jan.
            1325-6: died 16 June 1332.

    1332. William de Leverton: instituted 27 June 1332: died 21
            Nov. 1348.

    1348. William de Hawkesworth: election confirmed 20 Dec. 1348:
            died 8 April 1349.

    1349. William de Daventre: elected 1349: died June 1373.

    1373. John de Colyntre: elected 8 July 1373: died c. 1385.

    1385. [Headship in dispute between Thomas Kirkton and John de

    1387. John de Middleton: confirmed 26 Feb. 1386-7: died 27 June

    1394. John de Maldon: elected 3 July 1394: died Jan. 1401-2.

    1402. [Headship in dispute between John Paxton and John

    1402. John Possell: died Sept. 1414.

    1414. [John Rote: elected and confirmed 17 Nov. 1414, but
            resigned his claim 14 Feb. 1414-15.]

    1415. William Corffe: confirmed 16 March 1414-15: died about
            Sept. 1417.

    1417. [Headship in dispute between Richard Garsdale and Thomas

    1419. Thomas Leyntwardyn: died 1421.

    1421. Henry Kayle: confirmed 3 Dec. 1421: died 1422.

    1422. [Headship in dispute between Nicholas Herry and another.]

    1426. Nicholas Herry: first decision in his favour given 30 July
            1424: final decision given 29 Jan. 1425-6: died 1427.

    1427. John Carpenter: resigned 1435.

    1435. Walter Lyhert: elected 3 June 1435: resigned 28 Feb.

    1446. John Hals: elected 24 March 1445-6: resigned 4 March

    1449. Henry Sampson: resigned 1475.

    1475. Thomas Hawkyns: elected Nov. 1475: died Feb. 1477-8.

    1478. John Taylor: elected 8 Feb. 1477-8: died 23 Dec. 1492.

    1493. Thomas Cornysh: elected 5 Feb. 1492-3: resigned 26 Oct.

    1507. Edmund Wylsford: elected 30 Oct. 1507: died 3 Oct. 1516.

    1516. James More: elected 14 Oct. 1516: resigned 12 Nov. 1530.

    1530. Thomas Ware: elected 16 Nov. 1530: resigned 6 Dec. 1538.

    1538. Henry Mynne: elected 6 Dec. 1538: died 13 Oct. 1540.

    1540. William Haynes: elected 18 Oct. 1540: resigned 17 June

    1550. John Smyth: elected 17 June 1550: resigned 2 March 1564-5.

    1565. Roger Marbeck: elected 9 March 1564-5: resigned 24 June

    1566. John Belly: elected 25 June 1566: resigned 3 Feb. 1573-4.

    1574. Antony Blencowe: elected 10 Feb. 1573-4: died 25 Jan.

    1618. William Lewis: elected 28 March 1618: resigned 29 June

    1621. John Tolson: elected 5 July 1621: died 16 Dec. 1644.

    1644. John Saunders: elected 19 Dec. 1644: died 20 March 1652-3.

    1653. Robert Say: elected 23 March 1652-3: died 24 Nov. 1691.

    1691. George Royse: elected 1 Dec. 1691: died 23 April 1708.

    1708. George Carter: elected 6 May 1708: died 30 Sept. 1727.

    1727. Walter Hodges: elected 24 Oct. 1727: died 14 Jan. 1757.

    1757. Chardin Musgrave: elected 27 Jan. 1757: died 29 Jan. 1768.

    1768. John Clarke: elected 12 Feb. 1768: died 21 Nov. 1781.

    1781. John Eveleigh: elected 5 Dec. 1781: died 10 Dec. 1814.

    1814. Edward Copleston: elected 22 Dec. 1814: resigned 29 Jan.

    1828. Edward Hawkins: elected 31 Jan. 1828: died 18 Nov. 1882.

    1882. David Binning Monro: elected 20 Dec. 1882.




It is now just five centuries and a half since Robert of Eglesfield
founded “the Hall of the scholars of the Queen” in Oxford. The Royal
license for its foundation was sealed in the Tower of London on the
eighteenth of January, and the statutes of the founder were corrected,
completed and sealed in Oxford on the tenth of February in the year
1340 as men then reckoned, or as we should say 1341.

Eglesfield was chaplain and confessor to Philippa, Queen of Edward
III. He came of gentle blood in Cumberland, and had ten years before
received from the King the hamlet and manor of Ravenwyk or Renwick,
forfeited through rebellion by Andrew of Harcla. This and the property
he had purchased in Oxford as a site for his hall was all that
Eglesfield was able of himself to contribute to its maintenance. His
relations with the Queen and the King were, however, of priceless
service to the new foundation.

Eglesfield seems to have continued for the remainder of his life to
have fostered by his presence and influence the institution he had
founded. In the earliest of the “Long Rolls,” or yearly accounts of
the College, which are preserved, that of 1347-8, his name appears at
the head of the list of the members. In that year sixteen pence is
paid for the hire of a horse for six days, that he may visit London on
the Thursday after the feast of St. Augustine, bishop of the English;
twenty-three shillings is paid for a horse for him to go to Southampton
about the time of the festival of St. Peter _ad vincula_; William of
Hawkesworth, Provost of Oriel, a former Fellow, lends him a horse,
and a penny is put down for a shoe for the same, and a halfpenny for
parchment bought for him for documents executed on the feast of Saints
Cosmo and Damian.

His funeral is celebrated in 1351-2. They made a “great burning for
him,” as of seventeen and a quarter pounds of wax, costing nine
shillings, expended during the year, eleven pounds were used at the
funeral of the founder. Fourpence halfpenny only seems to have been
spent on wine on the same occasion.

A casket containing his remains was transferred from the old chapel to
the vault under the new chapel when the latter was built.

His horn is still used on gaudy-days as the loving-cup. It must have
been mounted in something like its present condition almost from the
beginning, as in the Long Roll of 1416-7 sixteen pence is paid “pro
emendatione aquilae crateris fundatoris.” Other repairs are mentioned
later as in 1584-5, “pro reparatione particulae coronae quae circumdat
operculum cornu xii d.; item, pro reparandis aliis partibus cornu xviii

His name is also kept alive by the “canting” custom observed in the
College on New Year’s Day, when after dinner the Bursar presents to
each guest a needle threaded with silk of a colour suitable to his
faculty (_aiguille et fil_), and prays for his prosperity in the words
“Take this and be thrifty.”[138]

The object with which the College was founded is set forth in the
statutes as “the cultivation of Theology to the glory of God, the
advance of the Church, and the salvation of souls.” It was to be a
Collegiate Hall of Masters, Chaplains, Theologians, and other scholars
to be advanced to the order of the priesthood. It was founded in the
name of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, to the Glory of our Lord
and of His Mother and of the whole Court of Heaven, for the benefit
of the Universal Church and especially of the Church of England,
for the prosperity of the King and Queen and their children, and
for the salvation of their souls and the souls of their progenitors
and successors, and of the souls of the founder’s family and his
benefactors, especially William of Muskham, Rector of the Church of
Dereham, and for the “_salutare suffragium_” of all the living and the

The benefactions of Muskham do not seem to have ceased with the
foundation of the College. In 1347 Roger Swynbrok goes to Dereham
on behalf of the College to get money from Muskham, and the hire of
his horse costs eightpence, and there are entries of money received
from Muskham in later years. Other persons besides the members of the
College were interested in him, as in 1362 the oblations for his soul
and the soul of John de Hotham the second Provost amounted to £29
16_s._ 11½_d._

The statutes lay down with considerable minuteness of detail the course
of life which Eglesfield expected the members of his foundation to
follow, and, in connection with the early accounts of the College,
which have been preserved with tolerable completeness, give us some
materials for an account of the social life in the College during the
earlier portion of its history.

It is probable, indeed, that the large and complex establishment, whose
details are developed in Eglesfield’s statutes, rather represent what
he wished for and aimed at than the actual condition of the College at
any time; but there seems to have been always in the College a sincere
desire to carry out, so far as was possible, the prescriptions of the
founder; and, as we shall see, some of his minutest directions have
regulated the practice of the College ever since his days.

The patronage of the Hall, “the advowson” as he calls it, was to be
vested in his Royal mistress Philippa, and in the Queens consort of
England who shall succeed her. He adds the characteristic detail that,
if a king dies before his successor is married, the patronage shall be
continued to the widow till a Queen consort comes into being.

Philippa had already procured from her husband for the infant College
the Church of Brough under Staynesmore, and this was to be only an
earnest of the benefits the College was to derive from the lofty
patronage the founder thus secured to it. She was the first queen to
be distinguished as patroness and foundress of a Collegiate Hall.

In 1353-4, which seems to have been a year of unusual expense to the
College, among the donations received xxvj pounds iiij shillings is
credited to “domina Regina.”

It was doubtless through the Queen’s influence that the King in 1343
endowed the College with the advowson of Bletchingdon, and in the
following year with the Wardenship of St. Julian’s Hospital, commonly
called God’s House, in Southampton.

The College seems always to have been careful to secure the patronage
of the Queens consort of England. In the muniment room is preserved a
letter from Anne, Richard II.’s queen, to her husband, asking him to
grant letters patent to the College.

In 1603, on the 3rd of August, 48_s._ 6_d._ is allowed to the Provost
for his journey “ad solicitandam dominam reginam pro patronatu
collegii.” This was another Anne, James I.’s wife. A bible was
presented to the Queen which cost 42_s._ 4_d._

It was through Henrietta Maria--Queen Mary, as the College delights
to call her--that Charles I. was supplicated for the advowsons in
Hampshire given by the King to the College in 1626. Caroline, George
II.’s queen, gave £1000 towards the rebuilding of the College in the
eighteenth century; and promised another £1000, which, owing to her
death, still (as the Benefactors’ Book says) remains “unpaid but not
unhoped for.” Charlotte, George III.’s consort, heads the list of those
who subscribed towards the rebuilding of the south-west wing after the
fire of 1778. Queen Adelaide was the last queen entertained within the
walls of the College.

The community was to consist of a Provost and twelve Fellows,
incorporated under the name of “the Hall of the Queen in Oxford,” with
a common seal.

The original body was nominated by the founder, and their names are set
forth in his statutes.

The number thirteen was chosen with reference to the number of our Lord
and His Apostles, “sub mysterio decursus Christi et Apostolorum in

Richard of Retteford, Doctor of Divinity, was the first Provost, and
the thirteen came from ten different dioceses. Several of them were, or
had been, Fellows of Merton; one, a Fellow of Exeter.

It was some years before the revenues of the College allowed of the
maintenance of so large a number of Fellows. The first “long roll”
preserved mentions only five persons, including Eglesfield himself,
as receiving a Fellow’s allowance; and eight is the largest number
of Fellows named in any account up to the end of the century. In the
early part of the sixteenth century the numbers rose to about ten,
but dwindled again in the disturbed periods about the middle of the
century. Twelve Fellows first appear in the Long Roll for 1590; and
soon after the number was increased to fourteen, at which the number of
the Fellows on the original foundation seems to have remained till the
first of the two University Commissions of the present century.

By the ordinance of 1858, the number of Fellows of the Consolidated
Foundation was fixed at nineteen; and by the statutes of 1877, the
Fellowships are to be not less in number than fourteen and not more
than sixteen. The actual number is fourteen.

From the earliest times down to the legislation of 1858 the body of
Fellows seems to have been recruited from the junior members of the
foundation, and ordinarily by seniority.

It seems to have soon become a rule that no one should be admitted to a
Fellowship till he had proceeded to his Master’s degree. The University
was often appealed to to grant dispensations to Queen’s men to omit
some of the conditions generally required for that degree in order to
enable them to be elected Fellows.

In 1579 some Bachelors were elected Fellows: “electi socii dum Domini
fuere; sed irrita facta est electio: postea vero electi.”

The names given to the different orders of foundationers perhaps
deserve a passing notice. The Fellows, as we should call them,
were the “Scholares,” who, with the “Praepositus,” or Provost,
constituted the Corporation. They are in the original statutes called
indifferently “Scholares” and “Socii.” The first name under which
other recipients of Eglesfield’s bounty appear is that of “Pueri,”
or “Pueri eleemosynarii.” By the end of the fourteenth century the
name “Servientes” came to be applied to an intermediate order, between
the “socii” and the “pueri,” recruited from the latter. In 1407,
for instance, Bell is a “pauper puer”; in 1413 Ds. Walter Bell is a
“serviens”; and in 1416 Mr. Walter Bell, who was for the previous
Michaelmas Term, and for the first term of the year, still “serviens”
and chaplain, becomes a Fellow. A candidate for the foundation seems
to have entered the College as a “pauper puer”; to have become a
“serviens” on taking his Bachelor’s degree; and to have been eligible
to a Fellowship as soon as he had proceeded to the degree of M.A.

The distinction between the three orders seems to have been maintained,
though with some variety in the names given to the orders and some
laxity in their application. Chaplains who are Masters are sometimes
loosely called “pueri” even as early as the middle of the fifteenth
century; and about 1570 the term “servientes” seems to have gone out of
use and the name “pueri” to have been transferred to the Bachelors.

Soon after this a fourth order appears intermediate between the first
and second, of “magistri non-socii,” or Masters on the foundation. It
might often be convenient for a B.A. to proceed to his M.A. degree
before a Fellowship was ready for him. The Chaplains were generally
appointed from among these Masters. In the University Calendar of 1828
there appear as many as nine of these expectants.

Before the end of the fifteenth century we find the lowest order called
“pueri domus,” and then “pueri de taberta” or “taberto” or “tabarto.”
The first appearance of this famous appellation seems to be in the Long
Roll for 1472. The tabard from which the Taberdars, as we now call
them, derived their name appears early in the accounts of the College.
Under the expenses of the boys in 1364-5 occurs:--“Item, cissori pro
cota Ad. de Spersholt cum capic. tabard. et calig. xii d.”

The livery of the boys seems always to have been a special part of
the provision made by the College for them: 25_s._ 4_d._ is expended
in 1407 “in vestura pauperum puerorum”; and when Thomas Eglesfield is
promoted in 1416 from Leylonde Hall, where the College had paid 1_s._
4_d._ for a term’s schooling for him to Mr. John Leylande and 5_d._ for
his batells, the first expenditure on his account as a poor boy of the
College is “pro factura togae & tabard. ejusd. xii d.” Those who are
wise in such matters may be able to calculate the size of the tabard
from the datum that eight yards of cloth, at a cost of 14_s._ 8_d._,
were provided in 1437 “pro duobus pueris domus, pro tabard. suis.” In
1503, 37_s._ 4_d._ is paid “pro liberatura iiij puerorum domus”; and in
1519, 56_s._ for the same for six boys.

The College had probably its pattern for the tabard, but no trace of
a description of it has yet been discovered. The word seems, from
Ducange, to have been used for almost every sort of upper garment, from
the long tabard worn by the Priests of the Hospital of Elsingspittal
with tunic, supertunic and hood, to the round mantles or tabards
of moderate length permitted by the council of Buda to be worn by
Prelates, and the “renones,” or capes coming down to the reins, which
the French call “tabart.” It seems now to be only applied to the
herald’s coat.

The four orders in their latest manifestation previous to the
legislation of 1858 were--1, Fellows; 2, Masters of Arts on the
Foundation; 3, Taberdars or Bachelors of Arts on the Foundation; 4,
Probationary Scholars, who were undergraduates. Under the subsequent
arrangements the name Taberdar has been reserved for the eight senior
open scholars.

The Provost was required by Eglesfield to be of mature character, in
Holy Orders, a good manager, and he was to be elected for life. He was
to be elected by the Fellows, and admit Fellows who had been elected;
to devote himself to the rule and care of the College, and to the
administration of its property. He was to see to the collection of the
debts of the College, going to law if necessary on behalf of its rights
and privileges, and to study in all respects to promote the advantage
and enlargement of the Hall by obtaining such influence over Royal and
other persons as he might be able to secure.

The provision that the Provost should be in Holy Orders seems only once
to have been violated. Roger Whelpdale (1404), indeed, seems only to
have received priest’s orders after his election; but in the person
of Thomas Francis all precedents were violated. He was a Doctor of
Medicine, of Christ Church, a native of Chester, and Regius Professor
of Medicine; and was in 1561, it would seem by Royal influence,
intruded into the Provostship. Serious disturbances seem to have taken
place at his inauguration,[139] and in two years he had had enough
of it. The irregularity prevailing at the time is evidenced by his
offering in an extant letter to nominate Bernard Gilpin, the Apostle of
the North, as his successor.[140] The Tudor sovereigns seem in this,
as in other matters, to have found it difficult to set limits to their
prerogative. Later in Elizabeth’s reign, on Henry Robinson’s promotion
from the Provostship to the Bishopric of Carlisle, his chancellor
had to write to the College, 8th Oct., 1598, signifying the Queen’s
pleasure that the election of a Provost in his room “be respited till
her Majesty be informed whether it belongs to her by prerogative, or to
the Fellows, to chuse a successor.”

No fault can be found with the Provosts of the College, as a rule,
for want of care of its interests. The names of six occur in the
Thanksgiving for the Founder and Benefactors of the College; and others
could prefer a claim to the same distinction.

Thomas Langton (1487), the first of the six, who was also Fellow of
Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, where his “Anathema” cup is still to be seen,
died Bishop of Winchester, having been nominated just before his death
to the Archbishopric of Canterbury. He left memorial legacies both
directly to the College, and indirectly to it through a benefaction to
God’s House at Southampton. Christopher Bainbridge (1506), the next of
the Benefactor Provosts, was Cardinal and Archbishop of York, poisoned
at Rome by his steward, and buried under a magnificent renaissance
monument which now adorns the Church of St. Thomas à Becket in that

A chantry priest was till the Reformation paid £5 6_s._ 8_d._ for
celebrating for the souls of these two benefactors in the Church of St.
Michael in Bongate near Appleby, the capital of the county in which
they were both born.

Henry Robinson (1581), the third on the list, had been Principal of
St. Edmund Hall, and died Bishop of Carlisle. His brass in Carlisle
Cathedral, of which the College possesses a duplicate, says of his
relations with the College, “invenit destructum, reliquit exstructum
et instructum.” The College spent, 15th July, 1615, £23 3_s._ 3_d._
in celebrating his obsequies, and provided Chr. Potter with a funeral
gown and hood to preach his funeral sermon; £10 was paid in 1617 for
engraving his monument on copper, and 31_s._ 6_d._ for some impressions
from the plate.

Henry Airay (1598), who succeeds Robinson as Provost and Benefactor,
the Elisha to Robinson’s Elijah, as his brass with much variety of
symbolic illustration describes him, in spite of his being “a zealous
Calvinist,” commends himself to Wood “for his holiness, integrity,
learning, grauity, and indefatigable pains in the discharge of his
ministerial functions.” The College proved his will at a cost of 41_s._
8_d._, and spent £19 16_s._ 8_d._ on his funeral, 9th July, 1616.

Timothy Halton (1677), the fifth of the Provosts commemorated in the
Thanksgiving, built the present spacious library of the College mainly
at his own expense.

William Lancaster (1704), who is sixth, had the chief hand in building
the present College. He incurred Hearne’s wrath on private grounds
and as a “Whigg,” and is abused by him through many volumes of his
Collections; but he commended himself to others of his contemporaries,
and the favour in which he was held by the Corporation of Oxford was
of great service to the College. In the Mayoralty of Thomas Sellar,
Esq., 14th Jan., 1709, it was “agreed that the Provost and Scholars
of Queen’s College shall have a lease of so much ground in the high
street leading to East Gate as shall be requisite for making their
intended new building there strait and uniform from Michaelmas last for
one thousand years at a pepper corn rent, gratis and without fine, in
respect of the many civilities and kindnesses from time to time showed
unto and conferred upon this city and the principal members thereof by
Dr. Lancaster.”

It was by thus obtaining influence over Royal and other persons,
in conformity with the injunctions of the founder, that Provosts
and other members of the College were enabled to benefit it. The
monument to Joseph Smith (1730) which faces one who comes out of the
College chapel, seems to preserve the memory of an ideal Provost from
Eglesfield’s point of view and that which continued to be maintained
in the College. “Distinguished for his Learning, Eloquence, Politeness
of Manners, Piety and Charity, he with great Prudence and judicious
Moderation presided over his College to its general Happiness. Its
Interests were the constant Object of his Attention. He was himself a
good Benefactor to it, and was blest with the Success of obtaining for
it by his respectable Influence, several ample Donations to the very
great and perpetual Increase of its Establishment.”

Among the “ample donations” obtained by Provost Smith’s “respectable
influence,” the first place belongs to the Hastings foundation. The
Lady Elizabeth Hastings, daughter of Theophilus, seventh Earl of
Huntingdon, of whom Steele says in the _Tatler_, “To love her is a
liberal education,” bequeathed to the College in 1739 her Manors,
Lands, and Hereditaments in Wheldale in the West Riding of Yorkshire,
to found five Exhibitions for five poor scholars that had been educated
for two years at one or other of twelve schools in Cumberland,
Westmorland, and Yorkshire. Each school was to send a candidate, and
the candidates were first to be examined at Abberforth or Aberford in
Yorkshire by seven neighbouring clergymen, and the ten best exercises
were to be sent to the Provost and Fellows, who were to “choose out of
them eight of the best performances which appear the best, which done,
the names subscribed to those eight shall be fairly written, each in a
distinct paper, and the papers rolled up and put into an Urn or Vase,
… and after being shaken well together in the Urn shall be drawn out
of the same.… And those five whose names are first drawn shall to all
Intents and Purposes be held duly elected.… And though this Method
of choosing by Lot may be called by some Superstition or Enthusiasm,
yet … the advice was given me by an Orthodox and Pious Prelate of the
Church of England as leaving something to Providence.” This method of
election was observed as late as 1859, the Urn or Vase then employed
being the Provost’s man-servant’s hat. In 1769 the lot not drawn was
that of Edward Tatham of Heversham School, afterwards Rector of Lincoln
College, probably the most notable person who was ever a candidate for
a place on this foundation. A more reasonable provision, that if of the
original schools any should so far come to decay as to have no scholar
returned by the examiners at Aberford in four successive elections,
the College should appoint another school from the same county in its
stead, has been of great benefit to the Foundation and to education in
the counties. The estate devised has increased in value, coals having
been got, which were supposed in Lady Betty’s time to be in the estate.
Fourteen schools now enjoy the benefits of the Foundation, and nearly
thirty Exhibitioners of £90 a year each now take the place of the
original five Exhibitioners of £28 a year.

Elaborate regulations were laid down for the election of the Provost,
and on one occasion at least the whole course of proceeding had to be
gone through.[141] In the oath, which was to precede this as almost all
other important ceremonies in the College, the Fellows swear that they
will elect the most fit and sufficient of the Fellows to the vacancy.

Disputes have from time to time taken place as to whether a
“promoted[142] Fellow” during his year of grace is to be regarded as a
Fellow for this purpose. At the time of Wm. Lancaster’s election (1704)
a pamphlet was published in opposition to his claims, but it would seem
without any effect on the election. The pamphleteer has to allow that
several earlier Provosts, among them Henry Boost, who was also Provost
of Eton, and Bishop Langton, had never been Fellows at all.

The Provost was to receive five marks in addition to the portion
assigned to each of the Fellows, and this was to be increased gradually
to forty pounds in case the augmentation of the revenues of the College
allowed the number of Fellows prescribed in the statutes to increase.
He was to receive this for his ordinary expenses and necessities. The
community was to defray any expenses incurred in absence on business,
or in the entertainment of visitors who might repair to the College in
connection with its affairs.--In 1359-60, Adam, the Provost’s servant,
has his expenses paid for a visit to Southampton to see the condition
of God’s House while the foreigners were at Winchester. In 1363-4 Henry
Whitfield, the Provost, brings in a bill for his expenses on a voyage
to the Court of Rome at Avignon on College business connected with the
living of Sparsholt in Berks. A century later the Provost is allowed
5_s._ 10_d._ for his expenses to London in May 1519 to get money for
the building of the chapel. In 1600-1 18_d._ is paid for a horse sent
to fetch the Provost for the election of a principal at St. Edmund Hall.

The rights of the College in the matter of the appointment of a
Principal of that Hall have always been vigorously asserted against the
Chancellor of the University, who nominates the Principals of all other
public Halls. In 1636, when the Heads of Colleges and Halls were called
upon to give their formal submission to Laud’s new statutes, Chr.
Potter, Coll. Reginæ Præpositus, adds his name “Salvo jure Collegii
prædicti ad Aulam St. Edmundi.” The record of the proceedings on the
occasion of each election of a Principal has been preserved with a care
not usually extended to any but the most solemn of the proceedings of
the College. On the 18th December, 1614, Mr. French is paid 3_s._ for
writing out the agreement made between the University and the College
about the election of a Principal of St. Edmund Hall. The agreement,
securing the appointment to the College, was made in 1559. Lord
Buckhurst (Chancellor from 1591 to 1608) was advised by Lord Chief
Justice Walmsley that it was void, but the law officers of the Crown at
the time maintained its validity.[143]

The common seal, the jewels, treasure, bulls, charters, writings,
statutes, privileges and muniments of the College were to be kept in
a chest with three locks, the keys whereof were to be kept by the
Provost, the Treasurer, and the “Camerarius.” The two last were the
technical names for the senior and junior Bursars respectively, and
were retained in the Long Rolls to a very recent time.

The Foundation was to be in theory open. Like the University, the
College was not to close the bosom of its protection to any race or
deserving nation; and the Fellows at the time of election swore not
only to put away all hatred, fear, and partiality, and to listen to
no requests, but also to act without accepting person or country. The
conditions of eligibility were distinguished character, poverty and
fitness for studying theology with profit. A preference, however,
was to be given to suitable persons who were natives of Cumberland
and Westmorland, to which this preference was given on account of
their waste state, their uninhabited condition, and the scarcity of
letters in them. Within these limits too there was to be a preference
for founders’ kin. After these a _cæteris paribus_ preference was
given to those places wherein the College derived benefit either from
ecclesiastical benefices, manors, lands or tenements. These limitations
soon practically resulted in confining the Foundation to natives of
the two counties. They supplied a steady flow of capable persons; and
curiously enough, though so unequal in size and population, in about
equal numbers.

Pressure was from time to time applied to the College to admit into the
society persons not duly qualified. In the reign of James I., Robert
Murray, a Scot, was thus recommended by a Royal letter; and, though the
College declined to elect him, it was thought politic to pay him £20
“ne in iniquam pecuniarum erogationem traheretur collegium.” During the
time of the usurpation, as a note in the Entrance Book calls it, four
Fellows were intruded, who were promptly got rid of at the Restoration
of Charles II. Thomas Cartwright, who was afterwards “Tabiter,” and
eventually Bishop of Chester, and one of the Commissioners for ejecting
the President and Fellows of Magdalen College, is said to have been put
into the College by the Parliamentary Visitors during the same period.

The claim to preference as founder’s kin does not seem to have been
often advanced. The Thomas Eglesfield, to the purchase of whose tabard
reference is made above,[144] seems to have been grandson of the
founder’s brother John. At the time of his admission to the College,
his father, also called John, seems to have visited the College and
taken away with him a son William, who, like Thomas, had been for a
term under the instruction of Mr. John Leylonde. This is probably the
William who, with his wife, brother, and sister-in-law, receives from
the College gloves in 1459 to the value of 12½_d._ Leylonde seems to
have continued to act as private tutor to Thomas after he joined the
College, as x_s._ is paid in 1418, “Magistro Joh. Leylonde pro scolagio
Tho. Egylsfelde.” A Christopher Eglesfield was on the Foundation about
the same time. Thomas went through all the stages of promotion. He was
“puer,” “serviens,” Fellow, and eventually Provost, besides holding
the University offices of Proctor and Commissary (or Vice-Chancellor).
An Anthony Eglesfield was Fellow of the College in 1577. A James
Eglesfield belonged to it in 1615, and a George Eglesfield in 1670.
A Gawin Eglesfield, who had been taberdar, and was passed over at an
election to Fellows in 1632, claimed election as founder’s kin, and was
backed by the Archbishop of York as visitor. The College successfully
resisted the claim; but on Gawin’s acknowledgment that the claim was
unfounded, to please the visitor, presented him to the living of Weston
in Oxfordshire.

The College, however, in another way, has from the beginning “opened
the bosom of its protection” to students whom it was unwilling out of
regard to the preferences of the founder to admit to the pecuniary
benefits of the Foundation. Whether it was that the buildings
contained more rooms than the slowly growing Foundation was able to
fill with its own members, or for some other cause, the receipts of
the College have always included “pensiones” for “cameræ” occupied by
non-foundationers. The very first Long Roll which has been preserved,
that of 1347-8, contains the names of Roger Swynbrok, John Herte, and
John Schipton as thus occupying chambers. The word used for the payment
has survived in “pensioners,” the name given at Cambridge to those whom
we call “commoners.” The pensioners of the fourteenth century probably
differed in many respects from the commoners of the nineteenth. The
founder was in one sense the first commoner of the College. The Black
Prince was perhaps one of the earliest. Dominus Nicholas monachus,
the monachus Eboracensis who paid two marks “pro magna camera,” the
monachus de Evesham, Robertus canonicus, The Prior of Derbich, Magister
John Wicliff, Canonicus Randulphus, the Scriptor Slake, Bewforth, if
not Bewforth’s more celebrated pupil, afterwards Henry V., Raymund,
Rector of Hisley, the treasurer of Chichester, and numerous other
Magistri whose names appear in this relation were probably rather
researchers or advanced students than anything more resembling the
modern undergraduate. It was not unusual for those who had been Fellows
to return to the College after some period of absence from Oxford and
from the Foundation. But it is doubtless in this element that we find
the first traces in the College of those who now occupy so prominent a
place in any view of modern Oxford. By the time the first lists occur
of residents in the Colleges, and before the regularly-kept register of
entrances begins, the present system seems to have been in full swing.
In course of time it became profitable for the College even to extend
its buildings for the accommodation of this kind of student, and the
“musaea” or “studies” in the “_novum cubiculum_” and in the “_novum
aedificium_” became a regular source of revenue.

It was not only through these and other payments that these “commoners”
contributed to the well-being of the College. Among its most liberal
benefactors some of the foremost have been non-foundationers. So John
Michel, in some sense the second founder of the College, like his
father and his uncle, who, as he records, “in saeculo rebellionis
nunquam satis deflendae sedem quietam per 14 annos hic invenerunt,” a
commoner of the College, besides other benefactions, left an endowment
for eight Fellows, four scholars, and four exhibitioners, merged by
the Commissioners of 1858 with the smaller Foundation of Sir Orlando
Bridgman, another commoner, in the original Foundation of Eglesfield.
During the hundred years which this Foundation lasted (the first
Fellow was elected in 1764, the last in 1861) more than a hundred
Fellows elected to enjoy Michel’s liberality contributed an independent
element which somewhat modified the monotony of the old north-country
corporation. The Michel Fellows were not members of the governing body,
and some amusing stories are told of the differences insisted on by
some of the less genial of the older order. Yet the “Michels” (_mali
catuli_, as the jesting etymology had it) contributed their full share
to the glories of the College. A Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer,
a Chief Justice of Ceylon, a Bishop of St. David’s, three Bampton
Lecturers, a Bishop of Newfoundland, a Bishop of Ballarat, a Professor
of Arabic,[145] were only the most prominent among a large number of
distinguished men who owed something to Michel’s liberality. The value
of the Fellowships was small, and the length of tenure limited, and
so richer Foundations carried off some of those who had for a while
been on this Foundation. So among others Dornford passed in this way
through Queen’s from Wadham to Oriel, so Basil Jones from Trinity to
University, so Tyler and Garbett back again to Oriel and Brasenose from
which they came. The College has not been willing to let Michel’s name
be altogether forgot, and the four junior Fellows in the list are still
called Michel Fellows.

In quite recent times the College has had to thank a commoner for its
latest considerable benefaction, and five scholars will always have
occasion to bless the memory of Sir Edward Repps Jodrell.

Some of the most characteristic of Eglesfield’s injunctions were
concerned with the Common Table. In the midst of the table was to sit
the Provost or his _locum tenens_. No one was to sit on the opposite
side in any seat or chair, nor to eat on that side either kneeling or
standing. If necessary, room was to be found at a side table.

They were to meet twice in the day for meals at regular hours. They
were to be summoned by a “clarion” blown so as to be heard by all
the members of the foundation. Among the charges in the accounts for
1452-3 is 2_s._ 4_d._ for the repair of the trumpet. In 1595-7, either
for repair or a new one, there was paid 8_s._ “pro tuba”; and in
1604-5 “pro tuba et vectura a Lond. et emendatione,” 28_s._ In 1666 a
magnificent silver trumpet was presented by Sir Joseph Williamson, one
of the most liberal of the benefactors as he was one of the most loyal
of the sons of the College, to which he was never weary of expressing
his obligations and his affection. By a curious accident his extensive
private correspondence has become incorporated with the Domestic State
Papers of the period, and those who are searching for the more secret
springs of the public policy of his age have their attention arrested
by the details of his familiar relations with his College friends. So
too at an earlier time among the State Papers of the reign of James I.
are included the Latin verses and orations, the sermon-notes and other
occasional papers of a Queen’s undergraduate, who was afterwards to be
Mr. Secretary Nicholas. And along with these are letters to him from a
sister, promising stockings, and asking sympathy for toothache and the
mumps; and this three hundred years ago.

As they sat at table, before them was to be read the Bible by a
Chaplain. They were to pay attention to him, and not prevent his
being heard by loquacity or shouting. They were to speak at table
“modeste,” and in French or Latin unless in obedience to the law of
politeness to converse with a visitor in his own language, or for some
other reasonable cause. Unseemly talk or jesting was to be avoided,
and punished if necessary by the Provost. Up to the beginning of the
present century it was the practice for the porter to bring at the
beginning of dinner a Greek Testament to the Fellow presiding at the
High Table who returned it to him indicating a verse, and saying,
“Legat (so and so),” naming the scholar of the week. The porter then
took the book to the scholar and gave it him, saying, “Legat,” and the
book after the verse had been read was carried away by the porter.
When this custom was abolished does not appear, but Provost Jackson
remembered that it prevailed when he came into residence (1808).

At both meals, at all times of the year, that their garments might
conform to the colour of the blood of the Lord, all the Fellows were to
wear purple robes, and if Doctors of Theology or of Decrees, the robes
were to be furred with black budge. The Chaplains were to wear white
robes, and the Provost was to see that those of each grade wore robes
of uniform colour.

The Students in Arts[146] among the poor boys were to dispute a
sophism among themselves once or twice a week, under the guidance
of an “artist,”[147] who was to look after them, superintend their
disputations, and otherwise supervise their instruction. The
“grammarians”[148] were to have “collationes” before their instructor
every day except Sundays and “double feasts.” The Clerks of the Chapel
were to instruct the poor boys in singing. All the instructors,
artists, grammarians and musicians were to be diligent in watching the
progress of the students and in instructing them, and were to swear to
be so.

The Students in Theology[149] were to hold theological disputations
every week on Saturday, Friday, or some other convenient day, which
were to be superintended by the Provost or his _locum tenens_, or the
senior present at the disputation; and at these all the theologians
except the Provost, who would be very much busied about the affairs of
“the Hall,” _i. e._ of the College, were bound to be present unless
prevented by some lawful cause.

The number of scholars was to be increased as the means of the College
allowed. A Provost or anybody else who opposed such increase was to be

For the maintenance of each scholar a sum of ten marks annually was
to be set aside. Of this, at least 1_s._ 6_d._, and not more than
2_s._, was to be appropriated to his weekly commons. Anything saved
under this head out of 2_s._ in the week was to be devoted to alms
and no other purpose. The remainder of the ten marks was to go to
the scholars to provide them with clothes and other necessaries. The
Provost was to look to the character of the clothes. If they went far
in country or town, they were not to wear simple or double “hoods,” but
long “collobia” (frocks, sleeveless or with short sleeves), or other
suitable garments; and they were not to go alone.

An absent Fellow was to forfeit his commons in the long vacation, and
the rest of his allowance also at other times, unless he were absent
on the business of the Hall. Additional reasons for the enjoyment of
commons in absence were subsequently approved. Pestilence in Oxford was
a common excuse. In 1400-1, 1_s._ 6_d._ is allowed for the commons of
William Warton and Peter de la Mare in time of pestilence. Similarly
in 1625-6, £7 4_s._ is allowed to the Fellows dispersed in time of
pestilence. Equally urgent reasons commended themselves during the
reign of Charles I. In 1642 payments are made to Fellows, Chaplains,
boys and servants in place of commons, when the College was for seven
weeks dissolved owing to the advance of the enemy; and this in the same
“computus,” with seven payments for bonfires on the occasion of seven
Royalist victories. A Fellow received for each week 5_s._, a Chaplain
and a boy 2_s._ 6_d._, a servant 2_s._ Three Fellows away in the North
got smaller payments during eleven months.

In order that there might be plenty to give away, the Scholars and
Chaplains were to have two courses at meals on ordinary days, and on
the five great feasts--Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, the Assumption,
and All Saints Day--an extra course with a suitable quantity of wine.
Court manners were to be observed at meals and other times.

How soon the custom of bringing in a boar’s head at Christmas began
does not appear, nor is the date of the carol sung on the occasion
ascertained. Wynkin de Worde’s version, which differs in some
particulars from that used in the College, was printed as early as
1521. On the 24th December, 1660, £1 10_s._ is paid “pictori Hawkins
caput apri in festo nativitatis adornanti.” This suggests that the
head was then, as now, “adorned” with banners bearing coats of arms:
Richard Hawkins was a heraldic painter resident in Oxford, an intimate
of Anthony Wood.

The expenses of any Fellows sent out of Oxford on College business
were to be defrayed by the Community. They were to bring an account of
their expenses at the end of the journey, which was to be audited by
the Provost, Treasurer, and Camerarius, who were to disallow them if
in their judgment excessive; and if the three auditors could not agree
on this point, the judgment of the Provost was to decide. Thus, in
1386-7, Mr. Richard Brown the Camerarius and Senior Fellow is repaid
12_s._ 4_d._, his expenses for a journey to Devonshire to get the books
bequeathed to the College by Mr. Henry Whitfield, as well as 20_d._ for
the carriage of the said books. Ten years later two and a half marks
are paid for Mr. Thomas Burton’s expenses in going to the Archbishop of
York. In 1411-12 the same Fellow pays a visit on College business to
the Roman court.

If the revenues of the College allowed, thrice in the year, at the
end of each term, a portion beyond the commons was to be divided
among the Fellows fairly, according to the amount of their residence.
On the day of this division the statutes of the College were to be
read among themselves by the Provost and scholars, and a solemn mass
of the Holy Trinity to be said in the College Chapel, or Parochial
Church, “if they got one,” for the King, Queen Philippa, the other
benefactors of the Hall, and other persons specified in the statutes,
and for all the faithful living and dead. After the solemn mass the
Provost was to inquire separately of each of the Fellows as to the
behaviour of the rest in the matters of obedience to the statutes,
honesty of deportment, and progress in study. Special regulations were
laid down for the conduct of this inquiry. These regularly recurring
inquiries might be supplemented by special inquiries whenever the
Provost thought it necessary; and at the peril of his soul he was to
see that the boys, the chaplains, and the other “_ministri_” conducted
themselves properly. All accused persons were to be allowed to purge
themselves privately, peacefully, and honestly, but not scandalously
or contentiously. No scholar or poor boy was to be expelled except
with consent of a majority of the College. The Provost inflicted other
punishments after taking counsel with one or two of the scholars.

The Provost was allowed to keep a servant or clerk, to whose
maintenance he was to contribute. The other Masters or scholars
were prohibited from burdening the community by the introduction of
strangers or relatives, and especially of poor clerks of their own or
private servants. This was not to prevent hospitality being shown at
the expense of the entertainer, in the hall or in his own chamber, to
friends, of any rank, from the city or outside, who might come to see
one of the community. A visitor on business of the community was to be
properly entertained in the hall or Provost’s lodging at the common

Nor did this in later times prevent such services as were rendered by
a “fag” at a public school some fifty years ago from being rendered in
College for a salary by the poorer students to the richer. So George
Fothergill, in 1723, writes home--“My Tutor has given me a gentleman
commoner last night, w^{ch} I call’d up this morning. So that for
calling up I have about 5 pounds per year, viz. 5_s._ a quarter of each
of the 3 com̄oners w^{ch} I had before, w^{ch} comes to 3 pounds a
year, & 10_s._ a quarter for this Gent: Com: w^{ch} makes up 5 pounds.”

Harriers, hounds, hawks, and other such animals were not to be kept in
the Hall or its precincts by any of the scholars. It was not thought
fitting that poor men living mainly on alms should give the bread of
the sons of men for the dogs to eat, and woe to those who play among
the birds of the air. The “_extructio pullophylacii_” in 1590 would
probably not be regarded as a violation of the statute, nor “_le
henhouse_,” probably the same building which is referred to a few years
later. A caged eagle also seems from time to time to have been kept
in the College, in connection with the founder’s name and the arms of
the College. In 1661, 5_s._ 3_d._ is paid, “_operculum fabricanti ad
concludendam aquilam domini praepositi_.”

The use of musical instruments was prohibited within the College except
during the hours of general refreshment, as likely to produce levity
and insolence, and to afford occasion of distraction from study.
This of course did not apply to the musical instruments employed in
the chapel service. There was an organ in chapel from very early
times. In 1436-7 4_d._ is paid among the expenses of the chapel “pro
emendatione organorum”; and in 1490-1 “organa reparantur.” In 1676-7
£1 12_s._ is paid “famulis domini episcopi Londinensis organum musicum
afferentibus.” This was Bishop Compton, who crowned William III.,
and who had been a gentleman commoner of the College. The present
organ, perhaps the largest in Oxford, is mainly due to the skill and
liberality of Leighton George Hayne, D.Mus., and sometime Coryphæus of
the University, who, with the support of the late Archbishop of York,
revived the musical service which had for many years been interrupted.

All sorts of games of dice, chess, and others giving opportunity of
losing money, were prohibited, especially dice and other similar games
which give occasion for strife and often beggary to the player. An
exception was made for such games occasionally played, not in the hall,
for recreation only, when it did not interfere with study or divine
service. All Chaplains, poor clerks, servants, and other inhabitants of
the Hall were bound by this prohibition, and the Provost or his _locum
tenens_ were bound on pain of perjury to inflict the penalties which
might be necessary to stop these or other infractions of the statutes.
When stage plays came into vogue the College followed the fashion. In
the accounts of 1572-3, 3_s._ 8_d._ is paid “pro fabricatione scenae
in aula ad tragicam comoediam narrandam,” and 7_s._ 5_d._ “in expensis
tragicae comediae in natal. Xti.”

The chambers and studies were to be assigned to the scholars by the
Provost, who was to assign, except for special reasons, according to
seniority. There were to be at least two in each chamber unless the
status or pre-eminence of the quality of any of the scholars should
require otherwise. The arrangement of rooms adopted in the front
quadrangle when the College was rebuilt seems to retain a trace of the
old regulations. A large “chamber” with two “studies” recalls the days
when John Boast and Henry Ewbank were chamber-fellows or “chums” in
their youth, before the dark time when the younger man was the cause of
the elder being butchered alive for exercising his priestly functions
in England.[150] Nowadays in the rare case of two brothers or intimate
friends living together in a set of rooms, the old disposition is
reversed, the chamber becomes the joint study, and the two studies the
separate bed-chambers.

Except for urgent cause, or by leave of the Provost or his _locum
tenens_, the scholars were not to have meals except in the hall,
and they were to avoid, in accordance with the laws of temperance,
expensive and luxurious meals of all kinds, suppers and other eatings
and drinkings. The Provost or his _locum tenens_ was to restrain all
such excess.

The scholars were not to pass the night outside the College in the
town or its suburbs unless leave had been previously obtained from the
Provost, his _locum tenens_, or the senior in hall; and the application
for leave must specify the cause for which such leave is asked.

A Fellow, poor cleric, or Chaplain expelled was not to have any remedy
against the College by law or otherwise, and was to renounce any
right to such remedy under the obligation of an oath at the time of
his admission to the Hall. The College sometimes showed compassion to
former Fellows who fell into misfortune: 28th September, 1625, 50_s._
is paid to Mr. Lancaster formerly a Fellow, now reduced to the depths
of misery, and in following years a similar payment is made, the amount
being raised later to £4.

A scholar was to forfeit his emolument by entering religion, by
transferring himself to anybody’s obedience, by being absent except on
College business or by special leave of the Provost for more than the
greater half of a full term, or for wilfully neglecting to take the
prescribed steps of advancement in study.

Offences generally were to be tried by the Provost and two assessors,
and punished by the Provost with the consent of the scholars.

The College was to bake its own bread and brew its own beer within
the College, by its own servants acting under the supervision of the
steward of the week and of the treasurer’s clerk. Every loaf before it
was baked was to weigh 46_s._ 8_d._ sterling, from whatever market the
corn came, and of whatever kind the bread was; and this weight was not
to be changed whatever was the price of corn.

A sum of £40 specially given for this purpose by the founder was always
to remain in hand, to be set apart at the beginning of each year, and
accounted for at the end as ready-money or floating balance, to be used
for buying stores of victuals and fuel, and not to be employed in part
or whole for any other purpose.

The Scholars were to have a horse-mill of their own to grind their
wheat, barley, and other corn within the College, or at least very near
thereto, to save the excessive tolls and payments to millers which
might otherwise fall upon them.

With these and similar injunctions the founder launched the College on
its voyage across the centuries. Into the details of that voyage there
is no further room to go. Whatever affected the history of the country
affected the history of the University, and whatever affected the
history of the University affected the history of the College. Wycliff
stayed within the College, and Nicholas of Hereford, who translated
for him the Old Testament, was a Fellow. Henry Whitfield, Provost, and
three Fellows, one of them John of Trevisa, all four west-countrymen,
were expelled for Wycliffism. The phases of the Reformation in England
are accurately reflected in the College accounts. A Royal Commission
visits the College in 1545, and Rudd, one of the Fellows, is expelled.
Eightpence is paid, “pro vino & orengis commissionariis.” Three years
later 6_s._ 2_d._ is paid, “dolantibus meremium & diripientibus
imagines in sacello.” The wheel comes round, and in 1555, 9_s._
is paid, “pro ligatione et coopertura unius portiphorii, duorum
processionalium, unius missalis, unius gradalis, unius antiphonarii
& unius hymnarii.” But the reaction is only temporary, and in 1560
appears 4_s._ 8_d._, “pro destruendo altaria.”

The College contributes others besides the Wycliffites and Rudd as
victims to the struggles of the times. John Bost is a martyr for
Roman Catholicism; as Michael Hudson later, for the King against the
Parliament. Thomas Smith’s case is the hardest of all; as, having been
turned out of his Fellowship at Magdalen for refusing to elect Bishop
Parker as President, he is turned out again later on for refusing to
take the oath of allegiance to William III.

The College shared the fortunes of the University in the days of the
Stuarts. His Majesty desires the College, 5th Jan., 1642-3, to lend him
all plate of what kind soever belonging to the College, and promises
to see the same repaid after the rate of 5_s._ per ounce for white,
and 5_s._ 6_d._ for gilt plate; and nine days later Mr. Stannix,
thesaurarius, delivers to Sir William Parkhurst for his Majesty’s use
such a collection of tankards, two-eared potts, white large bowles
and lesser bowles, salts and gilt bowles, and spoones and gobletts,
as the College shall never see again, 2319 oz. of both sorts, worth
in all £591 1_s._ 9_d._ And then the Provost and scholars, as things
grow worse, petition Sir Thomas Glemham that--whereas parcel of the
works on the west side of Northgate had been assigned to Magdalen and
Queen’s College jointly, and Queen’s College had already performed
more than in a due proportion would have come to their share, most of
them labouring in their own persons by the space of twelve days at
the least, while those of Magdalen assisted, some very slenderly and
some not at all--that a proportionable part of the work yet unfinish’d
may be set forth to themselves in particular apart from Magdalen;
and this is ordered to be done. And then the king goes down, and the
parliamentary visitors appear; and “This is the answer of mee, Jo.
Fisher (Master of Arts and Chaplaine of Queenes Colledge), and which
I shall acknowledge is myne: That I cannot without perjury submitt
to this visitation, and therefore I will not submitt. _Ita est_: Jo.
Fisher.” And John Fisher and others are reported to the Committee of
Lords and Commons and lose their places. And George Phillip and James
Bedford and William Barksdale and Moses Foxcraft appear in the Register
of Fellows as “Intrusi tempore usurpationis, exclusi ad Restaurationem
Caroli Secundi.”

And in all these crises, and those which have followed, “sons of
Eglesfield” have been called to play their part. Thomas Barlow, Bishop
of Lincoln; Henry Compton, Bishop of London; Thomas Cartwright, Bishop
of Chester; Thomas Lamplugh, Archbishop of York; Edmund Gibson, Bishop
of London; William Nicholson, Archbishop of Cashel; Thomas Tanner,
Bishop of St. Asaph; William Van Mildert, Bishop of Durham; William
Thomson, Archbishop of York, among Prelates: John Owen, Dean of
Christ Church; John Mill and Richard Cecil, among Divines: Sir John
Davies, Sir Thomas Overbury, William Wycherly, Joseph Addison, Thomas
Tickell, William Collins, William Mitford, Jeremy Bentham, Francis
Jeffrey, among men of letters: Gerard Langbaine, Thomas Hyde, Thomas
Hudson, Edward Thwaites, Christopher Rawlinson, Edward Rowe Mores,
Thomas Tyrwhitt, among scholars; Edmund Halley and Henry Highton,
among men of science; Sir Edward Nicholas, Sir John Banks, and Sir
Joseph Williamson, among lawyers and statesmen--are but a selection
of the more distinguished of those to whose equipment the College has
contributed in a greater or less degree. May those who now and shall
hereafter occupy their places avoid their errors and emulate their




    [A MS. life of Wykeham ascribed to Warden Chaundler, but
    probably only corrected by him, remains in the possession
    of the College. The _Historica Descriptio complectens vitam
    ac res gestas Wicami_, Londini 1597, is the work of Martyn.
    There are two scholarly lives of the Founder by Lowth (edit.
    2, London 1759) and G. H. Moberly (Winchester 1887), but they
    give little information about the College. Walcott’s _William
    of Wykeham and his Colleges_ (Winchester 1852) is the fullest
    College history that we possess, but it leaves something to be
    desired. I have to thank the Warden of New College, the Rev.
    W. A. Spooner, and the Rev. H. B. George for several valuable
    suggestions or corrections.]

More has been written about the lives of the Oxford College founders
than about the institutions which they founded. In some cases the
life of a founder properly belongs to the history of his College; the
life of William of Wykeham is part of the history of England. For our
present purpose, therefore, it is unnecessary to trace his public
and political career; but we cannot appreciate the aim of such an
institution as New College without understanding the kind of man in
whose brain the scheme originated.

William of Wykeham was an ecclesiastic; but in the Middle Ages that
meant something very different from what it means now. “The Church” was
a synonym for “the professions.” In Northern Europe the Church supplied
almost the only opportunity of a civil career to the cadet of a noble
house, the sole opportunity of rising to the ambitious plebeian. The
servants of the Crown, the diplomatists, the secretaries, advisers,
or “clerks” of great nobles, the host of ecclesiastical judges and
lawyers, many even of the secular lawyers, the physicians, the
architects, sometimes even the astrologers, were ecclesiastics. William
of Wykeham rose to eminence as a civil servant of the Crown, and was
rewarded in the usual way by ecclesiastical preferment, culminating
in a bishopric. Such men had usually taken a degree in Canon or Civil
Law at the Universities. William of Wykeham is not known to have been
a University man; he rose to eminence in the King’s Office of Works,
and became surveyor at Windsor Castle, which was half rebuilt under
his direction. He was the greatest architect of his day. Afterwards he
held a series of political appointments--eventually the Chancellorship.
As a politician, he was the champion of the old order of things rudely
shaken by the Wycliffite heresy and the political movements with which
it was associated; the leader of the Church, or Conservative, party;
a moderate and far-sighted man withal, but still a sturdy opponent of
reform; a pious man in the conventional fourteenth-century way, but
still a devoted supporter of all the abuses against which Wyclif had
declaimed, as became one who was himself the greatest pluralist of his

New College was intended to be another stronghold of the old system in
Church and State. It was to increase the supply of clergy, which the
statutes declare to have been thinned by “pestilences, wars, and the
other miseries of the world.” Some have seen in these words a special
allusion to the Black Death of 1348; but it was more probably a mere
flourish of mediæval rhetoric, or possibly a fashion which had survived
from 1348. The general idea of the College was not fundamentally
different from that of its predecessors. William of Wykeham, once
raised to the splendid See of Winchester, was anxious to do something
for the Church; and the general opinion of the day was that monks were
out of date, that the Church herself was rich enough, and that to send
capable men to the Universities was the best way to fight heresy, to
strengthen the Church system, and to save the donor’s soul.

Wykeham’s ultimate purpose in founding his College was conventional
enough; in the manner of carrying it out there was much that was
original. It was, however, rather the greater scale of the whole design
than any one original feature that gives an historical appropriateness
to the name “New” which has accidentally cleaved to “St. Marie
Colledge of Wynchester” in Oxford. In the number of the scholars, in
the liberality of their allowances, in the architectural splendour of
the buildings of his College, Wykeham eclipsed all previous Oxford
College-founders. In many respects the founder of Queen’s had, indeed,
aimed as high as Wykeham; but he had begun to build and was not able
to finish; his Provost and apostolic twelve never grew to the seventy
which he contemplated. What Eglesfield designed, Wykeham accomplished.

The most original feature of Wykeham’s design was the connection of his
College at Oxford with a grammar-school at a distance. The fundamental
vice of mediæval education was the prevalent neglect of grammatical
discipline and the absurdly early age at which boys were plunged into
the subtleties of Logic and the mysteries of the Latin Aristotle,
the very language of which, unclassical as it was, they could hardly
understand. Wykeham had no thought of a Renaissance, or of any
fundamental change in the educational system of the day; he was only
anxious to remedy a defect which all practical men acknowledged. Boys
were still to be taught Latin chiefly that they might read Aristotle,
and Peter the Lombard or the Corpus Juris; but they were to learn to
walk before they were encouraged to run.

Hard by his own cathedral, the Bishop erected a College for a Warden,
Sub-Warden, ten Fellows, a Head Master, Usher, and seventy scholars,
with a proper staff of chaplains and choristers. From this College
exclusively were to be selected the seventy scholars of St. Marie
Colledge of Wynchester in Oxford; and no one could be elected before
fifteen or after nineteen, except in the case of “Founder’s-kin”
scholars, who were eligible up to thirty. This implies that the usual
age of Wykehamists upon entering the University would be much above
the average, since it was quite common for boys to begin their course
in Arts at fourteen or earlier. By the erection of his College at
Winchester, Wykeham became the founder of the English public-school

The Oxford College consisted of a Warden and seventy “poor clerical
scholars,” together with ten “stipendiary priests” or chaplains, three
stipendiary clerks, and sixteen boy-choristers for the service of the
chapel. It entered on a definite existence not later than 1375, the
scholars being temporarily lodged in Hart Hall (now Hertford College)
and other adjoining houses while the buildings were being completed.
The foundation charters were granted in 1379; the foundation-stone
laid at 8 a.m. on March 5th, 1379-80; on April 14th, 1387, at 9 a.m.
the society, “with cross erect, and singing a solemn litany,” marched
processionally into the splendid habitation which their Founder had
been preparing for them in an unoccupied corner within the walls of the

New College is the first, and still almost the only, College whose
extant buildings substantially represent a complete and harmonious
design as it presented itself to the founder’s eye. The quadrangle
of New College may indeed have been the first completed quadrangle
in Oxford. In that case we might attribute to the architect Bishop
the origination of the type to which later English Colleges have so
tenaciously adhered. At any rate completeness is the characteristic
feature of Wykeham’s buildings; every want of his scholars was provided
for from their academical birth, if need be to the grave.

Previous Colleges had for the most part occupied the choir of some
existing parish church for the solemn services of Sunday and Holy-day;
at most they had a little “oratory” in which a priest or two said
mass. With Wykeham the chapel formed an integral part of the original
design. In spite of the ravages of Puritan iconoclasm, the chapel
has always retained the perfect proportion which it received from
its founder’s hands. It is now regaining, under the touch of modern
restoration, so much of its ancient beauty as the cold taste of the
present day will tolerate; but we shall never see again the blaze of
colour on windows and walls, on groined roof and on sculptured image
which it presented to its founder’s eye. Wykeham’s design provided
not merely for things needful, but for ornament. Not only was the
chapel a choir of cathedral magnitude, with transepts, though without
a nave--henceforth the typical form of the College chapel; there was
outside the wall (nowhere else could it have stood so conveniently),
the great Bell-tower. There was an ample hall or refectory, the
oldest now remaining in Oxford. There were cloisters, round which
every Sunday the whole College, in copes and surplices, were to go in
procession, “according to the use of Sarum,” and within which members
of the College might be buried, by special papal bull, without leave
of parish-priest or bishop. There was a tower specially provided over
the hall staircase with massive doors of many locks to serve as a
muniment-room and treasury. There was a library, stored with books by
the founder; and an audit-room on the north side of the east gate.
Just outside the main entrance were the brewery and the bake-house.
A spacious garden supplied the College with vegetables, and perhaps
the scholars with room for such exercise as was permitted by the
high standard of “clerical” behaviour demanded of Wykeham’s tonsured
undergraduates. And all remains now substantially as the founder
designed it, marred only by the addition (in 1675) of a third story to
the front quadrangle, and by the modernization of the windows.

The religious aim of College-founders is often exaggerated, or at
least misapprehended. It is true that all Oxford Colleges, like the
University itself, were intended for ecclesiastics. But in the earlier
Colleges not even the Head is required to be in Holy, or even in
minor, Orders; nor are students of any rank required to go to church
or chapel except on Sundays and holy-days. As time went on, the
ecclesiastical character of Colleges is more and more emphasized; but
even then, more is thought of providing for the repose of the founder’s
soul than of the moral or religious training of his scholars, or the
spiritual wants of those to whom they were to minister. Colleges, like
monasteries, were largely endowed out of the “impropriated” tithes
properly belonging to the parochial churches. But if College Fellows
are required to become priests at a certain stage of their career,
it is that they may say masses for the founder. If the chapels are
provided with a staff of chaplains, it is with the same object. In
William of Wykeham’s College the ecclesiastical character is at its
maximum: Wykeham aimed in fact at erecting a great Collegiate Church
and an Academical College in one. The ecclesiastical duties--the masses
and canonical hours--were chiefly performed by the hired chaplains.
But even the studious part of the community was required to make some
return for the founder’s liberality by saying certain prayers for him
and his royal “benefactors” immediately after rising and before going
to bed. They are further required to go to mass daily--it is the first
Oxford College where daily chapel is required--and while there (or
at some other time) every scholar is to say sixty _Paters_ and fifty
_Aves_ in honour of the Virgin.

Wykeham was indeed the first College-founder, at Oxford at all events,
who conceived the idea of making his College not a mere eleemosynary
institution, but a great ecclesiastical corporation, which should
vie both in the splendour of its architecture and the dignity of its
corporate life with the Cathedral chapters and the monastic houses.
The earlier Heads had been raised above the scholars or Fellows by
the luxury of a single private room: they dined in the common hall
with the rest. The Warden of New College was to live, like an abbot,
in a house of his own, within the College walls, but with a separate
hall, kitchen, and establishment. His salary of £40 was princely by
comparison with the 40_s._, with commons, assigned to the Master of
Balliol, or even the forty marks allotted to the Warden of Merton.
Instead of the jealous provisions against burdening the College
with the entertainment of guests which we meet with in the Paris
College-statutes, ample provision is made for the hospitable reception
of important strangers by the Warden in his own Hall, or (in his
absence) by the Sub-Warden and Fellows in the Great Hall, as they would
have been entertained in a Benedictine abbey by the abbot or the prior
(the Sub-Warden being evidently intended to hold a position analogous
to the latter). The Master of Peterhouse in Cambridge was allowed to
have a single horse, on the ground that it would be “indecent for
him to go afoot, nor could he, without scandal to the College, hire
a hack” (_conducere hakenys_): the Warden of New College is to have
_six_ horses at his disposal, for himself and the “discreet, apt, and
circumspect Fellow,” with four servants, who attended upon the annual
“progress” over the College estates--more than some provincial canons
allowed to a cathedral dean. In chapel the Warden was placed on a level
with cathedral canons by the permission to wear an amice _de grisio_
(vair or ermine).

The “commons,” or weekly allowance of a Fellow, was to be a shilling
in times of plenty, which might rise in times of scarcity to 16_d._,
or when the bushel of corn should be at 2_s._, to 18_d._ But though
the College allowances were equal, the money was expended by the
officers for the Fellows, and not by the Fellows themselves; and it was
expressly provided that the quality of the victuals supplied should
vary with “degree, merit and labour.” The Sub-Warden and Doctors of
superior Faculties sat at the High Table, to which also might be
admitted Bachelors of Theology in defect of sufficient Doctors; their
plates or courses (_fercula_) might not exceed four. But when the
Warden dined in Hall (which he was only privileged to do on certain
great festivals), he was to sit in the middle of the table and to
be “served alone,” _i. e._ to have luxuries provided for him in
which his neighbours were not to participate. At the side-tables sat
the Graduate-Fellows and chaplains; in the middle of the Hall, the
probationers and other juniors. During meals the Bible was read, and
silence required. As to the hours of meals it may be observed (though
the statutes are silent on this head) that the usual hour for dinner
was 10 a.m., and supper was at 5 p.m. There is no trace of breakfast in
any mediæval College till near the beginning of the sixteenth century,
when it became usual for men to go to the buttery for a hunk of bread
and a pot of beer, which were either consumed at the buttery or taken
away--the first meal taken in rooms, and the origin of that tradition
of breakfast-parties which is still characteristic of University life.
But when it is remembered that the day began at five or six, it were a
pious opinion that some kind of “hasty snack” at an early hour (such as
the _jentaculum_ of a later day) was winked at in the case of weaker

Besides the commons every Fellow received an annual “livery,” or suit
of clothes, suitable to his University rank, but also of uniform cut
and colour; and the rooms were no doubt rudely furnished at the expense
of the College.

A Fellow received no other allowance, unless he was of Founder’s-kin
and poor, or a priest, or an officer, or a tutor, the latter receiving
5_s._ a year for each pupil. A Fellow in need of such assistance might
also have the heavy expenses of graduation, especially of banqueting
the Regents, defrayed by the College.

In the lower rooms, each of which had four windows and four studies
(_studiorum loca_), four scholars were quartered; in the upper rooms,
three. The chaplains and clerks slept in rooms under the Hall, which
are now appropriated to the College stores. A senior was placed in
each room who was responsible for the diligence and good conduct of
the juniors, and was bound to report irregularities to the Warden,
Sub-Warden, or Dean, “so that such manner of Fellows and scholars
suffering defect in their morals, negligent, or slothful in their
studies, may receive competent castigation, correction, and punition.”
Whether the last terrors of scholastic law are contemplated under the
head of “castigation” is not quite clear; but Fellows of all ranks were
liable to “subtraction of commons”; and were in that case, perhaps, not
able to live upon their neighbours in the convenient manner practised
by modern New College men “crossed at the buttery.”

Only a Doctor might have a separate servant; but all were required to
have separate beds, a luxury not altogether a matter of course in the
Middle Ages. At Magdalen, for instance, the younger Demies slept two in
a bed.

All kinds of service were to be performed by males; though a
washerwoman might be tolerated (“in defect of a male washer”),
provided she were of such “age and condition” as to be above “sinister
suspicions.” One of the servants was to be specially entrusted with the
task of carrying the scholars’ books to the public schools.

The statutes of New College are extraordinarily minute and detailed in
their disciplinary regulations, being more than three times as long
as those of Merton. In their ample prohibitory code we may probably
see a fair picture of undergraduate life in the Middle Ages, as it
was outside the Colleges. It was the Colleges which gradually broke
down the ancient liberty of the boy-undergraduate; and at last, by the
sixteenth century, succeeded in making him a mere school-boy _sub virga
et ferula_.

One piece of rough mediæval horse-play which incurs the founder’s
especial wrath is that “most vile and horrid sport of shaving beards,
which is wont to take place on the night preceding the inception of
Masters of Arts.” Among the more ordinary pastimes forbidden by the
founder are the haunting of taverns and “spectacles,” the keeping of
dogs, hawks, or ferrets; the games of chess, hazard, or ball; and other
“noxious, inordinate, or illicit” games, “especially those played for
money”; shooting with “arrows, stones, earth, or other missiles” to the
danger of windows and buildings; the “effusion of wine, beer, or other
liquor” (some unpleasant details are added under this head) upon the
floor of upper chambers; “dancing or wrestling or other incautious or
inordinate games” in the hall or “perchance in the chapel itself,” the
reason alleged for this last prohibition being that danger might be
done to the sculptured “image of the Holy and Undivided Trinity,” and
other ornaments on the wall between the chapel and the hall. After this
comprehensive list of unlawful amusements, the reader may be inclined
to ask, “What recreations did the good bishop allow his scholars?”
Only one seems contemplated by the statutes: the founder’s experience
of human nature told him that “after bodily refection by the taking of
meat and drink, men are made more inclined to scurrilities, base talk,
and (what is worse) detraction and strife”; he accordingly provides
that on ordinary days after the loving cup has gone round, there is to
be no lingering in hall after dinner or supper (except for the usual
“potation” at curfew), but on festivals and other winter-nights, “on
which, in honour of God and his Mother, or some other saint,” there is
a fire in the hall, the Fellows are allowed to indulge in singing or
reading “poems, chronicles of the realm, and wonders of the world.”

Such were the modest amusements of the first Wykehamists. How was
the bulk of their time passed or meant to be passed? It must be
remembered that Colleges were, in the first instance, not intended
for teaching-institutions at all; their members resorted for
lectures to the public schools. Wykeham is the first Oxford founder
who contemplates any instruction being given to his scholars in
College.[151] By his provisions on this head he became the founder
of the Oxford tutorial system. Both at Paris and in Oxford, College
teaching was destined, in process of time, practically to destroy
University teaching in the Faculty of Arts. But the process took place
in totally different ways. The form which College-teaching has assumed
in Oxford was inaugurated by Wykeham. He, or his academical advisers,
saw the unsuitableness of formal lectures in the public schools as a
means of teaching mere boys. Hence he provides that for the first three
years of residence, the scholar was to be placed under the instruction
of a tutor (“Informator”), selected from the senior Fellows. By about
1408 the system had so far spread, that the lectures of the public
schools were attended mainly by Bachelors.

Let us briefly trace the career of a young Wykehamist newly arrived
from Winchester.

For two years he is a probationary “scholar”; after that he becomes
a full member or “Fellow” of the College. It may be noticed that the
New College statutes are the earliest in which the term “Socius,”
originally applied to the students who live in the same house or hall,
begins to be used in a technical way to distinguish the full member of
the society (“verus et perpetuus socius”) from the mere probationer or
chaplain or chorister: it is not till a still later date that the term
“scholar” is confined to a Foundation-student who is not a Fellow.

At the end of the two years, the Fellow, though still an undergraduate,
takes his share in the government of the house on such occasions as
the election of a Warden. The ordinary administration, however, is in
the hands of a certain number of Seniors (varying in different cases).
The discipline was mainly in the hands of the Sub-Warden and the five
deans--two Artists, a Canonist, a Civilian, and a Theologian--who
presided over the disputations of their respective Faculties. But
every one was compelled to act as a check upon every one else by
means of the three yearly “chapters” or “scrutinies,” at which every
Fellow was invited and required to reveal anything which he might have
observed amiss in the conduct of his brethren since the last “Chapter.”
Thus, the discipline of the mediæval Colleges, or at least that which
their founders desired to introduce, was modelled on that of the

The lectures which our undergraduate had to attend before his B.A.
degree were as follows[152]:--

_In College_: (1) In Grammar, the _Barbarismus_ of Donatus; (2) in
Arithmetic, the _Computus_, _i. e._ the method of finding Easter, with
the _Tractatus de Sphaera_ of Joannes de Sacrobosco; (3) in Logic, the
_Isagoge_ of Porphyry, and Aristotle’s _Sophistici Elenchi_.

_In the Public Schools_: The whole _Organon_ of Aristotle, the _Sex
Principia_ of Gilbert de la Poirée, and the logical writings of
Boethius (except _Topics_, Book IV.).

Thus during the first four years of his course our undergraduate was
occupied mainly with Logic, at first in College, afterwards at the more
formal lectures of the Regents in the public schools of the University.
This programme would represent a very dry and severe course of study
to the modern Honour-man, while it would be simply appalling to the
modern Pass-man. The latter will, however, learn with relief that in
Oxford (unlike other mediæval Universities) it would appear doubtful
whether there was any actual examination for the B.A. degree. Then as
now, indeed, the student had to “respond _de quaestione_”; but in the
course of his fourth year he would be admitted, as a matter of course,
“to lecture upon a book of Aristotle.”

After this he was commonly styled a Bachelor, though he did not become
one in strictness till he had gone through a disputation called
“Determination.” This ordeal had to be passed to the satisfaction of
the other Bachelors. How glad would be the modern examinee to throw
himself upon the mercy of his fellows! Before being admitted to
determine, the student had indeed to appear before the examiners of
Determinants, but it is not certain that these examiners did more than
satisfy themselves by the oaths and certificates of the candidates that
they had heard the required books: and it is quite clear that when once
Determination was passed, no further examination stood between him and
the M.A. degree.

The mediæval student was not, however, supposed to have completed his
education when he had become a Bachelor. To the four years of residence
required for a B.A., three more must be added for the Mastership.
During this time he attended lectures in “the Seven Arts” and “the
three Philosophies.” In the Arts his text-books were[153]:--In Grammar,
Priscian; in Rhetoric, Aristotle or Boethius[154]; in Logic, Aristotle;
in Arithmetic, Boethius; in Music, Boethius; in Geometry, Euclid; and
in Astronomy, Ptolemy. Most of the Arts were however very quickly
and perfunctorily disposed of. His real work as a Bachelor lay with
the three philosophies, studied exclusively in the Latin translation
of Aristotle, the following being the “necessary books”:--In Natural
Philosophy, the _Physics_, or _De Anima_, or some other of the Physical
treatises; in Moral Philosophy, the _Ethics_; and in Metaphysical
Philosophy, the _Metaphysics_.

Time would fail me to tell of the various disputations in which
our student had to figure at various stages of his career; but
disputations, though to the nervous student their terrors must have
exceeded those of modern _viva_, had this advantage, that there was no
“plucking” or “ploughing” in the question. A candidate who had done
very badly might fail to get the required number of Masters to testify
to his competency when he applied for the degree; and very incapable
students, if poor and humbly-born, were probably choked off in this
way. It is certain that a large number never took even the B.A. degree.
But there is no record of anybody having been formally refused a degree
in Arts. And yet the Master’s degree in the Middle Ages was in reality
what it still is in theory--a license to teach. For a year after
admission to his degree, the new M.A. was _necessario regens_, and was
obliged to give “ordinary lectures” in the public schools. After that
he was free to enter upon the study of one of the higher Faculties.

Those who took Theology spent the rest of their academical career in
the study of the Bible and “the Sentences” of Peter the Lombard--much
more of the Sentences than of the Bible. It took eleven years’ study to
become a D.D.; naturally most got livings and “went down” before that.

Those who obtained leave to study Law would usually take a degree in
Civil Law first, and then proceed to the study of Canon Law, that is
to say the _Decretum_ of Gratian and the Papal _Decretals_. There were
always to be twenty Canonists and Civilians in the House.

Two scholars alone might take up Medicine, and two Astronomy or
Astrology. Wykeham is the only College-founder who treats Astronomy
as a recognized Faculty; but belief in Astrology was on the increase
in fourteenth-century England, and reached its maximum amid the
enlightenment of the sixteenth century.

It is time to allude to the curious “privilege” which exercised so
disastrous an effect upon the New College of two generations ago, the
privilege of taking degrees without examination. William of Wykeham
is not responsible for this _damnosa hereditas_. Nothing is heard
of it till the beginning of the seventeenth century; and then the
University recognized it as having been enjoyed since the earliest days
of the College.[155] But its origin seems to be as follows.--So far
from wishing his scholars to be exempt from the ordinary tests, the
Founder peremptorily forbids them to sue for “graces” or dispensations
from the residence or other statutable conditions of taking a degree.
The grace of congregation was then required only when some of these
conditions had not been complied with; if they had been, the degree
was a matter of right. Even in Wykeham’s time these graces were
scandalously common. In course of time the full statutable conditions
were so seldom complied with that the grace of congregation came to be
asked for as a matter of course: Wykehamists alone, mindful of their
founder’s injunction, sought no graces. Hence what had been intended
as an exceptional disability came to be regarded as an exceptional
privilege; and when regular examinations were at length introduced, it
was understood that the mysterious privilege carried with it exemption
from this requirement also. Since a fair level of scholarship was
secured by the fact that the places in New College were competed for by
the boys of a first-rate classical school (although corrupt elections
were not unknown), the privilege was not particularly ruinous so long
as the examinations continued on the basis of the Laudian statutes.
It was only when the Honour Schools were instituted at the beginning
of this century that the exclusion of New College men from the
Examination-schools shut out the College from the rapid improvement in
industry and intellectual vitality which that measure brought with it
for the best Oxford Colleges.

The character of the College during the earlier part of its history was
exactly of the kind which the founder designed. In Wykeham’s day the
Scholastic Philosophy and Theology were already in their decadence.
The history of mediæval thought, so far as Oxford is concerned, ends
with that suppression of Wycliffism in 1411, which both Wykeham and
his College (though not quite free from the prevalent Lollardism) had
contributed to bring about. New College produced not schoolmen and
theologians like Merton, but respectable and successful ecclesiastics
in abundance--foremost among them, Henry Chicheley, Archbishop
of Canterbury, the founder of All Souls. It is a characteristic
circumstance that a New College man, John Wytenham, was at the head of
the Delegacy for condemning Wycliffe’s books in 1411, all the other
Doctors being monks or friars.

On the other hand, the one piece of reform which Wykeham did seek
to introduce into Oxford bore fruit in due season. New College, the
one College which was recruited exclusively from a great classical
school, became the home of what may be called the first phase of the
Renaissance movement which showed itself in Oxford. It is during the
latter part of Thomas Chaundler’s Wardenship (1454-1475) that traces of
this movement become apparent. Chaundler’s own style, as is shown by
his published letters to Bishop Bekynton of Wells (himself a Wykehamist
and benefactor of the College), was more correct than the ordinary
“Oxford Latin” of his day; and some time before his death he brought
into the College as “Prælector” the first Oxford teacher of Greek,
the Italian scholar Vitelli, who remained till 1488 or 1489.[156] The
movement made little progress for the next two decades; but it must
have been Vitelli who imparted at least the rudiments of Greek and the
desire for further knowledge to William Grocyn, the great Wykehamist
with whose name the “Oxford Renaissance” is indissolubly associated.
Stanbridge, the Head Master of Magdalen College School, and author of
the reformed system of teaching grammar imitated by Lily at St. Paul’s
and at other schools, and Archbishop Warham, the patron of Erasmus,
deserve mention among New College Humanists. To Warham we owe the
panelling which imparts to our Hall much of its peculiar charm.

But if New College welcomed and fanned the first faint breath of
the Renaissance air in Oxford, wherever religion and politics
were concerned, she retained that character of rigid and immobile
Conservatism which the founder had sought to give it. John London
(Warden 1526-1542) was foremost in the persecution of Protestant
heretics in Oxford, though afterwards employed in the dirty work of
collecting evidence against the Monasteries. One of his victims was
Quinley, a Fellow of his own College, whom he starved to death in the
College “Steeple.” When asked by a friend what he would like to eat,
he pathetically exclaimed, “A Warden-pie.” His unnatural hunger might
have been appeased could he have seen his persecutor doing public
penance for adultery, and ending his days a prisoner in the Fleet. The
stoutest and most learned opponents of the Reformation were bred in
Wykeham’s Colleges--the men who were ejected or fled under Edward VI.,
rose to high preferment under Mary, and became victims again under
Elizabeth--men like Harpesfield the ecclesiastical historian, Pits the
bibliographer, and Nicholas Saunders, the Papal Legate, who organized
the Irish Insurrection of 1579.

Ecclesiastically and politically the Great Rebellion found the
College again on the Conservative side. In 1642 the then Warden, Dr.
Robert Pincke, as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, took the lead in preparing
Oxford to resist the Parliamentary forces. The University train-bands
were wont to drill “under his eyes” in the front quadrangle. Dons
and undergraduates alike joined the ranks; among them is especially
mentioned the New College D.C.L., Dr. Thomas Read, who trailed a pike.
The cloisters were converted into a magazine; and the New College
school-boys, being thus turned out of their usual school, were removed
“to the choristers’ chamber at the east end of the common hall of the
said College: it was then a dark, nasty room, and very unfit for such a
purpose, which made the scholars often complaine, but in vaine.” These
are the words of Anthony à Wood, then a little boy of eleven, and a
pupil in the school.

While the school-boys were with difficulty restrained from the novel
excitement of watching the drills in the quadrangle, the Warden’s
severer studies had been no less interrupted. He had been sent by the
University to treat with the old New College-man, Lord Say, who was
supposed to be in command of the Parliamentary forces at Aylesbury.
Unfortunately for Pincke, Lord Say was not there, and the Parliamentary
commander, being without Wykehamical sympathies, sent the Doctor a
prisoner to the Gate-house at Westminster. Meanwhile Lord Say had
entered Oxford, and immediately proceeded to New College “to search for
plate and arms” (no doubt he knew where to look), and even overhauled
the papers in the Warden’s study. “One of his men broke down the King’s
picture of alabaster gilt, which stood there; at which his lordship
seemed to be much displeased.” It is not very clear how Warden Pincke
found his way back to Oxford; but soon after the Parliamentary triumph,
he came to an untimely end by falling down the steps of his own

Pincke was evidently a learned as well as an active man, and
published a curious collection of _Quaestiones in Logica, Ethica,
Physica, et Metaphysica_ (Oxon. 1640); this is a list of problems
with a formidable array of references to authorities, classical,
patristic, and scholastic. He found time, even in the busy days of
his Vice-Chancellorship, to write a narrative of his proceedings in
that office, which was still extant in MS. after the Restoration. The
only other Wardens who have left any considerable literary remains are
Pincke’s predecessor, Lake, afterwards Bishop of Bath and Wells, and
Shuttleworth (Warden 1822-1840), afterwards Bishop of Chichester, a
sturdy opponent of the Tractarian movement.

While speaking of New College learning of the early seventeenth
century, we must not pass over Dr. Thomas James, the first Bodley’s
Librarian, who, besides being a really learned writer on theological
subjects, catalogued the MSS. in the libraries of the Colleges of both
Universities as well as those under his own charge.

On the arrival of the Puritan Visitors in 1647, no College gave so
much trouble as New College. All but unanimously the members of the
foundation declared that it was contrary to their oaths to submit
to any Visitor who was an actual (_i. e._ resident) member of the
University, which was the case with the most active Visitors. Only two
unconditional, and one qualified submission, are recorded. Forty-nine
out of the fifty-three members of the foundation (choir included) then
in residence were sentenced to expulsion on March 15th, 1647-8. But it
was not till June 6th that four of the worst offenders were ordered
to move; on July 7th the order was extended to seventeen more. On
August 1st, 1648, Dr. Stringer, the Warden whom the Fellows had elected
in defiance of the Visitors, was removed by Parliament, and in 1649
nineteen more foundationers were “outed.”

It must not be assumed that the Fellows left by the Visitors, or even
those put in the place of the ejected Fellows, conformed heartily to
the Puritan _régime_. The bursars appointed by the Commission found
the buttery and muniment-room shut against them. George Marshall,
the Parliamentarian Warden appointed in 1649, had to complain to the
Visitors that the College persisted in remitting the “sconces” imposed
by him upon Fellows for absence from the no doubt lengthy Puritan
prayers. Moreover, the Visitors, with scrupulous desire to minimize
the breach of continuity, elected only Wykehamists into the vacant
places, with, indeed, the notable exception of the intruded Warden;
and these new Fellows were most of them no doubt either Royalists and
Churchmen, or at least men whose Puritan republicanism was of no very
bigoted type. Hence we find that Woodward, the Warden freely elected by
the College on Marshall’s death in 1658, retained his place after the
Restoration. Even in 1654 Evelyn found the chapel “in its ancient garb,
notwithstanding the scrupulosity of the times.” After the Restoration
we are not surprised to find that the Royalist majority was strong
enough to turn out many of the “godly” minority before the King’s
Commissioners arrived in Oxford, and to reinstate “the Common Prayer
before it was read in other churches.”

Two of “the Seven Bishops” were New College men, the saintly Ken,
Bishop of Bath and Wells, and Turner, Bishop of Ely. One of their
Judges, Richard Holloway, the only one who charged boldly in
their favour, had been Fellow of the College till ejected by the
Parliamentary Visitors.

The annals of our University in the eighteenth century are of an
inglorious order; and New College exhibits in an intensified form the
characteristic tendencies of Oxford at large. The building of the
“new common chamber” (one of the first in Oxford) and of the garden
quadrangle, at the end of the seventeenth century (finished 1684),
seem to herald the age in which the increase of ease, comfort, and
luxury kept pace with the decay of study, education, and learning. The
_Vimen Quadrifidum_ of Winchester still indeed kept alive a tradition
of classical scholarship which even the possession of an Academic
sinecure at eighteen, with total exemption from University examinations
and exercises, could not quite extinguish; but there was a significant
proverb about New College men which ran, “golden Scholars, silver
Bachelors, leaden Masters.” One of the last men of learning whom New
College produced was John Ayliffe, D.C.L., the author of the _Past and
Present State of the University of Oxford_ (1714), who was expelled
the University, deprived of his degree, and compelled to resign his
Fellowship for certain “bold and necessary truths” contained in that
book, partly of a personal, partly of a political (_i. e._ Whiggish)
character. Perhaps the most respectable and yet characteristic product
of New College during the _ferrea aetas_ which succeeded were Robert
Lowth, the scholarly antagonist of the slipshod Warburton, and author
of the famous lectures _On the Poetry of the Hebrews_, successively
Bishop of St. David’s, Oxford and London.

Towards the close of the century New College harboured a staunch
defender of the Church (including some of its abuses), but a staunch
assailant of much else in that old _régime_ to which it belonged.
Sydney Smith came up from Winchester in 1789, having been Prefect of
Hall and third on the roll; but though in the College, he was little of
it. It is curious that the most brilliant talker of the century does
not seem to have left much reputation behind him in College society.
Perhaps his extreme poverty may have something to do with it.

The other most notable Fellow of New College in the first half of the
nineteenth century, Augustus Hare (joint-author of _Guesses at Truth_),
was also an assailant of the abuses among which he was brought up. When
acting as “Poser” in the Winchester election of 1829, he had the spirit
to resist the claims of certain candidates to be admitted to one or
other of the two Colleges without examination, as “Founder’s-kin.” At
the time there were already twenty-four “Founders” at New College, and
fourteen or fifteen at Winchester. His appeal was heard by the Bishop
of Winchester as Visitor, with Mr. Justice Patteson and Dr. Lushington
as Assessors; a New College man, Mr. Erle (afterwards Lord Chief
Justice), was one of the petitioner’s counsel. The case was argued not
upon the ground that the claimants’ demand was based on fictitious
pedigrees (which was probably the fact), but upon the precarious
contention that by the Civil and Canon Law the term “consanguineus”
applies at most only to persons within the tenth generation of descent
from a common ancestor, and the appeal was naturally dismissed.

The era of reform may be said to begin with the voluntary renunciation
by New College, in 1834, of its exemption from University examinations.
The College still retains, indeed, the right to obtain for its Fellows
degrees without “supplication” in congregation; and when a Fellow
of New College takes his M.A., the Proctor still says, “Postulat
A.B., e Collegio Novo,” instead of the ordinary “Supplicat, etc.,” or
(more correctly) omits the name altogether. In spite of the vehement
opposition of the College, a more extensive reform was carried
out on truly Conservative lines by an Ordinance of the University
Commissioners in 1857. The Fellowships were reduced to forty (in
1870 to thirty); but the mystic seventy of the original foundation
is maintained by the addition in 1866 of ten open scholarships to
the thirty which were still reserved for Winchester men. Further,
commoners[157] were made eligible for Fellowships as well as scholars.
Half the Fellowships are still reserved for Wykehamists, that is, men
educated either at Winchester or at New College. The chaplaincies are
now reduced to three, and the number of lay choir-men increased.

Since that beneficent reform, ever since loyally accepted and
vigorously carried forward by the Warden and Fellows, the history of
the College has been one of continuous material expansion, numerical
growth, and academic progress. In 1854 the society voluntarily opened
its doors to non-Wykehamist commoners, whose increasing numbers soon
called for the new buildings, the first block of which was opened in

We take our leave of the College with a glance at one or two of the
quaint customs which have unfortunately, if inevitably, disappeared in
the course of the process of modernization.

Down to 1830, or a little later, the College was summoned to dinner by
two choir-boys[158] who, at a stated minute, started from the College
gateway, shouting in unison and in lengthened syllables--“Tem-pus est
vo-can-di à-manger, O Seigneurs.” It was their business to make this
sentence _last out_ till they reached with their final note the College

On Ascension Day the College and choir used to go in procession to St.
Bartholomew’s Hospital (the remains of which may still be seen on the
Cowley road a little beyond the new church) where a short service was
held, after which they proceeded to the adjoining well (Strowell),
heard an Epistle and Gospel, and sang certain songs.

At the beginning of the present century the College was still waked
by the porter striking the door at the bottom of each staircase with
a “wakening mallet.” Fellows are still summoned to the quarterly
College-meetings in this antique fashion.




Lincoln College, or, in its full and official title, “The College of
the Blessed Mary and All Saints, Lincoln, in the University of Oxford,”
was founded by Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln, in the year 1429, in
the eleventh year of his episcopate and one year and one month before
his death.

The founder, a native of Yorkshire, was educated in Oxford, and held
the office of Northern (or Junior) Proctor in 1407. He was promoted to
a prebendship in York Cathedral in 1415; and was raised to the see of
Lincoln in 1419. In 1424 Pope Martin V., who held him in great esteem,
advanced him to the Archbishopric of York; but the king (Henry VI.)
refused to sanction the nomination; and Fleming, ejected from York, had
some difficulty in getting “translated” back to Lincoln.

Richard Fleming, as a graduate resident in Oxford, had been noted for
his sympathy with the tenets of the Wycliffists; but in his later years
he had come to regard the movement with alarm, foreboding (as his
preface to the statutes for his college says) that it was one of those
troubles of the latter days which were to vex the Church towards the
end of the world. The Wycliffists professed to accept the authority of
the Scriptures and to find in them the warrant for their attacks on
accepted Church doctrines and institutions. In these same Scriptures,
rightly understood and expounded, Fleming believed that the authority
of the Church was laid down beyond contradiction. And so, in the
bitterness of his repulse from York, which he perhaps attributed to
the growing spirit of rebelliousness against the Church, he determined
to found (to use his own words) “collegiolum quoddam theologorum”--“a
little college of true students in theology who would defend the
mysteries of the sacred page against those ignorant laics who profaned
with swinish snouts its most holy pearls.”

It is instructive to note the means by which he carried out his
purpose. There is a common impression that these pre-Reformation
prelates were possessed of great wealth. In some few instances, this
was the case, namely, where the prelate had held in plurality several
wealthy benefices, or had occupied a rich see for a great number of
years, or had inherited a large private fortune; but in the majority of
cases, the bishops were not wealthy men, and from year to year spent
the revenues of their sees in works of public munificence or private
charity. Every bishop, however, had partially under his control several
of the Church endowments of his diocese, and could divert them, even
in perpetuity, to the use of any institution he favoured, so long as
they were not alienated from the Church. Accordingly, Fleming proposed,
as it seems, to build the College out of his own moneys; but to
provide for its endowment by attaching to it existing ecclesiastical
revenues. He therefore obtained the sanction of the king (Henry VI.’s
charter is dated 13th Oct., 1427) and Parliament, the Archbishop of
Canterbury, the mother-church of Lincoln, the Archdeacon of Oxford, the
parishioners of all three parishes, and the Mayor and Corporation of
Oxford, to dissolve the three contiguous parish churches of All Saints,
St. Mildred, and St. Michael,--all three being in the patronage of
the Bishop of Lincoln,--as also the chantry of St. Anne in the church
of All Saints, which was in the patronage of the city of Oxford; and
to unite them into a collegiate church or college, which was to be
“Lincoln College.”

St. Mildred’s was a small parish occupying the present site of Exeter
College, and about half of the site of Jesus College; its church was
sadly out of repair, and had no funds for its maintenance; and the
ordinary parish population had given place to Academical students with
their Halls and Schools. Fleming therefore planned to build his college
on the site of this church and its churchyard, increasing the area
by the purchase, on 4th April, 1430, of Craunford Hall, which stood
south of the churchyard, and, on the 20th June, 1430, by the purchase
of Little Deep Hall, which stood on the east of the churchyard. The
ground-plot so formed is represented by the present outer quadrangle of
the College.

The two churches of All Saints and St. Michael were to provide the
endowment of the College. The lands and houses originally belonging
to them had already been taken away when they had been reduced
from rectories to vicarages, before they came to the patronage of
the bishops of Lincoln. Their only revenues now were therefore the
offerings in church, the fees at burials, etc., and the petty tithe
(called “Sunday pence,” being a penny per week from every house of over
twenty shillings annual value in the parish, doubled at the four great
festivals, viz. Christmas, Easter, Ascension, Whitsuntide).[159] These
revenues, together with the income of the chantry of St. Anne, seem
to have amounted to about £30; and out of them, when the College was
founded, £12 was to be paid for the maintenance of divine service in
the two churches and the chantry.

With these revenues Fleming proposed to endow a college consisting
of a Warden and seven Fellows, who should, (1) study Theology, the
queen and empress of all the faculties (_omnium imperatrix et domina
facultatum_); (2) pray for the welfare of the founder during his life
and for the health of his soul after his death, as also for the souls
of his kindred and of his benefactors and of all faithful deceased.

Fleming’s charter, uniting the churches and erecting the College,
is dated 19th Dec., 1429. He did not live to see his project
accomplished, for he died suddenly on 25th January, 1430-1.

In what condition was the College when the founder died? The following
points may be noted:--

(1) The College was founded, and had received its charter of
incorporation, together with certain “ordinances” for its government,
which Rotheram says he imitated in framing the 1480 statutes;

(2) The buildings of the College had been begun, namely, the present
tower, with the rooms over the gateway, in which, according to usual
custom, the Head of the College was to reside, and control the comings
in and goings out of its members;

(3) MSS. had been given to the library;[160] the Catalogue of 1474
specifying twenty-five “books” as given by the founder, chiefly
theological (among these, _Walden against Wycliffe_), but one or two

(4) A small annual revenue had been provided for, but this would
probably not become available till the deaths, or cessions, of the
vicars of All Saints’ and St. Michael’s, and the chaplain of St. Anne;

(5) A rector (William Chamberleyn) had been named by the founder, but
no Fellows; so that when Chamberleyn died (7th March, 1433-4) Fleming’s
successor, Bishop William Grey, finding it impossible to supply the
vacancy by election, according to Fleming’s ordinances, himself
nominated (on 7th May, 1434) Dr. John Beke.

In Beke’s rectorship (1434-1460) the orphan College found good patrons
to carry out the intentions of its deceased founder.

Before 1437 John Forest, Dean of Wells, built the Hall, the Kitchen,
the Library (now the Subrector’s room), the Chapel (now the Senior
Library), with living rooms above and below the Library and below the
Chapel, so that he deservedly was recognized by the College as its

In 1444 William Finderne, of Childrey, gave a large sum of money
towards the buildings, and his estate of Seacourt, a farm at Botley
near Oxford; in return the College was to appoint an additional Fellow
(“_sacerdos et collega_”) to pray for Finderne.

In 1436, we have evidence of a Rector, seven Fellows, and two Chaplains
of Lincoln College. An account-book of 1456 has been preserved, showing
the Rector and five Fellows in residence and in receipt of commons.

Beke resigned in 1460, and was succeeded in Jan. 1460-1 by the third
Rector, John Tristrop, who had been resident in College as a Commoner
in 1455, and had probably at one time been Fellow.

In the first year of Tristrop’s rectorship the dissolution of the
College was threatened. The charter of incorporation had been obtained
from Henry VI.; and now that he had been deposed (on 4th March,
1460-1) by Edward IV., some powerful person seems to have coveted
the possessions of the College, and suggested that Edward IV. should
not grant it a charter, but seize it into his own hands. The College
besought the protection of George Nevill, Bishop of Exeter, Lord High
Chancellor, himself a graduate of Oxford. By Nevill’s influence the
College secured from Edward IV., on 23rd Jan., 1461-2, pardon of all
offences and release of all amercements incurred by them, and on 9th
Feb., 1461-2, a charter confirming the College and extending its right
to hold lands in mortmain. The reality of the danger and the gratitude
of the College for preservation are sufficiently apparent by the
way in which the Rector and Fellows tendered their thanks to Bishop
Nevill: although he had given nothing to the College, yet by a solemn
instrument, dated 20th Aug., 1462, they assigned him the same place in
their prayers as the founder himself, “because he had delivered the
College from being torn to pieces by dogs and plunderers.”

This danger averted, and confidence in the legal position of the
College restored, the stream of benefactions again began to flow.

In 1463 the College purchased from University College three halls lying
next to it in St. Mildred’s (now Brasenose) Lane and in Turl Street,
thus doubling its original ground-plot.

In 1464 Bishop Thomas Beckington’s executors, out of the monies he
had left to be applied by them to charitable uses, gave £200 to build
a house for the Rector at the south end of the hall, consisting of
a large room on the ground-floor and another on the first floor
(the dining-room and drawing-room of the present Rector’s Lodgings),
with cellar and attic. On the west front of this building was carved
Beckington’s rebus[161]--a flourished T, followed by a beacon set in a
barrel (_i. e._ “beacon”--“tun”) for “T. Beckington”--and his coat of
arms, with the rebus, on the east front.

In 1465 the founder’s nephew, Robert Fleming, Dean of Lincoln, gave
the library thirty-eight MSS., chiefly of classical Latin authors,
comprising Cæsar, Cicero, Aulus Gellius, Horace, Juvenal, Livy,
Plautus, Quintilian, Sallust, Suetonius, Terence, Virgil. Most of
these, along with the old plate of the College, were embezzled by
Edward VI.’s commissioners, under pretence of purging the library of
Romanist books.

Some years afterwards the very existence of the College was a second
time brought into danger. The scribe who wrote out the charter of
1461-2 (1 Edward IV.), had done his work in a most slovenly manner,
dropping here and there words required by the grammatical structure.
Unfortunately for the College, in one important place the words “_et
successoribus_” were omitted; and some one in authority, fastening on
this omission, suggested that the grant was only to the Rector and
Fellows for the time being, and on their death or removal would lapse
to the Crown. The College appealed, in 1474, for protection to Thomas
Rotheram, Bishop of Lincoln and therefore Visitor of the College, and
(from May 1474 to April 1475, and again from Sept. 1475) Lord High
Chancellor of England.

The manner of this appeal, as recounted by Subrector Robert Parkinson
about 1570, in the College register, is sufficiently dramatic. When
Rotheram, in the visitation of his diocese, was at Oxford, the Rector
or one of the Fellows of Lincoln College preached before him from the
text, Ps. lxxx. (lxxxi.), vers. 14, 15, “Behold and visit this vine,
and complete it which thy right hand hath planted.” The preacher
described the desolate condition of the College, founded by Rotheram’s
predecessor, unprotected from the enemies who sought to destroy it;
and his words so moved the bishop that he at once rose up and told the
preacher that he would perform his desire.[162]

Rotheram was not slow in fulfilling his promise. To relieve the
present necessities of the College he gave, in July 1475, a grant
of £4 per annum during his life. Thereafter he completed the front
quadrangle by building its southern side;[163] and he very greatly
increased the endowments by impropriating[164] the rectories of Long
Combe in Oxfordshire and Twyford in Bucks. He increased the number of
Fellowships by five; but at least three of these had been provided for
by earlier benefactors, one by Finderne, one by Forest and Beckington’s
executors, and one (for the study of Canon Law) by John Crosby,
Treasurer of Lincoln Cathedral.

To secure the legal position of the College, he obtained from Edward
IV., 16th June, 1478, a larger charter. In this the king recites his
former charter; mentions the doubt which had arisen by reason of its
omitting the words “_et successoribus_”; and then sets the position
of the College as a _perpetua persona_ for ever at rest. In the same
charter the king still further increased the amount of lands which the
College might hold in mortmain.

On 11th Feb., 1479-80, Rotheram provided for the internal government
of the College by the giving of a full body of statutes. Rotheram
therefore is justly regarded as our restorer and second founder.

The later years of the fifteenth and the earlier years of the
sixteenth centuries increased the estates of the College by four
great benefactions. By an agreement with Margaret Parker, widow of
William Dagville, a parishioner of All Saints parish, the College in
1488 (5 Henry VIII.) came into possession of considerable property
in Oxford,[165] which had been bequeathed by Dagville, subject to his
widow’s life interest, by his will dated 2nd June, 1474, and proved 9th
Nov., 1476. In 1508 William Smith, Bishop of Lincoln, gave his manors
of Senclers in Chalgrove in Oxfordshire, and of Elston (or Bushbury)
in Staffordshire. In 1518 Edmund Audley, Bishop of Sarum, gave £400,
with which lands in Buckinghamshire were bought. And in 1537 Edward
Darby, Fellow in 1493, and now Archdeacon of Stowe, gave a large sum of
money, with which lands in Yorkshire were bought. Darby directed that
the number of Fellowships should be increased by three, to be nominated
by himself in his lifetime (one of the first three whom he nominated as
Fellows was Richard Bruarne, afterwards Regius Professor of Hebrew);
and afterwards, one to be nominated by the Bishop of Lincoln, the other
two to be elected by the College.

In connection with Bishop Smith’s benefaction, we may note here
the singular fatality which has led the College in successive ages
to quarrel with its benefactors. Writing in 1570, Subrector Robert
Parkinson says, “Bishop Smith would have given to our College all
that he afterwards gave to Brasenose (founded by him in 1509) had
he agreed with the Rector and Fellows that then were.” With Smith’s
change of plans, part of Darby’s benefaction went, for he also founded
a Fellowship in Brasenose. Sir Nathaniel Lloyd was a chief benefactor
in the early eighteenth century to All Souls in Oxford, and to Trinity
Hall in Cambridge: in three successive drafts of his will he takes
the trouble to write, “I gave £500 to Lincoln College, which was not
applied as I directed: so no more from me!” Lord Crewe, our greatest
benefactor of modern times, well deserving the title of “our third
founder,” was almost provoked[166] to recalling his benefaction.
A quarrel with John Radcliffe diverted from Lincoln College the
munificence which doubled the buildings of University College and
provided for the erection of the Radcliffe Library, the Infirmary, and
the Observatory. Other instances, both remote and recent, might also be

Having now brought the history of the endowments of the College to that
point where their application within its walls can be conveniently
described, it is necessary to leave the annals of the College for
a time and consider its organization, as it was arranged for by
Rotheram’s statutes, modified slightly by subsequent benefactions.

The College was to consist of (I) the Rector; (II) Fellows; (III)
Chaplains; (IV) Commoners; (V) and Servants.

(I) To the Rector was, of course, in general terms committed the
government of the College and its members. But he was allowed large
limits of absence from College; and he was to be capable of holding
any ecclesiastical benefice in conjunction with his rectorship. In the
founder’s intention, therefore, the headship of the College was to be
an office of dignity, and the holder set free from the ordinary routine
of college work. It was also to be a reward of past services to the
College, because only a Fellow, or ex-Fellow, was eligible for the

(II) The Fellows were to be thirteen in number, counting the Rector
as holding a Fellowship; and consequently, when augmented by Darby,
sixteen. Provision was made for the increase of their number if the
revenues of the College could bear it; but this provision seems never
to have been acted on. The corresponding provision for diminution of
the number of Fellowships to eleven, to seven, to five, and even to
three, was, however, from time to time had recourse to; and as a rule,
the circumstances of the College have not permitted of the extreme
number of Fellowships being filled up.[167]

The Fellows were to be elected from graduates of Oxford or Cambridge,
born within the counties or dioceses described below; and if not
already in priest’s orders were to take them immediately they were
of age for them. A Bachelor of Arts was not to be elected unless
there was no Master of Arts possessed of the proper county or diocese
qualification. When, however, Darby in 1537 gave his three additional
Fellowships, he recognized the fact that there might be no graduate in
the University eligible, and provided that they might be filled up by
the election of an undergraduate Fellow[168] either from undergraduates
in Oxford, or by taking a boy from some grammar school in Lincoln
diocese; but the person so elected was to have no voice in College
business until he had taken his degree.

Taking the full number of Rector, twelve Foundation Fellows, and three
Darby Fellows, the sixteen places on the foundation of Lincoln College
were assigned as follows--

One Fellowship was to be filled up from the diocese of Wells (_i. e._
county of Somerset), in memory of the benefactions of John Forest,
dean, and Thomas Beckington, bishop, of Wells; but this Fellow was
specially excluded from election to the Rectorship or Subrectorship.
All the other places were to be apportioned between the dioceses of
York and Lincoln. It is not known whether Fleming, himself a native of
Yorkshire and bishop of Lincoln, had made any such limitations; but
Rotheram, possessed of the same twofold interest, draws particular
attention to the fact that his College is designed to make provision
for natives of these two dioceses which had hitherto been neglected by
the founders of colleges. Four places were assigned for natives of the
county of Lincoln, with a preference to natives of the archdeaconry of
Lincoln; four places were open to natives of the diocese of Lincoln;
two places were assigned for natives of the county of York, with a
preference to natives of the Archdeaconry of York, and within that with
a more particular preference to the parish of Rotherham, in which the
second founder was born; two places were to be open to natives of the
diocese of York. Of the Darby Fellowships, one was to be for a native
of the Archdeaconry of Stowe, one for a native of Leicestershire or
Northamptonshire (with a preference to the former), and one for a
native of Oxfordshire.[169]

The next point which we may consider is the duties of the Fellows.
These may be classified as follows:--

(1) They were to be “theologi” (students of theology), with the single
exception of the holder of the Fellowship founded by John Crosby for
the study of Canon Law. Their orthodoxy was ensured by a very stringent
clause directed against heretical opinions:--“if it be proved by two
trustworthy witnesses that any Fellow, _in public or in private_, has
favoured heretical tenets, and in particular that pestilent sect,
lately sprung up, which assails the sacraments, divers orders and
dignities, and property of the Church,” the College is to compel him to
immediate submission and correction, or else to expel him.

(2) They were to pray for the souls of founders and benefactors, at the
celebration of mass, in bidding-prayers, in the graces in hall, after
disputations, and on the anniversaries of their death. This was the
chief duty contemplated by all pre-Reformation benefactors.

(3) They had considerable duties to perform with regard to their four
Churches which may be classified thus:--

(_a_) As regards spiritualities. Although the ordinary services of the
Churches throughout the year were to be discharged by four salaried
Chaplains, yet, during Lent, a Fellow of the College was to assist the
Chaplain of All Saints in hearing confessions and in other ministerial
functions; another, similarly, to assist the Chaplain of St.
Michael’s; another, to assist the Chaplain at Combe; and the Rector,
or a Fellow appointed by him, to assist the Chaplain at Twyford. On
all greater festival days, the Rector or his representative (in an
amice, if he had one, and if not, in surplice, and the hood of his
degree), accompanied by all the Fellows (except one who was to attend
as representative of the College at St. Michael’s), was to go to
service at All Saints.[170] St. Mildred’s Church was to be commemorated
on her day (13th July) by a celebration in the College chapel; and the
benefaction of John Bucktot by a Fellow going to Ashendon to say mass
on St. Matthias day, and that of William Finderne by a similar service
in Childrey parish church.[171] Sermons in English were to be preached
at All Saints on Easter Day and on All Saints Day,[172] by the Rector,
and on the dedication day of that Church, by one of the Fellows; and at
St. Michael’s on Michaelmas Day, by one of the Fellows.[173]

(_b_) As regards temporalities. On the 6th of May a “Rector chori” was
to be appointed for All Saints and a “Rector chori” for St. Michael’s;
their duties were to occupy the Rector’s stall in the chancel, and to
collect all alms, fees, etc., for the bursar of the College. These
duties at Twyford belonged to the Rector of the College, and at Combe
were supervised by him.

(4) As regards the ordinary academical curriculum, the founder’s
requirements were by no means exacting.

(_a_) The College disputations were to be weekly during Term, in Logic
and Philosophy on Wednesdays, for those members who had taken B.A. and
not yet proceeded to M.A. (there being no undergraduates, according to
the founder’s scheme); and in Theology on Fridays, for all members of
M.A. standing. Both sets of disputations were to cease during Lent,
when the Fellows were engaged in their ministerial duties.

(_b_) Fellows, elected as B.A., were to proceed to M.A. as soon as
possible; Fellows were to take B.D. (or B. Can. L. in case of the
Canonist Fellow) within nine years from M.A.; and, unless the College
approved of an excuse, to proceed to D.D. (or D. Can. L.) within six
years later. The last of these provisions, however, was practically a
dead letter, for the College never forced any Fellow to the expensive
dignity of the Doctorate.

(5) Study, however, as distinct from formal academical exercises,
was inculcated as a virtue both by persuasions and punishments. The
Subrector was charged to rebuke Fellows not merely for offences against
morality and decorum, but for being neglectful of books; and unless the
Fellows so admonished submitted and mended their ways, they were to be

The founder and later benefactors, as has been from time to time noted,
made gifts of “books” (_i. e._ MSS.) for the use of the Fellows;
and John Forest built a library for their reception. According to
Rotheram’s statutes, two classes of books were to be recognized--

(_a_) Those which were to be chained in the library, and which the
reader had therefore to consult there. According to the Catalogue of
1474, this library then contained 135 MSS., arranged on seven desks.

(_b_) Those which were to be considered as “in the common choice” of
the Rector and Fellows. On each 6th November a list of these was to be
made out; the Rector was to choose one, and after him the Fellows one
each, according to their seniority,[174] and so on till the books were
all taken out; thereafter, the Fellows were to take the books to their
own rooms, depositing a bond for their safe custody and return. In 1476
there were 35 books in this “lending library,” different from the 135
above-mentioned. A record is also found of the books (18 in number)
thus borrowed by the Fellows in 1595 and (17 in number) in 1596; among
them are two copies of Augustine _De civitate Dei_, and one of Servius
_In Virgilium_.

(6) The Fellows had to take their share in the ordinary routine of
College business, especially in the two chief meetings on 6th May and
6th November, called “chapters” (_capitula_), and to serve when called
upon in the College offices. These were three in number, all held for
one year only.

(_a_) The Subrector was charged with the general management of the
College during the Rector’s absence, the supervision of the conduct
of the Fellows and commoners, the presiding over disputations, and
the writing of all letters on College business. The emblem of his
office was a whip, which, with his alternative title (Subrector _sive_
Corrector[175]), is eloquent as to his original duty of correcting
faults of conduct by corporal punishment. This scourge of four tails,
made of plaited cord after the old fashion, is still extant and
perfect, is solemnly laid down by the Subrector at the conclusion of
his term of office, and restored to him next day on his re-election.
It has been coveted for the Pitt-Rivers anthropological museum, as a
genuine example of the “flagellum” of mediæval discipline.

(_b_) The Bursar (_thesaurarius_) was charged with the duties of paying
bills, collecting rents, and keeping accounts; of seeing that commons
were duly and sufficiently supplied; and of governing the College
servants (over whom he had the power, with the consent of the Rector,
of appointment and dismissal).

(_c_) The Key-keeper (_claviger_) was to keep one of the three keys
with which the Treasury was locked, and one of the three keys of the
chest in the Treasury which contained the College money, the other keys
of these sets being in the charge of the Rector and Subrector. This
“chest of three keys” corresponds to the balance to the credit of the
College at its bankers and its investments in the public stocks; in it
were placed any surplus money or donations to meet sudden calls for
payment or to wait investment; and the idea of appointing a key-keeper
was that the chest might never be approached by any person at random
or singly, but always by responsible officers, protected against
themselves by the presence of others.

(7) The Fellows were strictly required to reside in Oxford and within
College. During the Long Vacation they might be absent from College for
six weeks; at other times not for more than two days, without special
leave: the Rector and Subrector had, however, general directions given
them in the statutes not to be niggardly in granting leave in cases
where the presence of the applicant was required by no College duties.

On several occasions of the visitation of the city by the plague, this
requirement of residence was relaxed; and the Fellows were permitted
to have all their allowances if they lived in common at some place
near Oxford. Thus, in the pestilence of 1535, commons were allowed to
the Rector, Subrector, and five Fellows in residence at Launton, for a
fortnight in some cases, for a month in others; and in that of 1538,
commons were allowed to the Rector, Subrector, and twelve Fellows in
residence at Gosford (near Kidlington), during a period of no less than
fifteen weeks.

During Elizabeth’s reign, leaves of absence become frequent and
continuous, and are practically equivalent to non-residence. The
Fellows in this reign, and later, developed a bad habit of asking for
leave when their turn for disputing, or other duties, came round; and
several Visitors’ Injunctions are directed against granting leaves
unless a substitute has been provided to perform all duties.

From this statement of the duties of the Fellows, we pass on to discuss
their emoluments. These can best be understood if we group them
together under separate heads.

(_a._) Commons (_communiæ_), the weekly allowance for food at the
common table in the hall of the College, and at the regular time of
meals. Rotheram provided that in each week there should be allowed for
each Fellow in residence (counting the Rector as a Fellow), the sum
of sixteen-pence; fixing the allowance at that amount, and not more,
because, as he says, “clerks” should avoid luxury.

Several festivals of the Church’s year were to be honoured by an
addition to the ordinary table-allowance. In the weeks in which the
following Holy-days occurred, the allowance for commons for each Fellow
was to be increased by the sum named:--Epiphany (6th Jan.), 4_d._;
Purification of Mary (Feb. 2nd), 2_d._; _Carnis privium_ (Septuagesima
Sunday), 2_d._; Annunciation of Mary (25th Mar.), 2_d._; Easter,
8_d._; Ascension, 4_d._; Whitsun day, 8_d._; Corpus Christi, 4_d._;
St. Mildred (13th July), 2_d._; Assumption of Mary (15th Aug.), 2_d._;
Nativity of Mary (8th Sept.), 2_d._; Michaelmas (29th Sept.), 2_d._;
dedication of St. Michael’s Church (in Oct.), 2_d._; All Saints’ Day
(1st Nov.), 4_d._; dedication of All Saints’ Church (in Nov.), 4_d._;
Conception of Mary (8th Dec.), 2_d._; Christmas, 8_d._

An incidental, and therefore very striking, indication of the plagues
which then infected the country is the care the statutes take to
provide for cases of leprosy or other noisome disease. The Fellow so
afflicted is to live away from the College, and to receive yearly forty
shillings in lieu of all allowances.

(_b._) Salary (_salarium_), payments in money. Rotheram made no grants
for these, except to the Rector and the College officers; but he gave
liberty to other benefactors to make them. The first distinct mention
of such grants is in 1537, when Edmund Darby directs that 3_s._ 4_d._
shall be paid annually to each Fellow, and 6_s._ 8_d._ to the Rector.
The dividends of the College rents, after payment of all charges, known
as “provision,” date no doubt from a very early period, but their
history cannot now be traced.

(_c._) Livery (_vestura_), allowance for clothing. For this also
Rotheram made no provision, except to permit it if given by later
benefactors. Edmund Audley, Bishop of Sarum, in giving his benefaction
in 1518, directed that forty shillings per annum should be allowed _pro
robis_ to the Rector, and to each of the four senior Fellows.

(_d._) The Fellows in common were entitled to the services of the
common servants; for which see below.

(_e._) The Fellows were entitled to have rooms (_cameræ_) rent-free.
These were to be chosen, according to seniority, on the May chapter.
About 1600 we find that along with his room, the Fellow received also
the attic (“loft,” or “cock-loft”) over it, into which he might put a
tenant from whom he might receive rent. How far this custom had come
down from antiquity we have no means of saying.

(_f._) Obits (_obitus_), allowances for being present at Mass on the
anniversary-day of a benefactor. A considerable benefactor invariably
made a bargain with the College, that his name should be kept in
remembrance, and his soul’s health prayed for in a special Mass, yearly
on the anniversary of his death, or, if that should clash with some
very solemn season of the Church’s year, on the nearest convenient day.
To insure the presence of the Rector and Fellows, he generally ordered
that each Fellow present at the Commemoration Service should receive a
stipulated sum, which was called by the same name as the day itself, an

The following are the dates of the obits in Lincoln College, and
the amount paid to each Fellow; the Rector as celebrant, receiving
in each case double the amount which a Fellow received:--Jan. 10th,
Edward Darby, 1_s._; Jan. 16th, Bishop Beckington, 6_d._; Feb. 23rd,
Archdeacon Southam, 1_s._; March 21st, John Crosby, 8_d._; March 26th,
Dean Forest, 1_s._; April 11th, Cardinal Beaufort, 8_d._; May 29th,
Rotheram, the second founder, 1_s._; Aug. 23rd, Bishop Audley, 1_s._;
Oct. 10th, Bishop William Smith, 1_s._; Oct. 29th, William Dagvill,
1_s._; Nov. 16th, William Bate, 6_d._--all of them early benefactors.
The obit of the first founder, Fleming, was fixed for Jan. 25th; but no
allowances made for it, gratitude alone being strong enough to ensure
the attendance of all the Fellows.

At the Reformation, the celebration of Mass and, consequently, the
observance of these anniversary services in the form directed by
the statutes, became illegal, and the chapel services ceased. The
allowances still continued to be paid to each Fellow who was present in
College on the particular day, the test of “presence” being now dining
in hall at the ordinary hour of dinner.

(_g._) Pittances (_pietantia_). Besides the sum given to the Rector and
each Fellow on a benefactor’s anniversary day, it is sometimes directed
that a sum shall be paid to them in common for “a pittance,” _i. e._
as I suppose, to provide a better dinner on that day. Thus Cardinal
Beaufort gave a pittance of 3_s._ 4_d._; Rotheram, one of 2_s._; Edward
Darby, one of 3_s._ 4_d._

(III) The Chaplains were four in number. Two were to serve the churches
of All Saints and St. Michael in Oxford, one of whom must be of the
diocese of York, the other of the diocese of Lincoln. They were to be
appointed by the Rector, and to be removed by him when he chose; and
each to receive from the College a stipend of £5 per annum. A third
Chaplain was to serve the church of Twyford under the same conditions,
except that his stipend was to be paid by the Rector; a fourth was to
serve the church of Combe Longa.

It was clearly no part of the founder’s intention that the chaplaincies
should be served by the Fellows: and we find, down to the Civil War
and the Commonwealth, instances of Chaplains who were not Fellows.
But after the Restoration, when £5 per annum no longer represented a
reasonable year’s income, there was a growing feeling that it was for
the honour of the College that the duties of Chaplain of All Saints,
St. Michael’s, and Combe should be undertaken by Fellows. And so long
as there were Fellows in orders enough for the duties, this was done.
In the last half century, recognizing the changed circumstances of the
times, the College has provided a more adequate endowment for each of
its four chaplaincies.

(IV) The Servants. Rotheram’s statutes provided that the Rector and
each Fellow should have free of charge his share of the services of the
“common” servants (_i. e._ of the College servants). These were (1) the
manciple, whose duty it was to buy in provisions and distribute them in
College; (2) the cook; (3) the barber;[176] (4) the laundress. From an
account-book of 1591, it appears that the salary of the manciple and of
the cook was £1 6_s._ 8_d._ per annum; of the barber, 10_s._; and of
the laundress £2.

There was also the bible-clerk (_bibliotista_, contracted _bita_),
who was to be the Rector’s servant when he was in residence. At
dinner in hall he was to read, from the Bible, or some expositor, or
some other instructive book, a portion appointed by the Rector or
Subrector; and at dinner and supper he was to wait at the Fellows’
table. For these services he was to receive food and drink; a room;
and washing and shaving (the latter referring to the tonsure probably,
and not suggesting that he was old enough to grow a beard). Different
benefactors made additions to his emoluments; and at last, until
divided by the 1855 statutes into two “Rector’s Scholarships,” the
Bible-clerkship was the best paid office in College, being worth three
times the Subrectorship, twice the Bursarship, or once and a half a

(V) The Commoners, or Sojourners (_commensales seu sojornantes_).
Almost from the first there had been graduates resident in College,
attracted by its quiet and by its social life, but not on the
foundation, and therefore receiving no allowances from the College.
Rotheram’s statutes provided for their discipline, directing that
they must take part in the disputations of the Fellows, and so on.
Undergraduates are by implication excluded; and this presumption is
increased to a certainty by the fact that no provision is made in the
statutes for tuition.

In its beginnings, therefore, Lincoln College differs from our modern
conceptions of a College alike in its aims and in its constitution. In
all external features, and partially also in its domestic arrangements,
it resembles a monastic house; but it differs from a convent in two
important, though not obvious, points; first, that its inmates are
not bound by a rule, and are free to depart from the College into
the wider service of the Church; secondly, that the duty of prayer
for benefactors and the Christian dead is co-ordinate with two other
duties, the duty of serving certain churches, and the duty of studying
for study’s sake and for the truth. We have next to inquire how the
College changed its original character, and was made, like other Oxford
Colleges, a place of residence for undergraduates, with a body of
Fellows engaged in tuition. This was one of the indirect results of the

Under Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Elizabeth, the old freedom of
the University was taken away, lest, if the immunities of the place
continued, Oxford should become an asylum for disaffected persons.[177]
No undergraduate was to be allowed in the University, unless he had
the protection of a graduate tutor; and residence was to be restricted
to residence within the walls of a College or Hall. There was thus
an external pressure forcing undergraduates to enter Colleges. There
was also a readiness from within the College to receive them. The
proceedings of the Reformers had been a violent shock to the adherents
of the old faith in Lincoln College; and now that the routine of chapel
services, masses, anniversaries, obits, could no longer be pursued,
these adherents devoted themselves to training up young students in
opposition to the new movement. And when, under John Underhill (Rector
1577-1590), the College was purged of the old leaven, the pressure
of poverty (which then began to be felt in the University) made the
Fellows glad to have undergraduates resident in College to keep up the
establishment and pay tuition fees.

Unfortunately, there are no statistics of the stages of this change:
the intervals between the years in which statements of the numbers
in College occur being too great. In 1552 there were in College, the
Rector, eleven Fellows, one B.A. Commoner, and thirteen persons not
graduates, of whom some were certainly servitors, and some probably
servants. In 1575 the Rector and the greater part of the Fellows
have undergraduate pupils assigned to them in grammar and logic. In
1588 there were in College, the Rector and twelve Fellows, sixteen
undergraduate Commoners, and nine servitors. In 1746, there were
the Rector and twelve Fellows, eight Gentlemen-commoners, eighteen
Commoners, and eight Servitors.

What provision was made for their instruction?

From about 1592 the College appointed annually these instructors
for its undergraduates: (_a_) two “Moderators,” to preside over the
disputations in “Philosophy” and in “Logic” (occasionally when the
College was full, an additional “Moderator” was appointed in Logic);
(_b_) a Catechist, or theological instructor. Also, from 1615, a
lecturer in Greek, annually appointed, was added. Of these the
catechetical lecture disappears after 1642; the others continued to
be annually filled up till 1856, but for many years these had been
merely nominal appointments, the work of tuition devolving on regularly
appointed Tutors, as in other Colleges. But at what date these last had
been introduced into Lincoln College, is nowhere stated. In some few
years, exceptional appointments are made; as, for example, in 1624 a
Fellow is appointed to teach Hebrew; in 1708, £6 per annum is paid to
Philip Levi, the Hebrew master.

Among these lecturers two may be noted. In 1607, and again in 1609 and
1610, Robert Sanderson was Logic lecturer; and began that vigorous
course of Logic, which was published in 1615, and long dominated the
Schools of Oxford: indeed, its indirect influence survived into the
present half century, if, as Rector Tatham wrote to Dean Cyril Jackson,
“Aldrich’s logic is cribbed from Sanderson’s.” In 1615 Sanderson was
Catechist, and perhaps at that time turned his attention to those
questions of casuistry, in which he was to gain enduring fame. John
Wesley was appointed to give the Logic and Greek lectures in 1727,
1728, 1730; and the Philosophy and Greek lectures in 1731, 1732, and

What provision was made for the maintenance of undergraduates in the

In 1568, Mrs. Joan Traps, widow of Robert Traps, goldsmith of London,
bequeathed to the College lands at Whitstable in Kent for the
maintenance of four poor scholars. One scholar was to be nominated
from Sandwich School by the Mayor and Jurats of that town, but not
to be admitted unless the College thought him fit; in defect of such
nomination, Lincoln College was to fill this place up (as it did
the other three) from any grammar school in England. Each of these
four scholars was to receive fifty-three shillings and fourpence
half-yearly. Mrs. Traps was also, in her husband’s name, a benefactor
to Caius College, Cambridge, in which College their portraits hang.
Descendants of R. Traps’ brother are still found in Lancashire,
Catholics; and one of them has told me his belief that the Traps had
bought Church lands at the dissolution of the monasteries, intending
to return them to the Church when the nation was again settled on its
old lines; but this hope failing, devoted them to education,[178] as
so many other conscientious purchasers of Church lands did. If this
be so, it is fitting that the first recorded Traps’ Scholar, William
Harte (elected 25th May, 1571), should have been one of those sufferers
for the old faith, whose cruel and barbarous murders are so dark a
stain on the “spacious times” of Elizabeth. Mrs. Joyce Frankland,
daughter of the Traps, augmented the stipend of these “scholars.” She
was afterwards a considerable benefactress to Brasenose College, and a
most munificent donor to Caius College, Cambridge. Is she also to be
numbered among those “offended benefactors” who have been mentioned
above? Or had Lincoln College in her time been “reformed”? These four
Traps’ scholars,[179] commonly called the “Scholars of the House”
(being distinguished, as I suppose, by that name from the servitors
maintained privately by any Fellow), were for a century the only
undergraduates in Lincoln College in receipt of any endowment.

In 1640, Thomas Hayne left £6 per annum in trust to the corporation
of Leicester for the maintenance of two scholars in Lincoln College
to be elected by the Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen of that city. The
corporation received this benefaction, but never sent any scholar to
the College. Numerous educational benefactions throughout England were
lost, like this, in the anarchy of the Civil War.

In 1655, a Chancery suit was begun against Anthony Foxcrofte, who had
destroyed a codicil of Charles Greenwood, Rector of Thornhill and
Wakefield, by which two Fellowships (or perhaps Scholarships) were
bestowed on Lincoln College. What the issue of the suit was, I cannot
say; nothing, certainly, came to the College.

About 1670, Edmund Parboe left a rent-charge of £10 per annum issuing
out of the Pelican Inn in Sandwich, of which £4 was to be paid to the
master of the grammar-school there, £1 to the Mayor and Juratts for
wine “when they keep their ordinary there,” £5 to Lincoln College for
the increase of the scholarship from Sandwich school; if no scholar is
in College, it is to be funded till one is sent, and the arrears paid
to him. From that date the corporation of Sandwich never nominated a
scholar. I suspect the Mayor and Juratts treated the £5, like the £1,
as a _pour boire_.

May the College still hope that the towns of Leicester and Sandwich, or
some one for them, will remember the long arrears of these endowments,
thus diverted from education? Even at simple interest, they would be
now a great benefaction; and at compound interest, how great!

Later Scholarships and Exhibitions were founded by Rectors Marshall
(four, in 1688), Crewe (twelve, 1717), Hutchins (several, 1781),
Radford (several, 1851); also by Mrs. Tatham, widow of Rector Tatham
(one, 1847). In 1857, Henry Usher Matthews, formerly Commoner of the
College, founded a Scholarship in Lincoln College, and an Exhibition
in Shrewsbury School to be held in Lincoln College: but the Public
Schools Commissioners unjustly took the latter from the College. Since
that date no Scholarship benefaction has come to the College; but
Scholarships and Exhibitions have been created from time to time, under
the provisions of the Statutes of 1855, out of suspended Fellowships.

The consideration of this change in the aims of the College has led us
beyond the point to which we had come in its annals; it is therefore
necessary to go back, and pass rapidly in review its post-Reformation

John Cottisford, the eighth Rector of the College (elected in March
1518-19), resigned on 7th Jan., 1538-9, probably[180] in dismay at the
course of events in the nation. His successor, Hugh Weston, elected on
8th Jan., was possibly supposed to be on the reforming side; for he was
undisturbed by Edward VI.’s Commissioners; but had to resign in 1555
to the Visitors appointed by Cardinal Pole. Christopher Hargreaves,
elected on 24th Aug., 1555, and confirmed in his place by Cardinal
Pole’s Visitors, died on 15th Oct., 1558. His successor, Henry Henshaw
or Heronshaw, was hardly elected on 24th Oct., when the hopes of the
Romanist party were shattered. The College register, in the greatness
of its anxiety, breaks, on this one occasion, the silence it observes
as to affairs outside the College.[181] “In the year of our Lord 1558,
in November, died the lady of most holy memory, Mary, Queen of England,
and Reginald Poole, Cardinal and Archbishop of Canterbury; the body
of the former was buried in Westminster, the body of the latter in
his cathedral church of Canterbury, both on the same day, namely 14th
December. At this date the following were Rector and Fellows of Lincoln
College,” and then follows a list of them. Clearly the writer of this
note did not look forward to remaining long in College. Nor did he;
within two years Henshaw had to resign to Queen Elizabeth’s Visitors.
Francis Babington, who had just been made Master of Balliol by these
Visitors, was transferred to the Rectorship of Lincoln. In this
appointment we can detect the sinister influence which was to direct
elections at Lincoln for some time to come; Babington was chaplain
to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Chancellor of the University
after 1564. The election was in flagrant violation of the Statutes
which required that the Rector should be chosen from the Fellows or
ex-Fellows of the College. But it was the policy of the Court to break
College traditions, by thrusting outsiders into the chief government:
the same thing was done in other Colleges, the case of Lincoln being
peculiar only in the frequency of the intrusion. Doubts began to be
cast on Babington’s sincerity; he was accused of secretly favouring
Romanism; and in 1563 he found it advisable to betake himself beyond
sea.[182] Leicester was ready with another of his chaplains, John
Bridgwater, who had been Fellow of Brasenose, and was not statutably
eligible for the Rectorship of Lincoln. Again the Court was mistaken in
its man. Under Bridgwater the College became a Romanist seminary, and
continued so for eleven years; and then Bridgwater had to follow his
predecessor across the seas, retiring to Douay, where, Latinising his
name into “Aquapontanus,” he became famous as a theologian. He is still
held in honour among his co-religionists, and I remember several visits
paid to the College in recent years by admirers of his, in hopes of
seeing a portrait of him (but the College has none) or his handwriting
(which we have). Still another of his chaplains was thrust into Lincoln
College by the over-powerful Leicester; this time John Tatham, Fellow
of Merton. But Tatham’s Rectorship was destined to be a brief one:
elected in July 1574, he was buried in All Saints’ Church on 20th Nov.,

Then there took place a very remarkable contest, six candidates
seeking the Rectorship. Only one, John Gibson, Fellow since 1571, was
statutably qualified; although of only six years’ standing as a Fellow
he was still senior Fellow, a fact eloquent as to the removal of the
older Fellows from the College. Edmund Lilly, of Magd. Coll., another
candidate, relied apparently on his popularity in the University.
The other four candidates relied on compulsion from outside, William
Wilson, of Mert. Coll., being recommended by the Archbishop of
Canterbury, while the Chancellor (Lord Leicester) and the Bishops of
Lincoln and Rochester tried to secure the election of their respective
Chaplains. Leicester’s candidate, John Underhill, was specially
unacceptable to the College, having been removed from his Fellowship at
New College by the Bishop of Winchester (the Visitor there), because
of some malpractices with the College moneys. The Fellows elected John
Gibson; the Bishop of Lincoln refused to admit him. Leicester wrote
threatening letters to the College; summoned several of the Fellows to
London, and browbeat them there. Then, thinking he had now gained his
point, he proceeded to frighten off the other candidates, in order to
leave a clear field for Underhill. The Fellows again elected Gibson;
and the Bishop of Lincoln again refused to admit him. Then the Fellows
elected Wilson; but the Bishop refused to admit him. So that, there
being no help for it, they met again on 22nd June, 1577, and elected

These proceedings caused great indignation in the University; and a
petition was drawn up, worded in very strong terms, entreating the
Archbishop of Canterbury to undertake the defence of the University
against the “iniquity, wrong, and violence” which had been done. This
was signed by resident B.D.’s and M.A.’s, and presented to his Grace,
who passed it on to Leicester. Leicester thereupon wrote a long letter
to Convocation, trying to justify his action, and threatening to resign
his Chancellorship of the University if further attacked in this matter.

Underhill’s first step after his election was to begin a new register,
and to tear out of the old register all records of the proceedings
since the death of Tatham; so that the only entry in the College
books concerning this controversy is that Underhill was “unanimously
elected.” Leicester visited the College in 1585, and the Latin
congratulatory verses on that occasion are among the earliest printed
of Oxford contributions to that particularly dull form of literature.
Underhill remained rector till 1590. By that time the see of Oxford
had been vacant twenty years; and, as the leases of the episcopal
estates were running out, Sir Francis Walsingham required a bishop who
would make new leases and give him a share of the fines. He selected
Underhill for this purpose, who was consecrated Bishop of Oxford in
December 1589, and resigned the Rectorship of the College in 1590. His
patron, having no further use for him after the renewal of the leases,
neglected him; and Underhill died in poverty and disgrace in May 1592.

Leicester being now dead, the College at this vacancy was left to
choose its own head; and Richard Kilby, Fellow since 1578, was elected
sixteenth rector on 10th December, 1590. Kilby’s Rectorship proved one
continuous domestic struggle, which has left its mark in the College
register in scored-out pages and blotted entries, as plainly as an
actual battle leaves its mark in fields of grain trampled down by
contending armies. The question was about the number of Fellows. In
Underhill’s Rectorship the College appears to have been impoverished,
and unable to pay the full body of Fellows their allowances. Kilby’s
policy was to leave the Fellowships vacant, in order to keep up the
income of the present holders; the opposition in College desired to
fill up the Fellowships and to submit to a reduction of stipend all

In April 1592 the number of Fellows had fallen to nine. On 24th April
three Fellows were elected; this election was quashed by the Visitor
on 8th December of the same year. But the Fellows returned to the
charge, and elected three Fellows on 15th December, and five others
on 16th December, 1592; so that in 1593 the College consists of the
Rector and the full number of Fellows (_i. e._ fifteen). Vacancies
occur rapidly, the Fellowships being so small in value. In 1596, and
again in 1599, elections of one Fellow are made, are appealed against,
but confirmed by the Visitor. In 1600 the number of Fellows had again
fallen as low as ten, and the Fellows wished to proceed to an election;
but the Rector (Kilby) tried to prevent their doing so by retiring to
the country. The Subrector, (Edmund Underhill) called a meeting, and
on 3rd November, 1600, the Fellows, in the Rector’s absence, elected
into two vacancies. Kilby induced the Visitor to quash these elections;
Edmund Underhill appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury as primate of
the southern province. This was against the statutes, which directed
that no Fellow should invoke any other judge than the Visitor; and on
this ground, on 4th May, 1602, Kilby procured Underhill’s expulsion.
At the end of 1605 there were only five Fellows remaining; by 2nd May,
1606, two more had resigned. On the next day the Rector and the three
Fellows remaining elected eight new Fellows, the last of the eight
being certainly not the least, but the most illustrious Lincoln name of
the century, Robert Sanderson, the prince of casuists.

The years which follow, from this election to the breaking out of
the Civil War, present two aspects. Externally tokens of prosperity
are not wanting. The buildings were considerably increased. In 1610
Sir Thomas Rotheram, probably the same who had been Fellow from 1586
to 1593 and Bursar[183] in 1592, and apparently of kin to the second
Founder,[184] built the west side of the chapel quadrangle. The chapel
itself, with its beautiful glass (said to be the work of an artist
Abbott, brother of the Archbishop), was the gift of John Williams,
Bishop of Lincoln and Visitor of the College. Bishop Williams at the
same time (1628-1631) built the east side of the chapel quadrangle. The
work cost more than he had promised to give, and the College had to
complete it at its own charges; £90 being spent on this work in 1629,
“as being all the sum that my lord our benefactor did require or the
College could spare.” It is curious to find[185] the same benefactor
doing exactly the same thing in the fixed sum he gave (and would not
increase) for building the library at St. John’s College in Cambridge.
If we turn, however, to the domestic annals of the College during
this period we find an unlovely picture of turbulence and disorder.
Fellows and Commoners alike are accused of boorish insolence, of
swinish intemperance, of quarrelling and fighting. Bursars mismanage
their trust and fail to render account of the College moneys they have
received. Fellows try to defraud the College by marrying in secret and
retaining their Fellowships. Two or three of the less scandalous scenes
will be sufficient to indicate the violence of the times. On 20th
November, 1634, Thomas Goldsmith, B.A., had to read a public apology in
chapel for “a most cruel and barbarous assault” on William Carminow, an
undergraduate. In December 1634 Thomas Smith, an M.A. commoner, made
“a desperate and barbarous assault” on Nicholas North, another M.A.
commoner, in the room of the latter. The same Thomas Smith a month
before had been ordered by the Rector “to take his dogs[186] out of the
College,” which order he had treated with contempt. In October 1636
Richard Kilby and John Webberley, two Fellows, fell out and fought; and
“Mr. Kilbye’s face was sore bruised and beaten.” The College ordered
Webberley “to pay the charge of the surgeon for healing of Mr. Kilbye’s

We must pass very hastily over the period from 1641 to the Restoration,
not because the annals of Lincoln are lacking in interest during
these years, but because space presses and the chief incidents have
been noted in Wood’s _History of the University_ and in Burrows’
_Register of the Parliamentary Visitation_. Paul Hood, the Rector,
being a Puritan, kept his place under the Commonwealth, and having
been constitutionally elected before the Civil War, retained it at the
Restoration. Ten Fellows were ejected by the Parliamentary Visitors,
and ten put into their place, at least six of them being persons of
unsatisfactory character. At the Restoration Hood got the King’s
Commissioners to eject those of the ten who remained, and seven Fellows
were elected in their place, the only name of interest among these
being that of Henry Foulis, famous in his own age for his violent and
bulky invectives against Presbyterianism and Romanism.

Lincoln College was singularly fortunate during the latter half of
the seventeenth and for the greater part of the eighteenth centuries.
Hood, at the Restoration, was in extreme old age, and left the whole
management of the College to Nathaniel Crewe (Subrector 1664-1668),
so that it fairly escaped the break-down in manners, morals, and
studies which the Restoration brought to many Colleges. Crewe, after
a short Rectorship of four years (1668-1672), was raised to the
Episcopal Bench; and at the close of his long life proved our greatest
benefactor. When he resigned Crewe used his influence to get Thomas
Marshall elected Rector, a good scholar and a good governor; who, on
his death in 1685, left his estate to the College. His successor,
Fitz-herbert Adams, was also a considerable benefactor. Of John Morley
and Euseby Isham, who followed, John Wesley speaks in the highest
terms. Richard Hutchins, twenty-third Rector (1755-1781), was a model
disciplinarian and an excellent man of business; and, following
Marshall’s example, left his estate for the endowment of scholarships.

During this happy period much was done to improve the College, which
can only be touched on in the briefest outline here. In 1662 John Lord
Crewe of Steane (father of Nathaniel) converted the old chapel--which
since the consecration of the new chapel on 15th September, 1631,
had lain empty--into a library, which it still remains, and changed
the library into a set of rooms. In 1662 the room under the library
westwards was set aside as a room where the Fellows might have their
common fires and hold their College meetings;[187] it is still the
Fellows’ morning-room. In 1684 the common-room was wainscotted at a
cost of £90, Dr. John Radcliffe subscribing £10, and George Hickes
and John Kettlewell each £5. In 1686 Fitz-herbert Adams spent £470
on repairing and beautifying the chapel. In 1697-1700 the hall was
wainscotted at a cost of £270, to which Lord Crewe gave £100. Rector
Hutchins bought from Magdalen College some of the houses between the
College and All Saints’ Church, and left money to purchase the others,
so as to form the present College garden.

During this period also the roll of the Fellows received some of its
more famous names. The two eminent non-jurors, George Hickes and John
Kettlewell; the celebrated physician, John Radcliffe; John Potter,
whose Greek scholarship promoted him to the see of Canterbury; and John
Wesley,[188] by and by to win a name only less famous than that of
Wycliffe in the history of religion in England, may be cited.

The long period of prosperity which Lincoln College had enjoyed
during the later part of the seventeenth and the earlier part of the
eighteenth centuries was followed in the end of the eighteenth and the
beginning of the nineteenth centuries by a period of decline, during
which the College had its full share in the general stagnation of the
University, and was chiefly notable for the grotesque eccentricities
of its rector, Edward Tatham (Rector 1792-1834). Tatham, an M.A. of
Queen’s College, had been elected into a Yorkshire Fellowship at
Lincoln in 1782. Shortly after his election he came into conflict with
the Rector (John Horner) over a number of points in the interpretation
of the statutes; and after several appeals to the Visitor, was
successful in his contention. In 1790 he distinguished himself by the
ponderous learning, and the vigorous, if coarse, style of his Bampton
Lectures, _The Chart and Scale of Truth by which to find the cause
of Error_ (published in 1790 in two volumes; a copy in the College
library has additional MS. notes by the author). In March 1792 he was
elected Rector, and one of his first achievements was the use he made
of his old practice in controversy over the statutes to obtain from
the Visitor an unstatutable augmentation of the stipend of the Rector.
In the old obits, the Rector, being celebrant, had been assigned
double the allowance of any Fellow; and in elections, according to an
almost universal custom in Oxford Colleges, his vote counted for two.
By emphasizing these points and suppressing contradictory evidence,
Tatham persuaded the Visitor to decree that for the future the Rector’s
Fellowship should receive double of _all_ the allowances of an ordinary
Fellowship. Tatham was known as a forcible but most unconventional
preacher; and one phrase of his, used in the University pulpit,[189]
has become almost proverbial, that namely in which he wished that “all
the Jarman[190] philosophers were at the bottom of the Jarman ocean,”
forgetting in the heat of his rhetoric to make it plain to his audience
whether he meant the writers or their writings. In University business
Tatham was at war with the Hebdomadal Board, and used to brow-beat its
members, accusing them of “intrigues, cabals, and subterfuges.” He was
therefore well-hated by many of his contemporaries, and a great subject
of those pasquils and lampoons which, orally and in writing, circulated
freely in the University. In several of these Tatham had been compared
in features and disposition to the “devil,” who, after the fashion of
the similar grotesque at Lincoln Cathedral, “looked over Lincoln” from
his niche on the quadrangle-side of the gate-tower. Irritated at this,
Tatham ordered the leaden figure to be taken down.[191] Then came out
a lampoon, longer and more bitter than any before, in which the wit
consists in making the word “devil” occur as often as possible in every
quatrain, and the point is to suggest that when Tatham was returning
from dining out (“full of politics, learning, and port was his pate”)
the devil, tired of standing so long inactive, had flown off with him
into space; where leaving him, the devil returned to establish himself
in person in the Rectorship and to govern the College with the help of
“two imps, called tutors.” During the later years of his life Tatham
availed himself of the large liberty of non-residence allowed the
Rector by the then statutes, and lived chiefly in the rectory-house at
Combe. There he enjoyed the pleasures of a rough country life, farming
the glebe, and devoting himself with marked success to the rearing
of his special breed of pigs. He rarely visited Oxford; and when he
did, always brought with him in his dog-cart a pair of his pigs to be
exposed for sale in the pig-market, which was then held in High Street
beside All Saints Church. On these occasions his dress is described by
a contemporary to have been so strictly in keeping with his favourite
pursuit that he ran no risk of being mistaken for a Doctor of Divinity
or the head of a College. There was, however, one occasion on which
Tatham came out in his “scarlet,” with great effect. The College had
some rights in the naming of the master of Skipton Grammar School,
Yorkshire. On occasion of a vacancy the local governors were disposed
to dispute the claim. Tatham went north, at the previous stage put on
his Doctor’s robes, drove into Skipton attired in their splendour, and
dazzled the opposition into acknowledging the College claim. He died on
24th April, 1834, aged 84.

As might be expected, Lincoln College did not prosper during Tatham’s
rectorship. A scholarship was lost. Sir George Wheler, a Commoner
of the College, had left in 1719 a yearly rent-charge of £10 on a
house in St. Margaret’s parish, Westminster, to certain trustees “to
pay to a poor scholar in Lincoln College that shall have been bred
up in the grammar school at Wye.” From 1735 to 1759 no payment was
made; and then the Rev. Granville Wheler, in recognition of arrears,
increased the rent-charge to £20, and directed that if no boy was sent
from Wye, the scholarship should be open to any grammar school in
England. In Horner’s and Tatham’s time the matter was neglected; and
the benefaction is now for ever lost to the College. Again, part of
the money received from the city in payment for the grand old College
garden, which by Act of Parliament was taken to form the present
Market, was invested in Government securities; but the books were so
carelessly kept that the exact details required by the Exchequer could
not afterwards be collected from them: so that part of the property of
Lincoln College is amongst those “unclaimed” dividends out of which the
new Law Courts were built. It is surely unjust that the nation should
thus make a College suffer for the negligence of one generation of its
officers. There was also great degeneracy in the _personnel_ of the
College. Oxford was then passing through that phase of hard-drinking
which within living memory still afflicted society in country places;
and from this vice Lincoln College was not exempt. Several of the
Fellows had curacies or small livings in the neighbourhood of Oxford,
to which they rode out, as represented in a well-known cartoon of the
time, on Saturday morning, returning to the College on Monday. On
Monday evening, therefore, they were all met together, and preparations
were made for a “wet night.” When the Fellows entered Common-room after
Hall, a bottle of port was standing on the side-board for each of their
number. These finished there would be a second (and as liberal) supply,
and very probably after that several of them would slip out to bring an
extra bottle from their private stores. Two instances of the _corruptio
optimi_ of the times--the degradation of men who had received a
University education--may be cited. A Fellow of Lincoln College got
into debt, and his Fellowship was sequestrated by his creditors, who
allowed him a small pittance out of its proceeds, and applied the rest
to the liquidation of his debts; he became an ordinary tramp, and died
in the casual ward at Northampton, after holding his Fellowship for
twenty-five years. An ex-Fellow, incumbent of one of the more distant
and valuable College livings, got, by his own extravagance, into the
clutches of the money-lenders, who sequestrated his living and confined
him in Oxford Debtors’ prison, where he remained year after year
till his death. When, in 1854, the new incumbent went to the living,
he found that the parishioners, unable to get anything out of their
Rector, had helped themselves from the Rectory-house; windows, doors,
staircases, floors, slates, stones had been taken away, and the ruins,
sold at auction, fetched less than £10.

The tuition in College became of the meanest and poorest stamp. The
public lectures consisted in the lecturer hearing the men translate
without comment a few lines of Virgil or Homer in the morning; and the
informal instruction was equally paltry. One story of a Lincoln tutor
of the time may be set down here, though it is probably exceptional
and not typical. The narrator, an Archdeacon, “Venerable” not only
by title but by years, said--“I was pupil to Mr. ----, and I did not
altogether approve of his method of tuition. His method, sir, was this:
I read through with him the greater part of the second extant decade of
Livy, in which, as you are aware, the name of Hannibal not infrequently
occurs. There was a bottle of port on the table; and whenever we came
to the name of that Carthaginian general, my tutor would replenish
his glass, saying, ‘Here’s that old fellow again; we must drink his
health,’ never failing to suit the action to the word.”

An odd incident has to be told in connection with Tatham’s death. An
examination previous to an election to a Lincoln county Fellowship
had been duly announced, and on 24th April, 1834, the candidates were
assembled in Hall waiting for the first paper. The opinion of his
contemporaries had singled out Henry Robert Harrison of Lincoln as the
favourite candidate, and it was, therefore, with some satisfaction
that the other candidates learned from one of their own number, that
the coach coming from Leicester had been overturned the day before,
and that Harrison, who was an outside passenger by it, had had his leg
broken, and would be unable to appear. The paper was now given out,
and they set to it with zest; but before they had finished it a Fellow
came in with a grave face, told them that a messenger had brought
word that the Rector had died that morning at Combe, and that, as the
College could not proceed to an election till after a new Rector had
been elected, the Fellows had decided to postpone the examination.
After Radford’s election the usual notice was given of the Fellowship
examination; Harrison was now able to come to it; and on 5th July,
1834, he was elected.

Mention may also be made of an undergraduate of Lincoln College at this
time who was famous beyond any undergraduate of his own or subsequent
years. Robert Montgomery, then in the full enjoyment of the reputation
of being the great poet of the century, a reputation evinced by the
sale of thousands of copies of his poems, and unassailed as yet by any
whisper of adverse criticism, entered the College as Commoner on 18th
Feb., 1830. Although he put himself down in the Bible-Clerk’s book
as son of “Robert Montgomery, esquire,” he was really of very poor
parentage, and was able to come to the University only by the profits
of his pen. His undergraduate contemporaries, whether because they
believed it or not, used to assert that he was the son of Gomerie, a
well-known clown of the day. He was mercilessly persecuted in College.
Some of the forms of this persecution were little creditable to the
persecutors, and had best be left unrecorded; but one instance of a
practical joke on the victim’s egregious vanity may be noted. When
about to enter for “Smalls” in his first term, he was persuaded to go
to the Vice-Chancellor and request that a special decree should be
proposed putting off his _vivâ-voce_ till late in the vacation, “to
avoid the inconveniences likely to be caused by the crowds which might
be expected to attend the examination of that distinguished poet.”
Montgomery took a fourth class in “Literæ Humaniores” in 1834, and was
afterwards minister of Percy Chapel in London, which members of the
College used occasionally to attend to listen to his florid but not
ineffective preaching.

John Radford, who had succeeded Tatham as Rector in 1834, was succeeded
in 1851 by James Thompson, and Thompson by Mark Pattison in 1861.
Both these elections were keenly, not to say bitterly, contested,
with a partizan spirit which has found its way into several pamphlets
and memoirs; but when the present Rector, W. W. Merry, the thirtieth
who has ruled over the College, was elected in 1884, the College
Register once more recorded an election made “_unanimi consensu omnium
suffragantium_.” He had been Fellow and Lecturer since 1859; and by his
editions of Homer and Aristophanes, had charmed wider circles of pupils
than that of the College lecture-room.

It will be the duty of the future historian of Lincoln College
to mention with all honour the persons by whom, in these later
Rectorships, the College has reasserted its good name, which in the
beginning of the century had been somewhat tarnished; but for the
present the gratitude of members of the Society to these must remain
unexpressed in words; most of them are still alive, and we must not
praise them to their face. Of Radford, however, this much may be said,
that though not a strong governor, his care for the College, and
his munificence to it, well earned his portrait its place among the
benefactors in the College hall, and the inscription on his stone in
All Saints Church, which says that he “dearly loved his College.”

One effect of Radford’s bounty must, however, be regretted. Under
his will the sum of £300 was expended in putting battlements on the
outer (and the earliest) quadrangle of the College, so destroying its
monastic appearance, and giving to it a castellated air foreign to the
time of its building and alien to its traditions. This was the last
step in a process of injudicious repair, which beginning about 1819
had robbed the buildings of their quaintness and individuality. Recent
work has been more reverent for the past. In 1889 the College removed
the lath-and-plaster wagon-roof in the hall and restored to view the
fine chestnut timbers of the original building. The liberality of
resident and non-resident members of the College has in the present
year provided a fund to complete this restoration of the hall, and to
recover in 1891 something of the grace which it possessed in 1435, but
lost in 1699.




Henry Chichele, the son of a merchant of Higham Ferrars, was one of
the first roll of scholars whom William of Wykeham nominated at the
opening of his great foundation of New College. He left Oxford with the
degree of Doctor of Laws, and soon found both ecclesiastical preferment
and a lucrative legal practice. He attached himself to the House of
Lancaster, and served Henry IV. so well that he was made Bishop of St.
Davids, and sent to represent England at the Council of Pisa. In such
favour did he stand at Court, that when Thomas Arundel, Archbishop
of Canterbury, died in the first year of Henry V., the young king
appointed Chichele to succeed him.

For the long term of thirty years Henry Chichele held the Primacy of
all England, and played no small part in the governance of the realm.
The two main characteristics of his policy, whatever may be urged in
his defence, were most unfortunate: he was a stout supporter of the
unhappy war with France, and he was a weak defender of the liberties of
the Church of England against Papal aggression. History remembers him
as the ambassador who urged so hotly the preposterous claims of Henry
V. on the French throne, and as the first Primate who refused to accept
the Archbishopric from the King and the Chapter, till he had obtained a
dispensation and a Bull of Provision from the Pope.

However great may have been his faults as a statesman, Chichele (like
his successor Laud) was throughout his life a liberal and consistent
patron of the University. He presented it with money and books, and,
mindful of what he owed to his training at New College, resolved to
copy his old master Wykeham in erecting one more well-ordered and
well-endowed house of learning, among the obscure and ill-managed halls
which still harboured the majority of the members of the University.
He first began to build a small College in St. Giles’; but this
institution--St. Bernard’s as it was called--he handed over unfinished
to the Cistercian monks, in whose possession it remained till the
Reformation, when it became the nucleus round which Sir Thomas White
built up his new foundation of St. John’s.

Chichele’s later and more serious scheme for establishing a College
was not taken up till 1437, when he had occupied the Archiepiscopal
see for twenty-three years, and was already past the age of seventy.
It was one of the darkest moments of the wretched French war; the
great Duke of Bedford had died two years before, and Paris had been
for twelve months in the hands of the French. The old Archbishop, all
whose heart had been in the struggle, and who knew that he himself was
more responsible for its commencement than any other subject of the
Crown, must have spent his last years in unceasing regrets. Perhaps
he may have felt some personal remorse when he reflected on his own
part in the furthering of the war, but certainly--whether he felt his
responsibility or not--the waste of English lives during the last
twenty years lay heavy on his soul. Hence it came that his new college
became a chantry as well as a place of education--the inmates were to
be devoted as well _ad orandum_ as _ad studendum_--hence also, we can
hardly doubt, came its name. For, as its charter drawn by Henry VI.
proceeds to recite--the prayers of the community were to be devoted,
“not only for our welfare and that of our godfather the Archbishop,
while alive, and for our souls when we shall have gone from this light,
but also for the souls of the most illustrious Prince Henry, late
King of England, of Thomas late Duke of Clarence our uncle, of the
Dukes, Earls, Barons, Knights, Esquires, and other noble subjects of
our father and ourself who fell in the wars for the Crown of France,
as also for the souls of all the faithful departed.” Not unwisely
therefore has the piety of the present generation filled the niches
of Chichele’s magnificent reredos with the statues of Clarence and
York, Salisbury and Talbot, Suffolk and Bedford, and others who struck
their last stroke on the fatal plains of France. Nor can we doubt that
the Archbishop’s meaning was well expressed in the name that he gave
to his foundation, which, copying the last words in the above-cited
foundation-charter, became known as the “Collegium Omnium Animarum
Fidelium Defunctorum in Oxonia.”

To found his College, Chichele purchased a large block of small
tenements, among them several halls, forming the angle between Catte
Street and the High Street. The longer face was toward the former
street, the frontage to “the High” being less than half that which
lay along the narrower thoroughfare. The ground lay for the most
part within the parish of St. Mary’s, with a small corner projecting
into that of St. Peter in the East. The buildings which Chichele
proceeded to erect were very simple in plan. They consisted of a single
quadrangle with a cloister behind it, and did not occupy more than half
the ground which had been purchased: the rest, where Hawkesmore’s twin
towers and Codrington’s library now stand, formed, in the founder’s
time, and for 250 years after, a small orchard and garden. Chichele’s
main building, the present “front quadrangle,” remains more entirely as
the founder left it than does any similar quadrangle in Oxford. Except
that some seventeenth century hand has cut square the cusped tops of
its windows, it still bears its original aspect unchanged. The north
side is formed by the chapel; the south contains the gate-tower with
its muniment-room above, and had the Warden’s lodgings in its eastern
angle; the west side was devoted entirely to the Fellows’ rooms, as
was also the whole of the east side, save the central part of its
first floor, where the original library was situate. Into space which
now furnishes seventeen small sets of rooms, the forty Fellows of the
original foundation were packed, together with their two chaplains,
their porter, and their small establishment of servants.

To the north of this quadrangle lay the cloister, a small square,
two of whose sides were formed by an arcade with open perpendicular
windows, much like New College cloister; the third by the chapel; while
the fourth was occupied by the College hall, an unpretentious building
standing exactly at right angles to the site of the modern hall. The
cloister-quadrangle’s size may be judged from the fact that the chapel
formed one entire side of it. It took up not more than a quarter of
the present back-quadrangle, and was surrounded to north and east
by the garden and orchard of which we have already spoken. For many
generations it formed the burial-ground of the Fellows, and on several
occasions of late years, when trenches have been dug across the turf
of the new quadrangle, the bones of fifteenth and sixteenth century
members of the College have been found lying there undisturbed. To
conclude the account of Chichele’s buildings, it must be added that on
the east side of the hall the kitchen and storehouses of the College
made a small irregular excrescence into the garden; their situation is
now occupied by that part of the present hall which lies nearest the

All Chichele’s work was on a small scale save his chapel, on which he
lavished special care. His reredos, preserved for two centuries behind
a coat of plaster, still remains to witness to his good taste; but its
original aspect, blazing with scarlet, gold, and blue, must have been
strangely different from that which the nineteenth century knows. Of
the figures which adorned it a part only can be identified: at the
top was the Last Judgment, of which a considerable fragment was found
_in situ_ when the plaster was cleared away, with its inscription,
“Surgite mortui, venite ad judicium” still plainly legible. Immediately
above the altar was the Crucifixion; the cross and the wings of the
small ministering angels of the modern reproduction being actually
parts of the old sculpture. The carver, Richard Tillott, who executed
the work, mentions, in his account of expenses sent in for payment
to Chichele, “two great stone images over the altar”; these may very
probably have been the founder and King Henry VI.; and the restorers of
our own generation ventured to fill the two largest niches with their
representations. How the central and side portions of the reredos were
occupied is unknown; but it would seem that the founder did not leave
every niche full, as fifty years after his death, Robert Este, a Fellow
of the College, left £21 18_s._ 4_d._ for the completing of the images
over the high altar.

In addition to the high altar, the chapel contained no less than seven
side altars; where they were placed it is a little difficult to see,
as the stalls bear every mark of being contemporary with the founder,
and extend all along the sides of the chapel from the altar-steps to
the screen. Probably then the smaller altars--of which we know that
one was dedicated to the four Latin Fathers--must have been all, or
nearly all, placed in the ante-chapel. The windows, both in the chapel
and ante-chapel, were filled with excellent glass; all that of the
chapel has disappeared, but in the ante-chapel there is much good
work remaining. The most interesting window contains an admirable set
of historical figures; the founder, his masters Henry V. and Henry
VI., John of Gaunt, and several more being in excellent preservation;
but this was not originally placed in the chapel, and seems to have
belonged to the old library. The other windows are filled with saints.

The total cost of the foundation of the College to Chichele was about
£10,000; that sum covered not only the erection and fitting up of the
buildings, but the purchase of some of the lands for its endowment. The
two largest pieces of property which the Archbishop devoted to his new
institution were situated respectively in Middlesex and Kent. The first
estate lay around Edgeware, of which the College became lord of the
manor, and extended in the direction of Hendon and Willesden. It was
mainly under wood in the founder’s day, and formed part of the tract of
forest which covered so much of Middlesex down to the last century. The
second property consisted of a large stretch of land in Romney Marsh,
already noted as a great grazing district in the fifteenth century.
Many lesser estates lay scattered about the Midlands; they consisted in
no small part of land belonging to the alien priories, which Chichele
had assisted Henry V. to abolish, and included at least one of the
suppressed houses--Black Abbey in Shropshire. For these confiscated
estates the Archbishop paid £1000 to the Crown.

The College as designed by Chichele contained forty Fellows; he
nominated twenty himself, and these with their Warden, Richard Andrew,
chose twenty more. By the Charter sixteen of the forty were to be
jurists--the founder remembered that he himself had taken his degree in
Laws--and twenty-four artists. As Wykeham had done before him, Chichele
took pains to obtain a Bull from the Pope to sanction and confirm his
new foundation: in this document, dated from Florence in 1439, Eugenius
IV. grants numerous spiritual privileges to the _pauperes scholares_
of All Souls. They are excused certain fasts, freed from any parochial
control of the Vicar of St. Mary’s, permitted to bury their dead in the
precincts of the College, and even granted leave to celebrate the Mass
in their chapel in time of interdict, “but with hushed bells and closed
doors.” Chichele was such a confirmed Papalist that he took the unusual
step of sending the first Warden to Italy in person, to receive the
Bull from the Pope’s own hands.

Nor was it only his spiritual superior that Chichele resolved to
interest in the College. When all was complete he went through the form
of handing over the foundation to his young god-son Henry VI., and of
receiving it back from the King’s hands as co-founder. Hence comes the
constant juxtaposition of their names in the prayers of the College.

Chichele lived to see his College completely finished; in 1442 he
presided at the solemn entry of the Fellows into their new abode, and
formally delivered the statutes to Warden Andrew. Next year he died,
at the end of his eightieth year, an age almost unparalleled among the
short-lived men of the fifteenth century. His successor, Archbishop
Stafford, on taking up the office of Visitor, was pleased to grant an
indulgence of forty days to any Christian of the province of Canterbury
who should visit the chapel and there say a _Pater_ and an _Ave_ for
the souls of the faithful departed. This grant made the College a
place of not unfrequent resort for pilgrims. If a passage cited by
Professor Burrows[193] is correct, as many as 9000 wafers were consumed
in the chapel on one day in 1557.

For the first century of the College’s existence the succession of
Wardens and Fellows was very rapid. Richard Andrew, the first head
of the foundation, resigned his post in the same year that the new
buildings were opened, on receiving ecclesiastical preferment outside
Oxford. He became Dean of York, and survived his resignation for
many years. His successor, Warden Keyes, had been the architect of
the College; he presided for three years only, and then gave place
to William Kele. Altogether in the first century of its existence
1437-1537 the College knew no less than eleven Wardens, of whom seven
resigned and only four died in harness. The Fellows were as rapid in
their succession; not unfrequently seven or eight--a full fifth of the
whole number--vacated their Fellowships in a single year; the average
annual election was about five. The shortness of their tenure of office
is easily explained; a Fellowship was not a very valuable possession,
for beyond food and lodging it only supplied its holder with the
“livery” decreed by the founder, an actual provision of cloth for his
raiment. A Fellow’s commons were fixed on the modest scale of “one
shilling a week when wheat is cheap, and sixteenpence when it is dear.”
The annual surplus from the estates was not divided up, but placed in
the College strong-box within the entrance-tower, against the day of
need. Moreover, as the Fellows were lodged two, or even in some cases
three, in each room, the accommodation can hardly have been such as to
tempt to long residence. The acceptance of preferment outside Oxford,
or even an absence of more than six months without the express leave
of the College, sufficed to vacate the Fellowship; and since every
member of the foundation was in orders, it naturally resulted that
the “jurists” drifted up to London to practice, while the “artists”
accepted country livings. Only those Fellows who were actually studying
or teaching in the University held their places for any length of time.

There is little to tell about the first fifty years of the history
of All Souls; but it is worthy of notice that its connection--merely
nominal though it was--with its co-founder, Henry VI., brought on
trouble when the House of York came to the throne. Edward IV. pretended
to regard the endowments of the College as wrongly-alienated royal
property, and had to be appeased, not only by the insertion of his name
and that of his mother Cecily in the prayers of the College, but by
payment of a considerable fine. However, the College might congratulate
itself on an easy escape, and its pardon was ratified when, some years
later, its head, Warden Poteman, was made envoy to Scotland, and
afterwards promoted to be Archdeacon of Cleveland.

In the reign of Henry VII., when the Renaissance began to make itself
felt in Oxford, All Souls had the good fortune to produce two of the
first English Greek scholars, Linacre and Latimer. The name of the
latter is forgotten--the present age remembers no Latimer save the
martyr-bishop; but Linacre’s memory is yet green. With Grocyn and
Colet he stands at the head of the roll of Oxford scholars, but in
his medical fame he is unrivalled. His contemporaries “questioned
whether he was a better Latinist or Grecian, a better grammarian or
physician”; but it is in the last capacity that he is now remembered.
He was elected to his Fellowship at All Souls in 1484, resided four
or five years, and then went to Italy, where he tarried long, taught
medicine at Padua, and then returned to England to found and preside
over the College of Physicians. The two Linacre professorships were
both endowed by him. The example of his career was not soon forgotten,
and for two centuries All Souls continued to produce men of mark in the
realm of medicine. To this day it excites the surprise of the visitor
to the College library to see the large proportion of books on medical
subjects contained in its shelves. Among the manuscripts there are many
such, which Linacre’s own hands must have thumbed; while throughout the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the purchases of medical books are
only exceeded by those of works on theology. But with the incoming of
the reign of the Founder’s-kin Fellows in the early eighteenth century
the physicians ceased out of the land, and at last, “holding a physic
place” became a convenient fiction by which lay members of the College
succeeded in excusing themselves from taking orders, though they might
be in reality anything rather than medical men.

The reign of Henry VII. saw the beginning of two sources of trouble
to All Souls, which were not to cease for many generations. The first
was the interference of the Archbishop as Visitor, to determine the
conditions of the tenure of Fellowships. William of Warham is found
writing to the College to denounce a growing practice of endeavouring
to keep a Fellowship in conjunction with a benefice outside Oxford. He
strictly forbade it, and his commands seem to have been more effectual
than Visitor’s injunctions have usually proved. The other interference
with the College from without, was an attempt made by Arthur Prince
of Wales to influence the annual elections of Fellows. He writes from
Sunninghill in 1500 to recommend the election of a young lawyer named
Pickering to a Fellowship, “because that his father is in the right
tender favour of our dearest mother the Queen.” Pickering’s name does
not appear in the register of Fellows, so it is evident that the
College found some excuse for evading compliance with the Prince’s

All Souls seems to have passed through the storms of the Reformation
with singularly little friction from within or without. One single
Warden, John Warner--the first Regius professor of Medicine in the
University--continued to steer the course of the College from 1536 to
1556, complying with all the various commands of Henry VIII., making
himself acceptable both to Somerset and Northumberland, and even
holding on for two years into Mary’s reactionary time. It is true that
he then resigned his post, but he was evidently no less complying
under the Papalist Queen than under her Protestant predecessor, as no
harm came to him though he continued to reside in Oxford. Warden Pope,
his successor, having died in the first year of Elizabeth, Warner was
immediately restored to his old post, and held it till he was made Dean
of Winchester in 1565.

It was during Warner’s wardenship that we have the first mention
of an evil custom in the College, which was to form for a hundred
years a subject of dispute between the Fellows and their Visitor the
Archbishop. This was the habit of “corrupt resignation.” A member of
the College, when about to vacate his Fellowship, not unfrequently had
some friend or relation whom he wished to succeed him. This candidate
he naturally pushed and supported at the annual election on All Souls’
Day. It came to be the tacit custom of the College to elect candidates
so supported; for each Fellow, when voting for an outgoing colleague’s
nominee, remembered that he himself would some day wish to recommend a
_protégé_ for election in a similar manner. This right of nomination
being once grown customary, soon grew into a monstrous abuse, for
unscrupulous Fellows, when about to vacate their places, began to hawk
their nominations about Oxford. Actual payments in hard cash were made
by equally unscrupulous Bachelors of Arts or Scholars of Civil Law, to
secure one of these all-powerful recommendations. Hence there began
to appear in the College not the poor but promising scholars for whom
Chichele had designed the foundation, but men of some means, who had
practically bought their places. Cranmer was the first Visitor who
discovered and endeavoured to crush this noxious system. In 1541 we
find him declaring that he will impose an oath on every Fellow to obey
his injunction against the practice, and that every Fellowship obtained
by a corrupt resignation shall be summarily forfeited. At the same time
we find him touching on other minor offences in the place--misdoings
which seem ludicrously small compared to the huge abuse with which he
couples them. Fellows have been seen clad not in the plain livery which
the pious founder devised, but in gowns gathered round the collar and
arms and quilted with silk; they have been keeping dogs in College;
some of them have hired private servants; others of them have engaged
in “compotationibus, ingurgitationibus, crapulis et ebrietatibus.” All
these customs are to cease at once. It is to be feared that the good
Archbishop was as unsuccessful in suppressing these smaller sins and
vanities, as he most certainly was in dealing with the evil of corrupt

It was in the reign of the same compliant Warden Warner, under whom
Cranmer’s visitation took place, that All Souls was robbed of its
greatest ornament--the decorations of its chapel. In 1549, by order
of the Royal Commissioners appointed by Protector Somerset, havoc was
made with the whole interior of the building. The organ was removed,
the windows broken, the high-altar and seven side-altars taken down,
and, worst of all, the whole reredos gutted; its fifty statues and
eighty-five statuettes were destroyed, and so it remained, vacant
but graceful, though much chipped about in the course of ages, till
in the reign of Charles II. the Fellows in their wisdom concluded to
plane down its projections, stuff its niches with plaster, and paint
a sprawling fresco upon it! The church vestments of the College were
probably destroyed at the same time that the chapel was made desolate,
but its church plate was not defaced, but merely removed to the
muniment-room and put in safe keeping. There it remained till 1554,
when it came down again, and was again employed in Queen Mary’s time.
In 1560 it was once more put into store in the strong-room, and there
it remained till in 1570 Archbishop Parker had it brought forth and
bade it be melted down, “except six silver basons together with their
crewets, the gilt tabernacle, two silver bells, and a silver rod.”
After a stout resistance lasting three years, the College was obliged
to comply. Charles I. received nearly all that Parker spared, and of
the old communion-plate of All Souls there now survives nought but two
of the crewets preserved in 1573. They are splendid pieces of the work
of about 1500, eighteen inches high, shaped like pilgrim’s bottles, and
ornamented with swans’ heads. The founder’s silver-gilt and crystal
salt-cellar, the only other piece of antique silver which All Souls now
owns, was most fortunately not in the hands of the College in Charles’s
time, or it would have shared the fate of the rest of its ancient plate.

One more incident of Warner’s tenure of office needs mention. He
erected with subscriptions raised from all quarters as a residence for
himself, the building which faces the High Street in continuation of
the front quadrangle to the east. For the future, Wardens had six rooms
instead of two to live in, and there is splendour as well as comfort in
the magnificent panelled room on the first floor which forms the chief
apartment in the new building. Here dwelt Warner’s successors, till
in the reign of Anne the present Warden’s lodgings were erected still
further eastward.

Warden Hoveden, whose long rule of forty-three years covered most of
the reign of Elizabeth and half that of James I. (1571-1614) was a man
of mark. He adorned the old library, now the “great lecture-room,” in
the front quadrangle, with the beautiful barrel-roof and panelling
which make it the best Elizabethan room in Oxford. He bought and added
to the grounds of the College a large house and garden called “the
Rose,” where the Warden’s lodgings now stand. He arranged and codified
the College books and muniments. He caused to be constructed a splendid
and elaborate set of maps of the College estates, ten years before any
other College in the University thought of doing such a thing (1596).
These maps are worked out on a most minute scale: every tree and house
is inserted; and as a proof of how English common-fields were still
worked in minutely subdivided slips, only a few yards broad, they are
invaluable. One map gives a bird’s-eye view of All Souls, with its two
quadrangles as then existing, and is the first good representation of
the College that remains. But Hoveden’s greatest achievements were his
two victories in struggles with Queen Elizabeth. The first contest
concerned the parsonage and tithes of the parish of Stanton Harcourt;
the Crown and the College litigated about them for just forty years,
1558-98; but Hoveden had his way, and in the latter year they came back
into the hands of the College. In the regrant of the disputed property,
the Queen’s reasons are stated to be the poverty of the College and
the want of a convenient house near Oxford to which the Fellows might
retire in times of pestilence in the University. Epidemical disorders
had been very common at the date: in 1570-1 the plague carried off 600
persons, and in 1577 a fearful distemper in consequence of the “Black
Assize” was no less fatal. Such a house as Stanton Harcourt parsonage
was then of infinite utility, and for more than 200 years the College
used to compel its tenants by a covenant in their lease, to “find
four chambers in the house, furnished with bedding linen, and woollen
for so many of the fellows as shall be sent to lodge there whenever
any pestilence or other contagious disorder shall happen in the
University.” The second struggle resulted from an attempt of Elizabeth
to induce All Souls to grant a lease of all their woods to Lady
Stafford, at the ridiculously small rent of twenty pounds per annum.
Hoveden resisted stoutly, and his refusal drew down a most disgraceful
letter of threats from Sir Walter Raleigh. Sir Walter intimates that
the Queen is highly incensed that “subjects of your quality” should
presume to chaffer with her, and hints at evils to come if compliance
is still refused. The Warden replied that the terms offered were so
bad that if they were taken the Fellows would be compelled to give
up housekeeping and take to the fields. To this it was answered that
“their state was so plentiful by her Majesty’s statute, that they
seemed rather as fat monks in a rich abbey than students in a poor
College.” Hoveden stood his ground and enlisted Whitgift, the Visitor,
to work with Lord Burleigh in the defence of the College. Burleigh
moved Elizabeth to relax her pressure, and Lady Stafford never obtained
her cheap lease.

By the end of Hoveden’s time a new subject of interest comes to the
front in the management of the College. The rise in wealth and in
prices which characterized the Tudor epoch resulted in the development
of the annual surplus from the College estates into unexpected
proportions. When all outgoings were paid there were often £500 or
£600 left to be transferred to the strong-box in the gate-tower.
It naturally occurred to the Fellows that some of this money might
reasonably come their way. Archbishop Whitgift allowed them to augment
their daily commons from it, and afterwards bade them commute their
“livery” in cloth for a reasonable equivalent in cash. This was done,
but still the annual surplus cash grew. Archbishop Bancroft directed
it “to amendment of diet and other necessary uses of common charge.”
He soon found that this merely led to luxurious living. “It is
astonishing,” he wrote, “this kind of beer which heretofore you have
had in your College, and I do strictly charge you, that from henceforth
there be no other received into your buttery but small-and middle-beer,
beer of higher rates being fitter for tippling-houses.” Yet the College
strong ale still survives! Nor was it only in its drinking that the
College offended: its eating corresponded: the gaudés, and the annual
Bursar’s dinner became huge banquets, costing some £40; guests were
invited in scores, and the festivities prolonged to the third day.
Such things were only natural when the Fellows had the disposal of a
large revenue, yet were not allowed to draw from it more than food and
clothing. At last, Archbishop Abbott, in 1620 bethought him of a less
demoralizing way of disposing of the surplus: he boldly doubled the
livery-money. Then for the first time a Fellowship became worth some
definite value in hard cash. The next step was easy enough; instead of
a fixed double livery, there was distributed annually so many times
the original livery as the surplus could safely furnish. The seniors
drew more than the juniors, and the jurists more then the artists. This
arrangement, after working in practice for many years, was sanctioned
in theory also by Archbishop Sheldon in 1666.

It is in a letter of Archbishop Abbott’s, dealing with one of the
riotous feasts to which the College had grown addicted, that we have
our first mention of that celebrated bird, the All Souls Mallard. The
Visitor writes--“The feast of Christmas drawing now to an end, doth put
me in mind of the great outrage which, as I am informed, was the last
year committed in your College, where although matters had formerly
been conducted with some distemper, yet men did never before break
forth into such intolerable liberty as to tear down doors and gates,
and disquiet their neighbours as if it had been a camp or a town in
war. Civil men should never so far forget themselves under pretence of
a foolish mallard, as to do things barbarously unbecoming.” Evidently
the gaudé had developed into one of those outbreaks, which a modern
Oxford College knows well enough when its boat has gone head of the
river. Furniture had been smashed, perhaps a bonfire lighted; certainly
the noise had been long and loud. But what of the Mallard? Pamphlets
have been written on him, and College tradition tells that when the
first stone of the College was laid a mallard was started out of a
drain on the spot. In commemoration of the event, the Fellows annually
went round the College after the gaudé, pretending to search for the
tutelary bird. The song concerning him was written to be sung by “Lord
Mallard,” a Fellow chosen as the official songster of the College. It
bears every appearance of being of Jacobean date--

    “Griffin, Turkey, Bustard, Capon,
    Let other hungry mortals gape on,
    And on their bones with stomachs fall hard,
    But let All Souls’ men have their Mallard.

    O by the blood of King Edward,
    It was a swapping, swapping Mallard!

    “The Romans once admired a gander
    More than they did their chief Commander,
    Because he saved, if some don’t fool us,
    The place that’s named from the scull of Tolus.[194]

    _Chorus, etc._

    “The poets feign Jove turned a swan,
    But let them prove it if they can,
    As for our proof it’s not at all hard--
    He was a swapping, swapping Mallard.

    _Chorus, etc._

    “Then let us drink and dance a Galliard
    Unto the memory of the Mallard,
    And as the Mallard dives in pool,
    Let’s dabble, duck, and dive in bowl.”

    _Chorus, etc._

So for three hundred years, if not for four, has Lord Mallard annually
chanted. But the last time that we have proof of a procession having
gone round the College with torches, pursuing the mock search for the
bird, is in 1801, when Bishop Heber, then a scholar of Brazenose,
mentions in a letter home that he had witnessed the scene from his
windows across the Radcliffe Square.

Professor Burrows in a most ingenious passage of his _Worthies_ makes
a plausible suggestion as to the real origin of the Mallard. He found
in Alderman Fletcher’s copy of Anthony à Wood, now in the Bodleian, the
impression of a seal bearing a griffin, inscribed “_Sigillum Guilielmi
Mallardi Clerici_.” This seal of one Mallard was actually dug up in
making a drain on the site of All Souls, to the east of the Warden’s
lodgings. Can the exhuming of Mallard’s seal have been turned by oral
tradition into the finding of an actual mallard?

Down to the time of the great Civil War the College, though always
more or less tainted with the evil of corrupt resignations, continued
to produce a great number of able men. Since the Reformation laymen
are found among them as well as clerics. We may name Lord Chancellor
Weston, Mason and Petre, both Privy Councillors of note, and the
Persian traveller Sir Anthony Sherley, under Elizabeth; while in the
early seventeenth century we meet Archbishop Sheldon--long Warden of
the College--Bishop Duppa, and Jeremy Taylor. The election of the
last-named illustrates in the most striking way the manner in which
corrupt resignations had come to be looked upon as matters of routine.
Osborne, a Fellow about to vacate his place, instead of putting his
nomination up for sale, made a present of it to Archbishop Laud. Laud,
taking the procedure as the most natural thing in the world, bade him
nominate Taylor, who was therefore elected, but with great murmurs from
the College, for he was a Cambridge man, and of nine years standing
since his degree.

Those who know only the modern constitution of All Souls, will find it
startling to learn that down to the Great Rebellion the College was not
without its fair share of undergraduates. There was no provision for
them in the statutes, but a number of “poor scholars” (_servientes_)
were allowed to matriculate. In 1612 there were as many as thirty-one
of them on the books at once. In going through a list of All Souls men
who became Fellows of Wadham between 1615 and 1660, I found that about
one in three were _servientes_, so their number must have been not
inconsiderable. The College narrowly escaped having a regular provision
of scholars, for Archbishop Parker had planned the endowment of a
considerable number of scholarships from Canterbury Grammar School when
he died. After the Restoration the _servientes_ are no more heard of,
or at least the four Bible-clerks then appear as their sole successors.

Few Colleges suffered more from the Civil Wars than All Souls. Its
head, Sheldon, was one of the King’s chaplains, and all, save a very
small minority of the Fellows, were enthusiastic Royalists. One of
them, William St. John, was slain in battle in the King’s cause, and
others of them bore arms for him. It is most pitiful to read the
account of the College plate which went to the melting-pot in New Inn
Hall, to come forth as the ugly Oxford shillings of Charles I. All
Souls contributed 253 lbs. 1 oz. 19 dwts. in all, more than any other
house save Magdalen, besides a large sum in ready money. Its treasury
was swept clean of the founder’s gifts, of Warden Keyes’ “great cupp
double gilt with the image of St. Michael on its cover,” of all the
church-plate that had escaped Parker, of tankards, flagons, and goblets
innumerable. Worse was to follow: the bulk of the College estates lay
in Kent and Middlesex, counties in the hands of the Parliament, and
their rents could not be raised. At the end of the first year the
tenants were £600 in arrears, and the evil went on growing, while at
the same time the demands on the purse of the College were increasing.
In June 1643 the College was directed by the King to maintain 102
soldiers for a month, at the rate of four shillings a week per man.
It had to contribute towards the fortifications, towards stores for
the siege, and towards the relief of the poor of the city. Altogether
it would seem that the finances of the College went to pieces, and
that the greater part of the Fellows dispersed. When the Parliamentary
Visitors got to work on the University, as much as two years after
the fall of Oxford, they found only eleven members of the College in
residence. Warden Sheldon was summoned before them to ask whether he
acknowledged their authority, and replied with frankness, “I cannot
satisfy myself that I ought to submit to this visitation.” Next day
a notice of ejectment was served upon him, and the day following the
Chancellor Pembroke went with the Visitors to expel him. They found
Sheldon walking in his little garden, read their decree to him, and
then sent for the College buttery-book, out of which they struck
his name, inserting instead of it that of Dr. Palmer, whom they had
designated as his successor. Next they bade him give over his keys, and
when he refused broke open his lodgings, installed Palmer in them, and
sent the rightful owner away under a guard of musketeers, “followed as
he went by a great company of scholars, and blessed by the people as he
passed down the street.”

Of the Fellows, only five made their peace with the Visitors, and
avoided expulsion; even five of the College servants were deprived of
their places. The Commissioners proceeded for five years to nominate
to the Fellowships, and intruded in all forty-three new members on
to the foundation between 1648 and 1653. It is only fair to say that
if some of them were abnormal personages--such as Jerome Sanchy, who
combined the functions of Proctor and Colonel of Horse--others were men
of conspicuous merit. The most noteworthy of them was Sydenham, the
greatest medical name except Linacre that the College--perhaps that
England--can boast.

In 1653, free elections recommenced, and as the first-fruits of their
labours the new Fellows co-opted Christopher Wren. This greatest of all
the Fellows of All Souls was in residence for eight years, working from
the very first year of his election at architecture, though astronomy
and mathematics were also taking up part of his time. Ere he had been
many months a Fellow, he erected the large sundial, with the motto
_pereunt et imputantur_, which now adorns the Library. In 1661 he
resigned his Fellowship on becoming Professor of Astronomy, and shortly
after departed for London. Almost the only note of his All Souls
life that survives is the fact that he was a great frequenter of the
newly-established coffee-house, next door to University College. His
famous architectural drawings were left to the College, and are still
preserved in the Library.

The troubles of the Restoration passed over with very little friction
at All Souls. Palmer, the intruding Warden, died in the very month of
King Charles’ return, and Sheldon peaceably took possession of his old
place. But within two years he was called off, to become Archbishop
of Canterbury, and John Meredith reigned in his stead. This Warden’s
short tenure of office is marked by the horrible mutilation of the
reredos to which we have already alluded. The College must needs
have a “restoration” of its chapel, and in the true spirit of the
“restorer,” broke away much of what was characteristic in it, plastered
up the rest, and hired Streater, painter to the king, to daub a “Last
Judgment” on the flat space thus obtained. Having accomplished this
feat Meredith died.

Meredith’s successor, Jeames, prompted and supported by Archbishop
Sancroft, succeeded in finally putting down the evil of corrupt
resignations, which had survived the Parliamentary Visitation, and
blossomed out into all its old luxuriance in the easy times of the
Restoration. The fight came to a head in 1680-1, when Jeames, for two
years running, used his veto to prevent the election of all candidates
nominated by resigners. The veto frustrating any election, the Visitor
was by the statutes allowed to fill up the vacant places, and did so.
The threat that the same procedure should again be carried out in the
next year brought the majority of the College to reason, though for the
whole twelve months, Nov. 1680-Nov. 1681, twenty-four discontented
Fellows, whom Jeames called “the Faction,” were moving heaven and earth
to get the Warden’s right of veto rescinded. From 1682 onwards, the
type of Fellow improved, and some of the most distinguished members
of the College date from the years 1680-1700. It is in this period,
however, that the complaint begins to be heard that All Souls looked
to birth quite as much as to learning in choosing its candidates.
“They generally,” says Hearne--a great enemy of the College--“pick out
those that have no need of a Fellowship, persons of great fortunes and
good birth, and often of no morals and less learning.” For the former
part of this statement, the names in the College register give some
justification: concerning the latter, we can only say that the average
of men who came to great things in the list of Fellows is higher in
Hearne’s time than at any other. To this period belong Dr. Clarke,
Secretary of War under William III., Christopher Codrington--of whom
more hereafter--Bishop Tanner the antiquary, Sir Nathaniel Lloyd, and
many more.

The reign of James II. was fraught with as much danger to All Souls as
to the other Colleges of the University. Warden Jeames died in 1686,
and every one expected and dreaded an attempt to force a Papist head
on the College. What happened was almost as bad. There was in the
foundation a very junior Fellow--only elected in 1682--named Leopold
Finch, son of the Earl of Winchelsea, whose riotous outbreaks and
habitual fits of inebriety had done much to embitter Jeames’ last years
of rule. Finch was a hot Tory, and when, on the outbreak of Monmouth’s
rebellion, the University proposed to raise a regiment of trained-bands
for the King, was one of the leaders in the movement. He enlisted a
company of musketeers from members of All Souls and Merton, and this
company was the only part of the University battalion that actually
took the field. Its not very glorious record of service consisted in
occupying Islip for ten days, to secure the London road, and stop all
transit of suspicious persons. When the news of Sedgmoor came, Lord
Abingdon bade the company dine with him at Rycot, and they came home
“well fuzzed with his ale,” insomuch that their very drum was stove in,
and remains so to this day, stored, with one of the muskets borne by
the volunteers, in All Souls Bursary.

Finch had nothing to recommend him save this military exploit, his
good birth, and his notorious looseness of life and conscience.
He was thought by the King capable of anything in the way of
submission--perhaps even of conversion to Papacy--and on the death
of Jeames the College, to its horror, learned that Finch had been
nominated as Warden. Less courageous than the Fellows of Magdalen,
the All Souls men, though they refused to elect Finch in due form,
refrained from choosing any other head, and allowed the intruder to
take possession of the Warden’s house and prerogatives. Finch, though
a man of some learning, made as disreputable a head of the College as
might have been expected: he jobbed, he drank, he ran into debt, and
finally he was found to have embezzled College money. But when William
of Orange landed, his Toryism disappeared, and he saved his place by
suddenly becoming a hot Whig. All the punishment that he ever got
for his usurpation, was that he was compelled to acknowledge himself
as only “pseudo-custos,” and to submit to be re-appointed to his
Wardenship in a more legal way. He presided for sixteen years over the
College with much disrepute, and died in 1702--with the bailiffs in his

Finch was succeeded by Bernard Gardiner, a very different character.
Gardiner was a good scholar and a good man, but decidedly testy and
choleric; in politics he was that somewhat abnormal creature, a
Hanoverian Tory, and succeeded in earning the dislike of both parties.
He was the Vice-Chancellor who deprived Hearne of his place in the
Bodleian for Jacobitism, yet he also fought a furious battle with
Wake, the Whig Archbishop, who was his Visitor. With a large faction
of the Fellows he had equally numerous passages of arms, yet still the
College flourished under him. It was in his time that the great back
quadrangle, the new Hall, and the new Warden’s lodgings, were built.

These spacious buildings were erected not with College money, but by
generous and long-continued benefactions from the Fellows. Dr. Clarke,
the Secretary of War, was the chief donor: “God send us many such
ample benefactors” wrote his grateful Warden in the College book. He
built the Warden’s lodgings out of his own pocket, besides paying for
the “restoration” of the east end of the chapel. This consisted in
painting over Streater’s bad fresco[195] a much better production by
Sir James Thornhill--the somewhat heathenish but spirited Apotheosis
of Chichele--which was taken down in our own generation. Below the
fresco were placed two marble pillars, supporting an entablature, which
framed Raphael Mengs’ pleasing “_Noli me tangere_,” the picture which
now adorns the ante-chapel. After Clarke the most generous donors were
Sir Nathaniel Lloyd, who gave £1350 in all; Mr. Greville, who built the
new cloister; and General Stuart. Hawkesmoor, Wren’s favourite pupil,
was their architect; it is to him that we owe the strange but not
ineffective twin-towers, the classic cloister, the vaulted buttery, and
the lofty hall with its bare mullionless windows.

But there was one Fellow in the reign of Anne who was even a greater
benefactor than Clarke and Lloyd. It was to Christopher Codrington
that the College owes the magnificent library, which so far surpasses
all its rivals in the University, save the Bodleian alone. Codrington
was a kind of Admirable Creighton, poet and soldier, bibliophile and
statesman. In the same year he gained military promotion for his
gallantry at the siege of Namur, welcomed William III. to Oxford in
a speech whose elegant Latinity softened even Jacobite critics, and
undertook the government of the English West India Islands. He died at
Barbadoes in 1710, and left to his well-loved College 12,000 books,
valued at £6000, with a legacy of £10,000 to build a fit edifice to
hold them, and a fund to maintain it. The Codrington Library, commenced
in 1716, took many years to build, but at last stood completed, a
far more successful work than the hall which faces it across the
quadrangle. It is 200 feet long, and holds with ease the 70,000 books
to which the College library has now swollen. A public reading-room was
added to it in 1867, and it is for students of law and history as much
of an institution as the Bodleian itself.

The eighteenth century gave All Souls many brilliant Fellows, but it
destroyed the original purpose of the foundation, and ended by making
it an abuse and a byword. It is only necessary to mention the names of
a few of its members, to show how large a share of the great men of the
time passed through the College. It claims the great Blackstone--for
many years an indefatigable bursar--the second name to Wren among the
list of Fellows. Two Lord Chancellors came from it, Lord Talbot of
Hensoll, and Lord Northington; Young the poet was a resident for many
years; one Archbishop, Vernon Harcourt of York, and eight Bishops
had been Fellows. With them, though elected in the opening years of
the present century, must be mentioned Reginald Heber, the first and
greatest of our missionary prelates.

But in spite of these great names, the College--like the whole
University--was in a bad way. Two abuses destroyed its usefulness. The
first was the introduction of non-residence. Down to the reign of Anne,
a Fellow who left Oxford without the _animus revertendi_, forfeited
his Fellowship. Every one quitting the College, even for a few months,
had to obtain a temporary leave of absence, and to state his intention
to return. Gradually Fellows began to devise ingenious excuses for
prolonged non-residence; the favourite ones were that they were about
to study physic, and must therefore travel; or that they were in the
service of the Crown, and must be excused on public grounds. The test
case on which the battle was finally fought out was that of Blencowe,
a Fellow who had become “Decypherer to the Queen” (interpreter of the
cyphers so much used in despatches at that time). Warden Gardiner
strove to make him resign, but Blencowe moved Sunderland, the Secretary
of State, to interfere in his behalf with the Visitor, and it was
formally ruled that his service with the Crown excused him from
residence, as well as from his obligation under the statutes to take
orders. For the future the Fellows all found some excuse--taking out a
commission in the militia was the favourite one--for saying that they
were in the royal service, and thereby excused from residence. From
about 1720 the number of residents goes down gradually from twenty or
thirty to six or seven. The remainder of the Fellows, like Gibbon’s
enemies at Magdalen, remembered to draw their emoluments, but forgot
their statutory obligations.

Almost as injurious as the exemption from residence was the
introduction of a new theory that Founder’s-kin candidates had an
absolute preference over all others. Archbishop Wake is responsible for
its recognition: a certain Robert Wood, in 1718, claimed to be elected
simply on account of his birth, and the Visitor ruled that he must be
admitted, in spite of the custom of the College, which had never before
taken account of such a right. At first the Founder’s-kin appeared in
small numbers--there are only twelve between 1700 and 1750--but about
the middle of the century they appear to have suddenly woken up to the
advantages of obtaining a Fellowship without condition or examination.
Between 1757 and 1777 thirty-nine Fellows out of fifty-eight elected
are set down as _cons. fund._ in the College books. Archbishop
Cornwallis in 1777 ruled that it was not obligatory upon the College
that more than ten of the Fellows should be of Founder’s kin, and from
this time forth the claim of Founder’s kin had no direct influence
upon the elections. But the doctrine had done its work. It brought the
Fellowships within a charmed circle of county families, outside of
which the College rarely looked when the morrow of All Souls Day came

The effect of this was to create a society of an abnormal sort in the
midst of a group of Colleges which, whatever their shortcomings may
have been, continued to make a profession of study and teaching. The
Fellows were men of good birth, and usually of good private means.
Hence came the well-known joke that they were required to be “bene
nati, bene vestiti, et moderate docti,” a saying formed, as Professor
Burrows has pointed out, by ingeniously twisting the three clauses
in the statutes which bade them be “de legitimo matrimonio nati,”
“vestiti sicut eorum honestati convenit clericali,” and “in plano cantu
competenter docti.”

The Fellows had no educational duties or emoluments, and consequently
no inducement to reside except for purposes of study: and for the
most part they were not studious, nor resident. The Fellowships
were poor, and so were only attractive to men of means. Hence the
management of the College property was a matter of indifference, and
it was neglected. Other Colleges no doubt neglected their duties and
mismanaged their properties, but All Souls men took a pride in having
no duties and in being indifferent to the income arising from their
estates. Gradually the College drew more and more apart from its
neighbours, until the Fellows made it a point to know nothing and to
care nothing about the teaching, the study, or the business that was
going on just outside their walls.

Yet a period during which Blackstone, Heber, and the present Prime
Minister were numbered among the Fellows, cannot be said to be
undistinguished in the history of the College; and this system,
indefensible in itself, has handed down some things which the present
generation would not be willing to lose. This College, which had become
somewhat of a family party, was animated by a peculiarly strong feeling
of corporate loyalty. And throughout the change and stir of the last
forty years, and in the new and many-sided development of the College,
the close tie which binds the Fellow, wherever he may be, to the
College has never been weakened. And as the College has come back to an
intimate connection with the life of the University, its non-resident
element is not without value. The lawyer, the member of Parliament,
the diplomatist, and the civil servant, no longer disregarding the
University and its pursuits, are an element of great value in a society
which is too apt to be engrossed in the details of teaching and of

The University Commission of 1854 swept away the rights of Founder’s
kin together with many other provisions of the Statutes of Chichele,
appropriated ten Fellowships to the endowment of Chairs of Modern
History and International Law, and threw open the rest to competition
in the subjects of Law and Modern History. The Commission of 1877
threatened graver changes, and for a while it was doubtful whether
All Souls might not become an undergraduate College of the ordinary
type. But in the end the College was allowed to retain, by means of
non-resident Fellowships, its old connection with the world outside,
while in other ways its endowments were utilized for study and
teaching. On the whole it cannot be said to have suffered more than
others from the want of constructive genius in the Commissioners.
It is and will be a College of many Fellows and several Professors,
with liabilities to contribute annual sums to Bodley’s Library and to
undergraduate education. The Fellowships are terminable in seven years,
but may be renewed in limited numbers and on a reduced emolument.

Under these new conditions All Souls--though still somewhat scantily
inhabited--is no longer given over during a great part of each year
to the bats and owls. It now plays a useful and important part in the
University. Its Hall and lecture-rooms are crowded with undergraduates,
its reading-room is full of students of law and history, and its Warden
and Fellows have produced in the last ten years about twice as many
books as any two other Colleges in the University put together. Last,
but not least, it has continued most loyally to fulfil its obligation
of providing prize Fellowships; no other foundation can say, though
several are far richer than All Souls, that it has regularly offered
Fellowships for competition for twenty consecutive years.




In the cloisters of Magdalen College, over one of the arches of the
“Founder’s Tower,” there is to be seen a heraldic rose surmounting
the armorial bearings common to the kings of the rival Houses of York
and Lancaster. The rose itself, apparently once red and afterwards
painted white, is a curiously significant memorial of the civil strife
which affected the early fortunes of the College, and of animosities
which were perhaps still too keen, when Waynflete’s tower was built,
to allow the Red Rose to appear even as a witness to the fact that his
foundation had its beginning under a Lancastrian king.

It was in the reign and under the patronage of Henry VI. that the
founder himself rose to his greatness. Of his early life little is
known with any certainty. His father, Richard Patten or Barbour, was
apparently a man of good descent and position.[196] His mother Margery
was a daughter of Sir William Brereton, a Cheshire gentleman who had
received knighthood for his military services in France. His change of
surname was probably made at the time of his ordination as sub-deacon
in 1421. That which he adopted was derived from his birthplace, a town
on the coast of Lincolnshire. He is sometimes said to have received his
education at one or both of the “two St. Mary Winton Colleges,” but
of this there is no evidence, and we know nothing of his University
career except the fact that he proceeded to the degree of Master of
Arts. He must have been still a young man when he was appointed in 1428
to the mastership of the school at Winchester, where he also received,
from Cardinal Beaufort, the mastership of a Hospital dedicated to St.
Mary Magdalen. To his connection with this foundation we may perhaps
trace his especial devotion to its patron Saint, and the consequent
dedication of St. Mary Magdalen College. In 1440, Henry VI. visited
Winchester to gather hints for his scheme for Eton College, and invited
Waynflete to become the first master of the school which formed part
of his new foundation. He also made him one of the original body of
Fellows of Eton, and a few years later promoted him to be Provost. It
was most probably at this time, and to commemorate his connection with
Eton, that Waynflete augmented his family arms by the addition of the
three lilies which appear, with a difference of arrangement, on the
arms of Eton College, and on those which Magdalen College derives from
its founder.

In 1447, the See of Winchester became vacant by the death of Cardinal
Beaufort, and the King at once recommended William Waynflete for
election. He was elected within a few days, and was consecrated at Eton
on the 13th July of the same year. Immediately after his elevation
to the Episcopate, he seems to have set himself to promote the
interests of learning, and to provide for a need which his experience
as a schoolmaster had impressed upon his mind, by a foundation in
the University of Oxford. Early in 1448, before his enthronement
at Winchester, he obtained from the King a license to found a Hall
for a President and fifty scholars, to be called St. Mary Magdalen
Hall.[197] At the same time he obtained, for a term of years, a
site and buildings which occupied the ground now covered by the new
Examination Schools, and in two or more of the halls included in this
property he placed his new society, of which he chose John Hornley
to be the first President. In 1456 Waynflete became Chancellor, and
on his elevation to that position he at once conceived the idea of
improving his foundation at Oxford, by converting it from a Hall into
a College, and by providing it with a better habitation and more ample
endowments. For this purpose, having obtained the necessary permission
from the King, he acquired for the Hall the buildings, site, and
property belonging to the ancient Hospital of St. John Baptist. The
property of the Hospital included the tenements which the members of
the Hall had until this time inhabited. The Hospital itself was a
non-academical institution, having for its purpose the care of pilgrims
and the relief of the poor.[198] It had been in existence before the
reign of John, from whom, while he was still known as Count of Mortain,
its Master and Brethren had received benefactions; and it had been
endowed, and perhaps refounded, by Henry III. The existing Master and
Brethren retired upon pensions, the poor inmates of the Hospital were
duly provided for, and the Hospital was united to the College, which
Waynflete founded by a charter of June 12th, 1458. The members of
the Hall, with the exception of Hornley, who retired to make way for
William Tybarde, the first President of the College, were transferred
to the new foundation, and the Hall ceased to exist.

The members of the College appear to have continued to occupy the
buildings formerly leased to the Hall, which had now become their
own property, until the Founder should carry out his intention of
providing new buildings on the site of the Hospital, and the land
adjoining it. The fulfilment of this intention was long deferred,
as were some of the plans upon which Waynflete now entered for
the increased endowment of his foundation. The troubles in which
the country was now for some years involved, and the change in
Waynflete’s own position, probably account for the delay. In 1460,
a few days before the battle of Northampton, Waynflete resigned the
Chancellorship, an act which seems to have brought him into discredit
with the Lancastrian party, though not with Henry himself. He does
not seem to have taken any active part in the events which followed,
on either side; but his sympathies appear to have been with the House
of Lancaster. We are told by one authority that he “was in great
dedignation with King Edward, and fled for fere of him into secrete
corners, but at last was restored to his goodes and the kinges favour.”
In 1469, when Edward’s power was fully established, a full pardon
for all offences, probable and improbable, was granted to Waynflete:
but some years earlier Edward had confirmed to him the charters
and privileges of his See, from which we may reasonably infer that
his period of hiding had not been very long. It was not, however,
till after the death of Henry VI. that the College began to resume
its prosperity, and the work of building was actually begun. The
foundation-stone of the chapel was laid in 1474; and in 1480, before
the building was actually finished, the President and scholars removed
from their temporary quarters, and occupied the College, using the
oratory of the Hospital for their place of worship until the chapel was
completed. The Vicar of St. Peter’s in the East, in which parish the
College was situated, gave up all claims to tithes and dues within its
precincts in consideration of a fixed annual payment, and the College
was transferred by the Bishop of Lincoln, with consent of the Dean and
Chapter, to the jurisdiction of the Bishops of Winchester, who were to
be also its Visitors.

The society had until this time possessed no body of statutes. Such
a code was now given by the founder, and a new President was also
appointed by him as successor to Tybarde, who was old and in failing
health. The person chosen for this office was Richard Mayew, of
New College, who took possession on August 23rd, 1480, and at once
proceeded to administer to the members of the College the oath
of obedience to the statutes. Ten of the thirty-six members, it
appears, at first refused compliance, and were for a time suspended,
by the founder’s command, from the benefits of the society. In the
following year Waynflete himself came to visit the College, and there
received the King, who came from Woodstock to Oxford to inspect the
new foundation, and passed the night within its walls. Some further
statutes, chiefly concerning elections and admissions, were issued
by the founder in 1482, in which year a large number of Fellows
and Demies[199] were formally admitted, and the society regularly
organized, though its numbers were not yet fixed. In 1483, Richard
III. visited the College, being received, as Edward had been, by the
founder, and disputations were held before him, at his desire, in the
College Hall, in one of which William Grocyn took part. At this time
the founder delivered to the College the whole body of the statutes
which he had framed, reserving to himself, however, the right to add to
them or revise them as he should see fit.

The regulations thus made for the government of the society, provided
that it should consist of a President, forty Fellows, thirty Demies,
four chaplains, eight clerks, sixteen choristers, a schoolmaster,
and an usher. The Fellows were to be chosen from certain counties
and dioceses; the Demies, in the first instance, from places where
the College had property bestowed by the founder or acquired in his
lifetime. The Demies were not to be less than twelve years of age at
the time of their election, and were not to retain their places after
reaching the age of twenty-five years. The system by which Demies
succeeded to vacant Fellowships was the growth of later custom, and was
not provided for by the statutes. The schoolmaster and usher were to
give instruction in grammar to the junior Demies, and to all others who
should resort to them. Provision was made for the teaching of moral and
of natural philosophy, and of theology, by the appointment of readers
in these subjects, whose lectures were to be open to all students,
whether members of the College or not. Besides the foundation members
of the College, the statutes allowed the admission of commoners of
noble family, whose numbers were not to exceed twenty, and who might be
allowed to live in the College at the charge of their relations. The
regulations as to the dress, conduct, and discipline of the College
were based upon those laid down in the statutes given by William of
Wykeham to New College, from which society a Fellow, or former Fellow,
might be chosen as President. Save for this exception, no one who had
not been a Fellow of Magdalen College was to be accounted eligible for
that office.

The endowments of the College, besides the property which was derived
from the Hospital of St. John Baptist, and that which had been
originally settled upon the Hall, consisted partly of lands acquired
by Waynflete for the purpose, partly of the endowments of other
foundations which were united or annexed to the College at different
times as the Hospital of St. John had been. These were the Hospital of
SS. John and James at Brackley in Northamptonshire, the Priory of Sele
in Sussex,[200] the Hospital of Aynho, a hospital or chantry at Romney,
the Chapel of St. Katharine at Wanborough, and the Priory of Selborne
in Hampshire.[201] An intended foundation at Caister in Norfolk, for
which Sir John Fastolf had provided by his will, was by Waynflete’s
influence diverted to augment the foundation of the College. The
Fellowships to be held by persons born in the dioceses of York and
Durham, or in the county of York, were partly provided for by special
benefactions from Thomas Ingledew, one of Waynflete’s chaplains, and by
John Forman, one of the Fellows of St. Mary Magdalen Hall.

Besides the endowments which Waynflete bestowed on his College during
his lifetime, he bequeathed to it by will all his manors, lands, and
tenements, with one exception; and he further recommended it to the
special care of his executors, directing that they should bestow upon
it a share of the residue of his estate.

The royal favour which had been shown towards the College during
Waynflete’s life was continued after his decease (which took place on
August 11th, 1486), by Henry VII., who visited the College in 1487 or
1488, and is still annually commemorated on May 1st as a benefactor,
on account, as it would seem, of his having secured to the College the
advowsons of Findon in Sussex, and Slymbridge in Gloucestershire, and
having directed that the latter benefice should be charged with an
annual payment for the benefit of the College.[202] Henry also extended
his patronage to the President, Richard Mayew, whom he employed in
many matters of state business, appointing him to be his almoner, and
also to be his Procurator-general at the Court of Rome. Mayew also
held during his Presidentship several ecclesiastical offices. In 1501
he was sent to Spain to conduct the Infanta Katharine, about to be
married to Arthur, Prince of Wales, to England. This marriage forms one
of the subjects depicted in some pieces of tapestry still preserved
in the President’s lodgings, which are believed to have been a gift
bestowed upon Mayew by Prince Arthur, who twice at least took up his
abode in the College, and was entertained by the President on his
visits. Mayew’s non-academical employments must have necessitated his
repeated absence from his duties as President; and at last, after his
election to the See of Hereford, a dispute seems to have arisen as to
the compatibility of his episcopal and academical functions. A party
among the Fellows, headed by Stokesley, afterwards Bishop of London,
who was then Vice-President, declared that by the fact of Mayew’s
consecration the office of President had become vacant, and at last
obtained from Bishop Fox of Winchester, the Visitor of the College,
a decision in favour of their own view. Mayew, in the meantime,
had attempted to assert his authority as President in a manner not
altogether in accordance with the statutes, and it became necessary
for the Bishop of Winchester to hold a formal visitation of the
College. This he did by a Commissary, and the records of the Visitation
contain many extraordinary charges made by the partizans on each side.
Stokesley himself was accused, among other things, of having taken
part in some magical incantations, including the baptizing of a cat,
in order to discover hidden treasure. The cat, it may be remarked, is
sometimes described as _cattus_, sometimes with more elegant Latinity
as _murilegus_. These proceedings were alleged to have taken place
in Yorkshire; concerning the more immediate affairs of the College,
it appears that the strife between the parties had run so high, that
some of the Fellows went about the cloisters with armour offensive and
defensive. The general result of the Visitation was the acquittal of
Stokesley, who cleared himself from all charges to the satisfaction
of the Commissary. Bishop Mayew retired from the Presidentship, and
was succeeded early in 1507 by John Claymond, formerly Fellow, one of
the many distinguished men who were members of the College during the
quarter of a century over which Mayew’s term of office had extended.
Among other members of the College under Mayew’s rule may be mentioned
the celebrated Grocyn, who was Praelector in Divinity, Richard Fox
(already referred to as Bishop of Winchester), John Colet, afterwards
Dean of St. Paul’s, and Thomas Wolsey--the last, perhaps, the most
celebrated man whom the College has produced. It was during Mayew’s
Presidentship that the Tower, sometimes attributed to Wolsey,[203] was
built, and that the cloister on the south side of the quadrangle was

The rise of Wolsey in the King’s favour secured the College a friend
at Court whose influence was for a time more powerful than that of
either Waynflete or Mayew had been. He was appointed one of the King’s
chaplains, and employed by Henry VII. in some important missions.
Soon after the accession of Henry VIII. he became almoner, and “ruled
all under the King.” Throughout the time of his prosperity he kept up
friendly relations with the College, and frequent exchanges of presents
took place between him and its members. The first Dean of his College
in Oxford was John Hygden, who had succeeded Claymond as President of
Magdalen; and several members of Magdalen College were among the first
Canons of Cardinal College.

Another new foundation closely connected with Magdalen College was
the College of Corpus Christi, founded by Richard Fox, Bishop of
Winchester, who not only induced Claymond to become the first President
of his new society, but closely imitated Waynflete’s statutes in those
which he gave to Corpus Christi College. These statutes provided
that the students of Theology and Bachelors of Arts of Corpus Christi
College should attend lectures at Magdalen--the lectures intended being
no doubt those of the Praelectors or readers established by Waynflete,
who occupied a position not unlike that of the University Professors of
a later time. It was perhaps with a view to the advantages afforded by
these lectures that a further direction enjoined the members of Corpus
Christi College, if compelled by a visitation of the plague to move
from Oxford, to take up their quarters near the place where the members
of Magdalen College had settled for the time. The second President of
Corpus Christi College, Robert Morwent, had been Vice-President of
Magdalen, and had migrated with Claymond to take charge of Fox’s infant
foundation. These two Presidents of Corpus, with John Hygden, first
Dean of Cardinal College and of Christ Church, joined together in a
benefaction to their former society. They made provision for the yearly
distribution to its members of a sum of money, which was to be, and
still is, distributed by the bursar in the chapel during the singing of
Benedictus on the first Monday of every Lent.

The “revolution under the forms of law,” effected in the reign of Henry
VIII., of which Wolsey’s fall was the beginning, had no great direct
effect upon the College. Indirectly, however, the suppression of the
religious houses was a cause of considerable expense. The College had
permitted the Carmelites of Shoreham, whose house was much decayed,
to occupy their annexed Priory of Sele; and it was perhaps only in
accordance with the justice of the King’s proceedings that the Priory
was in consequence treated as a Carmelite house, and the College
compelled to buy back its own property from the persons to whom Henry
had granted it. A less important expenditure involved by the King’s
proceedings was incurred by the provision of new painted glass, no
doubt to replace portions of the chapel windows which had been defaced
by the King’s commissioners as containing emblems derogatory of his
Majesty’s supremacy. The “linen-fold” panelling of the hall appears
to have been placed in its present position in the year 1541; it is
said to have come from Reading Abbey, but the groups of figures, the
heraldic ornaments, and the not too flattering effigy of Henry VIII.,
which are now inserted in it, were probably designed for the decoration
of the Hall. Except for the acquisition of this wood-work, the College
seems to have received nothing from the spoil of the religious orders.

The accession of Edward VI., and the visitation of the University,
brought serious trouble upon the College. The President, Owen
Oglethorpe, was apparently prepared to accept the earlier stages of
the Reformation movement, but he was not prepared to go so far as
the party in power required. Some members of the College were of the
more advanced school of the Reformers; and much irreverence, with a
good deal of wanton destruction, was committed by them, encouraged by
letters from the Protector inciting the College to the “redress of
religion.” Oglethorpe was removed from the office of President, into
which Walter Haddon, a person not eligible according to the statutes,
was intruded, in spite of a petition from the Fellows, and the work of
reformation proceeded according to the desire of the Council. Haddon is
said to have sold many of the effects of the chapel, valued at about
£1000, for about a twentieth part of that sum, and to have “consumed
on alterations” not only the sum so received, but a larger sum of the
“public money” of the College. It was fortunate for the society that
the scheme of the Council for the total suppression of the choir, and
the alienation of a corresponding part of the College revenue, had been
promulgated while Oglethorpe was still President. Under his guidance,
with considerable difficulty, the College managed to preserve this part
of its foundation unimpaired.

Immediately on the accession of Queen Mary, Walter Haddon received,
as appears from the Vice-President’s register, leave of absence on
urgent private affairs, and his example was soon followed by those
of the Fellows who had been especially notable for their zeal in the
“redress of religion.” Laurence Humphrey, one of this party, obtained
leave for the express purpose of conveying himself _in transmarinas
partes_; and this leave of absence was continued to him at a later time
provided that he did not resort to those towns which were known to be
the refuge of heretics. He took up his abode forthwith at Zürich. As
he was absent from the College during the whole of Mary’s reign, he is
perhaps not a sufficient witness of the events of that time. He asserts
that the Roman party had great difficulty in re-establishing the old
order of things in College, and that the younger members of the society
suffered many things at their hands. Of all this, however, there is no
evidence in the Vice-President’s register, where most of the offences
and almost all the penalties recorded during this period are of an
ordinary kind.[204] Oglethorpe was restored to his Presidency, and was
succeeded on his elevation to the See of Carlisle, by Arthur Cole, a
Canon of Windsor.[205] During the tenure of Cole, and of his successor
Thomas Coveney (whom the College chose in preference to three persons
recommended by the Queen), there appear to have been differences of
opinion on religious matters within the College, and some difficulties
in enforcing the due attendance of its members at the chapel services;
but there is no sign of what might be called a tendency to persecution
on the part of the authorities. The most recalcitrant members of the
society seem to have been the Bachelor Demies and Probationer Fellows.
Coveney remained President for some time after Queen Elizabeth’s
coronation by Oglethorpe; and in the interval between that event and
the consecration of Archbishop Parker there are some indications in the
register of religious strife within the College. The end of Coveney’s
term of office was marked by a contest between himself and some of the
Fellows, concerning matters of College business, in which he seems
to have exceeded his power as President. He was deprived by Bishop
Horn at a Visitation in 1561, on the ground, it is said, that he was
a layman; but it might be at least doubtful whether the founder’s
statutes strictly required the President to be in Holy Orders; and it
is probable that the real reason for his deprivation lay in the fact
that Horn regarded him as being too much “addicted to the Popish

This fault at all events could not be laid to the charge of Laurence
Humphrey, who succeeded him. Horn himself had reported that the members
of the College, whom he expected to find of the same school as their
President, were willing to accept the tests he proposed to them--to
acknowledge the Queen’s supremacy, and to accept the Book of Common
Prayer, and the Advertisements. Before Humphrey had been long President
the College had ceased to be “conformable,” but its non-conformity was
of the Puritan, not of the Romanizing, type. Humphrey himself had a
strong objection to wearing a surplice, or using his proper academical
dress, and many of his Fellows followed his example in this matter.
It required more than one Visitation to induce compliance on such
matters. Abuses of another kind, however, were left uncorrected, and
even encouraged, by the Visitors. Many Fellowships were filled up by
nominations from the Queen, or from the Bishop of Winchester, and it
may be added that the persons nominated were not always model members
of a College. There were many contentions between the Fellows, and
between the President and the Fellows. The general impression given
by reading the register of the time of Humphrey and his immediate
successors is, that the College was becoming a home of disorder rather
than of learning. Nicolas Bond, Humphrey’s successor, seems, however,
in 1589 to have made some rather ineffectual efforts to provide for
more regular and systematic study among its members. During his tenure
of office the society received a visit from King James I., accompanied
by his son Henry, then Prince of Wales, who was matriculated as a
member of the College. The King was much impressed by the buildings,
and greatly enjoyed his visit. The grotesque figures or “hieroglyphics”
in the Cloister Quadrangle were painted, as it would seem, in honour of
his coming, Moses in particular being adorned _toga coerulea_.

The College, which was Puritan under Humphrey, was even more Puritan
under Bond, Harding, and Langton; with Langton’s successor, however, in
1626, the tide set in the contrary direction. Accepted Frewen, if, as
his name suggests, he was of Puritan descent, was himself a supporter
of Laud’s ecclesiastical policy, and acted with vigour both as
President in his own College and as Vice-Chancellor in the University,
for the restoration of discipline and good order. The numbers of the
College had been increased during his predecessor’s time by the influx
of a number of so-called “poor scholars,” whose connection with the
College was very slight, and who seem to have in many cases been
entered as members of the society by the mere authority of the person
to whom they had attached themselves. Frewen made regulations on this
subject, and these seem to have been re-inforced a few years later by
a letter from the Visitor. Other matters he also took in hand with
good effect, especially the restoration of the chapel, on which he
seems to have spent large sums of his own, in addition to the corporate
expenditure of the College. The windows of the ante-chapel (except the
great west window) were part of Frewen’s work, the only part which has
been left by the later restoration of 1832.

The outbreak of the Great Rebellion found the College converted from
a nest of Puritans into a nest of Royalists and High Churchmen.
The King’s demand for loans of money and plate was met with some
difficulty, but without hesitation, by a loan of £1000 in money and
by the delivery of plate to the value of about £1000 more. When the
Parliamentary forces entered Oxford in September 1642 they found at
Magdalen “certain Cavaliers in scholars’ habits,” who had “feathers and
buff-coats” in their chambers. Some of the scholars, being malignant
persons, “scoffed” at the invaders and “at the honourable Houses of
Parliament,” and were accordingly made prisoners. Other members of the
College had left Oxford a few days before with Byron’s horse, to join
the King: among them was John Nourse, Fellow and Doctor of Civil Law,
who fell at Edgehill. After that action the King entered Oxford, and
Prince Rupert took up his quarters at Magdalen. The King’s artillery
was placed in Magdalen College Grove, which served as a drill-ground
for the regiment of scholars and strangers which was raised in 1644;
batteries were erected in the Walks, and gunners exercised in the
College meadows. The timber in the Grove was probably felled for use
in the defensive works.[206] A curious contrast to this military
preparation was furnished by the imposing ceremonial of Frewen’s
consecration as Bishop of Lichfield, which took place in the chapel of
the College in April 1644.[207]

Some members of the College were as active on the side of the
Parliament as those who remained in Oxford were on the side of the
King. A Demy named Lidcott was deprived of his place for having been
in arms against the King, serving in Essex’s army as an “antient” of a
foot company. A far more celebrated member of the Parliamentary party,
John Hampden, had formerly been a member of the College which was the
head-quarters of the commander of the troops against whom he fought at

After the surrender of Oxford, considerable havoc was wrought in the
chapel of the College by the Parliamentary troops, who destroyed,
among other things, the glass of many of the windows. The organ was
appropriated by Cromwell to his own use, and removed by him to Hampton
Court, whence it was brought again after the Restoration.[208] The
Parliamentary Visitors of the University found few members of the
College willing to submit to their authority. The President, Dr.
John Oliver, and the greater part of the members were ejected, and
the bursar, who obstinately refused to give up keys or papers, was
imprisoned. The tenants of the College, however, persisted in paying
their rents to him, and special injunctions had to be given to prevent
them from doing so. The places in College rendered vacant by expulsions
were filled up by the importation of Independents and Presbyterians,
Dr. John Wilkinson, a former Fellow, being made President. He
was succeeded two years later by Goodwin, a gloomy person, whose
examination of a candidate for a Demyship has been recounted by
Addison in the _Spectator_.[209] The records of the events in College
during the Commonwealth are very scanty. One of the most remarkable
proceedings of the intruders was the appropriation and division among
themselves of a sum of money which they found in the muniment-room;
this was the fund provided by the Founder for special necessities,
which had remained untouched since 1585, and the existence of which had
perhaps been forgotten. It was for the most part in ancient coinage,
the pieces being of the kind known as “spur royals.” Of these a hundred
fell to the share of Wilkinson, who seems to have been the instigator
of the division; nine hundred more were divided among the thirty
Fellows, and the Demies and others, including the servants, received
portions of the spoil. Before the Restoration, however, some of the
recipients restored the pieces they had obtained, and the greater
part of the money was actually repaid in course of time. The fund,
under more modern financial arrangements, no longer remains in the
muniment-room, but some of the old coins are still preserved there.

On the Restoration the ejected members of the College, or those who
were left, were restored to their home. They included the President,
seventeen Fellows and eight Demies.[210] Dr. Oliver, however, did not
long survive his return; and upon his death began a time of trouble.
Charles II. recommended as his successor Dr. Thomas Pierce, a divine
who had done much service in the defence of the Church against her
assailants, but whom the Fellows, who perhaps knew him better than
the King were unwilling, as it seems, to elect. Charles however
enforced obedience by a letter as peremptory as any communication
which the College afterwards received from his brother, and Dr. Pierce
became President. The result was a long warfare between Pierce, the
Fellows, and the Visitor, Bishop Morley, whose intentions seem to have
been better than his judgment. At last the King interfered, and the
difficulty was solved by the promotion of Dr. Pierce to the Deanery
of Salisbury, where he found scope for his energies in a controversy
with his Bishop. Dr. Henry Clerk was now recommended by the King, and
elected by the Fellows, and the society was at peace for some years.
That peace was again disturbed, on Dr. Clerk’s death, by the action of
James II., who attempted to force upon the College as its President a
man unqualified by statute and disqualified by notorious immorality.
The history of the struggle which followed is too well known to need
repetition here.[211] The Fellows almost unanimously chose one of their
own number, and supported him, when duly elected, against the King’s
second nominee. In the end, after a year’s exile, they were restored to
their College, under Dr. John Hough, the President of their own choice,
by the Bishop of Winchester, acting on instructions from the King.

The Revolution brought with it new causes of disquiet, and some members
of the College were again ejected as Nonjurors. The great majority,
however, of those who had contended against the usurpation of James
were content to submit themselves to the new Sovereigns, and retained
their places. The most notable member who was thus lost to the College
was Dr. Thomas Smith, a man of much learning and ability, and a steady
and uncompromising Royalist. In 1689 occurred what was afterwards known
as the “Golden Election” of Demies, which included, besides others
less known, Hugh Boulter, afterwards Archbishop of Armagh, Smallbrook,
afterwards Bishop of St. David’s and later of Lichfield, the notorious
Henry Sacheverell, and Joseph Addison, the most celebrated member of
the College since the Revolution. The residence of Addison in College
was not prolonged beyond his year of probation as Fellow; but he has
left a memory of himself in the fact that his name has been attached to
a portion of the Walks. These it would seem in his time did not extend
beyond what is now called Addison’s Walk, but was formerly known as
“Dover Pier.”

The members of the College who remained seem to have maintained
friendly relations with those who had withdrawn from it as Nonjurors,
and even at this time, and certainly after the accession of George I.,
the sympathy of many among the Fellows was with the exiled rather than
with the reigning branch of the Royal House. During the first half of
the eighteenth century, indeed, politics flourished in the society
more than learning; and although Gibbon’s picture of the condition
of the College during his brief residence is rather highly coloured,
it cannot be doubted that the general decline of academic activity
which affected many of the Colleges in Oxford during the last century,
affected Magdalen in no slight degree. A large part of the attention of
the society seems to have been given to plans for the rearrangement or
the destruction of the College buildings, and for the re-construction
of the College on the pattern adopted in what are known as the “New
Buildings,” erected in 1735. Some amazing designs for “College
improvements” remain in the library, as a memorial of the architectural
ambitions of this period. Among the Presidents of the eighteenth
century, if we except Dr. Routh, whose lengthened tenure extended over
the last years of that century and the first half of the nineteenth,
there is but one name of mark--that of George Horne, afterwards Bishop
of Norwich, once widely-known by his Commentary on the Psalms. Nor are
there many names of mark among the other members of the College in the
same century. The learning of Dr. Routh does not seem to have been
shared in any conspicuous degree by more than a small proportion of
those who passed through the College in his long Presidentship--though
towards the end of that period Magdalen numbered among its members
several men of note in different ways--James Mozley and William Palmer
among theologians, Ferrier among philosophers, Roundell Palmer, now
Lord Selborne, among lawyers, Conington among scholars, Charles Reade
among novelists, Goldwin Smith among essayists, Charles Daubeny among
those who laboured to advance the study of natural science.

Of the changes which have been brought about in the College since the
days of Routh, of its transformation from a small society of Fellows
and Demies into one of the larger among the Colleges in Oxford, it is
hardly possible to speak as of history. They are changes of the present
day. But it is a matter of history, which ought not to be forgotten,
that the College, which has owed much to its Presidents in the past,
owes much in this matter to its last President, who governed it during
the trying times of two University Commissions, and of the changes
which resulted from them. By his own example of the loyal acceptance
of what was necessary, even when it was uncongenial to his tastes,
and by the kindly sympathy which enabled him to reconcile conflicting
interests, he did more to preserve the peace of his College, and to
promote its progress, than he would himself have thought possible, or
than those to whom he was less well known than to the members of his
own College would have been inclined to imagine.



(_Aula Regia et Collegium de Brasenose, Collegium Aenei Nasi._)



(_Aula Regia de Brasinnose._)

Professor Holland has given a clear account[212] of the three stages
through which a University passes, first as _scholae_, where there is
“a more or less fortuitous gathering of teachers and students”; next
as a _studium generale_, when the teachers become “a sort of guild
of masters or doctors,” with control over the admission by a degree
to their own body; and lastly as a _Universitas_, when the society
“acquires a corporate existence,” with a well-defined constitution
and privileges. The first and second of these stages were attained by
Oxford in the twelfth century, and the third early in the thirteenth
century. It is early in this latter century that we also find the
earliest associations of students among themselves. The system of Halls
was due to the desire of the poorer class of students to live for
economy’s sake in a common house with common meals, under the charge of
a Principal whose duty was quite as much to manage household affairs
as to superintend the studies of his scholars.[213]

The existence of the house which became Brasenose Hall may be carried
back with certainty to the second quarter of the thirteenth century,
the earliest facts at present known being that it belonged, in or
before A. D. 1239,[214] to one Jeffry Jussell, and that it passed
into the hands of Simon de Balindon, who sold it in about 1261 to the
Chancellor and Masters of the University, for the use of the scholars
enjoying the benefaction of William of Durham. Soon after this purchase
the occupier, Andrew the son of Andrew of Durham, was forcibly ejected
by Adam Bilet and his scholars, and no doubt at this time, if not
earlier, the tenement acquired the name of Brasenose, and was used as
schools, for in 1278 an Inquisition[215] says, “Item eadem Universitas
[Oxon.] habet quandam aliam domum que vocatur Brasenose cum quatuor
Scholis … et taxantur ad octo marcas, et fuit illa domus aliquo tempore
Galfridi Jussell.” The transition from these Scholae or lecture-rooms
to a Hall cannot now be traced, but no doubt took place within the same

In the early part of 1334 a striking incident occurred in the history
of the Hall. Under stress of internal faction, and not on this
occasion, it would seem, from excesses on the part of the citizens,
there was a migration of a large number of the students of the
University from Oxford to Stamford, fulfilling the (later!) prophecy of

    “Doctrinae studium quae nunc viget ad Vada Boum
    Tempore venturo celebrabitur ad Vada Saxi.”

But of all the emigrants the only men who kept together were the
students of Brasenose Hall, as is evidenced by the existence at
Stamford to this day of a fourteenth century archway, belonging to an
ancient hall called for centuries “Brasenose Hall in Stamford,” the
refectory of which was standing till A.D. 1688,[216] and still more by
a brass knocker which is assigned by antiquaries to the early part of
the twelfth century, and which from time immemorial hung on the doors
of the Stamford gateway. It is reasonable to suppose that the knocker
had originally given a name to the Oxford Hall, and had been carried
as a visible sign of unity to the distant Lincolnshire town.[217] The
King used all his power to force the students to return to Oxford, and
in a final commission in July, 1335, the name of “Philippus obsonator
Eneanasensis” occurs among the thirty-seven who resisted to the last
the mandates of the King.[218]

The list of Principals of Brasenose is preserved from 1435 onwards (see
p. 271), but little or nothing is recorded of the life of the Hall. Its
flourishing state may be inferred from its vigorous annexation of the
surrounding buildings, as Little St. Edmund Hall, Little University
Hall, and St. Thomas Hall. An inventory of the furniture belonging to
Master Thomas Cooper of Brasenose Hall, who died in 1438, is printed in
Anstey’s _Munimenta Academica_, ii. 515. The Vice-Chancellor in 1480-82
was William Sutton, Principal of Brasenose Hall, and Proctors in 1458
(John Molineux) and 1502 (Hugh Hawarden) were Brasenose men.

The new College, founded in 1509, was in several special ways a
continuation of, and not merely a substitute for, the old Hall. The
site of the Hall was exactly at the principal gateway of the College;
it had already annexed many of the adjacent buildings required for
the new erection, and the last Principal of the Hall was the first
Principal of the College. It may fairly be claimed therefore that there
is a real succession, both of name and fame, from the one to the other.


William Smyth, the chief founder of Brasenose, was the fourth son of
Robert Smyth, of Peel House, in Widnes (Lancashire), and belonged to
a Cuerdley family. Of the date of his birth, early education, and
career at Oxford nothing whatever is certainly known. In 1492 when he
was instituted to the Rectory of Cheshunt, he was a Bachelor of Law.
Through the influence of the Stanley family, and of Margaret, Countess
of Richmond, Smyth obtained promotion both in civil and ecclesiastical
lines, until in 1491 he was elected Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield.
In the closing years of the fifteenth century he presided over the
Prince of Wales’s Council in the Marches of Wales, and was President
of Wales in 1501 or 1502. In Lichfield he founded, in 1495, a Hospital
of St. John, which has preserved a portrait of him almost identical
with the one owned by the College. In the same year he was translated
to Lincoln. The Bishop’s connection with Oxford was renewed in 1500,
at the end of which year he was elected Chancellor, retaining the
office till August, 1503. This link with the University had great
results, for in 1507 the Bishop established a new Fellowship in Oriel,
endowed Lincoln College with two estates, and formed his plans with a
view to the foundation of Brasenose. After that event there is little
of importance to notice in his public life before his death on 2nd
January, 1513/4.

Sir Richard Sutton, Knight, the co-Founder of Brasenose, and the first
lay founder of any College, was of the family of Sutton, of Sutton
near Macclesfield, and probably a kinsman of William Sutton, Principal
of Brasenose Hall in and after 1469; but no connection can be traced
between this family and the wealthy Thomas Sutton who founded the
Charterhouse a century later. Of his birth and education there is no
record, but he was a Barrister of the Inner Temple and was made a Privy
Councillor in 1497. In 1513 he was Steward of the Monastery of Sion at
Isleworth, a house of Brigittine nuns. At his expense Pynson printed
the _Orcharde of Syon_, a devotional book, in 1519. In 1522 or 1523 he
received the honour of knighthood, and died in 1524.


The first record of the proposal to found Brasenose is contained in
the will of Edmund Croston, dated (four days before his death) on Jan.
23, 1507/8, where are bequeathed £6 13_s._ 4_d._ to “the building
of Brasynnose in Oxford, if such works as the Bishop of Lyncoln and
Master Sotton intended there went on during their life or within
twelve years after.” It is probable that the Bishop at one time
intended that Lincoln College should enjoy his benefactions, for Robert
Parkinson, Sub-rector of Lincoln, wrote about 1566-69, “Proposuerat
enim [episcopus], ut ferunt, omnia nostro collegio praestitisse quae
postea in Brasinnos egit, si voluissent R[ector] et S[cholares] qui tum
fuerunt ab eo propositas conditiones recipere.”

The actual foundation can be best shown in the form of annals, it being
understood that the disposition of the halls mentioned was nearly as

   | V |                                                       |
   |   |                                                     | |
   |   +---------+---------+                         --------+ |
   |   |         |         |       |       |           ST.   | |
   |   | HABER-  |         |       |Garden |         THOMAS  | |
   |   | DASHER  |         |       |       |          HALL   | | EXETER
   |   |  HALL   | LITTLE  |  ST.  |SALIS- |                 | | COLLEGE
   |   |(Oseney) |   ST.   |MARY’S | BURY  | BRAZE- +--------+ | GARDEN
   |   |         | EDMUND  | ENTRY | HALL  | NOSE   |LITTLE  | |
   |   +---------+  HALL   |       |       | HALL   | UNI-   | |
   |   |         |(Oseney) |(Oriel)|(Oriel)|        |VERSITY | |
   |   | Garden  |         |       |       |        | HALL   | |
   |   |         |         |       |       | (Univ. |Coll.)  | |
   |   +---------+---------+-------+-------+--------+--------+ +--------+
  -+                         SCHOOL STREET.                             |
       +---------------+ +----------+-----------+---------+-----------+ |
  -+   |               | |          |<- 58 ft.->|         |           | |
   |   |  ST. MARY’S   | |  GLASS   |   STAPLE  | BLACK   |    DEEP   | |
   |   |    CHURCH     | |   HALL   |    HALL   |  HALL   |    HALL   | |
   |   |               | |          |  (Lincoln |         |           | |
   |   |               | | (Oseney) |   Coll.)  |(Oseney) |           | |

1508, Oct. 20, Brazen Nose and Little University Halls are leased by
University College to Richard Sutton, Esq., and eight others (four of
whom were among the first Fellows) for ninety-two years at an annual
rent of £3, on condition that the lessees should spend £40 on the
tenements within a year. The College agreed to renew the lease and to
give over all their rights, as soon as property of the annual value
of £3 should be given them. In 1514 Sutton assigned this lease to
trustees to carry out his purposes.

1509, summer. Edward Moseley’s stone quarry at Headington is let to the
founders and Roland Messenger for their lives.

1509, June 1. The foundation stone of the College is laid, as recorded
on a modern copy of the original inscription, now and probably always
placed over the doorway of Staircase No. 1, which used to lead to the
first chapel of the College:--

“Anno Christi 1509 et Regis Henrici octavi primo | Nomine diuino
lincoln | presul quoque sutton . Hanc posu | ere petram regis ad
imperium | primo die Iunii.”

1509/10, Feb. 20. Oriel College lets Salisbury Hall and St. Mary’s
Entry (Introitus S. Mariae) to Sutton and others for ever in
consideration of an annual rent of 13_s._ 4_d._

1511/2, Jan. 15. A Charter of Foundation granted to Smyth and Sutton.

1523, May 6. Sutton transfers the property acquired from University
College in 1508, to the Principal and Fellows of Brazenose.

1530, May 12. Haberdasher, Little St. Edmund, Glass and Black Halls are
granted to the College on a lease of ninety-six years by Oseney Abbey,
the first being at once converted by payment into the property of the
College, but the others not till March 6, 1655/6.

1556, Nov. 2. Staple Hall, which had once belonged to the Abbey of
Eynsham, is leased by Lincoln College to Brasenose for ever at a rent
of 20_s._ per annum.

       *       *       *       *       *

“Rome was not built in a day,” and it is curious to note how the old
and new foundations overlap each other. The College building clearly
began at the south-west corner of the present front quadrangle, and
Brasenose Hall was no doubt left until the building naturally reached
it. Thus John Formby was Principal of the Hall till Aug. 24, 1510,
when Matthew Smyth succeeded him, and in Smyth’s name on Sept. 9,
1511 Roland Messenger still became surety for the dues payable by the
Hall to the University, for the ensuing year; and even on Sept. 9,
1512, Smyth himself “cautioned,” as it was called, for the moribund
hall. Moreover, a scholar of the Hall was locked up in August 1512
for interfering with the workmen who were building Corpus. The first
occasion on which the College appears in the University Registers is
in Sept. 1514, when Matthew Smyth, “Principal of the College or Hall
of Brasen Nose” is mentioned; but there is evidence that the corporate
action of the College dates from at least as early as Nov. 1512. We
thus have before us the successive steps by which a College gradually
grew, and literally piece by piece took the place of the precedent

It is now time to turn to the statutes, the buildings being reserved
for a later section.

The Charter of Foundation is dated Jan. 15, 1511/2, and the original
statutes were no doubt shortly after drawn up and ratified by the two
founders, but no copy of them remains. Bishop Smyth’s executors in
about 1514 revised and signed a modification of the code, which still
exists, and finally at the request of the College Sir Richard Sutton
once more revised them, on Feb. 1, 1521/2.

As in conception and in form of buildings, so in respect of their
statutes also, Merton and New College are the two cardinal foundations.
From the latter were derived the statutes of Magdalen, founded in 1458,
and from these latter the earliest statutes of Brasenose. The general
sense of the Code of 1514 with Sutton’s changes in 1522, can be well
gathered from the Churton’s abstract in his _Lives of … (the) Founders
of Brazen Nose College_ (Oxf. 1800), pp. 315-40. The preamble is as
follows, the original being in Latin--

“In the name of the Holy and undivided Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit, and of the most blessed Mother of God, Mary the glorious
Virgin, and of Saints Hugh and Chad confessors, and also of St. Michael
the archangel: We, William Smyth, bishop of Lincoln, and Richard
Sutton, esquire, confiding in the aid of the supreme Creator, who
knows, directs and disposes the wills of all that trust in him, do out
of the goods which in this life, not by our merits, but by the grace
of His fulness, we have received abundantly, by royal authority and
charter found, institute and establish in the University of Oxford, a
perpetual College of poor and indigent scholars, who shall study and
make progress in philosophy and sacred theology; commonly called _The
King’s Haule and Colledge of Brasennose in Oxford_; to the praise,
glory, and honour of Almighty God, of the glorious Virgin Mary, Saints
Hugh and Chad confessors, St. Michael the Archangel and All Saints; for
the support and exaltation of the Christian Faith, for the advancement
of holy church, and for the furtherance of divine worship.”

The College is to consist of a Principal and twelve Fellows, all of
them born within the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield; with preference
to the natives of the counties of Lancaster and Chester; and especially
to the natives of the parish of Prescot in Lancashire, and of Prestbury
in Cheshire. One of the senior Fellows is annually to be elected
Vice-Principal; and two others Bursars. The only language tolerated for
public use, unless when strangers are present, is Latin. The Bishop of
Lincoln has always been the Visitor.

Thus Brasenose started fairly on its course, equipped with statutes,
with property from its founders and benefactors, and with students
drawn, as ever since until recently, chiefly from good families of
Cheshire and Lancashire, Leighs and Watsons, Lathams and Brookes and
Egertons. But the history of a College which has not been at any time
predominant in the University is both difficult and unnecessary to
trace; difficult from the paucity of records of its internal social
life, and unnecessary from the lack of general interest in the domestic
affairs of one particular College among so many. It will be the task of
one who deals with the social life of Oxford to seize on those features
of College history which from time to time best represent the character
of successive periods: in this place it will suffice to give a few
scenes or facts which being themselves of interest have also sufficient
illustration from existing records.


In the Bodleian (MS. Rawl. D. 985) there is a volume of copies of Latin
letters written by Robert Batt of Brasenose, chiefly to a brother,
in which among much of the usual rhetoric there is also curious
information about the life of the College. They range from 1581 to
1585, and we read of his complaints to the Principal because a junior
man is put into his study (_musæum_), of an archery meeting at Oxford,
which much distracts the young Batt, and of the visit of the Prince
Alaskie to Oxford. He asks his Cambridge brother to come up for Commem,
and with Yorkshire bluntness writes letters to the Master and a Fellow
of University College, asking for a Fellowship!

So too in 1609-11 we find ten letters from Richard Taylor as tutor to
Sir Peter Legh’s son (Hist. Manuscripts Commission, _Report 3_, 1872,
p. 268), which throw light on College affairs and expenses of that time.

In the Register of the Parliamentary Visitors of the University from
1647 to 1658 we obtain an insight into the condition of the College,
which shows it to have been in a creditable state. At first the College
is as Royalist as any, the proportion of submitters to those who
were willing to endure actual expulsion rather than acknowledge the
Visitors’ rights, being probably only twelve to twenty-three, in May
1648. Their Principal, Dr. Samuel Radcliffe, had already, on Jan. 6,
been deprived of his office, and Daniel Greenwood, a submitter, had
been on April 13, put in his place. But the spirit of the College is
abundantly shown by the proceedings which ensued on Dr. Radcliffe’s
death. Three days after that event, on June 29, the Society, to use
Wood’s words, “(taking no notice that the Visitors had entred Mr.
Greenwood Principal) put up a citation on the Chappel door (as by
Statute they were required) to summon the Fellows to election. The
Visitors thereupon send for Mr. Thom. Sixsmith and two more Fellows
of that House to command them to surcease and submit to their new
Principal Mr. Greenwood; but they gave them fair words, went home,
and within four days after [July 13] chose among themselves, in a
Fellow’s Chamber, at the West end of the old Library, Mr. Thom. Yate,
one of their Society.” The Visitors immediately deposed him, in favour
of Greenwood; but at the Restoration Dr. Yate’s claims were at once
recognized, and he long enjoyed the headship. This resistance by
the Fellows was proved to be not lawlessness but loyalty, for when
resistance was of no avail, they “speedily[219] recovered their
working order, and gave but little trouble to the Visitors,” a contrast
to the general example of other Colleges.

The more eminent Brasenose men who belong to this period are: Alexander
Nowell, Fellow and Principal, Dean of St. Paul’s (matr. 1521); John
Foxe, the Martyrologist (_c._ 1533); Sampson Erdeswick, the historian
of Staffordshire (1553); Thomas Egerton, afterwards Lord Chancellor
Ellesmere (_c._ 1556); Sir Henry Savile, afterwards Warden of Merton
(1561); John Guillim, the herald (_c._ 1585); Robert Burton, the author
of the _Anatomy of Melancholy_ (1593); Sir John Spelman, the antiquary
(1642); Elias Ashmole, the herald, founder of the Ashmolean Museum
(1644); and Sir William Petty (1649).


The period from the Restoration to 1800 was in Oxford as elsewhere
marked rather by the excellence of individuals than by a high standard
of general culture. In the first part of the period Brasenose is not
especially distinguished, except by an undue prominence in the records
of the Vice-Chancellor’s Court; but as we approach the close of the
eighteenth century there are signs of a period of great prosperity,
which distinguished the headships of Cleaver, Hodson and Gilbert, the
first and last of whom were Bishops of Chester (then of Bangor, and
finally of St. Asaph) and Chichester respectively. The signs of this
are unmistakable. The numbers show an unusual increase, and the College
is in the front both in the class-lists and in outdoor sports. The
high-water mark was perhaps reached when the story could be told of Dr.
Hodson (in about 1808), which is related in Mark Pattison’s _Memoirs_.
“Returning to College, after one Long Vacation, Hodson drove the last
stage into Oxford, with post-horses. The reason he gave for this piece
of ostentation was, ‘That it should not be said that the first tutor
of the first College of the first University of the world entered it
with a pair.’ … The story is symbolical of the high place B.N.C. held
in the University at the time, in which however, intellectual eminence
entered far less than the fact that it numbered among its members many
gentlemen commoners of wealthy and noble families.”

But intellectual eminence there certainly was at this time, for in
the class-lists of Mich. 1808 to Mich. 1810, out of thirty-seven
first-classes Brasenose claimed seven, monopolizing one list
altogether; and out of seventy-five second-classes it held twelve.
This was the period of what has been called the “famous Brasenose
breakfast.” Reginald Heber won the Newdigate in 1803 with a poem which
will never be forgotten--his _Palestine_. His rooms were on Staircase
6, one pair left, under the great chestnut in Exeter Garden called
Heber’s Tree. In 1803 Sir Walter Scott went to Oxford with Richard
Heber, Reginald’s brother. The story may be told in Lockhart’s[220]
words: Heber “had just been declared the successful competitor for
that year’s poetical prize, and read to Scott at breakfast in Brazen
Nose College the MS. of his _Palestine_. Scott observed that in the
verses on Solomon’s Temple one striking circumstance had escaped him,
namely that no tools were used in its erection. Reginald retired for a
few minutes to the corner of the room, and returned with the beautiful

    ‘No hammer fell, no ponderous axes rung;
    Like some tall palm the mystic fabric sprung,
    Majestic silence!’”[221]

In connection with this literary and social side of the College may be
mentioned the Phœnix Common-room or Club, the only social Club in the
University which is more than a century old. It was started in 1781
or 1782 by Joseph Alderson, an undergraduate of Brasenose, afterwards
Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and received a full constitution
with officers and rules in 1786. It has always nominally consisted of
twelve members, generally dining together once a week. The records
of the Club are singularly complete, even to the caricatures on the
blotting-paper of the dinner-books. Of the twelve original members five
were soon elected to Fellowships, and such names as Frodsham Hodson
(afterwards Principal), Viscount Valentia (_d._ 1844), Earl Fortescue
(_d._ 1861), Reginald Heber (Bishop of Calcutta), Lord George
Grenville (_d._ 1850), the Earl of Delawarr, the friend of Byron,
Richard Harington (afterwards Principal), Lord Sidney Godolphin Osborne
(“S. G. O.”), and the present Deans of Rochester and Worcester, have
raised it to no ordinary level. Its contemporary from 1828 to 1834, the
Hell-fire Club, was of a very different character; but from one or two
dubious incidents in its career has found its way into literature.[222]
The incident which produced from the pen of Reginald Heber the humorous
poem entitled the _Whippiad_[223] was connected with members of the
Phœnix, though not with a meeting of the Club. The Senior Tutor had
incautiously endeavoured to wrest a whip from Bernard Port, who had
been loudly cracking it in the quadrangle; but alas, the representative
of constitutional authority soon measured his length on the grass,
being, not for the first time (as Heber maliciously notes) “floored by

The Ale Verses were an ancient social custom, probably at least as
old as the Restoration. On Shrove Tuesday the butler presented a copy
of English verses on Brasenose Ale to the Principal, written by some
undergraduate, and received thereupon a certain sum of money. The
earliest extant poem is of about the year 1700; but there is a long
gap from that year till 1806, and they are not continuously preserved
till from 1826, having been printed first in about 1811. They supply
all kinds of contemporary information, collegiate, academical and
political, chiefly of course by way of allusion. At last in 1886 the
College Brew-house was removed to make room for new buildings, and with
it went the Ale Verses, except that in 1889 one more set was issued.
In 1888 a Fellow of the College printed a Latin dirge over the sad
surcease; but soon the Verses will be forgotten, and the Brew-house.

On the river Brasenose has always been prominent: never once in the
Eights or Torpids has it sunk below the ninth place. In the first
inter-collegiate races, in 1815, Brasenose is at the head, and when the
records begin again, in 1822, again takes the lead. At the present time
(June 1891) B.N.C. has started head in the Eights on 110 days.[224]

The only clubs which had cricket grounds of their own in about 1835
were the Brasenose and the Bullingdon (Ch. Ch.), and even in 1847 the
Magdalen, _i. e._ the University Club, was the only additional one.
Early cricketing records are difficult to find; but in recent times no
College has been able to show such a record as B.N.C. in 1871, when
it had eight men in the University eleven, and when sixteen of the
College beat an All-England eleven. In 1873 sixteen of B.N.C. also beat
the United North of England eleven. The Inter-University high-jump of
1876, when M. J. Brooks of B.N.C. cleared 6 feet 2½ inches, was an
extraordinary performance.

The characteristics of the College at all times have been remarkably
similar and persistent, if the present writer can trust his judgment.
They may be described as, first and foremost, a marked but not
exclusive predilection for the exercises and amusements of out-door
life, the result of sound bodies and minds, and in part, no doubt, of
a long connection with old county families of a high type. And next
a certain pertinacity, perseverance, power of endurance, doggedness,
patriotism, solidarity, or by whatever other name the spirit may be
called which leads men to do what they are doing with all their might,
to undergo training and discipline for the sake of the College, and
hang together like a cluster of bees in view of a common object.
The Headship of the River for any length of time cannot possibly be
obtained by fitful effort, or the unsustained enthusiasm of a single
leader; but rather (and herein consists its value) by a continuous,
often unconsciously continuous, effort of several years, backed up
by the general support of the College. Lastly, Brasenose seems to be
singularly central, intermediate, and in a good sense average and
mediocre. Its position and buildings, its history, its achievements,
the roll of Brasenose authors, all give evidence that the College is
a good sample of the best sort of academical foundation. A writer
who might wish to select a single College for study as a specimen of
the kind, would find the history of Brasenose neither startling nor
commonplace, neither eccentric nor uninteresting, neither full of
strong contrasts nor deficient in the signs of healthy corporate life.

Among the _alumni_ of Brasenose in this period, to omit the names of
living persons, are the following: Thomas Carte the historian (1699);
John Napleton (matr. 1755), an academical reformer; Dr. John Latham,
president of the College of Physicians (1778); Bishop Reginald Heber
(1800); Richard Harris Barham, author of the _Ingoldsby Legends_, after
whom a College club is named the Ingoldsby (1807); Henry Hart Milman,
Dean of St. Paul’s (1810); and the Rev. Frederick William Robertson,
of Brighton, the preacher (1837). Mr. Buckley has compiled a list of
more than four hundred Brasenose authors, and twenty-seven bishops or


The front quadrangle of the College is as it stood when the College was
first built, except that as usual an extra story was added in about
the time of James I., and that for the old mullioned windows have
been unhappily substituted in a few places modern square ones. The
Principal’s lodgings were at first, as always in Colleges, above and
about the gateway.

The _Chapel_ was originally the room now used for the Common Room,
namely, on the first floor of No. 1 staircase, and the foundation stone
was no doubt placed there as leading to the chapel. The shape of the
old chapel windows may still be seen on the outside of the south side
of the room. The present chapel was built between 26th June, 1656,
and the day of consecration (to St. Hugh and St. Chad) 17th Nov.,
1666. There is a persistent tradition that the design of the chapel
was due to Sir Christopher Wren, and that the roof at least came from
the chapel of St. Mary’s College (now Frewen Hall). In support of
this latter belief are the two facts that the roof does not appear
precisely to fit the window spaces of the building, and that the
principal rafters of the chapel and of the western part of the hall are
numbered consecutively, as if they once belonged to a single building.
The architecture of the chapel is interesting as a genuine effort to
combine classical and Gothic styles. The ceiling, with its beautiful
and ingeniously constructed fan-tracery, and the windows are Gothic,
but the internal buttresses and altar decoration are Grecian. The East
window[225] is by Hardman (1855), the West (by Pearson) was given by
Principal Cawley in 1776. Among the other painted glass is one on the
north side to F. W. Robertson. The brass eagle was given in 1731 by T.
L. Dummer; the two candelabra were replaced within the last few years,
having been formerly presented to Coleshill Church, in Buckinghamshire,
by the College. The pair of pre-Reformation chalices with pattens form
a unique possession.

The first _Library_ was the room now known as No. 4 one pair right,
and still retains a fine panelled ceiling with red and gold colouring.
The present library is of the same date as the chapel, having been
finished in 1663, and is no doubt by the same architect. The internal
fittings date from 1780, and not till then were the chains removed from
the books. Among the few MSS. are a tenth century Terence (once in
the possession of Cardinal Bembo, and therefore periodically raising
unfulfilled hopes in foreign students that it might exhibit the unique
recension of the other “Bembine Terence”) and the only MS. of Bishop
Pearson’s minor works. A large folio printed Missal of 1520 bears a
miniature of Sir Richard Sutton, with other fine illuminations. Among
the printed books are several given by the founder, Bishop Smith, and
by John Longland, Bishop of Lincoln. There is a copy on vellum of
Alexander de Ales’s commentary on the _De Animâ_ of Aristotle, printed
at Oxford in 1481; a copy of Cranmer’s Litany (1544), and of Day’s
Psalter (1563) for four-part singing. In general the library has a
large number of controversial theological pieces and pamphlets, both
of the latter part of Elizabeth’s reign and of the period succeeding
the Restoration. For the former the College is indebted to a large and
(at the time) extremely valuable donation from Dr. Henry Mason, who
died in 1647. There is also a very large quantity of the theological
literature of the eighteenth century, partly bequeathed by Principal
Yarborough, who also presented the library of Christopher Wasse; many
county histories; and many pamphlets on Oxford Reform up to and
including the time of the first Commission. In all there are about
15,000 volumes, and there is an adequate endowment from the legacy of
Dr. Grimbaldson. Mr. Willis Clark has remarked in his _Architectural
History of Cambridge_ that College libraries before the sixteenth
century usually, in both Universities, had their sides facing east and
west, the early morning light being so important; that from that time
to the Restoration, when more luxurious habits had come in, they face
north and south, and afterwards again east and west. It is singular
that of each change Brasenose Library is the earliest example.

The _Hall_ has remained almost untouched from the first. The open
fireplace in the centre under a louvre was retained until 1760 (when
the Hon. Ashton Curzon gave the present chimney-piece), and the louvre
itself is still intact but hidden above the ceiling.

The north-west corner of the quadrangle affords a striking view of
the dome of the Radcliffe and the spire of St. Mary’s, which has been
often painted and engraved. The present grass-plot was once a formal
maze or Italian garden, which is to be seen in Loggan’s view, and was
removed in October 1727, much to Hearne’s disgust, to allow of a “silly
statue” of Cain and Abel, the gift of Dr. George Clarke, who bought
it in London, being erected in the centre. This well-known statue was
for a long time believed to be an original by Giovanni da Bologna; and
its removal in 1881 and subsequent destruction excited the wrath of
the writer of the article on “Sculpture” in the ninth edition of the
_Encyclopædia Britannica_. But the external evidence points to it being
only a copy of the valuable original presented to Charles I. at Madrid,
and by George III. to the great-grandfather of the present possessor,
Sir William Worsley, of Hovingham Hall, Yorkshire.

The _Kitchen_, which forms the western part of the second quadrangle is
(as at Christ Church) as old as any part of the College. The eastern
side was till about 1840 an open cloister beneath the library, and in
it and in front of it many former members of the College were buried.

Early in the last century the College purchased the houses between
St. Mary’s and All Saints, and the idea of a front to the High Street
soon forced itself on the mind. Some very heavy classical designs are
preserved, by Nicholas Hawksmoor (about 1720), who erected the High
Street front of Queen’s College; by Sir John Soane (1807); and by
Philip Hardwick (1810); until at last a pure Gothic design by Mr. T.
G. Jackson was accepted; and by the end of 1887 a gateway and tower,
a Principal’s house, and some undergraduates’ rooms were erected,
forming on the inside a large third quadrangle, and by its front a
notable addition to the glories of the High Street. A drawing of a
more ambitious design by the same architect is framed and hung in the
College library.

The chief benefactors and property of the College are the
following--Bp. William Smith, founder, gave Basset’s Fee near Oxford,
and the entire property of the suppressed Priory of Cold Norton, lying
chiefly in Oxfordshire. Sir Richard Sutton gave lands in Burgh or
Erdborowe in Leicestershire; the White Hart in the Strand, London;
and lands in Cropredy, North Ockington, Garsington, and Cowley. The
earliest gift of all was from Mrs. Elizabeth Morley, who in 1515 gave
the manor of Pinchpoll, in Faringdon, coupled with conditions of
undertaking certain services in St. Margaret’s, Westminster. Joyce
Frankland in 1586 gave the Red Lion in Kensington, &c., and money.
Queen Elizabeth, 1572 and 1579, founds Middleton School in Lancashire,
and connects it with the College by scholarships, and by giving the
manor of Upberry and rectory of Gillingham. Sarah Duchess of Somerset
in 1679 gave Somerset Iver and Somerset Thornhill scholarships, and
alternate presentation to Wootton Rivers. William Hulme, 1691, land
producing £40 a year for four exhibitions, tenable at Brasenose, from
Lancashire; the property increased enormously in value, being in the
Hulme district of Manchester, and now provides, besides High Schools
for boys and girls at Manchester, and a Hulme Hall connected with the
Victoria University, eight Senior and twelve Junior Exhibitions, of the
value of £120 and £80 respectively. Sir Francis Bridgeman in 1701 gave
money for an annual speech, originally in praise of James II.

_Pictures, busts, &c._

In the Hall are pictures of King Alfred[226] (modern), Bp. William
Smith (founder), Sir Richard Sutton (founder), Joyce Frankland
(benefactress, with a sixteenth century watch in her hand), Alexander
Nowell (Principal), Bp. Frodsham Hodson (Principal), William Cleaver
(Principal), Thomas baron Ellesmere, Dr. John Latham, John Lord
Mordaunt (benefactor), Samuel Radcliffe (Principal, two), Sarah Duchess
of Somerset (benefactress), Robert Burton, Thomas Yate (Principal),
Francis Yarborough (Principal), Bp. Ashurst Turner Gilbert (Principal),
Edward Hartopp Cradock (Principal). The Brazen Nose is fixed in a frame
beneath the picture of King Alfred. A picture of the first Marquis of
Buckingham once here is now in the possession of the representatives of
the family.

In the north window at the east end of the Hall are portraits of the
two founders, and a face with a grotesque nose, in painted glass. The
glass of the south window is modern.

In the _Library_ are busts of Lord Grenville by Nollekens, and of Pitt.

In the _Bursary_ is a second picture of Joyce Frankland.

In the _Chapel_ are an old copy of Spagnoletto’s Entombment of Christ,
a copy of Poussin’s Assumption of St. Paul, and busts of the two
founders, formerly in niches in the middle of the north side of the
Hall outside and engraved in Spelman’s _Ælfredi Magni Vita_ (Oxon.

On the gateway outside is a metal gilt Nose of a grotesque type,
probably derived from the painted glass in the hall.

On the entrance to the hall are two worn busts of Johannes Scotus
Erigena and King Alfred.

In the _Buttery_ are pictures of the Child of Hale (John Middleton,
_d._ 1623, a Lancashire man distinguished for size and strength, after
whom the Brasenose boat is always named), of Joyce Frankland, and of
the Brasenose Boat in about 1825.

In the Principal’s lodgings are pictures of Lord Mordaunt, Bp. Cleaver,
and Joyce Frankland.

The _title_ of the College is “the King’s Hall and College of
Brasenose in Oxford” (Aula Regia et Collegium de Brasenose in Oxonia),
the spelling of the chief word being in chronological sequence,
omitting minor variations, Brasinnose, Brazen Nose (eighteenth
century), Brasenose; but the latest spelling is also found early in
the seventeenth century, probably showing that it was at all times
pronounced as a disyllable. The phrases _King’s College_ and _Collegium
Regale_ are also found at an early date, the latter occurring on the
College seal, which consists of three Gothic niches or compartments,
with St. Hugh and St. Chad on either side and the Trinity in the
centre: underneath is a small shield with Smyth’s arms, and round is
the legend, “Sigillum commune colegii regalis de brasinnose in oxonia.”

The _Arms_ of the College are: The escutcheon divided into three
parts paleways, the centre or, thereon an escutcheon charged with the
arms of the See of _Lincoln_ (gules, two lions passant gardant in pale
or, on a chief azure Our Lady crowned, sitting on a tombstone issuant
from the chief, in her dexter arm the Infant Jesus, in her sinister a
sceptre, all or), ensigned with a mitre, all proper: the dexter side
argent, a chevron sable between three roses gules seeded or barbed
vert, being the arms of the founder William _Smyth_: on the sinister
side the arms of Sir Richard _Sutton_ of Prestbury, knight, viz.
quarterly first and fourth, argent a chevron between three bugle-horns
stringed sable, for _Sutton_, second and third, argent a chevron
between three crosses crosslet sable, for _Southworth_.

A coat of arms tripartite paleways is a very rare phenomenon, but
is found among Oxford Colleges at Lincoln and Corpus. The cause at
Brasenose was no doubt an attempt to combine symmetrically on one
shield the arms of the founders, the see of Lincoln being given a
disproportionate amount and a central position, from the honour brought
by connection with it as both the Founder’s and the Visitor’s see. For
the sake of appearance also the arms of Lincoln are placed within the
field, the mitre with which they are ensigned being included in the
pale. The only variations are that (1) in some old examples the arms
of Lincoln cover the whole central pale, the entire College arms being
ensigned with a mitre or stringed, and sometimes with a crosier and
key in saltire; (2) the crosses crosslet are found as crosses crosslet
fitchy or crosses patoncé. The nearest approach to an early official
declaration of the arms is to be found in Richard Lee’s report from the
best evidence he could obtain, made at the same time as his Visitation
in 1574, and to be found in MS. H 6 of the College of Arms.

The College seems never to have had a motto, but Bishop William Smyth’s
(“Dominus exaltatio mea”) has been occasionally and unofficially used,
as in the new Principal’s house.


_1. Principals of Brasenose Hall._


       1435   William Long, B.A.

       1436   R. Marcham or Markham, M.A.

       1438   Roger Grey.

       1444   R. Marcham, again.

       1451   William Curth or Church, M.A., _d._ 1461.

       1461   William Braggys, M.A.

       1461   William Wryxham, M.A.

       1462   William Braggys, again.

       1462   John Molineux, again.

              In 1468 the Hall was repaired by

       1469   William Sutton, M.A., who occurs also as late as 1483.

       1501 } Edmund Croston, M.A., who died 27th Jan., 1507/8; his
       1503 } brass in St. Mary’s church is engraved in Churton’s
              _Lives of the Founders_.

       1502 }
       1505 } John Formby, M.A., resigned 24th Aug., 1510.
    1508-10 }

    1510-12   Matthew Smyth, B.D.

_2. Principals of the College._


    1512            Matthew Smyth.

                    (_Original Fellows_: John Haster, probably first
                    Vice-Principal, John Formby, Roland Messenger, John
                    Legh. Shortly after: Richard Shirwood, Richard
                    Gunston, Simon Starkey, Richard Ridge, Hugh
                    Charnock, Ralph Bostock).

    1547/8 Feb. 27  John Hawarden.

    1564/5 Feb.     Thomas Blanchard.

    1573/4 Feb. 16  Richard Harrys.

    1595 Sept. 6    Alexander Nowell (Head-master of Westminster School
                    1543-55, Dean of St. Paul’s 1560-1602).

    1595 Dec. 29    Thomas Singleton.

    1614 Dec. 14    Samuel Radcliffe (ejected by the Oxford Commissioners
                    6th Jan., 1647. Died 26 June, 1648).

    1648 July 13    Thomas Yate (ejected, but reinstated 10th Aug., 1660).

    1648 April 13   Daniel Greenwood (ejected Aug. 1660).

    1681 May 7      John Meare.

    1710 June 2     Robert Shippen (Professor of Music in Gresham College,
                    London, 1705-11?).

    1745 Dec. 10    Francis Yarborough.

    1770 May 10     William Gwyn.

    1770 Sept. 4    Ralph Cawley.

    1777 Sept. 14   Thomas Barker.

    1785 Sept. 10   William Cleaver (Bishop of Chester 1788, Bangor 1800,
                    St. Asaph 1806-15).

    1809 June 21    Frodsham Hodson.

    1822 Feb. 2     Ashurst Turner Gilbert (Bishop of Chichester, 1842-70).

    1842 June 9     Richard Harington.

    1853 Dec. 27    Edward Hartopp Cradock.

    1886 Feb. 26    Albert Watson.

    1889 Oct. 1     Charles Buller Heberden.


Proverb: _Testons are gone to Oxford to study in Brazen Nose_, when
Henry VIII. debased the coinage.

Census in Aug. 1552: Principal, 8 M.A.’s, 12 B.A.’s, 49 who had not
taken a degree, including the steward and cook; in all 70 in residence.

Census in 1565/6: Principal, 31 graduates, 57 undergraduate scholars
and commoners, 8 poor scholars, 5 matriculated servants: in all 102
names on the books.

Census in 1612: Principal, 21 Fellows, 29 scholars, 145 commoners,
17 poor scholars, 14 batellers and matriculated servants: in all 227
members in residence. Revenue £600 a year. (Principalship £80.)

Plate presented to the King, January 1642/3, by the College, 121_lb._
2_oz._ 15_d._

A scheme of amalgamation with Lincoln College was proposed in Oct.
1877, and on March 22, 1878, there was a meeting of both governing
bodies in Brasenose Common Room; but by the end of that year the plan
had come to nothing, partly owing to a vigorous pamphlet by H. E. P.
Platt, Fellow of Lincoln.




This College was founded by Richard Foxe, Bishop of Winchester and
Lord Privy Seal to Kings Henry VII. and VIII., in the year 1516. For
the life of Foxe, which is full of interest, and thoroughly typical
of the career of a statesman-ecclesiastic of those times, I must
refer the reader to my article on Richard Foxe in the _Dictionary of
National Biography_.[227] Foxe had, in early life, linked his fortunes
with those of Henry VII., then Earl of Richmond, while in exile in
France; and, after the battle of Bosworth Field (22nd August, 1485),
he became, in rapid succession, Principal Secretary of State, Lord
Privy Seal, and Bishop of Exeter. He was subsequently translated to
Bath and Wells (1491-2), Durham (1494), and Winchester (1501), then the
wealthiest See in England. The principal event in his life (at least
in its far-reaching consequences) was his negotiation, while Bishop of
Durham, of the marriage between James IV. of Scotland and the Princess
Margaret, eldest daughter of Henry VII., which resulted, a century
later, in the permanent union of the English and Scottish crowns under
James VI.

It is probable that Foxe, who, as we learn from his woodwork in the
banqueting-hall of Durham Castle, had, so early as 1499, adopted, as
his device, the pelican feeding her young, was early inspired with
the idea of founding some important educational institution for the
benefit of the Church. This idea, shortly before the foundation of
his present College, had taken the shape of a house in Oxford for
the reception of young monks from St. Swithin’s Priory in Winchester
while attending academical lectures and disputations in Oxford.
There were other such houses in Oxford, such as Canterbury College,
Durham College,[228] and the picturesque staircases, connected with
various Benedictine monasteries, still standing in Worcester College.
But his friend, Hugh Oldham, Bishop of Exeter, more prescient than
himself, already foresaw the fall of the monasteries and, with them,
of their academical dependencies in Oxford. “What, my Lord,” Oldham is
represented as saying by John Hooker, _alias_ Vowell (see _Holinshed’s
Chronicles_), “shall we build houses and provide livelihoods for a
company of bussing[229] monks, whose end and fall we ourselves may live
to see; no, no, it is more meet a great deal that we should have care
to provide for the increase of learning, and for such as who by their
learning shall do good in the Church and commonwealth.” Thus Foxe’s
benefaction (to which Oldham himself liberally contributed, as did also
the founder’s steward, William Frost, and other of his friends) took
the more common form of a College for the education of the secular
clergy. A site was purchased between Merton and St. Frideswide’s (the
monastery subsequently converted into, first, Cardinal College, and
then Christ Church), the land being acquired mainly from Merton and
St. Frideswide’s, though a small portion was also bought from the nuns
of Godstow. It has been suggested that the sale by Merton (comprising
about two-thirds of the site on which Corpus now stands) was a forced
one, a supposition which derives some plausibility from the fact that
the alienation effectually prevented the extension of the ante-chapel
of Merton College as well as from Foxe’s powerful position at Court.
But against this theory we may place the fact that the then Warden of
Merton (Richard Rawlyns), when subsequently accused, amongst other
charges, before the Visitor, of having alienated part of the homestead
of the College, does not appear to have pleaded, in extenuation, any
external pressure from high quarters.

Foxe induced his friend John Claymond, who, like himself, was a
Lincolnshire man, to transfer himself from the Presidentship of
Magdalen to that of the newly-founded College, the difference in
income being made up by his presentation to the valuable Rectory of
Cleeve in Gloucestershire. Robert Morwent, another Magdalen man, was
made perpetual Vice-President, to which exceptional privilege was
subsequently (1527-8) added that of the right of succession to the
Presidency. Several of the original Fellows and scholars were also
brought from Magdalen, so that Corpus was, in a certain sense, a
colony from what has usually been supposed, and on strong grounds of
probability, to have been Foxe’s own College.

The statutes were given by the founder in the year 1517, and
supplemented in 1527, the revised version being signed by him, in an
extremely trembling hand, on the 13th of February, 1527-8, within
eight months of his death, which occurred on the 5th of October, 1528,
probably at his Castle of Wolvesey in Winchester. These statutes are
of peculiar interest, both on account of the vivid picture which they
bring before us of the domestic life of a mediæval college, and the
provision made for instruction in the new learning introduced by the

The greatest novelty of the Corpus statutes is the institution of a
public lecturer in Greek, who was to lecture to the entire University,
and was evidently designed to be one of the principal officers of the
College. This readership appears to have been the first permanent
office created in either University for the purpose of giving
instruction in the Greek language; though, for some years before the
close of the fifteenth century, Grocyn, Linacre, and others, had taught
Greek at Oxford, in a private or semi-official capacity. On Mondays,
Wednesdays, and Fridays, throughout the year, the Greek reader was
to give instruction in some portion of the Grammar of Theodorus or
other approved Greek grammarian, together with some part of Lucian,
Philostratus, or the orations of Isocrates. On Tuesdays, Thursdays,
and Saturdays, throughout the year, he was to lecture in Aristophanes,
Theocritus, Euripides, Sophocles, Pindar, or Hesiod, or some other
of the more ancient Greek poets, with some part of Demosthenes,
Thucydides, Aristotle, Theophrastus, or Plutarch. It will be noticed
that there is no express mention in this list of Homer, Aeschylus,
Herodotus, or Plato. Thrice a week, moreover, in vacations, he was to
give private instruction in Greek grammar or rhetoric, or some Greek
author, to all members of the College below the degree of Master of
Arts. Lastly, all Fellows and scholars below the degree of Bachelor in
Divinity, including even Masters of Arts, were bound, on pain of loss
of commons, to attend the public lectures of both the Greek and Latin
reader; and not only so, but to pass a satisfactory examination in them
to be conducted three evenings in the week.

Similar regulations as to teaching are laid down with regard to the
Professor of Humanity or Latin, whose special province it is carefully
to extirpate all “barbarism” from our “bee-hive,” the name by which,
throughout these statutes, Foxe fondly calls his College.[230] The
lectures were to begin at eight in the morning, and to be given all
through the year, either in the Hall of the College, or in some
public place within the University. The authors specified are Cicero,
Sallust, Valerius Maximus, Suetonius, Pliny’s _Natural History_, Livy,
Quintilian, Virgil, Ovid, Lucan, Juvenal, Terence, and Plautus. It
will be noticed that Horace and Tacitus are absent from the list.[231]
Moreover, in vacations, the Professor is to lecture, three times a
week, to all inmates of the College below the degree of Master of Arts,
on the _Elegantiae_ of Laurentius Valla, the _Attic Nights_ of Aulus
Gellius, the _Miscellanea_ of Politian, or something of the like kind
according to the discretion of the President and Seniors.

The third reader was to be a Lecturer in Theology, “the science
which we have always so highly esteemed, that this our bee-hive has
been constructed solely or mainly for its sake.” But, even here, the
spirit of the Renaissance is predominant. The Professor is to lecture
every working-day throughout the year (excepting ten weeks), year
by year in turn, on some portion of the Old or New Testament. The
authorities for their interpretation, however, are no longer to be such
mediæval authors as Nicolas de Lyra or Hugh of Vienne (more commonly
called Hugo de Sancto Charo or Hugh of St. Cher), far posterior in
time and inferior in learning,[232] but the holy and ancient Greek
and Latin doctors, especially Jerome, Augustine, Ambrose, Origen,
Hilary, Chrysostom, John of Damascus, and others of that kind. These
theological lectures were to be attended by all Fellows of the College
who had been assigned to the study of theology, except Doctors. No
special provision seems to be made in the statutes for the theological
instruction of the junior members of the College, such as the scholars,
clerks, etc.; but the services in chapel would furnish a constant
reminder of the principal events in Christian history and the essential
doctrines of the Christian Church. The Doctors, though exempt from
attendance at lectures, were, like all the other “theologians,” bound
to take part in the weekly theological disputations. Absence, in
their case as in that of the others, was punishable by deprivation of
commons, and, if persisted in, it is curious to find that the ultimate
penalty was an injunction to preach a sermon, during the next Lent, at
St. Peter’s in the East.

In addition to attendance at the theological lectures of the public
reader of their own College, “theologians,” not being Doctors, were
required to attend two other lectures daily: one, beginning at seven
in the morning, in the School of Divinity; the other, at Magdalen, at
nine. Bachelors of Arts, so far as was consistent with attendance at
the public lectures in their own College, were to attend two lectures a
day “in philosophy” (meaning probably, metaphysics, morals, and natural
philosophy), at Magdalen, going and returning in a body; one of these
courses of lectures, it may be noticed, appears from the Magdalen
statutes to have been delivered at six in the morning. Undergraduates
(described as “sophistae et logici”) were to be lectured in logic, and
assiduously practised in arguments and the solution of sophisms by one
or two of the Fellows or probationers assigned for that purpose. These
lecturers in logic were diligently to explain Porphyry and Aristotle,
at first in Latin, afterwards in Greek. Moreover, all undergraduates,
who had devoted at least six months and not more than thirty to the
study of logic, were to frequent the argumentative contest in the
schools (“illud gloriosum in Parviso certamen”), as often as it
seemed good to the President. Even on festivals and during holiday
times, they were not to be idle, but to compose verses and letters on
literary subjects, to be shown up to the Professor of Humanity. They
were, however, to be permitted occasional recreation in the afternoon
hours, both on festival and work days, provided they had the consent
of the Lecturer and Dean, and the President (or, in his absence, the
Vice-President) raised no objection. Equal care was taken to prevent
the Bachelors from falling into slothful habits during the vacations.
Three times a week at least, during the Long Vacation, they were,
each of them, to expound some astronomical or mathematical work to be
assigned, from time to time, by the Dean of Philosophy, in the hall
or chapel, and all Fellows and probationers of the College, not being
graduates in theology, were bound to be present at the exercises. In
the shorter vacations, one of them, selected by the Dean of Arts as
often as he chose to enjoin the task, was to explain some poet, orator,
or historian, to his fellow-bachelors and undergraduates.

Nor was attendance at the University and College lectures, together
with the private instruction, examinations, and exercises connected
with them, the only occupation of these hard-worked students. They
were also bound, according to their various standings and faculties,
to take part in or be present at frequent disputations in logic,
natural philosophy, metaphysics, morals, and theology. The theological
disputations, with the penalties attached to failure to take part
in them, have already been noticed. The Bachelors of Arts, and, in
certain cases, the “necessary regents” among the Masters (that is,
those Masters of Arts who had not yet completed two years from the date
of that degree), were also bound to dispute in the subjects of their
faculty, namely, logic, natural philosophy, metaphysics, and morals,
for at least two hours twice a week. Nor could any Fellow or scholar
take his Bachelor’s degree, till he had read and explained some work
or portion of a work of some Latin poet, orator, or historian; or his
Master’s degree, till he had explained some book, or at least volume,
of Greek logic or philosophy. When we add to these requirements of
the College the disputations also imposed by the University, and the
numerous religious offices in the chapel, we may easily perceive that,
in this busy hive of literary industry, there was little leisure for
the amusements which now absorb so large a portion of the student’s
time and thoughts. Though, when absent from the University, they were
not forbidden to spend a moderate amount of time in hunting or fowling,
yet, when actually in Oxford, they were restricted to games of ball in
the College garden. Nor had they, like the modern student, prolonged
vacations. Vacation to them was mainly a respite from University
exercises; the College work, though varied in subject-matter, going on,
in point of quantity, much as usual. They were allowed indeed, for a
reasonable cause, to spend a portion of the vacation away from Oxford,
but the whole time of absence, in the case of a Fellow, was not, in
the aggregate, to exceed forty days in the year, nor in the case of a
probationer or scholar, twenty days; nor were more than six members of
the foundation ever to be absent at a time, except at certain periods,
which we might call the depths of the vacations, when the number might
reach ten. The liberal ideas of the founder are, however, shown in the
provision that one Fellow or scholar at a time might have leave of
absence for three years, in order to settle in Italy, or some other
country, for the purposes of study. He was to retain his full allowance
during absence, and, when he returned, he was to be available for the
office of a Reader, when next vacant.

This society of students would consist of between fifty and sixty
persons, all of whom, we must recollect, were normally bound to
residence, and to take their part, each in his several degree, in the
literary activity of the College, or, according to the language of the
founder, “to make honey.” Besides the President, there were twenty
Fellows, twenty scholars (called “disciples”), two chaplains, and two
clerks, who might be called the constant elements of the College.
In addition to these, there might be some or even all of the three
Readers, in case they were not included among the Fellows; four, or
at the most six, sons of nobles or lawyers (_juris-consulti_), a kind
of boarder afterwards called “gentlemen-commoners”; and some even
of the servants. The last class consisted of two servants for the
President (one a groom, the other a body-servant), the manciple, the
butler, two cooks, the porter (who was also barber), and the clerk
of accompt. It would appear from the statutes that these servants,
or rather servitors, might or might not[233] pursue the studies of
the College, according to their discretion; if they chose to do so,
they probably proceeded to their degrees.[234] Lastly, there were two
inmates of the College, who were too young to attend the lectures and
disputations, but who were to be taught grammar and instructed in good
authors, either within the College or at Magdalen School. These were
the choristers, who were to dine and sup with the servants, and to
minister in the hall and chapel; but, as they grew older, were to have
a preference in the election to scholarships.

Passing to the domestic arrangements, the Fellows and scholars--there
are curiously no directions with regard to the other members of the
College--were to sleep two and two in a room, a Fellow and scholar
together, the Fellow in a high bed, and the scholar in a truckle-bed.
The Fellow was to have the supervision of the scholar who shared his
room, to set him a good example, to instruct him, to admonish or
punish him if he did wrong, and (if need were) to report him to the
disciplinal officers of the College. The limitation of two to a room
was a distinct advance on the existing practice. At the most recently
founded Colleges, Magdalen and Brasenose, the number prescribed in the
statutes was three or four. As no provision is made in the statutes for
bed-makers, or attendants on the rooms, there can be little doubt that
the beds were made and the rooms kept in order by the junior occupant,
an office which, in those days when the sons of men of quality served
as pages in great houses, implied no degradation.

In the hall there were two meals in the day, dinner and supper, the
former probably about eleven a.m. or noon, the latter probably about
five or six p.m. At what we should now call the High Table, there were
to sit the President, Vice-President, and Reader in Theology, together
with the Doctors and Bachelors in that faculty; but even amongst them
there was a distinction, as there was an extra allowance for the dish
of which the three persons highest in dignity partook, providing one of
the above three officers were present. The Vice-President and Reader in
Theology, one or both of them, might be displaced, at the President’s
discretion, by distinguished strangers. At the upper side-table, on the
right, were to sit the Masters of Arts and Readers in Greek and Latin,
in no prescribed order; at that on the left, the remaining Fellows,
the probationers, and the chaplains. The scholars and the two clerks
were to occupy the remaining tables, except the table nearest the
buttery, which was to be occupied by the two bursars, the steward, and
the clerk of accompt, for the purpose, probably, of superintending the
service. The steward was one of the graduate-fellows appointed, from
week to week, to assist the bursars in the commissariat and internal
expenditure of the College. It was also his duty to superintend the
waiting at the upper tables, and, indeed, it would seem as if he
himself took part in it. The ordinary waiters at these tables were
the President’s and other College servants, the choristers, and,
if necessary, the clerks; but the steward had also the power of
supplementing their service from amongst the scholars. At the scholars’
tables, the waiters were to be taken from amongst the scholars and
clerks themselves, two a week in turn. What has been said above with
regard to the absence, at that time, of any idea of degradation in
rendering services in the chambers would equally apply here. Such
services would then be no more regarded as degrading than is fagging
in a public school now.[235] During dinner, a portion of the Bible
was to be read by one of the Fellows or Scholars under the degree of
Master of Arts; and, when dinner was finished, it was to be expounded
by the President or by one of the Fellows (being a theologian) who was
to be selected for the purpose by the President or Vice-President,
under pain of a month’s deprivation of commons, if he refused. While
the Bible was not being read, the students were to be allowed to
converse at dinner, but only in Greek or Latin, which languages were
also to be employed exclusively, except to those ignorant of them or
for the purposes of the College accounts, not only in the chapel and
hall but in the chambers and all other places of the College. As soon
as dinner or supper was over, at least after grace and the loving-cup,
all the students, senior and junior, were to leave the hall. The same
rule was to apply to the _bibesia_, or _biberia_, then customary in
the University; which were slight refections of bread and beer,[236]
in addition to the two regular meals. Exception, however, was made in
favour of those festivals of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, and the
Saints, on which it was customary to keep up the hall fire. For, on
the latter occasions, after refection and potation, the Fellows and
probationers might remain in the hall to sing or employ themselves in
any other innocent recreations such as became clerics, or to recite and
discuss poems, histories, the marvels of the world, and other such like

The services in the chapel, especially on Sundays and festivals, it
need hardly be said, were numerous, and the penalties for absence
severe. On non-festival days the first mass was at five in the morning,
and all scholars of the College and bachelor Fellows were bound to be
present from the beginning to the end, under pain of heavy punishments
for absence, lateness, or inattention. There were other masses which
were not equally obligatory, but the inmates of the College were, of
course, obliged to keep the canonical hours. They were also charged, in
conscience, to say certain private prayers on getting up in the morning
or going to bed at night; as well as, once during the day, to pray for
the founder and other his or their benefactors.

I have already spoken of the lectures, disputations, examinations, and
private instruction, as well as of the scanty amusements, as compared
with those of our own day, which were then permitted. Something,
however, still remains to be said of the mode of life prescribed by
the founder, and of the punishments inflicted for breach of rules.
We have seen that, when the Bachelors of Arts attended the lectures
at Magdalen, they were obliged to go and return in a body. Even on
ordinary occasions, the Fellows, scholars, chaplains and clerks were
forbidden to go outside the College, unless it were to the schools, the
library, or some other College or hall, unaccompanied by some other
member of the College as a “witness of their honest conversation.”
Undergraduates required, moreover, special leave from the Dean or
Reader of Logic, the only exemption in their case being the schools.
If they went into the country, for a walk or other relaxation, they
must go in a company of not less than three, keep together all the
time, and return together. The only weapons they were allowed to carry,
except when away for their short vacations, were the bow and arrow.
Whether within the University or away from it, they were strictly
prohibited from wearing any but the clerical dress. Once a year, they
were all to be provided, at the expense of the College, with gowns
(to be worn outside their other habits) of the same colour, though of
different sizes and prices according to their position in College. It
may be noticed that these gowns were to be provided for the _famuli_
or servants no less than for the other members of the foundation; and
that, for this purpose, the servants are divided into two classes, one
corresponding with the chaplains and probationary Fellows, the other
with the scholars, clerks, and choristers.

Besides being subjected to the supervision of the various officers of
the College, each scholar was to be assigned by the President to a
tutor, namely, the same Fellow whose chamber he shared. The tutor was
to have the general charge of him; expend, on his behalf, the pension
which he received from the College, or any sums which came to him from
other sources; watch his progress, and correct his defects. If he were
neither a graduate nor above twenty years of age, he was to be punished
with stripes; otherwise, in some other manner. Corporal punishment
might also be inflicted, in the case of the juniors, for various
other offences, such as absence from chapel, inattention at lectures,
speaking English instead of Latin or Greek; and it was probably,
for the ordinary faults of undergraduates, the most common form of
punishment. Other punishments--short of expulsion, which was the last
resort--were confinement to the library with the task of writing out
or composing something in the way of an imposition; sitting alone
in the middle of hall, while the rest were dining, at a meal of dry
bread and beer, or even bread and water; and lastly, the punishment,
so frequently mentioned in the statutes, deprivation of commons. This
punishment operated practically as a pecuniary fine, the offender
having to pay for his own commons instead of receiving them free from
the College. The payment had to be made to the bursars immediately,
or, at latest, at the end of term. All members of the College, except
the President and probably the Vice-President, were subject to this
penalty, though, in case of the seniors, it was simply a fine, whereas
undergraduates and Bachelors of Arts were obliged to take their
commons either alone or with others similarly punished. The offenders,
moreover, were compelled to write their names in a register, stating
their offence and the number of days for which they were “put out of
commons.” Such registers still exist; but, as the names are almost
exclusively those of Bachelors and undergraduates, it is probable that
the seniors, by immediate payment or otherwise, escaped this more
ignominious part of the punishment. It will be noticed that rustication
and gating, words so familiar to the undergraduates of the present
generation, do not occur in this enumeration. Rustication, in those
days, when many of the students came from such distant homes and the
exercises in College were so severe, would generally have been either
too heavy or too light a penalty. Gating, in our sense, could hardly
exist, as the undergraduates, at least, were not free to go outside the
walls, except for scholastic purposes, without special leave, and that
would, doubtless, have been refused in case of any recent misconduct.
Here it may be noticed that the College gates were closed in the winter
months at eight, and in the summer months at nine, the keys being taken
to the President to prevent further ingress or egress.

Such were the studies, and such was the discipline, of an Oxford
College at the beginning of the sixteenth century; nor is there any
reason to suppose that, till the troubled times of the Reformation,
these stringent rules were not rigorously enforced. They admirably
served the purpose to which they were adapted, the education of a
learned clergy, trained to habits of study, regularity, and piety, apt
at dialectical fence, and competent to press all the secular learning
of the time into the service of the Church. Never since that time
probably have the Universities or the Colleges so completely secured
the objects at which they aimed. But first, the Reformation; then, the
Civil Wars; then, the Restoration of Charles II.; then, the Revolution
of 1688; and lastly, the silent changes gradually brought about by the
increasing age of the students, the increasing proportion of those
destined for secular pursuits, and the growth of luxurious habits in
the country at large, have left little surviving of this cunningly
devised system. The aims of modern times, and the materials with which
we have to deal, have necessarily become different; but we may well
envy the zeal for religion and learning which animated the ancient
founders, the skill with which they adapted their means to their end,
and the system of instruction and discipline which converted a body
of raw youths, gathered probably, to a large extent, from the College
estates, into studious and accomplished ecclesiastics, combining the
new learning with the ancient traditions of the ecclesiastical life.

The first President and Fellows were settled in their buildings, and
put in possession of the College and its appurtenances, by the Warden
of New College and the President of Magdalen, acting on behalf of the
Founder, on the 4th of March, 1516-17. There were as many witnesses
as filled two tables in the hall; among them being Reginald Pole
(afterwards Cardinal and Archbishop of Canterbury), then a B.A. of
Magdalen, and subsequently (February 14th, 1523-4) admitted, by special
appointment of the Founder, Fellow of Corpus. Of the first President
and Vice-President, and the large proportion of Magdalen men in the
original society, mention has already been made. The first Professor
of Humanity was Ludovicus Vivès, the celebrated Spanish humanist,
who had previously been lecturing in the South of Italy; the first
Professor of Greek expressly mentioned in the Register (not definitely
appointed, however, till Jan. 2nd, 1520-21), was Edward Wotton, then
a young Magdalen man, subsequently Physician to Henry VIII., and
author of a once well-known book, _De Differentiis Animalium_.[237]
The Professorship of Theology does not seem to have been filled up
either on the original constitution of the College or at any subsequent
time. It is possible that the functions of the Professor may have been
performed by the Vice-President, who was _ex officio_ Dean of Theology.
In the very first list of admissions, however, to the new society,
we find the names of Nicholas Crutcher (_i. e._ Kratzer) a Bavarian,
a native of Munich, who was probably introduced into the College for
the purpose of teaching Mathematics. He was astronomer to Henry VIII.;
left memorials of himself in Oxford, in the shape of dials, in St.
Mary’s churchyard and in Corpus Garden;[238] and still survives in the
fine portraits of him by Holbein. The sagacity of Foxe is singularly
exemplified by his free admission of foreigners to his Readerships.
While the Fellowships and scholarships were confined to certain
dioceses and counties, and the only regular access to a Fellowship was
through a Scholarship, the Readers might be natives of any part of
England, or of Greece or Italy beyond the Po. It would seem, however,
as if even this specification of countries was rather by way of
exemplification than restriction, as the two first appointments, made
by the founder himself, were of a Spaniard and a Bavarian.

Erasmus, writing, shortly after the settlement of the society, to John
Claymond, the first President, in 1519, speaks (_Epist._, lib. 4) of
the great interest which had been taken in Foxe’s foundation by Wolsey,
Campeggio, and Henry VIII. himself, and predicts that the College will
be ranked “inter praecipua decora Britanniae,” and that its “trilinguis
bibliotheca” will attract more scholars to Oxford than were formerly
attracted to Rome. This language, though somewhat exaggerated, shows
the great expectations formed by the promoters of the new learning of
this new departure in academical institutions.

Of the subsequent history of the College, the space at my command only
allows me to afford very brief glimpses.

In 1539, John Jewel (subsequently the celebrated Bishop of Salisbury)
was elected from a Postmastership at Merton to a scholarship at Corpus.
From the interesting life of Jewel by Laurence Humfrey (published in
1573), we gather that at the time when Jewel entered it, and for some
years subsequently, Corpus was still the “bee-hive” which its founder
had designed it to be. His Merton tutors, we learn, were very anxious
to place him at Corpus, not only for his pecuniary, but also for his
educational, advancement. The lectures, disputations, exercises, and
examinations prescribed by the founder seem still to have been retained
in their full vigour, though it is curious to find that the author with
whom young Jewel was most familiar was Horace, whose works, as we have
seen, were strangely omitted from the list of Latin books recommended
in the original statutes. But that the College shared in the general
decay of learning, which accompanied the religious troubles of Edward
VI.’s reign, is apparent from two orations delivered by Jewel: one in
1552, in commemoration of the founder; the other probably a little
earlier, a sort of declamation against Rhetoric, in his capacity of
Praelector of Latin. In the latter oration, he contrasts unfavourably
the present with the former state of the University, referring its
degeneracy, its diminished influence, and its waning numbers, to
the excessive cultivation of rhetoric, and especially of the works
of Cicero, “who has extinguished the light and glory of the whole
University.” In the former, and apparently later, oration, he deals
more specifically with the College, and admonishes its members to wash
out, by their industry and application to study, the stain on their
once fair name, to throw off their lethargy, to recover their ancient
dignity, and to take for their watchword “Studeamus.”

Jewel’s words of warning and incentive to study would seem to have
borne good fruit in the days of Elizabeth, though they were speedily
followed by his flight, during the Marian persecution, first to
Broadgates Hall (now Pembroke College), and subsequently to Germany and
Switzerland, never more to return to Oxford, except in the capacity of
a visitor. But, at the time of his death (1571), he was represented at
his old College by one who was to be a still greater ornament of the
Church of England even than himself. In the year 1567, in the fifteenth
year of his age, according to Izaac Walton’s account, Richard Hooker,
through Jewel’s kindness and with some assistance from his uncle, John
Hooker of Exeter, was enabled to go up to Oxford, there to receive,
on the good bishop’s recommendation, a clerk’s place in the gift of
the President of Corpus.[239] It would be futile to extract, and
presumptuous to recast, the graphic account of young Hooker’s College
life as delineated by his quaint and venerable biographer. From his
clerkship he was elected to a scholarship, when nearly twenty years of
age, and from that he passed in due course to a Fellowship, which he
vacated on marriage and presentation to a living in 1584. Thus Hooker
resided in Corpus about seventeen years, and must there have laid in
that varied and extensive stock of knowledge and formed that sound
judgment and stately style which raised him to the highest rank, not
only amongst English divines, but amongst English writers. “From that
garden of piety, of pleasure, of peace, and a sweet conversation,”
he passed “into the thorny wilderness of a busy world, into those
corroding cares that attend a married priest and a country parsonage”;
and, most bitter and least tolerable of all the elements in his lot,
into the exacting and uncongenial society of his termagant wife.
Corpus, at that time, is described by Walton as “noted for an eminent
library, strict students, and remarkable scholars.” Indeed, a College
which, within a period of sixty years, admitted and educated John
Jewel, John Reynolds, Richard Hooker, and Thomas Jackson, four of the
greatest divines and most distinguished writers who have ever adorned
the Church of England, might, especially in an age when theology
was the most absorbing interest of the day, vie, small as it was in
numbers, with the largest and most illustrious Colleges in either

There is another picture of college life at Corpus, during the reign
of Elizabeth, less pleasing than that on which we have just been
dwelling. It seems that during the reign of Edward VI. and the early
part of Elizabeth’s reign, possibly even to a much later period,
several members of the foundation were secretly inclined to the Roman
Catholic religion, or, to speak with more precision of the earlier
cases, had not yet embraced the doctrines of Protestantism. It was
probably with a view to accelerate the reception of the reformed
faith, that, on the vacancy of the Presidentship in 1567 or 1568,
Elizabeth was advised to recommend William Cole, a former Fellow of
the society, who had been a refugee in Switzerland, and had there
suffered considerable hardships, which do not seem to have improved
his temper. The Fellows, notwithstanding the royal recommendation,
elected one Robert Harrison, who had been recently removed from the
College by the Visitor on account of his Romanist proclivities, “not
at all taking notice,” says Anthony Wood, “of the said Cole; being
very unwilling to have him, his wife and children, and his Zurichian
discipline introduced among them.” The Queen annulled the election,
but the Fellows still would not yield. Hereupon the aid of the
Visitor was invoked; but, when the Bishop of Winchester came down
with his retinue, he found the gate closed against him. “At length,
after he had made his way in, he repaired to the chapel,” where,
after expelling those Fellows who were recalcitrant, he obtained the
consent of the remainder. A Royal Commission was also sent down to the
College the same year, which, “after a strict inquiry and examination
of several persons, expelled some as Roman Catholics, curbed those
that were suspected to incline that way, and gave encouragement to
the Protestants. Mr. Cole,” Wood[240] proceeds, “who was the first
married President that Corp. Chr. Coll. ever had, being settled in his
place, acted so foully by defrauding the College and bringing it into
debt, that divers complaints were put up against him to the Bishop of
Winchester, Visitor of that College. At length the said Bishop, in one
of his quinquennial visitations, took Mr. Cole to task, and, after long
discourses on both sides, the Bishop plainly told him, ‘Well, well,
Mr. President, seeing it is so, you and the College must part without
any more ado, and therefore see that you provide for yourself.’ Mr.
Cole therefore, being not able to say any more, fetcht a deep sigh and
said, ‘What, my good Lord, must I then eat mice at Zurich again?’ At
which words the Bishop, being much terrified, for they worked with him
more than all his former oratory had done, said no more, but bid him
be at rest and deal honestly with the College.” The sensible advice of
the Bishop, however, was not acted on; and, whether the fault lay with
the President or with the Fellows, or, as is most likely, with both,
the bickerings, dissensions, and mutual recriminations between the
President, and, at least, one section of the Fellows, continued during
the whole of Cole’s presidency, which lasted thirty years. There are
some MS. letters in the British Museum, by one Simon Tripp, which give
a painful idea of the bitterness of the quarrel. And Mrs. Cole seems to
have added to the embroilment: “nimirum Paris cum nescio qua Italica
Helena perdite omnia perturbavit” (Tripp’s letter to Jewel). In 1580
there appear to have been hopes of Cole’s resigning; but his Presidency
did not come to an end, nor peace return to the College, till 1598,
when an arrangement, much to the advantage of the College, was made, by
which Dr. John Reynolds, who had been recently appointed to the Deanery
of Lincoln, resigned that office, on the understanding that Cole would
be appointed his successor, and that, on Cole’s resignation of the
Presidency, he would himself be elected by the Fellows. Cole died two
years afterwards, and is buried in Lincoln cathedral. Reynolds, the
most learned and distinguished President the College ever had, famous
for his share in the translation of the Bible and in the Hampton Court
controversy, rests in Corpus chapel.

I will now shift the scene to the year 1648, the second year of the
Parliamentary Visitation. On the 22nd of May, in this year, two orders
were issued by the “Committee of Lords and Commons for the Reformation
of the University of Oxford,” one depriving Dr. Robert Newlyn of the
Presidentship of Corpus as “guilty of high contempt and denyall of
authority of parliament,” the other constituting Dr. Edmund Staunton
President in his stead. On the 27th of May, we read, in Anthony
Wood’s _Annals_, that the Visitors (who sat in Oxford, and must be
distinguished from the Committee mentioned above, who sat in London)
“caused a paper to be stuck on Corp. Ch. College gate to depose Dr.
Newlin from being President, but the paper was soon after torn down
with indignation and scorn.” And again, on the 11th of July, they “went
to C. C. Coll., dashed out Dr. Newlin’s name from the Buttery-book, and
put in that of Dr. Stanton formerly voted into the place; but their
backs were no sooner turned but his name was blotted out with a pen by
Will. Fulman and then torn out by Tim. Parker, scholars of that House.
At the same time (if I mistake not) they[241] brake open the Treasury,
but found nothing.” After this audacious feat we can hardly wonder that
Will. Fulman and Tim. Parker were expelled by the Visitors on the 22nd
of July. Fulman (the famous and industrious antiquary, many volumes
of whose researches are still preserved in the Corpus library) was
restored in 1660. Corpus being one of the specially Royalist Colleges,
it is not surprising to find that almost a clean sweep was made of
the existing foundation, including the five principal servants.[242]
Dr. Staunton, who was himself one of the Visitors, seems to have
ruled the College vigorously and wisely, though, very early in his
Presidentship, there are signs of dissensions among the Fellows, due,
possibly, to differences between the rival factions of Presbyterians
and Independents. Any way, he knew how to maintain his authority. In
the record of punishments, made in the handwriting of the culprits
themselves, we find that, in 1651, four of the scholars were put out of
commons “usque ad dignam emendationem,” “till they had learnt to mend
their ways,” for sitting in the President’s presence with their caps
on. The discipline appears to have been almost exceptionally stringent
at this time. Amongst other curious entries, we find that Edward
Fowler, one of the clerks (subsequently Bishop of Gloucester), was
similarly deprived of his commons for throwing bread at the opposite
windows of the students of Ch. Ch. (“eo quod alumnos Aedis Christi
pane projecto in tumultum provocavit”). Two scholars who had been
found walking in the town, without their gowns, about ten o’clock at
night, were put out of commons for a week, and ordered one to write
out, in Greek, all the more notable parts of Aristotle’s Ethics, the
other to write out, and commit to memory, all the definitions and
divisions of Burgersdyk’s Logic. Another scholar, for having in his
room some out-college men without leave and then joining with them in
creating a disturbance, was sentenced to be kept hard at work in the
library, from morning to evening prayers, for a month, a severe form of
punishment which seems not to have been uncommon at this time. Under
the Puritan _régime_ there was certainly no danger of the retrogression
of discipline.

Dr. Newlyn, with some of the ejected Fellows and scholars, returned to
the College, after the Restoration, in 1660. The old President lived
to be over 90, dying within a few months of the Revolution of 1688,
and having been President, including the years of his expulsion, over
47 years. He is finely described in the monument to his memory, which
still exists in the College Chapel, as “ob fidem regi, ecclesiae,
collegio servatam annis fere XII. expulsus.” But the College does not
seem to have gained in learning, discipline, or quiet, by the change of
government. The constant appeals to, or intervention of, the Visitor
(George Morley) revealing to us, as they do, the internal dissensions
of the Society itself, recall the troubled days of Cole’s presidency.
Nor does Newlyn himself seem to have been free from blame. His
government appears to have been lax, and his nepotism, even for those
days, was remarkable. During the first fourteen years after his return,
no less than four Newlyns are found in the list of scholars, while,
in the list of clerks and choristers (places exclusively in the gift
of the President), the name Newlyn, for many years after his return,
occurs more frequently than all other names taken together. It would
appear as if there had been a perennial supply of sons, nephews, or
grandsons, to stop the avenues of preferment to less favoured students.

It is pleasing to turn from these unsatisfactory relations among
the seniors to a contemporary account[243] of his studies and his
intercourse with his tutor, left by one of the scholars of this period,
John Potenger, elected to a Hampshire Scholarship in 1664. From the
account of his candidature, it appears that, even then, there was an
effective examination for the scholarships, though it only lasted a
day and seems to have been entirely _vivâ voce_. It is curious to
find Potenger largely attributing his success to his age, “being some
years younger” than his rivals,[244] “a circumstance much considered
by the electors.” Can the well-known preference of the Corpus electors
for boyish candidates in the days of Arnold and Keble, and even to a
date within the memory of living members of the College, have been a
tradition from the seventeenth century? It appears that the tutor was
then selected by the student’s friends. “I had the good fortune,” says
Potenger, “to be put to Mr. John Roswell” (afterwards Head Master of
Eton and a great benefactor of the Corpus library), “a man eminent
for learning and piety, whose care and diligence ought gratefully
to be remembered by me as long as I live. I think he preserved me
from ruin at my first setting out into the world. He did not only
endeavour to make his pupils good scholars, but good men. He narrowly
watched my conversation” (_i. e._ behaviour), “knowing I had too many
acquaintance in the University that I was fond of, though they were
not fit for me. Those he disliked he would not let me converse with,
which I regretted much, thinking that, now I was come from school, I
was to manage myself as I pleased, which occasioned many differences
between us for the first two years, which ended in an entire friendship
on both sides.” Potenger “did not immediately enter upon logick and
philosophy, but was kept for a full year to the reading of classical
authors, and making of theams in prose and verse.” The students still
spoke Latin at dinner and supper; and consequently, at first, his
“words were few.” There were still disputations in the hall, requiring
a knowledge of logic and philosophy; but Potenger’s taste was mainly
for the composition of Latin and English verse and for declamations.
His poetical efforts were so successful, that his tutor gave him
several books “for an encouragement.” For his Bachelor’s degree he
had to perform not only public exercises in the schools, but private
exercises in the College, a custom which survived long after this time.
One of these was a reading in the College Hall upon Horace. “I opened
my lectures with a speech which I thought pleased the auditors as
well as myself.” After taking his degree he fell into vicious habits
which, though commenced in Oxford, were completed by his frequent
visits to London. “Though I was so highly criminal, yet I was not so
notorious as to incur the censure of the Governors of the College or
the University, but for sleeping out morning prayer, for which I was
frequently punished.” “The two last years I stayed in the University,
I was Bachelour of Arts, and I spent most of my time in reading books
which were not very common, as Milton’s works, Hobbs his Leviathan; but
they never had the power to subvert the principles which I had received
of a good Christian and a good subject.” The exercises for his Master
of Arts’ degree he speaks of as if they were difficult and laborious.

The century which elapsed from the Restoration to the accession of
George III. was, perhaps, the least distinguished and the least
profitable in the history of the University. In this lack of life and
distinction Corpus seems fully to have shared. With the exceptions
of General Oglethorpe, the friend of Dr. Johnson, and the founder of
Georgia (who matriculated as a gentleman-commoner, in 1714), and John
Whitaker (the author of a History of Manchester, &c.), not a single
entry of any person who subsequently attained to distinction occurs in
the registers from the Restoration down to the election, as a scholar,
of William Scott (afterwards Lord Stowell, the celebrated Admiralty
Judge) in 1761. It may be noted too, as illustrating the moral level
of these times, that the punishments, of which a record is still
preserved, are no longer inflicted for the faults of boys, but for the
vices of men.

At the period, however, which we have now reached, the College seems
to have been recovering its pristine efficiency and reputation.
Richard Lovell Edgeworth, the father of Miss Edgeworth, entered
Corpus as a gentleman-commoner in 1761, his father having “prudently
removed him from Dublin.” “Having entered C. C. C., Oxford,” he
says,[245] “I applied assiduously not only to my studies under my
excellent tutor, Mr. Russell” (father of Dr. Russell, the Head-master
of Charterhouse), “both in prose and verse. Scarcely a day passed
without my having added to my stock of knowledge some new fact or idea;
and I remember with satisfaction the pleasure I then felt from the
consciousness of intellectual improvement.” “I had the good fortune
to make acquaintance with the young men, the most distinguished at C.
C. for application, abilities, and good conduct. … I remember with
gratitude that I was liked by my fellow-students, and I recollect
with pleasure the delightful and profitable hours I passed at that
University during three years of my life.” He tells some characteristic
stories of Dr. Randolph, the “indulgent president” of that time,
whose “good humour made more salutary impression on the young men he
governed than has ever been effected by the morose manners of any
unrelenting disciplinarian.” It is curious to contrast the account of
Mr. Edgeworth’s Corpus experiences with that given by Gibbon of his
Magdalen experiences some nine or ten years before this time, or with
Bentham’s account of his undergraduate life at Queen’s, which almost
coincided with that of Mr. Edgeworth at Corpus. Something, however,
may, perhaps, be set down to the difference of character and temper in
the men themselves.

From Edgeworth’s time to this, the College has maintained its
educational efficiency and reputation; and, though with occasional
changes of fortune, it has, notwithstanding its smallness, invariably
taken a high rank among the educational institutions of the University.
Considering the extreme smallness of its numbers at that time, the
number of undergraduates varying from about sixteen to twenty, it is
truly remarkable to observe the large proportion of distinguished names
which occur in the lists between 1761 and 1811. They comprise, taking
them in chronological order, William Scott (Lord Stowell), Richard
Lovell Edgeworth, Walker King (Bishop of Rochester), Thomas Burgess
(Bishop of Salisbury), Richard Laurence (Archbishop of Cashel, author
of a famous course of Bampton Lectures), Charles Abbott (Lord Chief
Justice of the King’s Bench and Lord Tenterden), Edward Copleston
(Provost of Oriel, Dean of St. Paul’s, and Bishop of Llandaff),
Henry Phillpotts (Bishop of Exeter), Charles James Stewart (Bishop
of Quebec), Thomas Grimstone Estcourt (Burgess for the University
from 1826 to 1847), William Buckland (Dean of Westminster, the famous
geologist), John Keble, John Taylor Coleridge (better known as “Mr.
Justice Coleridge”), and Thomas Arnold. These names, together with
those previously mentioned, namely, John Claymond, Ludovicus Vivès,
Edward Wotton, Nicholas Kratzer, Cardinal Pole, Bishop Jewel, John
Reynolds, Richard Hooker, Thomas Jackson, William Fulman, General
Oglethorpe, John Whitaker, and some others which I will immediately
subjoin, may be taken as the list of distinguished men connected with
or produced by Corpus, down to the time of Dr. Arnold. More recent
names I refrain from adding, partly owing to the invidious nature
of such a selection, partly because they can easily be supplied by
those acquainted with the recent history of the University. The names
already mentioned, belonging to the period from 1516 to 1811, may
be supplemented by those of Nicholas Heath, Archbishop of York and
Lord Chancellor to Queen Mary; William Cheadsey, third President
(1558), who disputed with Peter Martyr in 1549, and with Cranmer in
1554; Robert Pursglove, last Prior of Guisborough, and subsequently
Archdeacon of Nottingham and Suffragan Bishop of Hull; Nicholas Udall
(or Owdall), Headmaster of Eton; Richard Pates, Bishop of Worcester;
James Brookes, Bishop of Gloucester; Richard Pate, founder of the
Cheltenham Grammar School; (perhaps) Nicholas Wadham, the founder
of Wadham College; Miles Windsor and Brian Twyne, who, like Fulman,
were famous Oxford antiquaries; Henry Parry, Bishop successively of
Gloucester and Worcester; Miles Smith, Bishop of Gloucester, and
one of the translators of the Bible; Sir Edwin Sandys, the pupil of
Hooker, and author of the _Europæ Speculum_; the “ever-memorable”
John Hales of Eton; Edward Pococke, the celebrated Oriental scholar;
Daniel Fertlough, Featley, or Fairclough, a famous theological
controversialist, and one of the translators of the Bible; Robert
Frampton, and his successor, Edward Fowler, Bishops of Gloucester;
Edward Rainbow, Bishop of Carlisle; Basil Kennett; Richard Fiddes; and
John Hume, Bishop of Oxford. To these names must be added one which
is, perhaps, rather notorious than distinguished, that of the unhappy
James, Duke of Monmouth, the eldest natural son of Charles II. Wood
tells us, in the _Fasti_, that in the plague year, 1665, when the King
and Queen were in Oxford, the Duke’s name was entered on the books of
C. C. College. But his name does not occur in the buttery-books till
the week beginning May 11, 1666, when it is inserted between the names
of the President and Vice-President. Whether, after this time,[246] he
ever resided in the College, or indeed in Oxford, is uncertain; but
the name remains on the books till July 12th, 1683, when it was erased
after the discovery of Monmouth’s conspiracy and flight. The erasures
are carried back as far as the week beginning June 1.

The charming account of Corpus, its studies, and its youthful society,
contributed by Mr. Justice Coleridge to Stanley’s _Life of Arnold_, is
so well known that it hardly requires more than a passing reference;
but, to complete my series of glimpses of the College at different
periods of its history, it may be well to revive the recollections of
the reader by a few brief extracts. “Arnold and I, as you know” (and,
as we may add, the two Kebles, John and Thomas), “were undergraduates
of Corpus Christi, a College very small in its numbers and humble
in its buildings, but to which we and our fellow-students formed an
attachment never weakened in the after course of our lives. … We were
then a small society, the members rather under the usual age, and with
more than the ordinary proportion of ability and scholarship: our mode
of tuition was in harmony with these circumstances; not by private
lectures, but in classes of such a size as excited emulation and made
us careful in the exact and neat rendering of the original, yet not
so numerous as to prevent individual attention on the tutor’s part,
and familiar knowledge of each pupil’s turn and talents. … We were not
entirely set free from the leading-strings of the school; accuracy
was cared for; we were accustomed to _vivâ voce_ rendering and _vivâ
voce_ question and answer in our lecture-room, before an audience
of fellow-students whom we sufficiently respected. At the same time
the additional reading, trusted to ourselves alone, prepared us for
accurate private study and for our final exhibition in the schools.
One result of all these circumstances was that we lived on the most
familiar terms with each other; we might be--indeed we were--somewhat
boyish in manner and in the liberties we took with each other: but our
interest in literature--ancient and modern--and in all the stirring
matters of that stirring time, was not boyish; we debated the classic
and romantic question; we discussed poetry and history, logic and
philosophy; or we fought over the Peninsular battles and Continental
campaigns with the energy of disputants personally concerned in them.
Our habits were inexpensive and temperate: one break-up party was held
in the junior common-room at the end of each term, in which we indulged
our genius more freely, and our merriment, to say the truth, was
somewhat exuberant and noisy; but the authorities wisely forbore too
strict an inquiry into this.”

Soon after Arnold was elected Fellow of Oriel, in the autumn of
1815 a scholar was elected at Corpus, William Phelps, afterwards
Archdeacon of Carlisle, whose published letters[247] contain abundant
information about the social condition and studies of the College.
Phelps did not, like Arnold, possess those intellectual and social
charms which captivate undergraduate society, and it is plain that he
was in restricted circumstances. But he speaks enthusiastically of
the friendliness, tolerance, and good humour which pervaded the small
society of undergraduates (only nine members of the foundation at
that time, namely, six undergraduate scholars, the remaining scholars
being then B.A.’s or M.A.’s, and three exhibitioners; besides the six
gentlemen-commoners, who dined at a separate table, and shared with
the Bachelors a separate common-room), and he is constantly recurring
in terms of respect and appreciation, which bear evident marks of
sincerity, to the friendliness, helpfulness, and competence of the two
tutors, as well as to the kindly interest shown in their juniors by
the other senior members of the College. The relations were those of a
large and harmonious family. “There are no parties or divisions here as
at other Colleges; each desires to oblige his neighbour. The Fellows
are not supercilious, the scholars are respectful. There is only one
establishment that rivals ours in literature, which is our neighbour

Through the combined action of the Parliamentary Commissions of 1852
and 1877, the constitution of the College has been largely altered. By
the reception of commoners, though it still remains a small College,
the number of its undergraduate members has risen from about twenty
to about seventy. The county restrictions have been removed from the
Fellowships and scholarships, all of which are now entirely open. The
number of Fellowships (from which the obligation to Holy Orders has
been now removed) has been diminished, while that of the scholarships
has been increased. And, in the spirit of the original intentions of
the founder, a considerable proportion of the revenues has been devoted
to the creation or augmentation of University Professorships. If, by
the operation of these changes, the College has lost something of its
unique character, it may be hoped that it has proportionately extended
its sphere of usefulness.




For the purposes of this volume we apprehend that the history of Christ
Church, Oxford, means chiefly its academical history, which begins in
1524 with the foundation of Cardinal College by Wolsey, in the ancient
Priory of St. Frideswide’s. All his buildings and other works were
stopped by his fall in 1529; and three years afterwards “bluff Harry
broke into the spence” with his usual vigour, and refounded Cardinal
College, to which he gave his own name, calling it “King Henry the
Eighth his College.” Then he suppressed it, and re-constituted the
whole foundation, November 4th, 1546; removing the new see of Oxford
(erected at Oseney in 1542) to St. Frideswide’s, the then church,
with the style of “The Cathedral Church of Christ in Oxford.” This
foundation comprised a Dean and Canons, with other capitular or
diocesan officers, besides an academic staff, and probably numerous
scholars of different ages. The ancient church has had a twofold
character ever since. It is the Cathedral of the diocese, but it is
also the College chapel; and as the Dean of Christ Church is always
present, and the Bishop of Oxford very seldom, academic uses and
appearances rather prevail over the ecclesiastical, in a way which may
have been the reverse of satisfactory to more than one occupant of the
see of Oxford.

But the connection between the Chapter and the College cannot be
severed; and as Christ Church certainly would not be itself without its
most ancient buildings, some account of its ecclesiastical foundations
(of almost pre-historic antiquity) seems highly advisable before we
attempt to chronicle it as a seat of learning.

St. Frideswide’s College certainly existed from of old in Wolsey’s
time. Her story has passed through the hands of Philip, her third
Norman prior; through William of Malmesbury’s and John of Tynemouth’s;
and is found in Leland’s _Collectanea_. It runs as follows.[248]
About A.D. 727 an alderman, or _subregulus_, of the name of Didan is
discovered ruling in all honour over the populous city of Mercian
Oxford. He and his wife Saffrida have a daughter called Frideswide. She
embraces the monastic life with twelve other maidens. Her father, at
her mother’s death, builds a conventual church in honour of St. Mary
and All Saints, and thereof makes her prioress. The munificent kings
of Mercia also build inns or halls in the vicinity.[249] This seems to
anticipate even Alfred’s imagined foundation of University College; and
is therefore to be adhered to as dogma for the present by all members
of the larger House. But Mr. Boase’s remarks on the probabilities of
the story are strongly in its favour.

Many days and troubles passed over St. Frideswide’s Church, or its
site. It was wholly or partially burnt in the massacre of Danes in
1002; also in 1015. It was rebuilt and made a “cell” or dependency of
the great monastery of Abingdon. It became a house of Secular Canons,
who were dispossessed after the Conquest; when a Norman church was
constructed by restoration of the old Saxon one, whose foundations,
however, exist and form part of the actual structure still. The present
chapter-house, or rather its doorway, may have belonged to this period.
It is justly celebrated as a fair specimen of Norman architecture,
and is considered by several authorities to be more ancient, not
only than the chapter-house itself (which, however, Sir Gilbert Scott
places about the middle of the thirteenth century; see _Report_, p.
7), but than the old nave and transept walls, which are generally
taken as twelfth century, if we must reject Dr. Ingram’s belief in
them as Ethelred’s,[250] grateful as it must be to all members of the
foundation. The doorway certainly bears marks of fire, which may be
referred to the conflagration of 1190, when a great part of Oxford was

Ten years before, the body of St. Frideswide had been translated from
its resting place to the north choir aisle, to be again (but not till
one hundred and ten years after, on 10th September, 1289) removed to
a new and more costly shrine in the Lady Chapel, which had been added
to that aisle early in the thirteenth century, or between that and the
north choir aisle.

Her first regular prior, Guimond, had been employed till his death
in 1141, in the re-arrangements of monastic buildings which would
be necessary on the change, at the Conquest, from Secular Canons to
Regular Augustinians. Both he and his successor, Robert of Cricklade,
seem to have been wise and well-meaning ecclesiastics; and a school
was connected with the convent which really may be considered as the
original germ of the historical University.

Robert of Cricklade spent much labour upon the present structure,
tower, nave, transepts, and choir; and the works were far enough
advanced in 1180, under prior Philip, for St. Frideswide’s first
translation. Then, we presume, the fire of 1190 gave occasion to some
re-constructions, and let in Transitional Architecture, of which
something has to be said here. The term “transitional” seems to mean
change or progress in a style (as from the round to the pointed arch
in Gothic-Romanesque), where principles and rules are adhered to; not
attempts to combine incongruous styles. England is full of transitions,
through Norman to Early English, to Decorated, and so on; and they
seem natural, and not lawless or contradictory. But the Roman way of
encrusting their own great vaults and arches with Greek lintels and
pediments, constructively useless, is a different and worse thing--just
as bad as the Baroque or Fancy Renaissance. Still, a mixture of pure
elements is at all events a pure mixture; and in Christ Church the
Romanesque, Norman, and Decorated features are all of the best. The
north-east walls and turrets might remind one of the Cathedral of
Mainz or of Trier; while the Chapter-house door is fine Norman, and
the Early-Decorated windows excellent in their way. It was just at
this time of the later twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, when
Northern builders were eliminating all traces of the Greek or trabeated
structure, that the new or pointed arch began to present itself, and be
welcomed here and there, just for its beauty’s sake. In Christ Church
the arches of the nave, and other principal ones, are round, but two
of the four which carry the tower are pointed; the greater supporting
power of the latter form may have been already observed.

The ancient interior must have been one of considerable beauty from the
twelfth to the sixteenth century, when Wolsey destroyed three bays of
the west end of the nave, reducing it to one-half its original length;
and probably his name must also be associated with the lowering of
all the roofs. If he executed the beautiful choir-vaulting, that is
no small merit to balance these destructions; but it is questioned.
The curious treatment of the side arcades should be noticed; the solid
pillars of the twelfth century have been ingeniously divided in their
thickness; the halves facing the aisle have been left in their natural
proportions, while those which face the central nave have been raised
so as to embrace the triforium stage.[252]

The upper stage of the Cathedral tower with its spire, twice since
rebuilt, belongs to the thirteenth century, like the chapter-house; and
just within that century (1289) is a second northern aisle, built as a
Lady Chapel, and containing a new shrine of St. Frideswide. The curious
wooden structure at present existing is really the watching-chamber of
the shrine erected in the next century, and is placed on the donor’s
tomb in all probability, instead of the saint’s.

The large chapel, now called the Latin, and formerly the Divinity
Chapel, was added in the next (fourteenth) century, to the north of
the northern choir aisle, by building two more bays eastward to the
north-east chapel of the thirteenth century just mentioned. This is
called “the dormitory,” being the burial-place of several deans and
canons; the word is a simple translation of the Greek _cœmeterium_,
or sleeping-place, applied to the catacombs of Rome from the second
century. Windows were now altered from Norman to Decorated; three
of which at the East end of the choir are again restored to their
original style. In 1340 the Lady Elizabeth de Montacute gave the
convent the present Christ Church meadow in order to maintain a chantry
in the Lady Chapel. Her tomb is between that chapel and the other on
the north-east, near a prior’s (Robert de Ewelme’s or Alexander de
Sutton’s), and near also to that of Sir George Nowers, a companion of
the Black Prince.

Important alterations began towards the end of the fifteenth century:
the choir clerestory was remodelled, the rich vaulting (probably)
added, and various side windows altered to the Perpendicular style,
which was then extending its rigid rule over England.

The great north transept window and the wooden roof of the transepts
and tower (that of the nave is later) are early sixteenth-century. But
at the end of the first quarter of that century (1524) came Wolsey’s
great scheme for Cardinal College, with its good and evil. The latter
may be soon disposed of; he certainly spoilt St. Frideswide’s Church
by cutting off its three western bays for his great quadrangle. His
intended Perpendicular Church on the north side of that quadrangle
would hardly have atoned, with all its magnificence, for the
destruction of the nave, which (even now, when partially restored) is
an affliction to the spectator as he enters the double doors.

But from Wolsey’s time the whole society became academic, as he had
intended, rather than monastic, and its new architecture is henceforth
secular. Unfortunately, it is not quite in that truest collegiate
style, or rather scale, which is best represented by the quadrangles
of Brasenose and Merton, St. John’s and Wadham Colleges; but its
hall, gate-tower, and library have been chief sights of Oxford from
their foundation. The principal quadrangles are too extensive and
public-looking to wear the old Oxford air of slight seclusion and great
comfort, of a life just as monastic as you please and no more.

Wolsey’s Hall[253] and Tower,[254] then, the stone kitchen, and the
east, south and west sides of the great quadrangle belong to the same
sixteenth century group of buildings as Magdalen Tower (1505), the
Tower of St. Mary Magdalene Church at the end of Broad Street, and
Brasenose Gate.

John Hygden was appointed by Wolsey the first Dean of his College.
Already before the foundation of his College, and in preparation for
it, Wolsey had instituted lectureships and appointed lecturers--the
earliest of them in 1518, others at later dates. A few names of these
may be added here. Thomas Brynknell, of Lincoln College, presided over
Divinity; over Law, probably Ludovicus Vives, a Spaniard; and over
Medicine, Thomas Musgrave of Merton College. Philosophy was committed
to “one L. B.,” apparently Laurence Barber, M.A., Fellow of All
Souls. In Mathematics the Lecturer was Kraske, or Kratcher, in fact,
the well-known Kratzer, maker of the Corpus sun-dial and of that on
the south side of St. Mary’s. The Greek lecture was held by Matthew
Calphurne, a Greek. “Whether,” says Wood, “William Grocyn then taught
it also I know not; sure it is that he, after he had been instructed in
Italy by those exquisite masters, Demetrius Chalcondila, and Angelus
Politianus, read the Greek tongue several years to the Oxonians.” The
Rhetoric and Humanity Lecturer was John Clements of C. C. C., called
“Clemens meus” by Sir Thomas More; his successor in the lecture was
Thomas Lupset.

When King Henry VIII. reconstituted Wolsey’s College under his
own name, he reconstituted also some of these lectures of Wolsey’s
foundation, calling them “the King’s Lectures.” The King’s Lecturer in
Divinity in 1535 was Richard Smyth of Merton College, who seems to have
retired before the prospect of holding a disputation with Peter Martyr,
who was made Canon of Christ Church in 1550. He lived to be restored
to his chair in 1554; but was soon succeeded by Friar John de Villa
Garcina, a young Spanish friar greatly regarded, who seems to have been
the friar who tried to convert Cranmer at the last, and disappeared in
1558. Dr. Hygden was reappointed Dean by the King, but died within a
few months, and was succeeded by Dr. Richard Oliver. Among the canons
secular of the second foundation were Robert Wakefield, a famous
Hebraist; John Leland, the learned antiquary; and Sir John Cheke,
afterwards tutor to Edward VI.

The new see of Oxford remained at Oseney from 1542 to 1546; and
the King transferred it to his College in Oxford by letters patent
of November 4th in the latter year. He styles it in his foundation
charter, “Ecclesia Christi Cathedralis Oxon ex fundatione Regis
Henrici octavi;” combining the form of a Cathedral with that of an
academic College. This foundation consisted of a bishop, a dean, eight
canons, eight petty canons or chaplains, a gospeller and a postiller
(Bible-clerk), eight singing-clerks, eight choristers and their master,
a schoolmaster and usher, an organist, sixty scholars or students,
and forty “children,” corresponding we presume to the junior students
of later days. Perhaps the children, as in later days occasionally,
proved too childish; at all events the whole scholastic part of
the establishment, usher and all, was soon replaced by one hundred
students, who, with the one “outcomer” of the Thurston foundation,[255]
are still nightly told (or tolled) by a corresponding number of strokes
on “the mighty Tom,” or great bell. Gates are closed all over Oxford
five minutes after it is concluded.

A royal foundation by King or minister, “whose hand searches out all
the land,” is more likely to come in contact with history than a
private one; and Christ Church was soon involved in the early troubles
of the Reformation. Wolsey had done more and other things than he
knew of in inviting his Cambridge scholars to Cardinal College. One
may say that the first Christ Church men had true martyrs among them;
certainly that they were early made to face danger and death for the
faith that was in them. Anthony Dalaber’s description of the scene in
“Frideswide,” on the arrest of Garrett and discovery of his books,
as given in Froude’s history, vol. ii. p. 48, _sqq._, is not to be
omitted. He had just sent forth poor Garrett from his Gloucester
Hall rooms, in such lay-clothes as he possessed, only to be taken at
Bristol; and went himself to Frideswide or Cardinal College (he uses
both terms), “to speak with that worthy martyr of God, Master Clark,”
soon to perish in the hands of the Bishop of Lincoln; with the words
“Crede et manducasti,” when Communion was refused him at the last.
Dalaber takes Corpus on his way, having “faithful brethren” there, as
might have been expected in Fox’s new foundation. He passes through
Peckwater Inn, we presume, and through the half-finished buildings
of the new quadrangle, and reaches the half-ruined Church, not yet
Cathedral. “Evensong was begun,” he says; “the Dean (Hygden) and
the Canons were there, in their gray amices; they were almost at
Magnificat before I came thither. I stood in the choir door,[256] and
heard Master Taverner play, and others of the chapel there sing, with
and among whom I myself was wont to sing also; but now my singing and
music were turned into sighing and musing. As I there stood, in cometh
Dr. Cottisford,[257] the commissary, as fast as ever he could go,
bareheaded, as pale as ashes (I knew his grief well enough); and to
the dean he goeth into the choir, where he was sitting in his stall,
and talked with him very sorrowfully; what, I know not, but whereof I
might and did truly guess. I went aside from the choir door to see and
hear more. The commissary and dean came out of the choir, wonderfully
troubled as it seemed. About the middle of the church met them Dr.
London,[258] puffing, blustering, and blowing, like a hungry and greedy
lion seeking his prey. They talked together awhile; but the commissary
was much blamed by them, insomuch that he wept for sorrow.”

Many men and women were to do the same for similar troubles in the
years that were to follow; and the failure, as it seemed, of Wolsey’s
best intentions as to his College must have been one of the griefs
which were now beginning to accumulate round him; acting also, as it
must have acted, on the perturbed spirit of his dread master.

Christ Church was founded in suffering and danger suited to the name
it bears; though as yet, to do them justice, most of the persecutors
seemed to have been heartily distressed at their new duties. A
generation so wofully afraid of death and privation as our own should
not think too harshly of the severities of men who feared neither.
The sufferings of those times have certainly left their traces on
the features of many of Holbein’s sitters. I remember observing this
particularly in the lay portraits of his school at the late “Tudor
Exhibition” in London. His faces of soldiers and country gentlemen are
rather meditative than fierce; though almost always with a turn of
recklessness, in reserve, as it were. They frequently express rather
dubiety than doubt; as of men of conscience whom conscience might

Before passing to another crisis of history, it seems best to bring
our account of the College buildings to the middle of the present
century--for the later nineteenth century has done more than any other
period in judicious repair and effective restoration.

In 1630, Brian Duppa being Dean, the choir suffered a sweeping
restoration, when many gravestones and monuments were destroyed, and
others removed to the aisles, having been duly deprived of their
brasses. Some of them bore “Saxon” inscriptions (Gutch’s Wood’s
_Colleges and Halls_, p. 462). There certainly were chapters in those
days, with the average disregard for earlier dates than their own, and
for the interesting heraldry of the cathedral, which extended, as Dr.
Ingram says, “from the blazonry of Montacute, Monthermer, Mountfort,
and Courtenay, to the pencase and inkhorn of Zouch in the north aisle
of the transept.” However, the Parliament would have done it if the
capitular body had refrained. They might also have cut away all the
tracery of the windows north and south; but they would not have filled
the two-light holes thus obtained with Van Linge’s queer Dutch glass,
some of which was extant in our undergraduate days. Dean Duppa must
have been a cultured and well-meaning man of taste in the lower English
Renaissance, and he wrote a life of Michael Angelo; but we shall for
life retain the impression of an immense yellow pumpkin in one of
the north-west windows, illustrative of the history of Jonah, which
always caught our eyes in going out of chapel, and while it lasts will
preserve Duppa’s name from oblivion.

The ruins of Wolsey’s unfinished church seem to have been for a
while something of an encumbrance to the path from Peckwater to the
Cathedral; and the present way under the deanery arch is due to Dean
Samuel Fell, father of Bishop (and Dean) John Fell, who made it
through his garden. The way up to the Hall was then very incomplete,
and he “made it as it is now, by the help of one Smith, an artificer
of London;” and built the arch as it now is, besides re-edifying the

The north side of the great quadrangle was completed by Bishop
Fell; and a balustrade was substituted on the roof for the original
battlements, possibly for the purpose of lecturing from the housetop, a
course which, however, has not been pursued in recent times. Tom Tower
was finished by Wren in 1682; Tom himself (the bell) having been recast
by Christopher Hodson in 1680. He, or his original metal, was once the
old clock bell of Oseney Abbey.[259]

The original grant of Peckwater Inn to St. Frideswide’s is as early
as Henry III.’s time. Dean Aldrich and Dr. Anthony Radcliffe are
answerable for the present structure, which contains seventy-two sets
of rooms and a canon’s lodgings. Dr. Radcliffe also gave a statue
“Mercury” to adorn the central fountain in the great quadrangle, which
had originally issued from a sphere, as seen in old prints. Long ago,
before the Reformation, there is said to have been a cross in the place
now occupied by the fountain, with a pulpit, from which Wycliffe may
have frequently preached. The base of this cross is preserved in the
gallery at the end of the S. Transept.

The common-room under the hall, was fitted up by Dr. Busby, whose bust
in marble long adorned it, but is now transferred to the library. This
bust is a work of merit, with a countenance unlikely to spare for
anybody’s crying. The room is panelled with oak, and contains a Nineveh
tablet presented by Hormuzd Rassam, Esq.

What is called the Old Library was once the Refectory of St.
Frideswide’s convent. A few books remain in charge of the Margaret
Professor. The large Library in Peckwater was begun in 1716, but not
finally completed till 1761. The original intention was to leave an
open piazza beneath it, but the space was required for its books and
collections, and its massive columns were accordingly connected by
a wall. Its gallery of pictures (or the bulk of the collection) was
the gift of Brigadier-General Guise in 1765, and of the Hon. W. F.
Fox-Strangeways in 1828.

Canterbury Gate was built by Wyatt in 1778; and we presume that the
laws of gravity and attraction will continue to apply to it as to
other objects, so that it may reasonably be expected to remain there
till it is taken away. QVOD BENE VORTAT, as the Bodleian motto, with
pantheistic piety, observes.

It only remains to say, that the present Meadow buildings occupy
the position of the Chaplains’ quadrangle and Fell’s buildings, or
“the garden staircase” of other days, up to 1863. Their gate-tower
is not admired; otherwise they are a solid and beautiful building in
quasi-Italian Gothic. Their quadrangle is bounded on the north by the
old library, on the south by the meadow, on the east by the Margaret
Professor’s garden, and on the west by the vast and venerable kitchen,
with its time-honoured gridiron, happily employed in culinary labours
only, and never (so far as we know) for purposes of persecution. The
kitchen was said to be the first-completed of all Wolsey’s buildings,
greatly to the amusement of the outer world of Oxford. This recognition
of the dependence of the spirit on the body was ingeniously defended by
the Rev. M. Creighton[260] in a well-remembered University sermon.

Christ Church has naturally had from the first its share of pageant and
festivity. Henry VIII. took his pastime therein in 1533 with grandeur
and jollity. There were public declamations of the whole University
here under Edward VI.; and plays were acted in the hall before Queen
Elizabeth in 1566 and 1592, and before James I. in 1605 and 1621; and
again before Charles I. in 1636. It is a question whether scenery and
stage-mechanism were used for the first time in England, says Anthony
à Wood, on this occasion, or as early as the festivity of 1605. All
are gone by this time who could remember the visit of the allied
sovereigns in 1814, and their entertainment in the Hall by the Prince
Regent, on whom the title of “the first gentleman in Europe” then sat
very gracefully. Old General Blücher, as best regarded of all foreign
soldiers present, had to acknowledge his honours in German, and the
Prince translated him with freedom and elegance, only omitting his own

Four years after Charles I.’s entertainment, were to develop the full
bitterness of evil days already begun. On August 18th, 1642, came the
first Cavalier muster; three hundred and fifty and more of “privileged”
University men and their servants, and also many scholars. They met at
the Schools and marched by High Street to Christ Church, “where in the
great quadrangle they were reasonably instructed in the word of command
and their postures;” and this mustering and drilling continued more or
less till the end of all things by surrender on St. John’s Day, 1646.
Some considerable part of the corps were bowmen volunteers (about 1200,
it is said further on), duly armed with “barbed arrows.” By that time,
out of the one hundred and one students of Christ Church twenty were
officers in the King’s army; the rest, almost to a man, were either
there, or formed part of the Oxford garrison. And so of commoners in
full proportion. All plate and available money were gone, and the House
as much damaged, not to say demoralized, as the rest of the University.

Lord Say had at first occupied Oxford with a Parliamentary force for a
few days, and carried away much plate from Christ Church, particularly
all Dr. Samuel Fell’s (the Dean’s). Iconoclasm began with his zealous
followers, not quite to his satisfaction, as it included a precious
statue of the King at New College. This was September 19th. On October
29th, just after Edgehill, the King occupied Oxford, keeping his Court
in Christ Church with Prince Charles as long as he remained.

Another ominous vespers in Christ Church Cathedral, besides Anthony
Dalaber’s, is on record. On Friday, February 3rd, 1643-4, his Majesty
appointed a thanksgiving to be made at Evening Prayer at Christ Church
for the taking of Cirencester by Prince Rupert the day before. The
doctors were in their red robes; and polished breast-plates and laced
buff-coats must have had a brilliant effect under the massive white
arches. “But there was no new Form of Thanksgiving said, save only that
Form for the victory of Edgehill, and a very solemn anthem, with this
several times repeated therein--‘Thou shalt set a Crown of pure gold
upon his Head, and upon his Head shall his Crown flourish.’”

The scarlet gowns appeared again to welcome the Queen at Tom Gate on
July 13th, 1644. There was a fair show of state in the way of trumpets,
heralds, and the like; and “Garter, coming last, was accompanied
by the Mayor of Oxon in his scarlet and mace on his shoulder.” But
Naseby field ended all pageant and hope alike in July 1645, just after
Fairfax’s siege of fifteen days on the Headington Hill side without
result. The next two years must have been a miserable time.

In April 1648, at the “visitation” by the Parliamentary Visitors, the
Dean of Christ Church (Dr. Samuel Fell) being in custody in London,
Mrs. Fell and her children, with certain ladies, elected to be carried
out of the Deanery rather than walk out, and were deposited in the
quadrangle in feminine protest against extrusion. Her husband’s name
was scored out of the Buttery-Book, with those of seven Canons, the
eighth (Dr. Robert Sanderson) being respited during absence; and Dr.
Edward Reynolds was substituted, with a new set of Canons. A clean
sweep was at the same time made of all “malignant” members, hardly any
taking the Parliamentary Oath or the Solemn League and Covenant. In
January 1647-8 the Latin version of the Common Prayer, and the Common
Prayer itself, ceased in Christ Church. It was maintained by three
Christ Church men--John Fell, Richard Allestree, and John Dolben--till
the Restoration, in a house in Merton Street, and seems to have escaped

A less dire debate than the Parliamentary War was the celebrated
controversy with Bentley on _The Epistles of Phalaris_ in 1695. It
deserves notice in a chapter on Christ Church.

The Hon. Charles Boyle, afterwards second Earl of Orrery, is wickedly
described by Bentley as “the young gentleman of great hopes, whose
name is set to the new edition” of _Phalaris_; and, as Boyle was but
nineteen years of age at the time of publication, it may be considered
certain that he received very material assistance from Dr. Atterbury,
Dr. Friend, and from the admired Dean Aldrich. Perhaps all four had a
very different idea of accurate criticism from that style of it which
Bentley initiated in England, and which now seems somewhat overpowered
by the burden of its research. The celebrated answer to Bentley’s
_Dissertation_, published under Boyle’s name in 1689, was really a
joint production of the leading Christ Church men, and Atterbury
claimed a principal share. Between them they made a good fight for it;
but it is difficult for any set of men, however learned, ingenious,
and petulantly witty, to maintain a long controversy at the stress of
being wholly wrong. Unquestionably it was premature in Aldrich to set
young noblemen in their teens to publish editions of writers believed
to have been contemporary with Pythagoras or thereabouts. Nevertheless
such critical work as they could do would probably teach them something
more than a dilettante knowledge of language: and this the Dean
evidently understood to be a chief want of his time. Boyle was no match
for Bentley; but he came to be an accomplished and gallant gentleman
who never through a stirring life forsook the love of learning, or of
his old abode of learning--perhaps rather, of literature. He could see
the vast shapes of the natural sciences advancing with new wonders;
and was the benefactor of George Graham, who named his great planetary
instrument after his title. His gifts to the Christ Church Library
should be commemorated; and he is one instance out of a great number of
men who have made Christ Church to themselves a home of friends, and so
from their Alma Mater forward have faced the world together.

Aldrich could not work miracles of discipline or reform the manners of
the Restoration. He has been blamed for allowing too much license to
pupils of high degree, and because he failed to correct the habits of
intemperance in which many of them had been educated. It may have been
so; and he must suffer with all tutors. The very name connotes a false
position, and a most difficult duty; to find means to persuade without
any power to control, and to reduce untamed lads to order who have
never seen it before. Military service was the only alternative method
in that day, where they regulated each other’s folly by the duello, or
at all events might be referred to the provost-marshal. But Aldrich
had to do what he could by the way of letters and culture; to try to
awaken the higher instincts, the better ambitions, and natural virtues;
since every religious restraint was scouted as Puritanism and every
devout aspiration as Popery. He had to contend with a most dissipated
and drunken age, whose coarse and direct temptations had already a hold
on his charge; nor is it easy to see how he could cure what St. John,
Pulteney, Carteret, and the rest had learned in evil homes and schools.
The morale of the aristocracy was still that of a beaten army; nor was
the public’s much better.

Aldrich’s many accomplishments have left varied traces behind them.
“The merry Christ Church Bells,” the celebrated catch, is a living
remembrance of him, happier than most men leave; Peckwater Quadrangle
would be stately and handsome enough, but for the leprous Headington
stone; he must have had the Themistoclean power of doing just what was
wanted at the time. But his achievement was after all the Oxford Logic.
Till twenty years ago, most tutors found that all its shortcomings led
straight to explanations. It was like the noble and kindly conservatism
of Mansel, to spend his great learning on the notes and prolegomena
which have developed the good old manual into a valuable treatise on
Logic and Psychology.

The name of Cyril Jackson marks a period of twenty-six years from
1783-1809, which may be compared to Aldrich’s best days with better
discipline. His life marks a restoration of order and efficiency in
Christ Church which has never been lost, and he chose to have no
other monument. He was wedded to his House, and it was enough for
one lifetime to make her love and obey him as he did. His statue and
picture give the idea of clearness, courage, and benevolence. The
straightforward face is unconsciously commanding, and seems made to
judge of a man. There is a dignity of presence; but Christ Church never
was yet governed by deportment only, and there must have been much
more than that about the great Dean who would be nothing more than
Dean. _Spartam nactus est, hanc exornabat_: and Jackson’s discipline,
if not Spartan, was perfectly real. He did not invent new rules; but
worked the old ones with a just and determined spirit, using “all the
advantages which a capacious mind, an enlarged knowledge of the world,
a spirit of command or guidance, and an unconquerable perseverance,
could confer.” I have heard old country gentlemen speak of Jackson,
still seeming to delight in him as a beloved person whom it was natural
to obey, and as a leader of men sure to lead right.

Jackson’s daily system of work has only of late been changed to suit
the needs of continual examinations. The terminal “Collections” or
Examinations from his time to the end of Dean Gaisford’s, were intended
to supply the want of general University Examinations before their
regular institution; and many have thought that the pass-work for a
Degree had better be done in College, since the College presents the
candidate. The weekly themes and Latin verses in the Hall are gone;
but the Bachelors’ prizes for Latin prose; the Undergraduates’ for
hexameters; the public lectures in logic, grammar, and mathematics; the
Censor’s annual address to the whole House, were in full force thirty
years ago.

One more curious tradition remains of his subtle influence--that
all the handwriting of the leading Christ Church Dons of the last
generation is imitated from their chief’s; with great difference of
character, but strong relation to his thoroughly-formed letters, to
the graceful unhurried hand that everybody can read easily. This has
been said of Dean Gaisford and many Censors of earlier days; Osborne
Gordon’s writing, though, has a freedom of its own.

Perhaps the chief secret of Cyril Jackson’s success was that he did his
work so much himself; and yet was always Dean. He would have order in
College; and he had a regular police to enforce it, and attended to it
himself. He entertained his undergraduates daily, seven or eight at a
time, all round. He lectured and taught personally in Greek, logic, and
composition, sometimes in mathematics. He tried to understand and make
the acquaintance of every youth in the House; and like St. Paul, he
was all desire to impart any excellent gift. When he felt his strength
failing in his work, he gave it up. He had refused bishoprics and an
archbishopric; he bade farewell to Christ Church and the world in love
unfeigned, and turned his spirit wholly to God whom he desired, and
so died full of years and honours; nor can we anywhere find a word
about him that is not in his praise. Dr. Parr, who professed a not
ill-natured hostility to “the Æde-Christians,” forgets it heartily and
with handsome language when he speaks of the Dean (see _Notes to Spital
Sermon_, published 1800)--“Long have I thought and often have I said
that the highest station in an ecclesiastical establishment would not
be more than an adequate recompense for the person who presides over
this College.” It is worthily said; but if the notes are as sonorous as
this, what must be the rumble of the text?

Dean Gaisford, as we have said, continued Jackson’s educational
method ably and faithfully; and his view that pass-work should be
done entirely in College, and Colleges be made responsible for it,
may well find advocates now. All men respected the stout old scholar,
and had in most things to own the shrewdness, and particularly the
justice, of his judgment. The piquancy of many anecdotes and sketches
of him has departed with the generation who honoured him as the first
Greek scholar of England in his time. He too felt his high position
sufficient, and had real happiness in efficient discharge of its
duties, which were thoroughly well suited to him; and he had perhaps a
better understanding of the nature and ways of his undergraduates than
many younger and less outwardly formidable seniors.

Two more great names, as of a father and son, so faithfully did the
younger reflect the mind and second the purposes of the elder, must
of right find mention here;--not due honour, since that would involve
the whole history of the Oxford Movement, both earlier and later.
It is hoped that the late Dr. Liddon’s Life of Dr. Pusey is so far
advanced, or its material is so well ordered and prepared, that it may
soon appear--as a monument to two great English Doctors. The elder
entered at Christ Church in 1819, and returned as Canon in 1828, after
having been Fellow of Oriel College; the younger matriculated at the
House in 1846. Dr. Barnes, then Sub-Dean, made Henry Parry Liddon
Student in 1846. From thenceforth Pusey had one near him like-minded:
not in the obsequious mimicry of imitation which has produced so many
pseudo-Newmans, but in true following of one Master, in intelligent
apprehension of and devotion to the principles of the Catholic Church
of England, and in self-denying holiness of life. Many friendships for
life date from Christ Church, but this has excelled them all: and these
two rest from their labours.

Some brief account of the latest buildings and restorations, on which
the fine taste of Dean Liddell has left its mark, seems desirable here.
The new buildings, before-mentioned (p. 309), are by Mr. Thomas Deane,
son of Sir T. N. Deane. They consist of six staircases, containing
forty-three sets of students’ chambers of three rooms each, and ten
chaplains’ or tutors’ rooms of four apartments and upwards. The front
towards the Meadow is partly masked by the trees of the old Broad
Walk (planted by Dean Fell in Feb. 1670) and the other avenue to the
river. The roof is continuous on the meadow front, but there are
gables towards the quadrangle. The roof-supports rest on corbels, and
the beam-ends are free. The whole is 331 feet long and 37 deep. The
stone walls are carried through to the roof between the staircases
and lined with brickwork. The style is a variety of Italian Gothic,
massively built, story upon story, with good pointed arches, but not
in any Northern or regularly “arcuated” style. But the ornament is all
beautiful flower-work, and by the artist-workmen whom Messrs. Woodward
and Dean gathered round them, whom Prof. Ruskin himself educated in the
then Working-Man’s College. In as far as that teaching has succeeded,
a share of the honour is due to Christ Church, through that son of
hers who has done her highest and most honour in the literature of the
century, and whose name will for ever be a call to all artists who love
honour and their work.[261]

A recent Oxford Almanac represents the Interior of the Cathedral as
it appeared in 1876, before the new woodwork of the Choir and the
Reredos. Both were needed, and both are beautiful in their way; but
the reredos has the fault or misfortune of the new one in St. Paul’s,
London--nothing can make it look like part of the structure. The rich
depth of tint and carven gloom are fine. Still the general effect of
the Cathedral, with its bright windows and warm stone-tints, is rather
one of lightness and pleasant colour, like pages of a Missal, as Ruskin
says of St. Mark’s. The new glass by Morris and Faulkner, after Burne
Jones, is decidedly beyond any praise we have room to give it here: the
great North Transept window glows with all the fires which a fervid
fancy can bestow on the inwards of the Dragon. Clayton and Bell’s
windows are beautiful in crimson and white; and all we can say of
Jonah’s dear old gourd is that we hope its shadow may now never be less.

There are some works of art of considerable interest in the Library,
amidst a number of no particular value. On the right of the door, the
Nativity of Titian was certainly a part of Charles I.’s collection,
and is probably an original, though it reminds one of Bonifazio. There
is a portrait of A. Vezale by Tintoret; and a small head attributed
to Holbein, of the greatest beauty. We cannot feel sure about the
John Bellini Madonna; but the Piero della Francesca Madonna with
Angels is beautiful and interesting. There are four very authentic
Mantegnas, one of which (No. 59, Christ bearing the Cross) certainly
belonged to Charles I. The possible Giorgione of Diana and her Nymphs
is worth attention; and there is a genuine-looking Veronese, with his
beautiful striped silk drapery, of the Marriage of St. Catherine. Two
good portraits and the unfinished man-at-arms by Vandyke, with the
admirable brush-work in white on the horse, are in the east room on the
other side of the great door, and complete our list of the more modern

The more ancient Italian schools, from the semi-Byzantine Margheritone
to Taddeo Gaddi and the Giotteschi, are well represented at the western
end of the lower floor of the Library. Margheritone is said, in the
notes to Mrs. Browning’s _Casa Guidi Windows_, to have died of disgust
(“infastidito”) at the successes of the new, Italian or Cimabue,
school; and she remarks that

    “Strong Cimabue bore up well
    Against Giotto.”

It is most satisfactory to have original works by all these three.
The Margheritone is a thoroughly Byzantine saint, with a gold
background and an expression certainly best characterized by the word
“infastidito.” Next comes the Cimabue triptych: its central Madonna has
some resemblance to the Borgo Allegri picture on a small scale. The
Giottos show some such advance of art in his hands as Dante described.
There is an apparently genuine Filippo Lippi, which must be of no small

The drawings are most beautiful. The small Lionardo head and the large
Madonna are unmistakable and beyond praise, and may be contrasted
with a singularly beautiful head which displays his taste for
“monsters,” and the portrait of Ludovico Sforza is excellent. There
are two drawings by Masaccio, and the Titian Landscapes are capital.
The visitor should not miss the red chalk head attributed to Gentile
Bellini, we suppose rightly: it is hard to say who else, except his
son, could have done it.

To give an account of the portraits in the Hall would set us adrift on
general history. Locke and the Marquis of Wellesley, the two Sir Joshua
bishops, Cyril Jackson looking forth at a world he knew the worth
of, Wolsey and Henry VIII.--founders, crowned heads, members of the
foundation--survey the College dinner like guests departed. They are
forgotten, or their remembrance is like his that tarrieth but a day.

_Note on the Date of the Cathedral._

Mr. J. Park Harrison has most kindly enabled me to give his conclusions
on the dates of the cathedral in his own words. Having inspected the
building with him, I entirely adhere to them. I think they are fully
borne out by the remains of the old building, and scarcely to be got
over when one has seen the joints and ornamentation inside, and the
foundations without.

1. “The commonly-assigned date of the cathedral, 1160-1180, is
absolutely incorrect.

2. “The late Norman work, attributed with much probability to Prior
Robert of Cricklade, is an addition to the old church restored by
Guimond in the earlier part of the twelfth century.

3. “There is no document, or anything tending to show that the original
fabric, as restored by Ethelred, was ever rebuilt on a new plan.

4. “Several of the choir capitals differ essentially in their
ornamentation from any others in the cathedral; but resemble very
closely the ornamental work in illuminated MSS. of Ethelred’s time.
They[262] should consequently belong to the church as enlarged by him
in 1004.

5. “The east wall of the ‘ecclesiola’ built by Didanus in the eighth
century still exists, with two arches once communicating with apses,
whose foundations have been discovered about two feet below the ground,
with a third midway between them.”

The junction of the eleventh century, or Ethelred’s, work with the
twelfth century, or Norman, is clearly visible at the north and
south-west corners of the choir, and the abaci though resembling each
other are of different thickness. The ashlar work is different, and the
courses are not continuous.




“The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in the University of
Oxford of the Foundation of Sir Thomas Pope, Knt., commonly called
Trinity College,” is one of the first instances of the attempt to endow
learning out of the funds thrown into private hands by the suppression
of the monasteries. It was founded during the period of reaction, and
its statutes may be characterised as transitional. Its numbers and
endowments have never entitled it to rank with the larger foundations,
but the vigorous character of various members of the College has saved
it from obscurity. It has some mediæval associations, through its
informal connexion with the older Durham College, on the vacant site
of which it was established: for some years Trinity drew on the same
counties, still preserves in part the old buildings, and has lately
supplied several officers to the modern University of Durham. A short
sketch of the history of Durham College should properly precede that of

DURHAM COLLEGE was originally a hall for the accommodation of students
from Durham Abbey who had come to Oxford to obtain better teaching
than they could find in the cloister, even before the Benedictine
Constitutions of 1337, which provided that each convent should maintain
at some place of higher study one in twenty of their numbers. Monastic
authorities did not like the young monks to live in lodgings with
the secular students, and they were originally sent in the case of
Cistercians to Rewley, and of Augustinians to St. Frideswide’s.
The Benedictines had houses at Reading and Abingdon, but none at
Oxford; and when Walter of Merton invented the collegiate system,
the Benedictines of Gloucester imitated him by the foundation of
Gloucester College in 1283, which was enlarged by hostels, built after
a general chapter at Abingdon, for such influential abbeys as Norwich,
Glastonbury, and St. Alban’s; but the rich society at Durham, probably
from the traditional hostility between North and South, stood aloof;
while Canterbury established a separate “nursery” in 1363, and Croyland
and others sent their students to Cambridge, and eventually founded
Buckingham College, now Magdalene.

The Durham chronicler says that Hugh of Darlington (Prior of Durham
1258-72 and 1285-89) hated Richard of Houghton, who was a young man
of grace, and therefore sent the monks to study at Oxford, “et eis
satis laute impensas ministrabat.” Richard, sometime Prior of Lytham,
may have been the “master of the novices”; he became Prior in 1289,
and obtained leave to build on a site between Horsemonger Street or
Canditch (Broad St.) and the King’s Highway of Beaumont (Park St.),
already acquired from St. Frideswide’s, Godstow, and other grantors. Of
the original buildings, presumably unmethodical in plan, some remains
may survive in the lower part of the hall, and the adjoining buttery
and bursary. A chapel was contemplated in 1326, but not erected till a
century later; the present common-room may have been used as an oratory

There was no endowment at first, but the Convent maintained six to ten
monks as early as 1300; in 1309 they sent the second of two gifts or
loans of books; a John of Beverley is called “Prior Oxoniae” in 1333.
In a deed of 1338, Edward III. announces that, in fulfilment of a vow
made at Halidon Hill to God and St. Margaret, he surrenders to Richard
of Bury, Bishop of Durham, the valuable rectory of Symondburne (the
title to which they were then disputing) to endow a prior and twelve
monks from Durham on the site in the suburbs of Oxford, with a church
and lodgings to be erected at his expense; but this plan of endowment
was never carried out.

The Bishop, however, did not forget his project, and left to the
College at his death the library, immense for the time, which his
position as courtier, prelate, ambassador, and Chancellor had enabled
him to amass, till he had more books, in his bedroom and elsewhere,
“than all the bishops in England had then in their keeping.” His
intention is recorded in the famous _Philobiblon_. It has been stated
that the collection was sold by the Bishop’s executors to pay his
debts; but besides indirect evidence, there is the statement of
Dr. T. Cay (Master of University 1561) that he saw _in bibliotheca
Aungervilliana_ a MS. of the treatise, supposed to be the autograph.
The Library retains in its windows the arms of the older society and
its benefactors, and effigies of the saints of the Order, etc.; but
the books, with Bishop Langley’s _Augustine on the Psalms_ in three
vols., and other additions, disappeared at the Reformation. They cannot
be traced to Balliol or Duke Humphrey’s library; so perhaps they were
among the purchases made by Archbishop Parker from Dr. G. Owen, or they
may have been secured for the Durham Chapter by the first Dean and
the first senior Canon, previously Prior of Durham and Warden of the
College in Oxford respectively.

The next Bishop, Thomas of Hatfield, a secular clerk of good family,
great military capacity (he was one of the commanders at Nevill’s
Cross) and architectural taste, and tutor to the Black Prince, was
stimulated by the examples of Islip (Canterbury College) and Wykeham
to endow the Durham Hall permanently; his charter still exists in the
form of a contract with the prior and convent, executed in 1380. Four
trustees (including William Walworth Lord Mayor, and Master Uthred a
monk of Durham, who was soon afterwards tried for heresy) will furnish
money to purchase property worth two hundred marks a year, to maintain
a warden and seven other student monks, under rules closely resembling
those of a Benedictine cell, and also (which is a new departure)
eight secular students in Grammar and Philosophy at five marks each,
from Durham and North Yorkshire, on the nomination of the prior, who
are to dine and sleep apart from the monks, and perform any _honesta
ministeria_ that do not interfere with their studies. These are under
no obligation to take orders or vows; but must take an oath to further
the interests of the Church of Durham.

No buildings are mentioned, but probably the north and east sides of
the original quadrangle containing library, warden’s lodging, and
rooms, had been built _c._ 1350. Hatfield died in 1381; the convent
purchased from John Lord Nevill of Raby and appropriated the churches
of Frampton (Linc.), Fishlake and Bossall (Yorks), and Roddington
(Notts), giving for them £1080 and two other churches. The revenue
was two hundred and sixty marks. Many of the bursarial rolls sent
to Durham between 1399 and 1496 are preserved there. But the income
soon declined; and even after the convent had added the church of
Brantingham, there was generally a deficit.

Little further is known: Bishops Skirlaw and Langley left legacies, as
did probably members of the families of Mortimer, Nevill, Kemp, Grey,
Arundell, and Vernon. Several Wardens became Priors of Durham: Gilbert
Kymer, physician to Duke Humphrey, and ten years Chancellor of the
University, lived in the College. The Priors regulated the College from
time to time; in a letter of 1467 some strong language is addressed
to a fellow who had indulged in riotous living till “vix superest
operimentum corporis et grabati.”

The College, though in part a secular foundation, fell with the Abbey,
surrendered by Hugh Whitehead in 1540. In Henry VIII.’s valuation its
income was £115 4_s._ 4_d._ (warden £22, fellows £8, scholars 4 marks,
each), and it owned a sanatorium at Handborough. Out of the estates
confiscated a school was endowed, as well as the Durham Chapter; a
larger scheme which provided for branches at Oxford and Cambridge
fell through. In 1545 the site of the College reverted to the Crown;
the part occupied by the Cistercian Bernard College passed to Christ
Church, and is now part of St. John’s College garden. In 1553, W.
Martyn and George Owen, physician to Henry VIII. and his successors,
and the grantee of Godstow nunnery, received the rest of the “backside”
with the buildings, which were by that time mere _canilia lustra_
(dog-kennels), though they had been used by Dr. W. Wright, Archdeacon
of Oxford, Vice-Chancellor 1547-9, as a private hall. The site was then
sold to Sir T. Pope, Owen transferring to his own estates a quit-rent
of 26_s._ 2_d._ due to the Crown. In 1622, Trinity had to pay some
arrears of this, which they recovered from Owen’s heirs, and settled
the matter by the aid of Sir George Calvert, a Trinity man, then
Secretary of State.

SIR THOMAS POPE appears to have belonged to the class of Tudor
statesmen of which More, Fisher, and Wolsey are representative, who,
while personally attached to the traditional ideas in religious
matters, did not oppose all reform; and were anxious that the revival
of learning should be assisted by part at least of the funds justly
taken from the monasteries, according to the precedent set by Wykeham,
Chichele, and Waynflete. He was born _c._ 1508, at Deddington, and
was the eldest son of a small landowner. After being educated at
Banbury and Eton, he studied law with success. He held various offices
in the Star-Chamber, Chancery, and the Mint, from 1533 to 1536, in
which year he became Treasurer of the new and important Court of
Augmentations, which dealt with monastic property. After five years he
was succeeded by Sir Edward North, in whose family his own was merged
in the next century. He obtained a grant of the arms still borne by
his College; and was knighted in 1536 with the poet-Earl of Surrey.
In 1546 he became Master of the Woods, etc. South of Trent, and was a
privy councillor. He did not personally receive the surrender of any
religious house except St. Alban’s, where he saved the abbey church;
but he probably had exceptional opportunities of acquiring abbey
lands. The Abbess of Godstow, where his sister was a nun, claims his
protection in some letters still extant. Among his intimate friends
were Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor Audley, Sir Nicholas Bacon, Sir
Thomas Whyte, Lord Williams of Thame, Bishop Whyte of Winchester, and
many of the moderate party of the Humanists.

Under Edward VI. he withdrew from public life; but Mary recalled him
to the Privy Council, and employed him on commissions connected with
the Tower, Wyat’s rebellion, Gresham’s accounts, the suppression of
heresy, etc. In 1555 he had to take charge of the Princess Elizabeth
at Hatfield, and managed to treat her kindly without incurring
suspicion. Elizabeth took an interest in his project; he writes that
“the princess Elizabeth her grace, whom I serve here, often askyth me
about the course I have devysed for my scollers: and that part of mine
estatutes respectinge studies I have shown to her, which she likes
well.” Again, when two of the junior fellows had broken the statute
“de muris noctu non scandendis,” he says “they must openly in the hall
before all the felowes and scolers of the collegge, confesse their
faulte: and besides paye such fyne, as you shall thynke meete, whiche
being done, I will the same be recorded yn some boke; wherein I will
have mencion mayde that for this faulte they were clene expelled the
Coll. and at my ladye Elizabeth her graces desier and at my wiffes
request they were receyved into the house agayne.” He soon retired
from public life, and died probably of a pestilence then epidemic,
on January 29th, 1558/9, in the Priory of Clerkenwell, his favourite
residence. He was buried at St. Stephen’s Walbrook, with his second
wife, Margaret (widow of Sir Ralph Dodmer, Lord Mayor 1529) and his
only child; in 1567 his third wife Elizabeth Blount (of Blount’s Hall,
Staffs.), widow of Anthony Beresford, removed the bodies to a vault
beneath the fine tomb with alabaster effigies of her husband and
herself, which she erected in Trinity chapel. A contemporary writer
records the magnificence of the funeral, “and aftyr to the playse to
drynke with spyse-brede and wyne. And the morow masse iii songes, with
ii pryke songes, and the iii of Requiem, with the clarkes of London.
And after, he was beried: and that done, to the playse to dener; for
ther was a grett dener, and plenty of all thynges, and a grett doll
of money.” In a will, dated 1556, besides large sums to the poor,
prisoners, and churches, he bequeaths money for specified purposes to
Trinity with a quantity of plate, rings and various articles to his
friends, _e. g._ his “dragon-whistle,” and his “black satten gowne with
luserne-spots” (both seen in his portraits) to Sir N. Bacon and “Master
Croke, my old master’s son,” considerable legacies to his relations,
and the residue of his goods to his wife. His estates had been already
settled; Tyttenhanger (Herts.), the country house of the abbots of
St. Alban’s, went to the widow for life, afterwards to her nephew Sir
Thomas Pope-Blount (whose mother was Frances Love, daughter of Alice
Pope), and eventually through an heiress to the Earls of Hardwicke;
his brother John Pope received estates in north-west Oxfordshire, but
preferred to settle at Wroxton Abbey, which he and his descendants,
the Earls of Downe, and their representatives, the Lords North and
Earls of Guildford, have since held on long leases from the College;
other estates passed to his widow, his uncle John Edmondes, and his
nephew Edmund Hutchins. Dame Elizabeth Pope married Sir Hugh Paulet,
K.G., of Hinton St. George, a statesman and soldier of some eminence.
Lady Paulet usually nominated to the fellowships, scholarships, and
advowsons (in one instance after an appeal to the Visitor) till her
death in 1593, when she was buried in Trinity chapel with funeral
honours from the University.

It is particularly noticeable that Sir Thomas Pope, having been able
to provide handsomely for his family as well as for his College, did
not saddle the latter with any of the preferences for founder’s-kin
which proved fertile in litigation elsewhere. Indeed he appears to
contemplate that his heirs will resort to the College as Commoners,
and sets apart the best room for such uses if required. Accordingly we
find the College constantly receiving besides presents of game, etc.
substantial assistance from the Popes, Norths, and others, and sending
them in return not only the traditional gloves, but money in time of
need; while the college books record as undergraduates many generations
of the Popes and Pope-Blounts and Norths, and members of families
connected with them by descent or marriage, such as Brockett, Perrot,
Danvers, Sacheverell, Combe, Greenhill, Poole, Lee (Lichfield), Bertie
(Lindsay), Wentworth (Cleveland), Tyrrell, Legge (Dartmouth), Stuart
(Bute), and Paulet (Poulett).

On March 1st, 1554/5, Sir Thomas Pope obtained Royal Letters Patent to
found TRINITY COLLEGE for a president (a priest), twelve fellows (four
priests), and eight scholars, and a free school (Jesus Scolehouse),
at Hooknorton; and to endow them from his estates enumerated, viz.
eighteen manors in north and west Oxfordshire, and eleven elsewhere
(including Bermondsey and Deptford), and fifteen advowsons. On March
28th he gave a “charter of erection,” and admitted in the presence
of the University authorities fourteen or fifteen members of the
foundation. In May, and subsequently, he furnished them with large
quantities of plate, MSS. and printed books, and “churche stuffe and
playte,” inventories of which are printed by Warton. Besides the
silver-gilt chalice and paten, once belonging to St. Albans, we find
crosses, censers, missals, antiphoners, copes, chasubles, hangings,
corporas-cases, canopies, tunicles, paxes, banners, a rood and other
images for the Easter sepulchre, etc., bells, and a pair of organs,
which it cost £10 to bring from London. By 1556 he had made a selection
from his estates, and gave the College the manors, etc., of Wroxton
and Balscot near Banbury, the rectorial tithe of Great Waltham and
Navestock in Essex, with some farms and rent-charges, all formerly the
property of religious houses.

Most of these estates had been already let on lease for long periods;
and the income from them, minutely apportioned to various purposes by
the statutes, proved sufficient for the requirements of a sixteenth
century college, except as regards the buildings, which were in bad
repair from the first.

The statutes, dated May 1st, 1556, were drawn up by the Founder and
the first president, Thomas Slythurst, in very fair Latin, for which
Arthur Yeldard, one of the fellows, was responsible. They provide
very detailed rules for the position and conduct of the members of
the foundation. The president’s duties are mainly disciplinary and
bursarial. The twelve fellows are to study philosophy and theology;
they are to furnish a vice-president, a dean, two bursars, four
chaplains, a logic or philosophy reader, and a rhetoric or grammar
reader. The eight (afterwards twelve) scholars are to study polite
letters and elementary logic and philosophy; they are to be elected by
the five College officers after examination in letter-writing, heroic
verse and plain song, being natives of the counties in which College
property is situated (Oxford, Essex, Gloucester, and Bedford), or of
the Founder’s manors, or scholars of Eton or Banbury, or at least
Brackley and Reading; and they must be really in need of assistance.
They have a prior claim on vacant fellowships. There may be twenty
commoners of good family, under the care of the fellows. The salaried
servants are the Obsonator, Promus (a poor scholar who is also to act
as Janitor), Archimagirus, Hypomagirus, Barbaetonsor, and Lotrix; the
last-named is to be above suspicion, but may not enter the quadrangle.
A scholar or fellow is to act as organist, with a small extra stipend.
There is to be high mass with full services on Sundays and feasts;
on week-days mass before six a.m. according to the received forms of
the “Ecclesia Anglicana,” and the use of Sarum; public and private
prayers for the Founder and his family are prescribed. The Bible
is to be read aloud in hall during the _prandium_ and _cœna_, and
afterwards expounded; after dinner, when the “mantilia longa, et
lavacra, cum gutturniis et aqua” have been used, and the loving cup
passed round, silence is to be observed while the scholars “qui in
refectionibus ministrant” have their meal, and a declamation is made.
All public conversation, especially among the scholars, is to be in
a learned language. Then follow minute regulations about degrees and
disputations. Lectures are to be given from six to eight a.m. in
arithmetic (from “Gemmephriseus” and Tunstall), geometry (from Euclid),
logic (from Porphyry, Aristotle, Rodolphus Agricola, and Johannes
Cæsarius), and philosophy (Aristotle and Plato); from three to five
p.m. on Latin authors, prose and verse alternately, such as Virgil,
Horace, Lucan, Juvenal, Terence, and Plautus, Cicero _de Officiis_,
Valerius Maximus, Suetonius, and Florus; and for the more advanced,
Pliny’s Natural History, Livy, Cicero’s oratorical works, Quintilian,
“vel aliud hujusmodi excelsum.” It is noticeable that Latin has a
distinct preference; though Greek is to be taught as far as possible.

In a letter to Slythurst, Pope writes, “My Lord Cardinall’s Grace
[Pole] has had the overseeinge of my statutes. He much lykes well that
I have therein ordered the Latin tongue to be redde to my schollers.
But he advyses mee to order the Greeke to be more taught there than I
have provyded. This purpose I well lyke; but I feare the tymes will
not bear it now. I remember when I was a yonge scholler at Eton,
the Greeke tongue was growinge apace; the studie of whiche is now
alate much decaid.” Lectures in the Long Vacation may be on solid
geometry and astronomy, Laurentius Vallensis, Aulus Gellius, Politian,
or versification; for the shorter vacations declamations and verse
exercises are prescribed. The scholars may not leave the college
precincts without permission, nor take country walks in parties of
less than three; they may not indulge in “illicitis et noxiis ludis
alearum, cartarum pictarum (_chardes_ vocant), pilarum ad aedes, muros,
tegulas, vel ultra funes jactitarum”; but they may play at “pilæ
palmariae” in the grove, and cards in the hall during “the xii daies”
at Christmastide for “ligulis, lucernis, carta, et hujusmodi vilioris
pretii rebus, at pro nummis nullo modo.” No member of the foundation
may wear fine clothes, or any suit but a “toga talaris usque ad terram
demissa,” and the hood of his degree; they are to sleep two or three in
a room, some in “trochle-beddes”; and they may not carry arms, though
they are afterwards enjoined to keep in their rooms a “fustis vel
aliquod aliud armorum genus bonum et firmum,” to defend the College and
University. Gaudys with extra commons are allowed on twelve festivals;
and at Christmas they may make merry with the six good capons and the
boar “bene saginatus,” provided by two tenants, together with the
“cartlode of fewel,” “wheate and maulte,” due from the president as
_ex-officio_ rector of Garsington. Founder’s-kin are to be preferred
as tenants. Three times a year the statutes are to be read, and once
the president and one fellow are to hold a scrutiny of the conduct and
progress of the rest, during which delation appears to be encouraged.
The chief penalties to enforce these rules are impositions and loss of
commons, with expulsion on the third repetition of a minor offence; the
violation of some statutes involves summary deprivation; scholars under
twenty may be birched or caned by the dean. The statutes conclude, and
are pervaded with, exhortations to unity and fidelity. When we take
into account the fact that except in special cases the limit of absence
was forty days in the year for a fellow and twenty for a scholar, it is
clear that the life contemplated was one of almost monastic strictness
in matters of detail.

A postscript dated 1557 adds to the revenues to increase certain
allowances, and provides five obits, one on Jesus-day (Aug. 7th) for
the Founder, with doles for the poor and the prisoners in the Castle
and Bocardo. A design for building a house at Garsington, as a place
of retreat for the College in times of the pestilences then common,
is mentioned; a quadrangular building built with five hundred marks
left by the Founder, and help from his widow, was finished about 1570.
The College removed there bodily in 1577; we find payments for “black
bylles” for protection there, food at Abingdon, Woodstock, etc.,
antidotes for those left behind, carts for the carriage of kitchen
utensils, books, and surplices, and the clock. In 1563/4 they had
retired to lodgings in Woodstock.

The annual computus commences on Lady Day, 1556. On Trinity Sunday the
Founder formally admitted the president, twelve fellows, and seven
scholars in the chapel. In July he came again with Bishops Whyte
(Winchester) and Thirlby (Ely), and others. The president held his
stirrup, the vice-president made an oration “satis longam et officii
plenam,” and the bursars offered “chirothecas aurifrigiatas.” The
banquet in the hall and the twelve minstrels cost £12 3_s._ 9_d._ The
president celebrated “missam vespertinam” in the best cope, and Sir
Thomas “obtulit unam bursam plenam angelorum.” After service he gave
the bursars the whole of their expenses and a silver-gilt cup from
which he had drunk to the company in “hypocrasse,” and a mark each
to the scholars. The accounts record many other visits from him and
his wife and their influential friends, gifts of timber and game, and
presents of gloves in return.

Dr. Thos. Slythurst was a canon of Windsor, and held several benefices,
chiefly by court favour; the original fellows came from other
foundations, especially Queen’s and Exeter. Yeldard was a fellow of
Pembroke, Cambridge, and had been educated in Durham Convent. The
scholars were mainly from the Midlands, and afterwards usually natives
of the preferred counties, with Bucks and Herts; two or three were
elected annually, with one or two fellows; till 1600 the tenure of
a fellowship rarely exceeds ten years. In 1564/5 there were already
seventeen commoners, and from the caution-books it seems that from
fifteen to thirty were admitted annually, and resided for two or
three years. There were two or three grades, and some instances are
found of private servants or tutors; and of the residence for short
periods of persons not _in statu pupillari_. At first several Durham
and Yorkshire names occur, as Claxton, Conyers, Lascelles, Blakiston,
Shafton, Trentham; and Edward Hindmer (sch. 1561) was probably son
of the last warden of Durham College; afterwards the families of the
southern Midlands are largely represented, and Fettiplaces, Lenthails,
Chamberlains, Newdigates, Annesleys, Bagots, Fleetwoods, Lucys,
Chetwoods, Hobys, etc. abound.

The early years of the College were uneventful except for two
visitations in the interests of the reformed religion. In 1560 several
of the fellows retired; Slythurst was deprived, and died in the Tower.
No objection appears to have been offered by the Foundress to the
enforced disregard of many explicit regulations in the statutes: the
“sacerdotes missas celebrantes” became “capellani preces celebrantes”;
but incense was sometimes bought, and the feasts of the Assumption and
St. Thomas à Becket kept as gaudys. It is noticeable that an English
Bible and two Latin “Common Prayer” books had been sent with the
Founder’s service-books. In 1570 Bishop Horne ordered the destruction
or secularisation of the Founder’s presents as “monuments tending to
idolatrie and popish or devill’s service, crosses, censars, and such
lyke fylthie stuffe”; several of the Romanising fellows retired to
Gloucester Hall and Hart Hall (one was executed at York as a popish
priest in 1600; another was George Blackwell, the “archpriest”). A
table took the place of the three altars, but the paintings and glass
remained. “In 1642, the Lord Viscount Say and Seale came to visit the
College, to see what of new Popery they could discover. My L.^{d} saw
that this” (the painting) “was done of old time, and Dr. Kettle told
his Lo.^{p}, ‘Truly we regard it no more than a dirty dish-clout,’ so it
remained untoucht till Harris’s time, and then was coloured over with
green”; much to the disgust of Aubrey.

Yeldard, a writer of some academic reputation, became president; but
the computus, during his thirty-nine years of office, records nothing
more exciting than journeys to the estates, and small repairs to the
old buildings. In his time the foundation included Thomas Allen, Henry
Cuffe, who was expelled for remarking to his host when dining at
another college, “A pox _this_ is a beggarly college indeed--the plate
that our Founder stole would build another as good” (he became fellow
of Merton and Regius Professor of Greek, and was executed after Essex’s
rebellion), Thomas Lodge the dramatist, Richard Blount the Jesuit,
Bishops Wright of Lichfield and Coventry, Adams of Limerick, and
(according to Wood) Smith of Chalcedon _in partibus_; among commoners
were Sir Edward Hoby, John Lord Paulett, and Sir George Calvert, first
Lord Baltimore.

Yeldard was succeeded in 1598/9 by Dr. Ralph Kettell, of Kings-Langley,
scholar on the nomination of the Foundress in 1579. Though not a man
of mark outside Oxford, he seems to have initiated the development of
the College in the seventeenth century. He personally supervised every
department of college life, and left in his curious sloping handwriting
full memoranda of lawsuits and special expenses, lists of members,
and copies of deeds. By husbanding the resources of the College, he
restored extensively the old Durham quadrangle, superimposing attics
or “cock-lofts,” rebuilding the hall, and erecting on the site of
“Perilous Hall,” then leased from Oriel, the handsome house which bears
his name. He was a “right Church of England man,” and disliked Laud’s
despotic reforms. When an old man he became very eccentric, if we may
believe John Aubrey (commoner 1642), who saw him as he is painted with
“a fresh ruddie complexion--a very tall well-grown man. His gowne and
surplice and hood being on, he had a terrible gigantique aspect, with
his sharp gray eies. The ordinary gowne he wore was a russet cloth
gowne--He spake with a squeaking voice--He dragged with his right foot
a little, by which he gave warning (like the rattle-snake) of his
comeing. Will. Egerton would go so like him that sometimes he would
make the whole chapel rise up.” “When he observed the scholars’ haire
longer than ordinary, he would bring a paire of cizers in his muffe
(which he commonly wore), and woe be to them that sate on the outside
of the table. I remember he cutt Mr. Radford’s haire with the knife
that chipps the bread on the buttery-hatch, and then he sang, ‘_And was
not Grim the Collier finely trimmed?_’” The whole of Aubrey’s remarks
on him and other Trinity men is good reading, and we may conclude with
an anecdote which is at once suggestive of, and a contrast with, a
chapter in _John Inglesant_.

“’Tis probable this venerable Dr. might have lived some yeares longer,
and finish’t his century, had not the civill warres come on; w^{ch}
much grieved him, that was absolute in the Colledge, to be affronted
and disrespected by rude soldiers. I remember, being at the Rhetorique
lecture in the hall, a foot-soldier came in and brake his hower-glasse.
The Dr. indeed was just stept out, but Jack Dowch pointed at it. Our
grove was the Daphne for the ladies and their gallants to walk in,
and many times my Lady Isabella Thynne would make her entrys with a
theorbo or lute played before her. … She was most beautiful, humble,
charitable, &c., but she could not subdue one thing. I remember
one time this Lady and fine M^{ris} Fenshawe (she was wont, and my
Lady Thynne, to come to our chapell, mornings, halfe dressed like
angells) would have a frolick to make a visit to the President. The
old Dr. quickly perceived that they came to abuse him; he addressed
his discourse to M^{ris} Fenshawe, saying, ‘Madam, your husband and
father I bred up here, & I knew your grandfather; I know you to be a
gentlewoman, I will not say you are a whore, but gett you gonne for a
very woman.’ The dissoluteness of the times, as I have sayd, grieving
the good old Dr., his days were shortned, & dyed” in July 1643.

About this time Trinity produced among Bishops, Glemham of St. Asaph’s,
Lucy of St. David’s, Ironside of Bristol, Skinner of Bristol, Oxford,
and Worcester, Gore of Waterford, Parker of Oxford, Stratford of
Chester, and Sheldon of Canterbury; among authors, Sir John Denham,
William Chillingworth, Ant. Faringdon, Arthur Wilson, Daniel Whitby,
Sir Edw. Byshe, Francis Potter, Henry Gellibrand, George Roberts, M.D.,
and James Harrington; among Cavalier leaders, Thomas Lord Wentworth,
created Earl of Cleveland, Sir Philip Musgrave of Edenhall, and Sir
Hervey Bagot; on the other side, Henry Ireton and Edmund Ludlow;
besides the chivalrous William Earl of Craven, and John Lord Craven of
Ryton, founder of the Craven scholarships, Cecil Calvert second Lord
Baltimore, Sir Henry Blount the traveller, Milton’s friend Charles
Deodate, Dr. Nathaniel Highmore, and Chief Justice Newdigate.

The next president, Hannibal Potter, was elected during the disorders
of the Civil War. The college buildings were occupied during the siege
of Oxford by the courtiers and officers; many of the undergraduates
enlisted; the register and accounts are defective; the elections were
irregular, and the number of commoners admitted dropped from thirty-two
in 1633 to four in 1643, none in 1644, and one in 1645, reviving to
twenty-one in 1646. The tenants fell behind with their rents, and
in 1647 the arrears from estates and battels amounted to £1385; in
November 1642 the King “borrowed” £200, and in the following March
Sir Wm. Parkhurst gave the College a receipt for 173 pounds of plate,
which included everything given by the Founder and others, except
the chalice, paten, and two flagons. In 1647 and 1648 the College
sent £145 13_s._ 4_d._ and £45 to the Earl of Downe and his uncle Sir
Thomas Pope. In 1647 a lessee of College property, Sir Robert Napier of
Luton-Hoo, deposited £160 for emergencies.

In 1648 the members of the College were cited before the Puritan
Visitors of the University; eventually twenty-six submitted and
nineteen were ejected; some of them never appeared, _e. g._ the bursar
Josias Howe, who had carried off many of the College documents into
the country. Nine persons were intruded by the Visitors at different
times. Potter, who, as acting Vice-Chancellor, had for some time
baffled the commissioners, was turned out of his house by Lord Pembroke
in person, to make room for one of the Visitors, Dr. Robert Harris, of
Magdalen Hall. He was an old man, but still vigorous, a good scholar,
an orthodox though popular preacher; and was fairly well received by
the fellows, some of whom remained without having submitted. Under
him things settled down, and the numbers rose again; some scandalous
stories were afterwards current of the appropriation of a large sum
left behind by Potter, and of the exaction from one of the tenants of
an exorbitant fine; but on the whole Harris probably tolerated much of
the old _régime_, _e. g._ he allowed payments to absent fellows and
the Founder’s kinsmen, and the old saints’-days were still observed as

On his death in 1658, William Hawes was elected, and confirmed by a
mandate from the Protector. In 1659 he resigned on his death-bed in
order that no time might be lost in electing (illegally, since he was
not a member of the College), Dr. Seth Ward, a deprived fellow of
Sydney Sussex, Cambridge, who had settled at Wadham, where he became
Savilian Professor of Astronomy, and one of the founders of the Royal
Society. He was “very well acquainted and beloved in the College,” and
less likely to be objected to by the Government than Dr. Bathurst, who
was really the mainstay of the society. In 1660 Ward had to retire on
the restoration of Potter (with Howe and perhaps a married fellow,
Matthew Skinner), was made Dean and subsequently Bishop of Exeter, on
the recommendation of the West country gentlemen in the Restoration
Parliament, and died Bishop of Salisbury in 1689.

On Potter’s death in 1664 Ralph Bathurst naturally became president.
Shortly afterwards “A. Wood and his mother and his eldest brother and
his wife went to the lodgings of Dr. R. B., to welcome him to Oxon, who
had then very lately brought to Oxon his new-married wife, Mary, the
widdow of Dr. Jo. Palmer, late Warden of Alls. Coll. which Mary was of
kin to the mother of A. Wood. They had before sent in sack, claret,
cake, and sugar. Dr. Bathurst was then about forty-six years of age,
so there was need of a wife.” He was the fifth son of George Bathurst
(commoner 1605) and Elizabeth Villiers, Kettell’s step-daughter; many
of his family before and after him were at Trinity, and six of his
brothers are said to have died in the King’s service. He was ordained
priest in 1644; but submitted to the Visitors, “neither owning their
authority nor concurring in his principles with them, but rather
acting separately from them,” as he said afterwards; studied medicine
(M.D. 1654), and practised in Oxford and as a navy surgeon. During the
persecution of the Church he assisted Bishop Skinner as archdeacon at
the secret ordinations at Launton and in Trinity chapel. Skinner was
the only prelate who ordained regularly, and claimed to have conferred
orders on 400 to 500 persons. Bathurst was an original F.R.S., and
P.R.S. in 1688; and also a classical scholar of some ability, as
his remains show. In 1670 he became Dean of Wells, but refused the
bishopric of Bristol, for which Lord Somers recommended him in 1691.

Bathurst was well known in the best society of his day; and
his reputation, together with the traditions of the families
mentioned above, attracted to Trinity in his time a large number of
gentlemen-commoners of high rank. John Evelyn, for instance, whose
elder brother George was a commoner in 1633, took pains to place
his eldest son under his care. The University was sinking into the
intellectual torpor of the eighteenth century, and we find few men of
learning educated at Trinity for 100 years; the best known were Arthur
Charlett the antiquarian, and William Derham, an ingenious writer on
natural religion. Among the commoners were Lord Chancellor Somers, Wm.
Pierrepoint Earl of Kingston, the second Earl of Shaftesbury, Sir Chas.
O’Hara Lord Tyrawley, Commander-in-chief in Ireland, Spencer Compton
Earl of Wilmington (the Prime Minister _faute de mieux_), Allen Earl
Bathurst, Cobbe Archbishop of Dublin, and the heads of the families of
Abdy, Broughton, Wallop, Reade, Gresley, Trollope, Shelley, Knollys,
Hall, Clopton, Topham, Lennard, Dormer, Napier (of Luton-Hoo), Curzon,
Shirley (Ferrers), Herbert (Herbert of Cherbury), Cobb, Bridgeman,
Jodrell, Boothby, Jenkinson, and Shaw of Eltham, and many others long
connected with Trinity.

In 1685, some undergraduates, under the command of Philip Bertie,
volunteered against Monmouth; they drilled in the Grove, and the
College paid for the keep of some horses (“Pro avenis in usū Coll.
pro equo Mri. Praesidis ad militiā mutuato, 12_s._” Comp. 1685). In
Bathurst’s time there appears to have been some connection with the
West of England, Guernsey, Wales, and South Ireland, and in the next
century a large number of entries from the West Indies are found; but
on the whole Trinity continued to draw mainly on the southern Midlands,
especially Oxfordshire and Warwickshire.

To receive the increased numbers Bathurst almost rebuilt the college,
partly from the revenues increased by the rise in the value of land,
partly from contributions skilfully extracted from his old pupils and
friends, and partly from his private means, on which he drew with
great liberality. His chief works were the north wing of the garden
quadrangle (nearly the first Palladian work in Oxford) in 1665; the
west side in 1682, both from Wren’s designs; the Bathurst building,
now replaced by the new president’s house; the new kitchens, &c.; and
the present chapel, with the tower and gateway, from Aldrich’s plans
corrected by Wren, in 1691-4. He spent £2000 on the shell, and the
fittings with the carving by Gibbons were supplied by subscriptions. In
his time a Fellows’ Common-room, one of the earliest, was instituted,
in the room now the Bursary. Anthony à Wood used to visit it, till his
passion for gossip made him objectionable to the fellows.

Bathurst, whose portrait by Kneller represents him as a clever and
vigorous-looking man, with an oval face and singularly large eyelids,
became in his old age “stark blind, deaf, and memory lost.” (“This is a
serious alarm to me,” Evelyn continues after recording his death; “God
grant that I may profit by it.”) At last, when walking in his front
garden, from which in his dotage he used to throw stones at Balliol
chapel windows, he fell and broke his thigh, and refusing to have it
set on the ground that “an old man’s bones had no marrow in them,” died
June 14th, 1704, and was buried in the chapel. His will mentions a
large number of legacies to Trinity, Wells, the Royal Society, &c.

During the seventeenth century, besides the benefactions by way of
subscriptions already mentioned, and small gifts of books and plate,
the College received an endowment for the library from Ric. Rands,
rector of Hartfield, Sussex; a small farm in Oakley and Brill,
purchased with money left by John Whetstone; lands at Thorpe Mandeville
from Edward Bathurst, rector of Chipping-Warden; the moiety of the
manor lands of Abbot’s Langley, Herts, from Francis Combe, great-nephew
of the Founder; and a rent-charge from Thomas Unton, all three for
exhibitions; the livings of Rotherfield-Greys from Thomas Rowney of
Oxford, and Oddington-on-Otmoor from Bathurst; and a reading-desk in
the form of the College crest, a two-headed griffin, from Beckford
“promus.” In the eighteenth century several legacies occur, the most
noticeable being the livings of Farnham (Essex), Hill-Farrance, and
Barton-on-the-Heath; the Tylney exhibition; several large donations
towards various schemes connected with the buildings and grounds; the
iron gates on Broad Street from Francis North, first Earl of Guildford;
the clock from Henry Marquis of Worcester and his brother; and a
quantity of plate from fellows and gentlemen-commoners, including a
very fine ewer and basin from Frederick Lord North and his step-brother
Lord Lewisham. Unfortunately the general revenues of the College never
received any augmentation, and though they rose with the value of
agricultural produce, are not likely to develop further.

The next president was Thos. Sykes, Lady Margaret Professor; but he
had waited so long for the vacancy that he died in the following year,
and was succeeded by Wm. Dobson, after whose death in 1731 George
Huddesford governed the College for nearly half a century. He was
followed by Jos. Chapman (1776-1808) and Thos. Lee (1808-1824). They
all took their doctor’s degree, and were all buried in the chapel; but
they were not men of any particular distinction, and it is difficult
to individualise them. Huddesford, however, had some reputation as
a wit and antiquarian, and his brother William, also at Trinity,
is known as the editor of some important works. In the eighteenth
century the foundation of Trinity did no better in producing learned
men than other Colleges. There were, however, at various dates, a
few fairly well-known men--Rev. Thomas Warton, M.D., and his better
known son and namesake, the Professor of Poetry and Laureate; John
Gilbert, Archbishop of York; Mant, Bishop of Down and Connor; Wise,
Lethieullier, Dallaway, and Ford, antiquarians; James Merrick and Wm.
Lisle Bowles, authors. Among commoners were Frederick Lord North, the
Prime Minister, as well as his father and son, his brother Brownlow
Bishop of Winchester, and stepbrother William Earl of Dartmouth; the
heads of the Beaufort, Donegal, Umberslade, Hereford, De Clifford,
Ashbrook, and Winterton families; William Pitt, the great Earl of
Chatham; Johnson’s friends, Bennet Langton and Topham Beauclerk; the
usual number of country baronets, _e. g._ a Northcote, a Cope, a Carew,
and several Shaws, together with members of families long connected
with Trinity, such as Escott, Borlase, Whorwood, Wheeler, Lingen,
Woodgate, Guille, Sheldon, Norris; and Walter Savage Landor, who had to
be rusticated for firing a gun into the rooms of another man, whom he
hated for his Toryism, when he was entertaining what Landor called a
party of “servitors and other raffs of every description.”

Trinity seems to have been considered a quieter college than others,
if we may believe one G. B., who writes to the _Gentleman’s Magazine_
in 1798, that “at the small excellent College of Trinity were Lord
Lewisham, Lord North, Mr. Edwin Stanhope[?] &c., all as regular as
_great Tom_. Of Lord Lewisham and Lord North it was said that they
never missed early prayers in their College chapel one morning, nor any
evening when not actually out of Oxford, either dining out of town, or
on a water-party.” In 1728 the south side of the new quadrangle was
built on the site of the north side of the Durham buildings; the Lime
Walk was planted in 1713, at a cost of £8 19_s._ 3_d._; the hall was
cheaply refitted; but on the whole the College must have presented the
same homely appearance that it bore up to 1883. The old houses on Broad
Street, formerly academic halls, were bought from Oriel, and the ground
recently the President’s kitchen-garden from Magdalen; but no use was
made of the site till late in the present century.

The best known Trinity man in the eighteenth century was Thomas Warton,
who was intimate with Dr. Johnson and the chief literary men of the
time. Personally he was a man of retiring character, and undignified
appearance and manners, though he has a pleasant expression in the
portrait by Reynolds. In the Bachelors’ Common-room at Trinity he
founded the custom of electing annually a Lady-Patroness, and a
Poet-Laureate to celebrate her charms. His poetry has considerable
merit; he was an indefatigable researcher into English history and
literature; his _History of English Poetry_ is still reprinted; and
Trinity owes him a heavy debt for the Lives of Sir Thomas Pope and Dr.
Bathurst. Dr. Johnson often visited him and stayed at Kettell Hall,
where he made the acquaintance of his lively friend, Beauclerk, and
received the adoration of Langton. “If I come to live at Oxford,” he
said, “I shall take up my abode at Trinity,” and he gave the library in
which he preferred to read--(“Sir, if a man has a mind to _prance_, he
must study at Christchurch and All Souls”)--a copy of the Baskerville

Some poetical letters, as yet unpublished, by John Skinner,
great-great-grandson of the Bishop, contain some particulars of life in
Trinity. He matriculated with a friend from home, one Dawson Warren,
on November 16th, 1790; dined with Kett, who gave them wine left to
him that year by Warton. They lived in Bathurst buildings, had chapel
at 8.0; breakfasted together on tea, rolls, and toast at 8.30; read
Demosthenes for Kett’s lectures, &c., till 1.0. After riding or sailing
in a “yacht” called their Hobby-Horse, they had a hasty shaving and
powdering from the College barber for dinner at 3.0 in “messes” or
“sets.” This concluded with a “narrare” declaimed in hall from the
Griffin. Then they talked till 5.30, when they had a concert with
professionals (_e. g._ Dr. Crotch) from the town, concluding with a
“tray” of negus, &c. at 9.30. The less virtuous had a wine; their tray
was meat and beer; and eventually those of the party who could helped
the rest to bed. President Chapman was considered good-natured; “Horse”
Kett (who wrote several treatises used as text-books, and some poems
and novels which the undergraduates did not appreciate), was respected
but not liked. Kett’s equine features and pompous bearing figure in a
good caricature of 1807, “A view from Trinity.”

But if the fellows of Trinity as a rule contented themselves with the
routine well satirised by Warton in the _Rambler_, the ability and
energy of some of the tutors, particularly Kett, Ingram, Wilson, and
Short, enabled the College to take a leading place in the revival
of Oxford as a place of education at the opening of the nineteenth
century. The fellow-commoners gradually drop off; among the last
were Ar. French first Lord De Freyne, and the late Earl of Erne. But
the scholarships, always virtually open owing to the latitude as to
counties allowed by the Founder, began to be held by really able
men, and the elections to them became an honour keenly competed for.
The number of fellowships was small, and the choice subject to some
limitations, so that Trinity could not retain all its ablest scholars;
but it succeeded in retaining their affection. Cardinal Newman for
instance (admitted as a commoner, 1816; scholar, 1818[?]), had time
to remember his first college at a critical moment of his life; of his
leaving Oxford in 1846 he writes, “I called on Dr. Ogle [the Regius
Professor of Medicine], one of my very oldest friends, for he was my
private tutor when I was an undergraduate. In him I took leave of my
first College, Trinity, which was dear to me, and which held on its
foundation so many who had been kind to me both when I was a boy, and
all through my Oxford life. Trinity had never been unkind to me. There
used to be much snapdragon growing on the walls opposite my freshman’s
room there, and I had for years taken it as the emblem of my own
perpetual residence even unto death in my University.” Newman was made
an Honorary Fellow in 1878; and in 1885, on sending to the library a
set of his works, wrote, “This May the 18th is the anniversary of the
Monday on which in 1818 I was elected a member of your foundation. May
your yearly festival ever be as happy a day to you all as in 1818 it
was to me.”

At one time it seemed as if Trinity might take a lead in the Tractarian
movement; but the influence possibly of Ingram and Haddan directed
the attention of their pupils to historical studies, at first
ecclesiastical, but afterwards of a more general character. It is too
early at present to estimate the exact place of individuals in the
literature of the nineteenth century; but among those who will be
said to have “flourished” since 1800, and by whose work the influence
of Trinity on the period may be judged, may be mentioned the late
Archdeacon Randall, Rev. Isaac Williams the poet and theologian,
Rev. W. J. Copeland, J. W. Bowden, Rev. W. H. Guillemard, Sir G. K.
Rickards, Rev. A. W. Haddan, the elder Herman Merivale, Mountague
Bernard the international jurist, Bishops Claughton of St. Alban’s,
Stubbs of Oxford, Basil Jones of St. David’s, and Davidson of
Rochester, Vere (Lord) Hobart Governor of Madras, Roundell Palmer Earl
of Selborne, Ralph (Lord) Lingen, Professors Rawlinson, Freeman, Dicey,
Sanday, Bryce, Pelham, Ramsay, Rev. Sir G. Cox, Rev. North Pinder, Rev.
Isaac Gregory Smith, Bosworth Smith, the travellers William Gifford
Palgrave and Sir Richard Burton, to omit more junior present and recent
members of the foundation and commoners. Some of those mentioned when
scholars were famed for the “Trinity ἦθος,” which denoted “considerable
classical attainments and certain theological susceptibilities.”

The annals of the College during this period can only be glanced at.
Dr. James Ingram, president 1824-1850, was well known as one of the
first authorities on English antiquities and Anglo-Saxon literature: by
the undergraduates he was looked upon as what an old pupil has called
a “physical force man.” He left to the College a large and valuable
collection of topographical and antiquarian books. The next president,
Dr. John Wilson, of whose great care for the College estates and
archives many striking proofs remain, was one of those Heads of Houses
who adopted a _non possumus_ attitude towards the first University
Commission; he resigned in 1866, and retired to Woodperry House, where
he died in 1873. His successor, the Rev. Samuel William Wayte, had
been one of the secretaries to the Commissioners; he conferred great
benefits on the College by his careful management of the property,
and exercised considerable influence in the University. In 1878 he
retired to Clifton, where he still lives. In electing in his place
the Rev. John Percival, head master of Clifton College, who had never
been on the books of Trinity, the fellows took a step unusual but not
unprecedented in College history; in 1887 he resigned, on accepting the
headmastership of Rugby School. Under Dr. Percival the new statutes
of the Commission of 1877-81 came into force; to them is due a slight
increase which has taken place in the number of Scholars. The number
of commoners had already exceeded the traditional limit of “forty men
and forty horses,” and partly in consequence of this, it was determined
to build; between 1883 and 1887 the large block of rooms and the
new president’s lodgings in the front quadrangle, both by Mr. T. G.
Jackson, were constructed; Kettell Hall was bought from Oriel, and the
picturesque cottages on Broad Street and the old president’s house
converted into college rooms. A large portion of the money necessary
for these purposes was contributed by present and past members of the
foundation, and other graduates of the College.

We may conclude by mentioning some other important benefactions of the
present century. James Ford, B.D., rector of Navestock, left funds for
the purchase of advowsons, and for exhibitions appropriated to certain
schools; the Millard bequest provides an endowment for natural science.
A present of money from a “Member of the College” has been spent on
portraits for the hall; an organ for the chapel was given by President
Wayte; and seven windows of stained-glass representing Durham College
saints, have recently been given by the Rev. Henry George Woods, M.A.,
the present President, to whom this account of Trinity College may be
appropriately inscribed.

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTE.--It is impossible to form a complete list of the persons educated
at Trinity College, since the first general Register of Admissions
commences only in 1646, and the entries are not autograph till 1664.
But an approximate estimate may be made from various records, such as
(1) the Admission Registers A, B, and C, 1646-1891, (2) the formal
admissions before a notary public of the Scholars or Fellows from 1555,
contained in the College Registers, (3) the Bursars’ annual account
from 1579-1646 of Caution-money paid by Commoners, (4) the University
Registers, which give some names not contained in the preceding,
principally of the “poor scholars” who did not pay Caution-money. The
total numbers seem to be not much under 6000, and of this nearly 1000
persons have been members of the foundation.--H. E. D. B.




After the dissolution of the religious houses there were in Oxford
numbers of deserted buildings, little suited for private residences,
but useful only, as they were designed, for corporate life. Some fell
into decay, and have now utterly disappeared; others, by the wisdom of
men interested in the intellectual revival of the age, were refounded
as places of religion, learning, and education. To this latter class
belongs the College of S. John Baptist. It occupies the site and some
of the buildings of a Bernardine House founded by Archbishop Chichele
in 1437, as a place where the Cistercian scholars studying at Oxford
“might obtain humane and heavenly knowledge.” By Letters Patent of
Henry VI. the Archbishop received leave to “erect a College to the
honour of the most glorious Virgin Mary and S. Bernard, in the street
commonly called North Gate street, in the parish of S. Mary Magdalene,
without the North Gate.”[263] The buildings consisted only of a single
block facing westwards, with one wing behind.[264] The hall was built
about 1502, and the chapel consecrated in 1530. All of these remain in
use. The monks had also a garden, leased at first part from University
College and part from Durham College.

At the dissolution in 1539, the lands, buildings, and revenues of S.
Bernard’s College were given by Henry VIII. to his newly founded
College and Cathedral of Christ Church, in whose possession they
remained some sixteen years. In 1555, the deserted buildings were
restored to use, and the College refounded under Letters Patent of
Philip and Mary, granted at the request of a rich and munificent
London trader, Sir Thomas White. He was a Merchant Taylor of renown,
who had been Sheriff of London in 1547, and Lord Mayor in the year of
Sir Thomas Wyatt’s rebellion, when he had rallied the citizens to the
cause of Queen Mary. He had, says a College chronicler,[265] poured
over England a torrent of munificence, and now among the many things
in which he deserved well of the State, this was the worthiest. There
is a legend that he was directed in a dream to found a College hard by
where three trunks grew from the root of a single elm,[266] and the
tree which was said to have decided him to purchase the buildings of
S. Bernard’s was pointed out as still standing in the garden of Dr.
Levinz, President of S. John’s College from 1673 to 1697. Beyond the
buildings, there was no link between the old Society and the new. The
Cistercian tradition had left no trace; Sir Thomas White’s foundation
was a new creation.

The College thus founded in 1555, was to be set apart[267] for study
of the sciences of Sacred Theology, Philosophy, and good Arts; it was
dedicated to the praise and honour of God, of the Blessed Virgin Mary
His Mother, and S. John Baptist, and the Society was to consist of a
President and thirty graduate or non-graduate scholars. In 1557,[268]
both the scope and numbers of the original Foundation were enlarged;
Theology, Philosophy, Civil and Canon Law were now declared to be the
subjects of study, and the number of Fellows and scholars was raised to
fifty, of whom[269] six were to be founder’s kin, two from Coventry,
Bristol, and Reading schools, one from Tunbridge and the rest from the
Merchant Taylors’ school in London. Twelve were to study Civil and
Canon Law, one Medicine, and the rest Theology. There were also added
three priests as chaplains, six clerks not priests yet not married, and
six choristers. From the first the College was intimately connected
with the country round Oxford, for the founder endowed it with the
manors of Long Wittenham, Fyfield, Cumnor, Eaton, Kingston-Bagpuze,
Frilford and Garford, in the counties of Berks and Oxon, and with
sundry advowsons in the neighbourhood. It was at Handborough that the
first President, Alexander Belsire, B.D., who was appointed by the
Founder, died. He had been Rector for several years, and had retired
there when removed from the headship on account of his maintenance of
the papal supremacy. Several of the earlier Presidents held the living
of Kingston-Bagpuze. In the manor-house at Fyfield the kinsfolk of the
founder continued to live on for many generations, paying a nominal
rent to the College, which from its piety thus suffered a considerable
pecuniary loss at a time when its finances were at a very low ebb.[270]
Nearer home, the manor of Walton, which had formerly belonged to the
nunnery of Godstow, gave the College a share in the interests of the
citizens of Oxford, which has continued to our own time.

During its earlier years Sir Thomas White watched over the institution
which he had founded. The statutes which he gave were substantially
those of New College, and this return to the scheme of William of
Wykeham, which had been so largely adopted at Cambridge, shows that
the alterations made by the founders of Magdalen, Corpus Christi, and
Trinity, were not felt to be improvements. He had nominated the first
President, his own kinsman John James as Vice-President for life,
and the earlier Fellows. By his advice probably the second and third
Presidents, and certainly the fourth, were appointed. He drew up also
the most minute directions for the election and for the binding of the
President to the performance of his duties, and for the government
of the College. In all he set himself on behalf of the Society to
seek peace and ensue it. If any strife should arise which could not
within five days be appeased by the President and Deans, it must--so
he ruled--be referred to the Warden of New College, the President of
Magdalen, and the Dean of Christ Church, and by their decision all
must abide. As he drew towards his end he wrote a touching letter of
farewell to the Society which lay so near his heart. It runs thus--“Mr.
President, with the fellows and scholars, I have me recommended unto
you from the bottom of my heart, desiring the Holy Ghost may be among
you until the end of the world, and desiring Almighty God that every
one of you may love one another as brethren, and I shall desire you all
to apply your learning, and so doing God shall give you His blessing,
both in this world and in the world to come. And furthermore if any
strife or variance do arise among you I shall desire you for God’s love
to pacify it as much as you may, and so doing I put no doubt but God
shall bless every one of you. And this shall be the last letter that
ever I shall send unto you, and therefore I shall desire every one
of you to take a copy of it for my sake.[271] No more to you at this
time, but the Lord have you in His keeping until the end of the world.
Written the 27th of Jan., 1566. I desire you all to pray to God for
me that I may end my life with patience, and that He may take me to
His mercies. By me, Sir Thomas White, Knight, Alderman of London, and
founder of S. John Baptist College in Oxford.”

Within a fortnight from the writing of this letter the founder died.
He was buried with solemn ceremonial in the College chapel, where his
coffin was found intact when that of Laud was laid beside it nearly
a century later. A funeral oration was preached by one of the most
brilliant of the junior Fellows, Edmund Campion, soon to win wider
notoriety, and eventually to die a shameful death.

The loss of the founder made more evident the weaknesses with which the
College had had to struggle from the first. It was wretchedly poor.
The munificence of Sir Thomas White himself had more than exhausted
his purse. He died a poor man; much of what he had intended for the
College never reached it,--it would have been less still but for the
scarcely judicial assistance, “partly by pious persuasions and partly
by judicious delays,” of his executor Sir William Cordell, who was
Master of the Rolls,--and some of the estates, like Fyfield, were
burdened with encumbrances which he had left behind. Nor was this
all. Before the end of the century one of the Bursars seems to have
embezzled the College money and fled, becoming a Papist, and getting
employment where his antecedents were not known, as paymaster to an
Archduke of Austria. As early as 1577 the expenses had to be cut down;
the chapel foundation was reduced if not altogether suspended. But the
College not only suffered from pecuniary troubles; it seems to have
been peculiarly affected by the religious changes of the time. So long
as the founder had lived, his tact had smoothed the difficulties of the
transition from the Marian to the Elizabethan rule. Two at least of the
earlier Presidents were deprived for asserting the Pope’s supremacy,
yet the change was managed without disturbance. But when the wise
counsels of the founder could no longer be heard, and when the Papal
Court had declared itself the bitter foe of Elizabeth, Fellow after
Fellow retired, or was deprived, and joined the Roman party. For this
cause no less than six members of the foundation are recorded within a
few years to have been imprisoned. Some, like Gregory Martin, who had
been tutor to the Duke of Norfolk’s children, and was afterwards the
translator of the “Rheims Bible,” fled over sea; some died in hiding,
some in English gaols. One, Edmund Campion, a brilliant orator and a
bold defender of the Papal jurisdiction, became a Jesuit, was mixed up
in several political intrigues, and eventually was hanged at Tyburn. It
might seem as though the little College, poor and divided, would never
weather the storm. That it did so was no doubt due to the patience and
devotion of its members. During its darkest years, at the end of the
sixteenth century, there were found philosophers and theologians, such
as Dr. John Case,[272] and skilful administrators such as Dr. Francis
Willis (President, 1577-1590), poets and rhetoricians, and London
merchants, who gave their talents and their money to support the fame
of the struggling Society.

By the beginning of the sixteenth century the College was on its feet
again; before a quarter of the century had passed its influence was the
most important in the University. Great men had begun to send their
sons there. In 1564 came two sons of the Earl of Shrewsbury; in 1572
two Stanleys and young Lord Strange. At the accession of James I. few
Colleges had among their members so many men already distinguished or
soon to win distinction. Tobie Matthew, a former President, had risen
to be Dean, and then Bishop, of Durham, and died Archbishop of York.
Sir William Paddy, a Fellow and notable benefactor, was the King’s
physician. John Buckeridge (President, 1605-1611) became Bishop first
of Rochester and then of Ely. A Fellow of the College had been the
Maiden Queen’s ambassador to Russia; many others were famous in the
law courts. But two men especially were destined to play a part on a
wider scene. In 1602 William Juxon, a lad of gentle birth, from Sussex,
matriculated at S. John’s. William Laud, born at Reading on October
7th, 1573, elected a Fellow of S. John’s College at the early age of
twenty, was Proctor in the year of the King’s accession. From this year
the history of the College may be considered to be inseparable from
that of the little energetic personage who left so great a mark upon
the history of the English Church.

On the 18th of January, 1605, Dr. John Buckeridge was elected President
on the death of Ralph Hutchinson. In August of the same year, King
James visited the University. At the gate of S. John’s “three
young youths[273] in habit and attire like nymphs, confronted him,
representing England, Scotland, and Ireland, and talking dialogue-wise
each to other of their state, at last concluding yielding up themselves
to his gracious government. The Scholars stood all on one side of the
street; and the strangers of all sorts on the other. The Scholars stood
first, then the Bachelors, and last the Masters of Arts.” Two days
afterwards, at the end of a long day, the King saw a comedy, called
_Vertumnuus_, written by Dr. Gwynne, a Fellow of S. John’s. “It was
acted much better than either of the other that he had seen before, yet
the King was so over-wearied that after a while he distasted it and
fell asleep. When he awaked he would have been gone, saying, ‘I marvel
what they think me to be,’ with such other like speeches, showing his
dislike thereof. Yet he did tarry till they had ended it, which was
after one of the clock.”

At this time the University was greatly influenced by Calvinist
doctrines. It was from S. John’s that the first opposition to the
prevalent opinions came, and it was thus that William Laud first
became famous. Laud was ordained deacon and priest by Dr. Young,
Bishop of Rochester, who, “finding his study raised above the systems
and opinions of the age, upon the noble foundations of the fathers,
councils, and the ecclesiastical historians, early presaged that if
he lived he would be an instrument of restoring the Church from the
narrow and private principles of modern times to the more enlarged,
liberal, and public sentiments of the apostolic and primitive ages.”
Dr. Young was right in his prophecy, for Laud was soon the leader of
the reaction against Calvinism in the University, as he was afterwards
successful in asserting more liberal and Catholic sentiments in the
Anglican Church at large. By maintaining in theological lectures and
sermons before the University the doctrine of baptismal regeneration
and the divine institution of Episcopacy, he made himself prominent in
opposition to the chief authorities of the day, who were all imbued
with Calvinistic views. It was reckoned, so in later years he told
Heylin, a heresy to speak to him, and a suspicion of heresy to salute
him as he walked in the street. Yet he had no lack of friends; the
most eminent members of his own College seem always to have stood by
him,--we have Sir William Paddy’s approval of an University sermon
that had caused much offence,--and before long he found the whole
University converted to his views. There were sermons and pamphlets
and answers and counterblasts, inquiries by Vice-Chancellor and
Doctors, threats of suspension, murmurs of disloyalty to the Church,
as there have often been since in Oxford theological tempests; but
the misconception and bitter feeling were gradually overcome by
the steadfast conscientiousness of Laud. He received a number of
preferments outside the University, was especially honoured by Bishop
Neile of Rochester, and resigned his Fellowship in 1610 to devote
himself entirely to parochial work. At the end of that year, however,
Dr. Buckeridge, President of S. John’s, was elected Bishop of Rochester
in succession to Dr. Neile, and by his advice and support Laud was
proposed for the vacant headship of the College. Calvinist influence
in the University was set to work to induce the King to prevent the
appointment, but without success, and Laud was elected on May 10th,
1611. The election was marked by keen and violent party feeling. When
the nomination papers had been laid on the altar (as was the custom in
College elections down to within living memory), and the Vice-President
was about to announce the result, one of the Fellows, Richard Baylie,
snatched the papers from his hands and tore them in pieces. It is
characteristic of Laud’s freedom from personal animosity, that he
passed over this act of irritable partisanship and showed special
favour to the culprit. He procured the choice of Baylie as Proctor
in 1615, afterwards made him his chaplain, married him to his niece,
supported his election in 1632 to the Presidency itself, and in 1636
appointed him Vice-Chancellor of the University. In the same year,
1611, Laud became one of the King’s chaplains, and from this time was
not without royal influence to assist him in his University contests.

He had still great difficulties to contend with. Dr. Abbot, Regius
Professor of Divinity and brother of the Primate, preached against
him in S. Mary’s, his assertion of anti-Calvinistic doctrine, or
Arminianism as it was now called, being the cause of complaint.
“Might not Christ say, what art thou? Romish or English, Papist or
Protestant?--or what art thou? A mongrel compound of both; a Protestant
by ordination, a Papist in point of free will, inherent righteousness,
and the like. A Protestant in receiving the Sacrament, a Papist in the
doctrine of the Sacrament. What, do you think there be two heavens? If
there be, get you to the other and place yourself there, for into this
where I am ye shall not come.” To such coarse stuff as this was Laud
compelled to listen; he “was fain to sit patiently” among the heads of
houses, and “hear himself abused almost an hour together, being pointed
at.” But this was merely the vindictive retort of a vanquished party.

In 1616 the King sent some instructions to the Vice-Chancellor which
exercised a powerful effect on the theology and discipline of the
University. Care was to be taken that the selected preachers throughout
the city should conform to the doctrine of the Church, and that
students in Divinity should be “excited to bestow their time on the
Fathers and Councils, schoolmen, histories and controversies, … making
them the grounds of their studies in divinity.” In the same year Laud
was made Dean of Gloucester. In 1621 he became Bishop of S. David’s,
and resigned the headship of the College. During the following years
he does not seem to have been much in Oxford, and it was not till
1630, when he was made Chancellor, that he exercised effective control
over the University. While he was busied in the affairs of the Church
at large, and was rising step by step to the highest ecclesiastical
preferment, his College, under the government of Dr. William Juxon,
grew in prosperity. Sir William Paddy, always a benefactor, gave a
“pneumatick organ of great cost,” and by his will endowed an organist
with singing men, and left books and money to the Society of which he
was, says a College chronicler, a member as munificent as learned. The
organ, though its erection was made by Prynne one of the accusations
against Laud, escaped destruction during the Rebellion, and was in
use till 1768. Bishop Buckeridge left more money to the College, and
altar furniture for the chapel. Within the years 1616-1636 large sums
of money came in, and gifts of land and advowsons of livings were made
by persons more or less connected with the College; the buildings
were added to, and by the time when Laud, as Bishop of London and
Chancellor of the University, had set himself to “build at S. John’s in
Oxford, where I was bred up, for the good and safety of that College,”
the College, still much less than a century old, was freed from the
pecuniary troubles which so much crippled it in its earlier years.

The new quadrangle, which was begun in July 1631, when the King gave
two hundred tons of wood from the royal forests of Stow and Shotover
to aid in the building, was a magnificent expression of the donor’s
generosity and love for the College. It was completed in 1636, and
Laud, now Archbishop of Canterbury, having assigned by special
direction the new rooms to the library, to the President, and for the
use of commoners, made elaborate preparations to receive the King and
Queen when they “invited themselves” to him. They brought with them the
King’s nephew, the Elector Palatine and Prince Rupert, who were entered
on the books of S. John’s. Laud’s College and his new library were the
centre of the entertainments that marked their stay in Oxford. The
Archbishop’s own words[274] give the best account of the festivities.
On the 30th of August, 1636, he says, “When they were come to S.
John’s they first viewed the new building, and that done I attended
them up to the Library stairs, where as soon as I began to ascend the
music began and they had a fine short song fitted for them as they
ascended the stairs. In the Library they were welcomed to the College
with a short speech made by one of the Fellows (Abraham Wright). And
dinner being ready they passed from the old into the new library, built
by myself, where the King, the Queen and the Prince Elector dined at
one table which stood cross at the upper end. And Prince Rupert with
all the lords and ladies present, which were very many, dined at a long
table in the same room. When dinner was ended I attended the King and
the Queen together with the nobles into several withdrawing chambers,
where they entertained themselves for the space of an hour. And in
the meantime I caused the windows of the hall to be shut, the candles
lighted, and all things made ready for the play to begin. When these
things were fitted, I gave notice to the King and Queen and attended
them into the hall. … The play[275] was very good and the action. It
was merry and without offence, and so gave a great deal of content.
In the middle of the play I ordered a short banquet for the King,
the Queen, and the lords. And the College was at that time so well
furnished as that they did not borrow any one actor from any College
in town. The play ended, the King and Queen went to Christ Church.” A
contemporary notes among the quaintnesses of the entertainment that
“the baked meats were so contrived by the cook, that there was first
the forms of archbishops, then bishops, doctors, etc., seen in order,
wherein the King and courtiers took much content.” “No man,” says Laud,
“went out at the gates, courtier or other, but content; which was a
happiness quite beyond expectation.” The next day, when the royal party
had left, the Chancellor entertained the University authorities, “which
gave the University a great deal of content, being that which had never
been done by any Chancellor before.” “I sat with them,” he says, “at
table; we were merry, and very glad that all things had so passed to
the great satisfaction of the King and the honour of that place.”

By this time Laud had not only given to his own College a notable
position in the University, but had reformed and legislated for the
University itself. The statutes had long been in confusion; Convocation
in any case of difficulty passed a new rule which frequently conflicted
with the old statutes, and the government of the undergraduates
seems to have been very lax. The University submitted its laws to
the Chancellor, who, with the aid of a learned lawyer of Merton
College, revised and codified them. How he desired that the students
should be ruled may be seen by his careful direction to the heads of
Colleges,[276] that “the youths should conform themselves to the public
discipline of the University. … And particularly see that none, youth
or other, be suffered to go in boots or spurs, or to wear their hair
undecently long, or with a lock in the present fashion, or with slashed
doublets, or in any light or garish colours; and that noblemen’s sons
may conform in everything, as others do, during the time of their abode
there, which will teach them to know the difference of places and order
betimes; and when they grow up to be men it will make them look back
upon that place with honour to it and reputation to you.” So successful
was he in impressing the spirit of discipline and self-restraint,
that Sir John Coke was able to congratulate the University in 1636
that “scholars are no more found in taverns, nor seen loitering in the
streets or other places of idleness or ill-example, but all contain
themselves within the walls of their Colleges, and in the schools
or public libraries, wherein I confess you have at length gotten
the start, and by your virtue and merit have made this University,
which before had no paragon in any foreign country, now to go beyond
itself and give a glorious example to others not to go behind.” In
the Register of S. John’s College there are curious examples of the
discipline maintained. To take an instance from a somewhat later
time, under the date of April 4th, 1668, we have “Memorandum, that I,
Thomas Tuer, being convented and convicted, _secunda vice_, before the
Vice-President and Seniors of the breach of the statutes _de morum
honestate_ by injuriously striking Sir Waple, was for this my fault
according to the statutes on that behalf put out of commons for 15
days. Thomas Tuer.”

By his example of conscientious perseverance, by his devotion to
learning, and by his munificent building and endowment, Laud had
brought both his College and the University to a high standard of
culture and research. These were indeed the halcyon days of S. John’s,
when Laud, its “second founder,” was Chancellor of the University and
Primate of all England; Juxon his pious and sagacious successor as
President was Bishop of London and Lord Treasurer; and Dr. Richard
Baylie governed the College, whose annalist says that never was there
more diligent scholar, more learned Fellow, or more prudent Head.[277]
But the University soon fell on evil days; discipline was dissolved,
teaching and learning were alike suspended, and the streets rang with
the summons to arms. The city bore for several years the aspect at
once of a camp, and of an exiled Court. In these troubles S. John’s
had its full share. Scholars joined the King’s troops, Fellows were
driven from their country livings, the College gave up its treasures
to the Royal cause. In the College Register of 1642 is inserted the
following letter--“Charles R. Trusty and well beloved, we greet you
well. We are so well satisfied with your readiness and Affection to
our service that we cannot doubt but you will take all occasions to
express the same. And as we are ready to sell or engage any of our
lands, so we have melted down our Plate for the payment of our Army
raised for our defence and the preservation of the Kingdom. And having
received several quantities of Plate from divers of our loving subjects
we have removed our Mint hither to our City of Oxford for the coining
thereof. And we do hereby desire you that you will send unto us all
such plate of what kind soever which belongs to your College, promising
you to see the same justly repaid unto you after the rate of 5_s._ the
ounce for white, and 5_s._ 6_d._ for gilt plate as soon as God shall
enable us. For assure yourselves we shall never let persons of whom we
have so great a care to suffer for their affection unto us, but shall
take special order for the repayment of what you have already lent to
us according to our promise. … And we assure ourselves of the very
great willingness to gratify us herein, since besides the more public
considerations you cannot but know how much yourselves are concerned in
our sufferings. And we shall always remember this particular service to
your advantage. Given at our Court at Oxford this 6th day of Jan. 1642

“In answer to his Majesty’s letters,” says the Register, “it was
consented and unanimously agreed by the President and Fellows of the
College that the plate of the College should be delivered unto his
Majesty’s use.” It was melted down, and the coin so struck was stamped
with the initials of the President, Dr. Richard Baylie.

In June 1643 the King wrote again to the College, asking that some of
its members should subscribe 4_s._ a week for a month for the support
of soldiers: “we do assure you on the word of a king that this charge
shall lie on you but one month.” Soon after this Laud resigned his
Chancellorship in a touching letter from his prison, and in making
his will showed the deepest attachment to the College where he “was
bred.” Baylie, who was his executor, was not long suffered to remain
in his post. The Parliamentary Commission which visited the University
in January 1648 ordered that the President of S. John’s College,
“being adjudged guilty of high contempt by denial of the authority of
Parliament, be removed from” his office, “and accordingly the said Dr.
Baylie is required forthwith to yield obedience hereunto, and to remove
from the said College and quit the said place, and all emoluments,
rights and appointments thereunto belonging.” They abolished the
choral service, appropriating Sir William Paddy’s endowment to the
increase of the President’s salary. These Commissioners, says Dr.
Joseph Taylor, were men “in whom there was nothing lacking save
religion, virtue, and learning,” and the oath which they required of
the Fellows, for the sake of ejecting them when they refused it, was
“as ridiculous as it was detestable.” In the place of the existing
foundation they put as President Francis Cheynell, the zealot who had
anathematized Chillingworth as he lay dying (a man, says Taylor, “non
tantum fanaticus sed et furiosus”), and they filled the Fellowships
with men collected anywhere and than the majority of whom “there could
be nothing more ignorant or more abject.” Cheynell held the Presidency
only two years, when he was obliged to make choice between it and a
valuable living in Sussex. He was succeeded by one Thankful or Gracious
Owen, a Fellow of Lincoln College, under whose rule the College
languished in poverty and neglect until the Restoration, its property
dissipated and its learning in decay.

The return of the King brought back Head and Fellows. A blank page in
the College Register is followed by a lease signed by “R. Baylie,”
without note or comment on his deprivation or return. The first results
of the Restoration were works of piety. Before long the body of the
aged Juxon was laid near the founder beneath the altar in the chapel.
It was now possible to carry out the last wish of Laud himself, who in
his will had desired “to be buried in the chapel of S. John Baptist
College, under the altar or communion table there.” All was done
privately, as he had himself directed. Yet the stillness of night,
the torches and the flickering candles, the reverence of the restored
foundation to the greatest and most loyal of its sons, must have given
a unique solemnity to the scene. “The day then, or rather the night,”
says Anthony Wood, “being appointed wherein he should come to Oxon,
most of the Fellows, about sixteen or twenty in number, went to meet
him towards Wheatley, and after they had met him, about seven of the
clock on Friday, July 24th, 1663, they came to Oxon at ten at night,
with the said number before him, and his corpse lying on a horse litter
on four wheels drawn by four horses, following, and a coach after that.
In the same way they went up to S. Mary’s Church, then up Cat’s Street,
then to the back-door of S. John’s Grove; where, taking his coffin out,
they conveyed [it] to the chapel; when Mr. Gisbey, Fellow of that house
and Vice-President, had spoke a speech, they laid him inclosed in a
wooden coffin in a little vault at the upper end of the chancel between
the founder’s and Archbishop Juxon’s.”

The most interesting period of the College history was during the
reigns of the Stuarts. The same spirit of devotion to the Church and
loyalty to the throne which had animated Laud and Juxon still breathed
in their successors. Tobias Rustat, Esquire, Yeoman of the Robes to
Charles II., and Under Housekeeper of Hampton Court, left a large
sum to endow loyal lectures--two on “the day of the horrid and most
execrable murder of that most glorious Prince and Martyr”; one to
be read by the Dean of Divinity, and the other by “some one of the
most ingenious Scholars or Fellows whom the President shall appoint,”
setting forth the “barbarous cruelty of that unparalleled parricide”;
one by the Dean of Law on October 23rd, “which was the day wherein
Rebellion did appear solemnly armed against Majesty”; and a fourth on
the 29th of May, “setting forth the glory and happiness of that day,”
which saw the birth of Charles II. and his “triumphant return.” There
is in the College library a curious portrait of Charles I., over which
in a minute hand several Psalms are written. Tradition has it that when
the “merry monarch” visited Oxford he asked for this eccentric piece of
work, and that when, on leaving, in recognition of his loyal welcome
he offered to give the Fellows anything they should ask, they declared
that no gift could be so precious as the restoration to them of the
portrait of his father. The story, true or not, could only be told of a
College which was famous as the home of devoted loyalty to the Stuarts.
It was Dr. Peter Mews (or Meaux), Baylie’s successor as President, who
lent his carriage horses to draw the royal cannon to Sedgmoor. When
Nicholas Amherst (the author of a collection of scurrilous essays
which he called after the name of the licensed buffoon at the Encænia,
Terræ Filius) was expelled the College for his irregularities, he made
up a plausible tale that the reason for his expulsion was that he was
the only man loyal to the Hanoverian line in a nest of Jacobites.
He lost no opportunity of attacking the College, with no regard for
truth or consistency. Dr. Delaune (President 1698-1728) was his most
prominent victim. Once, says he, that learned President was affronted
in the theatre by Terrae Filius, who called out to him by name as
he came in, shaking a box and dice, and crying “_Jacta est alea_,
doctor, seven’s the main,” in allusion to “a scandalous report handed
about by the doctor’s enemies, that he had lost great sums of other
people’s money at dice.” But Jacobitism was an accusation much more
plausible, and we are inclined not altogether to disbelieve him when
he says that the Latitudinarian Hoadly was abused in a Latin oration
in chapel as “iste malus logicus, pejor politicus, pessimus theologus;
a bad logician, a worse statesman, and the worst of all divines.” Dr.
Richard Rawlinson, who had been a gentleman commoner of the College,
and left to it on his death in 1755 the bulk of his estate, was a
typical antiquary and worshipper of the exiled House. His collection of
letters and MSS., the researches which he made into the early history
of the Foundation, are among the most cherished possessions of the
College. “Ubi thesaurus ibi cor” is the motto of the urn in chapel
which contains his heart. His “treasure” was divided between S. John’s
and the Bodleian; his heart, which had beaten with an equal affection
for the Stuarts and for the College, remained among those who shared
his semi-sentimental attachment. It was said of Dr. Holmes (President
1728-48) that he was probably the first Fellow, and certainly the first
Head, of the College who was loyal to the Hanoverian Succession. Almost
within living memory the Fellows of S. John’s in their Common Room, “a
large handsome room, the scene of a great deal of learning and a great
many puns,”[278] toasted the king “over the water.” Up till the middle
of the present century, indeed, it was a college of survivals. The
old loyal lectures were read, the old “gaudies” held, the old rules
maintained. Throughout the eighteenth century the founder’s order
against absence from College was strictly observed: all permissions
to be away from Oxford were carefully recorded in the Register. Leave
was at first only granted on the business of the College, or the king,
or a bishop; and it is said of one Dr. Sherard that he had to give up
his Fellowship when he had exhausted the list of the Episcopal bench.
Even Doctors of Divinity were obliged to get license to “go down.” Dr.
Smith, though Master of Merchant Taylors’ School (died 1730), could not
teach his boys without the College leave to be absent from Oxford. Only
in recent years has iconoclastic modernism destroyed the old progresses
round the College estates, formal fishing of the College waters, and
festive commemoration of days of ecclesiastical or royalist note. The
history of the last and of the present century lies outside the scope
of this sketch, and the share that S. John’s has had in the important
movements of the last seventy years is left untold. Much has undergone
change, at the hands of Time and of Parliamentary Commissions; but
there still lingers one feature of the old life of the University which
elsewhere has passed away. S. John’s alone of all the Colleges has
(1891) no married Fellows; thus here as it can scarcely be elsewhere,
the College life is most closely centered within the College walls.




Jesus College was the first Protestant Society established in Oxford,
and its appearance marks an epoch in the history of the University;
for “if Christ Church was the last and grandest effort of expiring
Mediævalism, if Trinity and St. John’s commemorated the re-action under
Philip and Mary, Jesus, by its very name, took its stand as the first
Protestant College.”[279]

It may seem at first sight that there ought to be little difficulty in
tracing the origin and settlement of a College which thus came into
being in the latter half of the sixteenth century; but, partly because
much is obscure in the history of the institution out of which it was
erected, and partly because there are practically no College records
for the first sixty years of its own existence, the historian of Jesus
College has very scanty materials for his account of its foundation and
early annals, and has to put down much which rests rather on inference
than on documentary evidence.

About the year 1460, John Rowse, the Warwick antiquary, wrote down a
list[280] of Halls and other places of study in Oxford. In this four
Halls are mentioned, all for “legists,” that is, students of Canon
and of Civil Law, viz. White, Hawk, Laurence, and Elm Halls, which
stood on the site now occupied by Jesus College. These represented a
once greater number of Halls, for Laurence Hall had absorbed Plomer
(or Plummer) Hall; and in White Hall had been merged another White
Hall,[281] which stood back to back with it, and apparently (but the
evidence is hardly tangible) other Halls. In the next century the
number of Halls was still further reduced, and by 1552 we find White
Hall alone left,[282] having possibly drawn into its own precincts the
buildings of its old neighbours. This White Hall stood on the north
side of Cheyney Lane (now called Market Street), a short distance from
the corner where it enters the Turl. It was a very old place of study,
being mentioned as early as 1262, and having a well-marked succession
of Principals from 1436 to 1552.

The point of capital importance in view of its relation to Jesus
College is whether, about the time of the Reformation, White Hall
became distinctly a Hall for Welsh students; but that point cannot be
determined. The occasional and imperfect lists of members of White
Hall found up to 1552 exhibit only a few Welsh names, from which it
may perhaps be inferred that Welshmen were then in a distinct minority
in this Hall. The two graduates of White Hall who are mentioned in
1562[283] are both Welsh, as also are their pupils; but these notices
are a mere accident. If, however, Jesus College took over the inmates
of White Hall, they must have been mostly Welshmen, because the first
College list[284] (1572-3, two years after the foundation) exhibits
almost exclusively Welsh names. On the whole, it is best to say that
the evidence does not justify the belief that White Hall, which Jesus
College superseded, was distinctly a Hall of Welsh students.

At the petition of Hugo Price, or Ap Rice, Doctor of Laws, Treasurer
of St. Davids, Queen Elizabeth granted the first Letters Patent, dated
the 27th of June, 1571, establishing “quoddam Collegium eruditionis
scientiarum, philosophiae, bonarum artium, linguarum cognitionis,
Hebraicae, Graecae, et Latinae, ad finalem sacrae Theologiae
professionem,” and conferring on the new foundation all the lands,
buildings, and personalty of White Hall. From these words of the
Foundation Charter it appears that the College was primarily intended
to be a place of training for theologians; a secondary object is thus
summed up, “denique ad Ecclesiae Christi, regni nostri, ac subditorum
nostrorum communem utilitatem et felicitatem.”

Soon after the issue of the Letters Patent, but it is not known exactly
when, the building of the College began, the first portion erected
being two stories of the east front and two staircases[285] of the
southern side of the outer quadrangle. For many years, probably till
1618, the work was not extended, and the following story is handed
down. A stone was inserted in the wall on the south side of the
gateway, bearing this inscription--

    “Struxit Hugo Prisius tibi clara palatia, Iesu,
        Ut Doctor Legum pectora docta daret.”

“Nondum,” laughed a University wit, one Christopher Rainald,

    “Nondum struxit Hugo, vix fundamenta locavit:
        Det Deus ut possis dicere ‘struxit Hugo’!”

Of the first founder, Hugo Price, very little is known. “He was born,”
Wood says, “at Brecknock,[286] bred up as ’tis generally thought, in
Oseney Abbey, under an uncle of his that was a Canon there;” he did
not long survive the foundation of the College, and was buried (August
1574) in the Priory Church at Brecon.

The Letters Patent provide for the constitution of the College to
consist of a Principal, eight Fellows, and eight Scholars, nominate
persons to fill all these places, and arrange for future appointments.

The Principal nominated was David Powell, Doctor of Laws. Among the
Fellows may be noticed Robert Johnson, B.D.,[287] afterwards Archdeacon
of Leicester, the founder of Uppingham and Oakham Schools. Among the
scholars Thomas Dove, afterwards Bishop of Peterborough, and Lancelot
Andrews, Bishop successively of Chichester, Ely, and Winchester. The
College is then incorporated, invested with corporate legal powers and
a common seal, and united with the University “ut pars, parcella, et
membrum.” Concession is granted to Hugo Price to endow the College with
lands and revenues to the amount of a clear £60 per annum, and to the
College to receive further endowments to the extent of £100 a year; and
finally an important body of Commissioners is appointed (including Lord
Burghley and other magnates, and the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor of
the University, together with the Principal and two Fellows), to draw
up all the necessary statutes for the government of the College. There
is also a tradition that leave was given to the College to receive a
supply of timber from the royal forests of Stow and Shotover towards
the erection of the fabric.

The second Letters Patent of Queen Elizabeth were issued on the 7th
day of July, 1589, eighteen years after the first patent. Their object
appears to have been to appoint Francis Bevans to the Principalship,
to authorize the College to receive further benefactions to the
amount of £200 a year, and to nominate a still more important body
of Commissioners to draw up the College statutes. These second
Commissioners included several ecclesiastical and legal dignitaries,
the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor of the University, the Principal,
and apparently three Fellows of the College, and Richard Harrys,
Principal of Brasenose College. The presence of the last-mentioned
Commissioner probably accounts for the fact that the new statutes were
framed upon the model of the Brasenose statutes. There seems to have
been some delay in drawing up these statutes, but they were finally
completed and ordered to be written “fayre in a Booke.” This “Booke”
seems to have been sent from one Commissioner to another for approval
and correction, and at least once was reported to be lost; but was
eventually recovered and deposited in the College.

The third Letters Patent concerning the College are those of King
James I., dated June 1st, 1621, in the fiftieth year of the College.
After reciting both the Letters Patent of Queen Elizabeth, the King
confirms the establishment of the College; arranges for the addition
and co-optation of eight additional Fellows and eight additional
scholars; and incorporates the College anew to consist of sixteen
Fellows and sixteen scholars. Further, Sir Eubule Thelwall, one of the
Masters of the Court of Chancery, is nominated to the Principalship;
and vacancies in the Fellowships and scholarships are filled up. It is
worthy of notice that two of the original Fellows, Robert Johnson and
John Higgenson, and two of the original scholars, Lancelot Andrews and
Thomas Dove, are still retaining their places.

It is remarkable that in the three documents above-mentioned there
is no word or expression which implies any local limitation of the
College. There is no direct or indirect allusion to place of birth
or education in the Letters Patent or in the statutes. And yet the
founder was a Welshman, and probably intended his new foundation to
be a Welsh College. The Tudors were always ready to acknowledge their
Welsh origin; hence the readiness of Queen Elizabeth to accede to the
request of Dr. Hugo Price, and even to contribute something of her
royal bounty. Yet no formal means were adopted to secure and continue
the connection of the College with Wales. If we review the lists of
the Fellows nominated in the two Letters Patent of Elizabeth, we know
by the names only (even apart from our actual knowledge from other
sources) that they are not all Welshmen. But it is otherwise with the
Principals. Every one of these, from the foundation to the end of the
eighteenth century, shows by his name[288] his connection with Wales.
The times in which Dr. Hugo Price lived were times of somewhat despotic
government; the Principal appointed the Foundationers; and it may have
seemed a sufficient safeguard to the first founder if it should become
a tradition that the Principal must be a Welshman. At any rate, if
it was not his intention to secure the connection with Wales by such
means, it does not seem possible that he could have selected any which
would have been more successful. From the time of the Restoration it
is exceedingly rare to find the admission of any one to a Scholarship
or Fellowship who was not qualified for the preferment by birth in
Wales. It is only important to notice that this exclusiveness grew up
by custom and tradition, but was not ordained by statute or authority.
In the time of Sir Leoline Jenkins a fixed system was adopted,[289]
and certain Fellowships and Scholarships were assigned respectively to
North and South Wales; but it was not so at the first.

Of the first six Principals, five were Fellows of All Souls, and only
two in Holy Orders. The diversity in the authority by which they were
appointed is to be remarked. The first and third were nominated by the
Crown in the Letters Patent; of the appointment of the second there is
no record; the fourth was “elected Principal, 17th May, 1602, by three
Fellows that were then in the College”; the fifth was nominated by the
Chancellor of the University, and admitted, under his mandate, by the
Vice-Chancellor, 8th September, 1613, no Fellows appearing or claiming
the right of election; the sixth Principal was nominated by the
Chancellor, and admitted by the Vice-Chancellor, after a contest with
the Fellows, which brought about the final settlement of the dispute in
favour of the College by the third Letters Patent.

The cause of this uncertainty is not difficult to discover. Had the
College been definitely constituted, the statutes would have provided
for the filling up of vacancies in the ordinary way of election by
the Fellows. But the Royal Commissioners had neglected to settle the
College by statutes, and the Chancellor of the University claimed to
appoint the Principal of the College as he had enjoyed the right of
appointing the Principal of White Hall.

The question between the claims of the Fellows and of the Chancellor
was brought to an issue in 1620. On 29th June in that year the
Chancellor (Lord Pembroke) nominated Francis Mansell (his kinsman and
chaplain) Principal on the death of Griffith Powell; and on 3rd July
the Vice-Chancellor (Dr. John Prideaux, Rector of Exeter) admitted him
in spite of the protests of the Fellows who claimed the election. On
13th July, Mansell expelled from their Fellowships three of his chief
opponents; and on 17th July the Vice-Chancellor interposed in Mansell’s
favour the authority of his office against a fourth.[290]

The subsequent stages in the dispute are not upon record; but that
Mansell felt his position insecure is obvious from his resignation of
the Principalship and his return to his All Souls Fellowship before
his year of grace at that College had expired. His successor, Eubule
Thelwall, by what authority appointed is not known, obtained within
a year the third Letters Patent under which the constitution of the
College was finally determined, and the right of election secured to
the Fellows.

Griffith Powell, the fifth Principal, had been a considerable
benefactor, and was the first to extend the buildings of the College
since the foundation. He began to enlarge it by the addition of the
buttery, kitchen, and hall; but dying before they could be completed,
he left them, together with the south side of the outer quadrangle, to
be completed by Sir Eubule Thelwall, “that most bountiful person, who
left nothing undone that might conduce to the good of the College.”
Francis Mansell, his successor, was a Fellow of All Souls, but had been
a commoner of the College. He was third son of Sir Francis Mansell,
of Muddlescomb, in the county of Carmarthen. Of him we have very
full information from the _Life_,[291] by Sir Leoline Jenkins, which
presents a most interesting and vivid picture of the troublous times in
which he lived. Dr. Francis Mansell performed the unprecedented feat of
holding the Principalship three times, being twice appointed, and once
restored, to the office. He watched the growth of the buildings under
the two great benefactors--Sir Eubule Thelwall and Sir Leoline Jenkins;
and he himself aided the work by his advice, gifts, and diligence in
collecting contributions.

On Mansell’s resignation of the Principalship in 1621 his place was
filled by Sir Eubule Thelwall. He was the fifth son of John Thelwall
of Bathavarn Park in the county of Denbigh, bred in Trinity College
in Cambridge till he was Bachelor of Arts, then coming to Oxford, was
incorporated here in the same degree in 1579. Afterwards Master of Arts
of this University, Counsellor at Law, Master of the Alienation Office,
and one of the Masters in Chancery, he was admitted Principal in the
month of May 1621. He procured from King James a new charter (mentioned
above), and greatly increased the buildings of the College, not only
completing the kitchen, buttery, and hall, but adding a house for the
Principal, and the chapel--which, however, was afterwards enlarged
by the addition (in 1636) of a sacrarium. He also built a library,
“with a walk under,” probably a colonnade, to the north of the Hall
and west of his new house; but it is doubtful whether he meant this
to be a permanent building. He enlarged the foundation, augmented the
endowments of the College, and enriched the library with books. He died
October 8th, 1630, and was buried in the chapel.

On the death of Sir Eubule Thelwall, Dr. Francis Mansell was again
appointed to the Headship. Encouraged, perhaps, by the example of his
predecessor, he, in his second tenure of the office, greatly enlarged
the buildings of the College, “for though our Principall had no fonds
but that of his owne Zeale, such was the Interest, which his Relation
in Blood to the many noble Families and (which was more prevailing) his
public and pious Spirit, had procured him, that he had Contributions
sufficient in view to finish and perfect his new Quadrangle; S^{r} George
Vaughan of Ffoulkston in Wiltshire having declared that himselfe would
be at the whole charge of the west end, which was designed to be the
Library; but all these pious designes and contributions were lost by
the dispersions and Ruines that by the Warr befell those who intended
to be our Benefactors.”[292] Notwithstanding, Dr. Mansell was able
to effect much, for he pulled down Thelwall’s library, which does
not seem to have been a satisfactory building, and erected the north
and south sides of the inner quadrangle. He also enriched the College
with revenues and benefices, some of which appear to have been since

Dr. Mansell was obliged to leave Oxford in 1643, owing to “the sad
newes of his Brother S^{r} Anthony’s decease, who fell with all the
circumstances of signall Piety and Vallor in the first Newbury fight;
where he commanded as field-Officer under Lord Herbert of Ragland.” He
had to remain in Wales to settle his brother’s affairs, and look after
his orphan children for some time; but “the Garrison of Oxon being
surrendered in 1646, and the Visitation upon the University coming on,
in July 1647, he hastened away from Wales to his station there; and
though the Earle of Pembroke (who was chiefe in the Action) owned our
Principall as his near Kinsman and had a Favour to the College as the
naturall Visitor thereof by Charter, and though the Earles Two younger
Sons who had lived severall years Commoners in the College under our
Principall’s charge, offered him their Service with all Affection
possible, yet neither the Propensions of the Earle, nor the Kind
offices of his Sons could bring our Principall to fframe himself to
any the least evasion, much less to the direct owneing of that Power.
Being ejected out of the Headship, which was not actually done by order
of the Visitors till the one and twentieth day of May 1648, he Applyed
himself to state all Accompts between him and the College; And having
delivered the muniments and Goods that belong to it to the hands of
the Intruders, he withdrew into Wales and took up his Residence att
Llantrythyd, a House of his Kinsman’s, Sir John Auberey’s K^{nt} and
Baronett, which house Sequestration having made desolate, while Sir
John was in prison for his Adherence to the King, afforded him the
Conveniency of a more private retirement and of having severall young
Gentlemen of Quality, his Kindred under his eye, while they were taught
and Bread up by a young man[293] of his College that he had chosen for
that employment.”

Here he suffered many persecutions and indignities, “for the Doctor’s
very Grave and Pious aspect, which should have been a protection to
him among Salvages, was no other than a Temptation to those (who
reputed themselves Saints) to Act their Insolencies upon him.” At last,
driven from his retirement, he returned to Oxford, where, “when our
Principall came first to Towne, he took up at Mr. Newmans,[294] a Baker
in Holy-well; but the good Offices he dayly rendered to the College
disposed the then Society so farr to comply with his Inclinations
(which had been allway to live and dye in the College) as to invite
him to accept of one Chamber for accommodating himself, where he built
severall faire ones for the Benefitt of the College. This motion was
accepted, and he Lived in the College, near the stoney staires near the
Gate, for eight years where he had Leisure to observe many Changes and
Revolutions within those Walls, as without them till that happy one of
his majestie’s Restauration by God’s infinite Mercy to the College as
well as to the Nation happily came on.”

He was restored to his Headship on the 1st of August 1660, but owing
to “the decayes of Age, especially dimness of Sight,” he resolved
to resign once more. His first wish was that Dr. William Bassett,
Fellow of All Souls, should succeed him, “who would have added to the
Reputation of the College by his Government, and to the Revenew of it
in all Probability, by his generous minde and ample Fortune; But Dr.
Bassett’s want of health not allowing him to accept of the Burthen, it
was (by the Unanimous Consent of all the Fellowes at a ffree-election
the first of March, 1660,[295] and with the good Liking of Our Common
Father) devolved upon Dr. Jenkins.[296] This being done he had no other
thought but for Heaven, nor Leasure but for Prayer; he came by degrees
to be confined to his chamber and at last to his Bed and upon the
first day of May 1665 he changed this Life for a better of Blisse and

The following items from the _Book of Receipts and Disbursements_, in
Dr. Mansell’s own handwriting, are of interest as showing some of the
charges to which a College was put during the Civil War--

“Other various and Extraordinary Expenses, most of them peculiar to the

    Put uppon Domus by M^{r} _Evans_ for Bread and
      Beere to the Kinges Souldiers at their
      first Cominge to _Oxon_ from _Edgehill_               01 : 02 :  6

    Payd by him the Taxe layd uppon the Coll:
      towards the works from the beginninge of
      it to the 28^{th} of _Jan:_ ’43                       03 : 16 :  6

    More by him for Musquets, Pikes and the like            03 : 14 :  3

    Given by him to the Prince his Trumpetters              00 : 10 : 00

    Payd by Pole after 12^{d} a head every weeke
      for all of the Coll. towards the fortifications
      in _Xst Church_ Meade from the 17^{th}
      of _June_ to the end of _July_                        02 : 11 : 00

    More towards the same in _Aug._ & _Sept._               02 :  7 : 00

    For a little Peece of Plate of another man’s,
      which was in my Study, and by mistake
      taken out with the Coll. Plate,[297] and lent
      to his Ma^{tie}, which weighed some what
      more than 8 ounces                                    02 : 00 : 00

    Pay’d uppon his Maj^{ties} Motion towards the
      Maintenance of his Foote Souldiers for
      one Monthe after fower Pounds by the
      Weeke                                                 16 : 00 : 00

    The Totall of Receipts                                  95 :  2 :  5

    The Totall of Disbursments                             341 :  6 :  3

    And so the Disbursments doe exceede the
      Receipts by the Summe of                             246 :  3 : 10

    Which I the Principall have lay’d out of the
    Coll. Money remayninge in my hands,
    mine owne, or what I borrowed of others.

    And I disbursed the money lent by Common
      Consent to his Ma^{tie}                              100 : 00 : 00”

In the interval between Dr. Mansell’s ejection in 1648 by the
Parliamentary Visitors and his restoration in 1660 by Charles II.’s
Commissioners, two Principals ruled the College. Of the first of
these, Michael Roberts, Sir Leoline Jenkins uses the words “infamous
and corrupt.” Perhaps the words are not to be taken literally; but
nothing of the kind is said of his successor, Francis Howell, though
he also was a Puritan. It is also on record that in 1656 the Fellows
deposed Roberts on charges of embezzling the College funds and corrupt
dealing in elections; and that although for the time the Parliamentary
Visitors refused to endorse the action of the Fellows, he did vacate
his Principalship that year or the next, presumably to avoid expulsion.
Afterwards he “lived obscurely” in Oxford, dying on 3rd May, 1670,
“with a girdle[298] lined with broad gold pieces about him (100£
they say),” and was buried in St. Peter’s in the East churchyard.
The appointment in his place of Francis Howell, Fellow of Exeter, on
24th October, 1657, marks the ascendancy of the Independents over the
Presbyterians in Puritan Oxford. The Fellows of the College had elected
Seth Ward (afterwards Bishop of Salisbury), but the Independents
persuaded Oliverus Protector to appoint Howell, after the fashion
already set in Oxford by Elizabetha Regina, and afterwards followed by
Jacobus Rex.

In the _Familiar Letters_ of James Howell are some interesting notices
of Oxford and of Jesus College during the times of Mansell, Thelwall,
and Jenkins. The writer, James Howell, son of Thomas Howell, minister
of Abernant in Carmarthenshire, was born about 1594; and entered Jesus
College, where he took his B.A. degree, in 1613. During his absence
abroad in the diplomatic service he was chosen on the Foundation
of his College by Sir Eubule Thelwall; but whether he was actually
admitted is not recorded. Space forbids extracting from his letters
the entertaining passages about Oxford; but this is the less to be
regretted since the letters are found in many editions, the last being
issued in 1890.

Some years after Howell had left College, viz. in 1638, Henry Vaughan,
“The Silurist,” entered. In early life he does not seem to have written
much; it was owing to illness and trouble that he was led to imitate
and often to excel the devotional poetry of George Herbert. This is not
the place to dwell upon his merits. His works have been little read,
but have gradually asserted their claim to an enduring place in English

Soon afterwards his twin brother, Thomas Vaughan (Eugenius
Philalethes), an eminent writer, philosopher, and chemist, was educated
in the College. In 1644, James Usher, Archbishop of Armagh, was
resident in and a member of the College. At a still earlier period
(1602), Rees Prichard was a member of the College. He was afterwards
Vicar of Llandovery, and became an eminent poet. His book _Canwyll
y Cymru_, is the best known and most highly valued collection of
devotional and religious poetry in the Welsh language.

The above were all Anglican Churchmen and Royalists, but there
was at this period some Puritanism in the College. “The growth of
Puritan feeling in the city of Oxford is shown by the formation of
the first Baptist Society under Vavasour Powell of Jesus College, in
1618. He made many converts in Wales, and in 1657 we hear of John
Bunyan accompanying him to Oxford. Powell died at last in the Fleet

Among other distinguished members of the College during the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries may be briefly mentioned Dr. John Davies
(1573), a Welsh scholar and grammarian; John Ellis (1628), author of
_Clavis Fidei_; Edward Lhwyd (1682), a celebrated antiquary, and keeper
of the Ashmolean Museum; Henry Maurice (1664), a learned divine and
Margaret Professor of Divinity; David Powel (1571), a learned divine
and eminent antiquary; his son Gabriel Powel (1592), considered “a
prodigy of learning”; John White, M.P. (1607), a well-known character
during the Commonwealth; John Williams (1569), Margaret Professor
of Divinity, Dean of Bangor, and author; Sir William Williams, a
very eminent lawyer and statesman, Speaker of the House of Commons,
Solicitor-and Attorney-General (1688); Owen Wood (1584), Dean of
Armagh, a considerable benefactor to the College; with many Bishops, a
list of whom is here given:--

_Bishops educated in Jesus College._

    1. Richard Meredith       Leighlin and Ferns (1589)
    2. John Rider             Killaloe (1612)
    3. Lewis Bayley           Bangor (1616)
    4. Edmund Griffith        Bangor (1633)
    5. Morgan Owen            Llandaff (1639)
    6. Thomas Howell          Bristol (1644)
    7. Hugh Lloyd             Llandaff (1660)
    8. Francis Davies         Llandaff (1667)
    9. Humphrey Lloyd         Bangor (1673)
    10. William Thomas        St. Davids (1677), Worcester (1683)
    11. William Lloyd         St. Asaph (1680), Lichfield (1698),
                                Worcester (1699)
    12. Humphrey Humphreys    Bangor (1689)
    13. John Parry            Ossory (1689)
    14. John Lloyd            St. Davids (1686)
    15. John Evans            Bangor (1701), Meath (1715)
    16. John Wynne[300]       St. Asaph (1714), Bath and Wells (1729)

_Bishops not educated in Jesus College, but who have been members of
the Society._[301]

       Lancelot Andrews       Chichester, Ely, Winchester
       Thomas Dove            Peterborough.

Leoline Jenkins, who succeeded Dr. Mansell in 1661, has been well
termed the second founder of the College. He almost completed the
buildings, restored discipline, fostered study, augmented the revenues,
and at his death left his whole estate to the College. He therefore
deserves a somewhat fuller record of his life than any of his
predecessors or successors. His charges as a Judge and Commissary of
the Archbishop of Canterbury, and his correspondence as an Ambassador
were published by William Wynne, Esq., of the Middle Temple, in 1734,
in two large folio volumes; to this is prefixed a memoir from which we
gather the following facts--

“He was born in the year 1625, in the parish of Llanblithian, in the
county of Glamorgan, and was the son of Leoline Jenkins, or Jenkins
Llewelyn, of the same place, a man of about £40 a year, and who left
behind him in that neighbourhood the character of a very honest,
prudent, and industrious man. The first Essays and Foundation of his
son’s future Learning were laid at Cowbridge School, very near the
place of his birth and even then no inconsiderable School, which, as
a grateful Acknowledgement of benefits there received, he afterwards
liberally endowed.

“He was admitted into Jesus College in the year 1641, not quite 16
years of age. Mr. Jenkins’ behaviour from his first appearance in
College was so regular and exact that a good Opinion was soon taken of
him. But the Troubles of the Nation soon after coming on, Mr. Jenkins
took Arms for the Royal Cause. Thus were his tender years seasoned
and exercised not only with Learning and Diligence, but also with an
equal Mixture of Adversities, the best Preparatives for the succeeding
Varieties of his Life. For the Society into which Mr. Jenkins had been
admitted, was not only obliged to give way to Strangers, but also the
College itself was dismantled, and became Part of a Garrison by Order
from Court; and for some time continued to be the Quarters of the Lord
Herbert afterwards Marquiss of Worcester, and of other persons of
Quality, that came out of Wales on the King’s Service. The Garrison of
Oxford being surrendred in the year 1646, and the Visitation of the
University by the two Houses coming on in the following year, this
College, among others, soon felt the fatal Effects of it, for of 16
Fellows and as many Scholars, there remained but one Fellow and one
Scholar that was not ousted of their Subsistance. Mr. Jenkins retired
to Wales and settled not far from Llantrythyd where Dr. Mansell was
living at the House of Sir John Auberey who was an adherent of the
Royal Cause. The first employment found for Mr. Jenkins was the tuition
of Sir John’s eldest son. Being indicted for keeping a Seminary of
Rebellion and Sedition, he was forced to leave that Countrey and
removed with his Charge to Oxford in May 1651, and settled there in a
Town-house belonging to Mr. Alderman White[302] in the High-street,
which from him was then commonly called and known by the Name of
the Little Welsh-Hall. Mr. Jenkins’s regular and orthodox Behaviour
at Oxford was not quite so close and reserved, as to escape all
Observation, but he began to give Offence to some of the inquisitive
schismatical Members of the University and was obliged to retire from
thence, with his Pupils as it were in his Arms, and go beyond Sea,
for fear of Imprisonment, or of some worse Disaster. Even this was
no unlucky Accident, for it helped to add to his former Acquirements
the Knowledge of Men as well as Letters. It gave him an Acquaintance
with some eminent and learned Men, particularly Messieurs Spanheim and
Courtin; it was the Means of acquiring a great Accuracy in the French
and other Languages. It appears by a little Diary that he made a Tour
over a great part of France, Holland and Germany, and resided at their
famous Seats of Learning, especially at Leyden. He returned to England
in 1658, and was invited by Sir William Whitmore, a great Patron of the
distress’d Cavaliers, to live with him at Appley in Shropshire, where
he continued till the year 1660 enjoying the Opportunities of Study,
and a well-furnished Library. As soon as the King was restored to his
Kingdom and the University to its just rights, Mr. Jenkins returned to
Jesus College, about the 35th Year of his Age, and his Reputation among
his Countrymen was so considerable that upon his first Appearance and
Settlement of the Society, he was chose one of the Fellows, and his
Behaviour gained so fast upon them that he was very soon after, upon
the Resignation of Dr. Mansell, unanimously chose Principal of the
College, and thereupon commenced Doctor of the Civil Law.

“And indeed the College had never more Occasion of such a Ruler
than at this Time, when the former Discipline of it had been so
long interrupted by the late distracted and licentious Times,
and had suffered so much by the Management of his ‘infamous and
corrupt’ Predecessor.[303] Dr. Jenkins did abundantly satisfie the
Hopes conceived of him; he made it his first Concern to restore the
Exercises, Disputations and Habits, and to review and consider the Body
of Statutes. By these prudent Methods he retrieved the Reputation
and advanced the Discipline of the College. He busied himself in
adding to the Buildings of the College, and completed the Library
and part of the western side of the Inner Quadrangle. He was made
Assessor to the Chancellor and Deputy Professor of Civil Law. He was
also of singular use to the University in maintaining their Foreign
Correspondences by his skill in the French and other Languages. He was
also very instrumental to his Friend and Patron Archbishop Sheldon in
the Settlement of his Theatre and Printing-House. He not only framed
the Draught of that Grant with his own Hand, but also the Statute ‘de
Vesperiis and Comitiis a B. Virginis Mariæ templo transferendis ad
Theatrum,’ that the House of God might be kept free for its own proper
and pious Uses.

“The University now became too narrow a Field for such an active Mind
and too scanty an Employment for those high and encreasing Abilities
which exerted themselves in him. He was therefore encouraged by his
Friend the Archbishop to remove to London in Order to apply himself to
the publick Practice of the Civil Law. So he resigned his Principality
in 1673, and was succeeded by Mr. (afterwards Dr.) John Lloyd. The
after career of the great Lawyer was successful and distinguished,
but it does not lie within the scope of the present work, so it must
be very briefly described. He rose to be Judge of the High Court
of Admiralty and Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Ambassador and
Plenipotentiary for the General Peace at Cologne and Nimeguen, and
Secretary of State to King Charles II. He was also made a Knight,
and became Member of Parliament for Hythe, one of the Cinque Ports,
and afterwards Burgess for his own University. It may, however, be
excusable to give the description of his last return to the College he
loved so much, when his body was brought to be buried by the side of
‘his dear Friend Dr. Mansell in Jesus College Chappel.’

“The Pomp and Manner of his Reception there and of his Interment is
thus described by one that was an Eyewitness. When the Corps came near
the City, several Doctors, and the principal Members and Officers of
the University, the Mayor, Aldermen and Citizens, some in Coaches,
some on Horseback, went out to meet it and conducted it to the Publick
Schools, where the Vice-Chancellor, Bishop of the Diocese and the
whole Body of the University were ready to receive it and placed it in
the Divinity-School, which was fitted and prepared for that Purpose,
with all convenient Ornaments and Decorations. Two Days after, the
Vice-Chancellor, several Bishops, Noblemen, Doctors, Proctors and
Masters met there again in their Formalities, as well as many others
that came to pay their last Respects to him; and the memory of the
Deceased being solemnized in a Latin Oration by the University Orator,
the Corps was removed to the Chappel of Jesus College. Where the
Vice-Chancellor (who happened to be the Principal thereof) read the
Offices of Burial; and another Latin Oration was made by one of the
Fellows of the College, which was accompanied with Musick, Anthems
and other Performances suitable to the occasion. After which it was
interr’d in the area of the said Chappel, with a Marble Stone over his
Grave and a Latin Inscription on it, supposed to be made by his old
Friend Dr. Fell Lord Bishop of Oxford and Dean of Christ Church.”

Among other benefactions Sir Leoline left his valuable library to
the College, only reserving forty law-books to begin the library at
Doctors’ Commons in London.

His portrait, painted by Tuer, at Nimeguen, hangs in the College
Hall; of this painting there are two replicas, one in the Principal’s
Lodgings, the other in the Bursary, both so well executed as hardly to
be distinguished from the original. He is represented sitting by the
council-table in a chair[304] covered with red velvet and holding a
memorial in his hand. His dress is plain, but decorated with rich lace
at the neck and wrists; his hair is long and flowing; his features
strongly marked and melancholy in expression.

The last Principal of the seventeenth century was Jonathan Edwards, who
seems to have been an able man, and was a benefactor to the College. He
contributed £1000 to the improvement and decoration of the chapel.

A long list of benefactions might be written down for the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries; but space allows individual mention of
one only. King Charles I. gave (1636) divers lands and tenements in
trust to the University, that they with the profits of them maintain a
Fellow in Jesus College (as also in Exeter and Pembroke Colleges) born
in the Isle of Jersey or Guernsey. To these benefactions conditions
were generally annexed, the profits to be paid to Fellows or scholars,
frequently with preference for the kindred of the donor, or for natives
of particular places and counties, or for certain schools in Wales.

The eighteenth century presents a great contrast in interest to its
predecessor. In Jesus College it was exceptionally uneventful. The
buildings of the College were complete, the north-west corner of the
inner quadrangle being finished in 1713. Since then the College has
not been altered in form nor enlarged. Several valuable benefactions
were received, but there was none of the vigour or enthusiasm of
the sixteenth century. The most considerable endowment was what is
now called the Meyricke Fund, left in trust to the College by the
Rev. Edmund Meyricke. Meyricke was, like the original founder of the
College, treasurer of the cathedral church of St. Davids. He was one
of the Ucheldre family, a branch of that of Bodorgan, in Anglesey. He
declares in his Will--“as for my worldly estate, which God Almighty
hath blessed me with above my merits or expectation, I dispose of
in manner following: Imprimis, whereas I always intended to bestow
a good part of what God should please to bless me withall for the
encouragement of learning in Jesus College, in Oxford, and for the
better maintenance of six of the junior scholars of the foundation
of the said College out of the six counties of North Wales; I doe
give devise and bequeath all my real and personal estate,” &c. The
property thus left became very valuable, and a number of Exhibitions
were established, strictly confined to Welshmen, with a preference for
natives of North Wales. It has been questioned by some whether this
fund has been beneficial to the College. There is no doubt it made a
University education possible to many Welshmen who would otherwise
not have thought of an Oxford Degree. These new students, drawn from
the middle and lower classes in Wales, soon formed a majority of the
undergraduates. It therefore became customary for the sons of Welsh
gentry to resort to other Colleges in Oxford, and to some extent the
old connection was broken. This was a decided loss to the social status
and prestige of the College; but it is probable that the compensating
gain was greater. The young squires who resorted to the University
in the eighteenth century were not as a rule students, and formed an
element in a College requiring much discipline and toleration. On the
other hand, the students, encouraged by the new endowment, if not
intellectually very distinguished, owing to lack of early advantages,
generally made good use of the privileges afforded by the University,
and did solid work for the Principality in after life. When the
endowments of the College were strictly and by statute confined to
Welshmen, it is in Wales that we must look for educational results. And
it must be confessed that when we do look, we are not disappointed.
In every department of civil life, but especially in the Church, we
find sons of the College occupying posts of usefulness and dignity.
Even for the highest posts in the Church there was no deficiency of
native talent, but it was the mistaken policy of the Government under
the Georges to make use of the Welsh Bishoprics as rewards for English
ecclesiastics, who were ignorant of the language and characteristics
of the people whom they were supposed to guide--a policy which is now
admitted to have inflicted serious, and it is to be feared permanent,
injury on the Church in Wales. Thus in the eighteenth century the
College was debarred from furnishing occupants of the four Welsh sees,
though many of her sons may be pointed out as worthy of the mitre. Soon
after the mistaken policy was discontinued we have seen half the Welsh
sees occupied by ex-scholars of the College.[305]

Among the distinguished men of this period may be mentioned Thomas
Charles, B.A., 1779, commonly called Charles of Bala, founder of the
sect of Calvinistic Methodists, and author of the _Geiriadur_, a book
still much used. He was a man of great piety and learning, and did not
secede, but was driven out of the Church by the injudicious treatment
of his ecclesiastical superiors. His name is still a “household
word” in Wales. David Richards (Dafydd Ionawr), an eminent Welsh
poet, author of _Cywydd y Drindod_; Thomas Jones, 1760, a painter
of considerable merit, a favourite pupil of Wilson; Evan Lloyd,
1755, a poet, and friend of Churchill, Garrick, Wilkes, &c.; Goronwy
Owen, a celebrated Welsh poet and scholar, one of the great names in
Welsh literature; John Walters, Master of Ruthin School, 1750; James
Bandinel, the first Bampton Lecturer (1780); and William Wynne, 1704,
a Welsh poet. We may also mention as a contrast to the above, who are
chiefly ecclesiastics, Richard Nash, best known as “Beau Nash,” for
fifty years the celebrated Master of the Ceremonies at Bath, whose
smile or frown proclaimed social success or ostracism in fashionable

Towards the middle of the eighteenth century the College became in a
peculiar degree connected with the Bodleian Library. In 1747 Humphrey
Owen, Fellow and afterwards Principal, was elected Librarian. After
some years he made John Price, a Fellow of the College, Janitor, and in
1758 Adam Thomas, M.A., Sub-Librarian; when Thomas quitted the Library
in 1761 his place was taken by Price, John Jones becoming Janitor.
In 1768, on Owen’s death, Price was made Librarian, and held office
for forty-five years. From 1758 to 1788 all the Sub-Librarians in
succession were members of Jesus College, and nearly all the persons
who are found otherwise employed in the Library--no full or official
list exists--bear Welsh names.

Dr. Johnson in one of his frequent trips to Oxford made Jesus College
his head-quarters. This fact has been recently ascertained by Dr. G.
Birkbeck Hill, the well-known authority on Johnson and his times, in
preparing for publication the great lexicographer’s letters. His host
was his “convivial friend,” Dr. Edwards the Vice-Principal of the
College, the editor of Xenophon’s _Memorabilia_, who gave up his rooms
to his guest. These were, probably, situated in the south-western
corner of the outer Quadrangle on the first-floor. It was early in June
1782 that Johnson came into residence in the College, at a time when he
was broken in health. Nevertheless, as we learn from Miss Hannah More,
who was at the time the guest of the Master of Pembroke College, he did
what he could to spread cheerfulness around him. The Fellows of Jesus
College were to give a banquet in his honour and hers, to which “they
invited Thomas Warton and all that was famous in Oxford.” Unfortunately
she does not give us any account of the banquet. Doubtless it was held
and the old Hall rang with the sound of Johnson’s deep voice, but
not an echo has been caught. The fact of his residence is curiously
confirmed by the Battel-books, which show that at the time when he was
in Oxford the Battels of Dr. Edwards and other members of the College
were unusually high. In fact, everybody in the College seems to have
indulged in hospitality, no doubt being anxious to let his friends see
the great man whose sun was now supposed to be so rapidly setting.

Perhaps the first half of the nineteenth century is remote enough from
our times to warrant the mention of a few names of distinguished men
who have been removed by death. Here, as in the preceding century, we
must look chiefly to Wales, where we find among Welsh poets, Daniel
Evans (Daniel Ddu); John Jones (Ioan Tegid), a well-known writer and
editor of Welsh books; John Blackwell (Alun), one of the most pleasing
and attractive of Welsh poets; Morris Williams (Nicander), well known
as poet, preacher, and writer in Welsh; and last, but not least, John
Richard Green, the brilliant historian. We must not omit to mention
the late Principal, Charles Williams, D.D., who was well known in
the University for his love of his country, his hospitable social
qualities, and his acute and elegant scholarship.

In 1857 the University Commission, which made such changes in Oxford,
dealt with Jesus College, but forbore from adopting the sweeping
measures at one time threatened. The chief change made was that half
the Fellowships were declared for the future to be open to general
competition. This declaration did not excite much opposition or remark
in Wales, though great indignation was expressed when more than
twenty years later another Commission dealt in the same way with the
scholarships. It should be remembered that the principle was sacrificed
in 1857, and that the opposers of the last Commission could only
advance arguments of expediency, on which Commissioners are apt to have
their own opinions. Whether the change is likely to be for the good of
the College and of Wales is a point much disputed, and this is not a
place where it can be discussed.

We have seen that the buildings of the College have not been enlarged
in extent since 1713; many structural alterations have, however, taken
place. The upper story throughout the College, except on its extreme
western side, consisted of attics with dormer windows, which in old
pictures gives the College a picturesque appearance. The roof has,
however, been raised, and in the outer quadrangle battlements surmount
the walls; in the inner quadrangle gables mark the points where the
dormer windows formerly existed. The dining-hall, which once had a
fine open oak roof, was, in the time of Principal Hoare, fitted with
a plaster ceiling, in order that the space above might form attics to
increase the accommodation of the Lodgings. Since the enlargement of
the Principal’s house in 1886 the accommodation is no longer needed,
and it is to be hoped that the hall may soon regain its original

The chapel, which was consecrated in 1621, has been frequently altered,
and at least once (in 1636) enlarged. The doorway, with its picturesque
porch, bearing the scroll, “Ascendat Oratio, Descendat Gratia,” is
not the original entrance. When the south wall was being re-faced
some years ago, another doorway of older workmanship than the present
one, was discovered. The change was probably made when the massive
Jacobean screen was put up, which now separates the chapel from the
ante-chapel. In 1864 the whole interior was restored. Of the success of
the restoration there may be two opinions; but there is no doubt that
the widening of the chancel-arch was a mistake, as it has permanently
dwarfed the proportions of the building. The woodwork substituted for
what existed previously, though good of its kind, presents too violent
a contrast with the screen already mentioned. The east window is a
painted one of some interest, though not of high artistic merit. In the
ante-chapel is an excellent copy of Guido’s picture of “St. Michael
triumphing over the Fallen Angel.” The original is in the Capucini
Church at Rome. The picture was presented by Lord Bulkeley of Baron
Hill in Anglesey.

In 1856 the whole eastern front of the College was re-faced, and a
tower built. The work was carried out under the superintendence of
Mr. Buckler, architect, Oxford, and is admitted to be very well done.
There are, however, some who think that the old Jacobean gateway was
more in harmony with the domestic architecture of the College, and more
suitable to its position in a narrow street.

The library contains a considerable number of volumes which are not of
great interest to the student of the present day, but is exceptionally
rich in pamphlets of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and in
works on Canon Law. A valuable and numerous collection of manuscripts
has been removed to the Bodleian Library for safety. The best known of
these is the _Llyfr Coch_, the famous Red Book of Hergest, containing a
collection of Welsh legends and poetry, which is gradually being edited
by Professor Rhys and Mr. Evans.

The College is not exceptionally rich in portraits, but possesses two
of great merit--a portrait of Charles I. by Vandyke, and of Queen
Elizabeth by F. Zucchero.

Like many other Colleges, Jesus College sacrificed its original plate,
of which a goodly inventory exists, to the needs of the Royalist cause
in 1641; but has since been presented with a fair collection, of which
the most remarkable piece is a very large silver-gilt bowl,[306] given
by Sir Watkin Williams Wynn in 1732.

Nothing has been said above of the Church patronage of the College,
which is considerable, advowsons being a favourite form of bequest with
the donors already mentioned, and with others. Unfortunately, few of
the livings are situated in Wales. Thus many able Welshmen have been
withdrawn from the service of their national Church to their own loss
and that of their country.

It is to be remarked that no considerable benefaction has been given to
the College during the present century. The history of Jesus College
has thus been brought down to living memory, which is the limit of this
work. Perhaps more space has been taken up than an existence of little
over three hundred years deserves. But the College holds a unique
position in Oxford as having a strong connection, notwithstanding much
alienation, with a Principality which is not yet English in language
or feeling. Such a connection has many advantages, and perhaps some
drawbacks. It is to be hoped that the College will be left undisturbed
long enough to prove that the latter are altogether outweighed by the




Wadham College occupies an interesting position in the history of the
University, as having been the last College founded until quite recent
times, for both Pembroke and Worcester were but expansions of older
foundations. Though actually dating from the reign of James I., it may
be said to share with Jesus College the honour of belonging to the days
of Elizabeth, as its founder and foundress were well advanced in years
at the time when they carried out their long meditated plans, and both
in the spirit which animates its statutes and in the architecture of
its fabric, Wadham College belongs rather to the sixteenth than to the
seventeenth century.

The founder of the College, Nicholas Wadham, of Merifeild, in the
county of Somerset, belonged to one of the oldest and wealthiest of
the untitled families of the West of England. He married Dorothy,
daughter of Sir William Petre, the well known benefactor of Exeter
College, but having no children, he resolved to devote his great wealth
to some pious use. Antony à Wood tells us that his original intention
had been to found a College at Venice for English Romanists, but that
he was persuaded to change his plans; the story[307] seems doubtful,
and Nicholas Wadham at all events died in the Anglican communion. All
his patrimonial estates went to his three sisters, who had married
into some of the chief families of the West of England; but he had for
some time past been accumulating money for his new foundation; and in
two conversations held with his nephew and executor, Sir John Wyndham,
very shortly before his death, he had given full directions as to many
points in the College. Of these two were especially notable: he desired
that the Warden as well as the Fellows should be unmarried; and also
that each of them should be “left free to profess what he listed, as
it should please God to direct him;” he did not wish them to “live
thro’ all their time like idle drones, but put themselves into the
world, whereby others may grow up under them.” He also arranged that
the College should be called after his own name, and that the Bishop of
Bath and Wells should be perpetual Visitor.

His widow and executors set to work at once to carry out his
wishes, and the present site of the College was purchased from
the city of Oxford for £600. It had formerly been occupied by the
Augustinian Friars, whose name survived in the old phrase for degree
exercises,[308] “doing Austins,” down to the beginning of this century.
The foundation stone was laid with great ceremony on July 31st, 1610,
and two years later the foundress, having some time previously obtained
a charter from James I., put forth her statutes (August 16th, 1612).
In these her husband’s wish was carried out by the provision that
Fellows should resign their posts eighteen years after they had ceased
to be regent masters: this provision remained in force down to the
commission of 1854. Originally the Warden was not required to be in
orders, but was allowed to proceed to his Doctorate in Law or Medicine
as well as in Divinity; but the foundress was persuaded to alter her
arrangements on this point, and the two former alternatives were struck

There were to be fifteen Fellows and fifteen scholars, the former
being elected from among the latter; of these three scholars were to
be from Somerset, and three from Essex, while three Fellowships and
three scholarships were restricted to “founder’s kin.” These were
originally intended for the children and descendants of the sisters
above-mentioned, but in course of time it became frequent to trace
kinship with the founder through collateral branches of the Wadham
family. The buildings erected by the foundress are remarkable in more
ways than one. Their architect, who is supposed to have been Holt[309]
of York, the architect of the New Schools, was employed at several
other Colleges in Oxford, _e. g._ at Merton, Exeter, Jesus, University,
and Oriel. The resemblance between the inner quadrangle at the first
of these and that of Wadham is very marked. Owing to the extent of the
original design and the excellence of the building material employed,
Wadham has the unique honour among the Colleges of Oxford of having
remained practically unaltered since it left its foundress’ hands.

Of the various parts of the building the hall and the chapel are the
most remarkable; the latter in the shape of its ante-chapel is a
combination of the short nave found at New College and of transepts
such as are found at Merton; while in the tracery of the windows of its
choir it furnishes a continual puzzle to architectural theorists; for
though undoubtedly every stone of it was built at the beginning of the
seventeenth century, and though the wood-work is pure Jacobean, the
windows both in their tracery and in their mouldings belong to a period
one hundred and fifty years earlier. In fact the chapel is exactly one
of the magnificent choirs with which the churches of Somerset abound,
and it is difficult to believe that the resemblance is not more than
accidental; for in the building documents of the College we have clear
evidence of both materials and workmen coming from the county of the
founder. The cost of the whole building was £11,360.

Even before it was finished, the new Foundation received a munificent
present in the shape of the library of Dr. Philip Bisse, Archdeacon
of Taunton, who dying about 1612 left some two thousand books (valued
at £1700?); these books are all distinguished by having their titles
carefully inscribed in black letter characters on the sides of their
pages, near the top, and may be not unworthily compared to the famous
library, the cataloguing of which made Dominie Sampson so happy a
man. The foundress made Dr. Bisse’s nephew an original Fellow of her
College, though he had not yet taken a degree, “Ob singularem amorem
avunculi ejus,” and also had painted the portrait of the Archdeacon in
full doctor’s robes, which still adorns the library.

On April 20th, 1613, the first Warden, Robert Wright, formerly Fellow
of Trinity College and Canon of Wells, was admitted at St. Mary’s, and
in the afternoon of the same day he in turn admitted the Fellows and
scholars nominated by the foundress. Wright, however, very shortly
resigned his position, because (says Wood) he was not allowed to marry.

The foundation of the College seems to have attracted considerable
attention elsewhere than in Oxford. Among the State Papers in the year
1613 is calendared (somewhat incongruously) a parody of the statutes
of Gotam College, founded by Sir Thomas à Cuniculis,[310] with a
license from the Emperor of Morea; and from the first the number of men
matriculated was very large, and the class from which they were drawn
a wealthy one. This is most clearly proved by the fact that although
the College had been in existence less than thirty years when the Civil
War broke out, the amount of plate surrendered by it to the King was
only surpassed by one other Foundation. The College still possesses
an inventory of articles given, which make up “100 lbs. of white
plate and 23 lbs. of gilt plate.” As might have been expected, a large
proportion of the members of the College at this period, and for long
after, came from the West country; two-thirds, probably, were from
Dorset, Somerset, or Devon; and this connection has happily never been
entirely broken. Among these West countrymen was the famous Admiral,
Robert Blake, who graduated from Wadham in 1617 at the age of twenty,
and was still in residence six years later. His portrait now hangs in
the hall.

During this first period of College life, down to the outbreak of the
rebellion, two events deserve a passing notice. The first of these
was the fierce controversy[311] waged between James Harrington, one
of the original Fellows, and the rest of the Foundation, as to his
right to retain his place, although he possessed an annual pension
of £40 a year. There are numerous references to this in the Calendar
of State Papers; and Laud, as Bishop of Bath and Wells, was put to
no small trouble to decide it. In the end Harrington apologized for
“having behaved himself in gesture and speeches very uncivilly”; but
the quarrel only ended with the expiration of his Fellowship in 1631.
Much more important was the attempt of King James, in 1618, to obtain
a Fellowship for William Durham of St. Andrews, “notwithstanding anie
thing in your statutes to the contrarie.” Unfortunately we know very
little about this early parallel to James II.’s attempt at Magdalen;
but the College clearly was successful in upholding its rights.

It is perhaps not altogether fanciful to trace the feelings of the
College as to James I. in the register next year (1619), when its usual
dry formality is given up, and Carew Ralegh the son of the King’s late
victim, is entered as “fortissimi doctissimique equitis Gualteri Ralegh

Wadham, during this same period, completed its material fabric by
receiving the gift of the large east window of the chapel from Sir
John Strangways, the founder’s nephew; it was made on the premises by
Bernard van Ling, and the total cost was £113 17_s._ 5_d._ (including
the maker’s battels for ten months and a week--£2 17_s._ 8_d._).

The Civil War affected Wadham as it did the rest of the University. Its
plate disappeared as has been said, only the Communion plate (“donum
fundatricis”) being spared; its students were largely displaced to
make room for the King’s supporters, among whom the Attorney-General,
Sir Edward Herbert, seems to have made Wadham a kind of family
residence. After the final defeat of the King, the Warden, Pytt, and
the great majority of the Foundation were deprived by the Parliamentary
Commissioners. But it may be fairly said that the changes made did
far more good than harm to the College. The man appointed to the
vacant Wardenship was the famous John Wilkins, divine, philosopher,
and mathematician, who enjoyed the almost unique honour of being
promoted by the Parliament, by Richard Cromwell, and by Charles
II., and to whom the College owes the honour of being the cradle of
the Royal Society. Evelyn records in his _Diary_ (July 13th, 1654),
how “we all dined at that most obliging and universally-curious Dr.
Wilkins’s, at Wadham Coll.”--and speaks of the wonderful contrivances
and curiosities, scientific and mechanical, which he saw there. Round
Wilkins gathered the society of learned men who had previously begun
to meet in London, and who were afterwards incorporated as the Royal
Society. The historian of that famous body, Dr. Sprat, afterwards
Bishop of Rochester and himself a member of the Foundation of Wadham
College, records[312] how “the first meetings were made in Dr. Wilkins
his lodgings, in Wadham College, which was then the place of resort
for virtuous and learned men,” and that from their meetings came
the great advantage, that “there was a race of young men provided
against the next age, whose minds receiving their first impressions
of sober and generous knowledge were invincibly armed against all the
encroachments of enthusiasm.” The traditional place of these meetings
is the great room over the gateway, though this is more than doubtful.
Of the original members, there belonged to Wadham College, besides
Wilkins--Richard Napier, Seth Ward, afterwards Bishop of Salisbury, the
famous mathematician; and last but not least, that “prodigious young
scholar, Mr. Christopher Wren,” who after being a Fellow Commoner at
Wadham College, was elected Fellow of All Souls, and who showed his
affection for his original College by the present of the College clock
and a beautiful sugar-castor, of which the latter is still in daily
use, while the face, at any rate, of the former remains in its old
place. The works of the clock are preserved in the ante-chapel as a

Warden Wilkins had for two hundred years the distinction of being
the only married Warden of Wadham. His wife was a sister of the
Lord Protector, with whom he had great influence, which he used
for the benefit of the University as a whole, and of individual
Royalists. Anthony Wood seems mistaken in saying that Wilkins owed his
dispensation to marry to his connection with Cromwell. The original MS.
in the possession of the College bears date January 20th, 1652 (four
years before Wilkins actually married), and comes from the Visitors of
the University of Oxford. Of both Wren and Wilkins there are portraits
in the Hall.

The most distinguished undergraduates of this period were John, Lord
Lovelace, who took a prominent part in the Revolution (a fine portrait
of him by Laroon hangs in the College hall), William Lloyd, afterwards
Bishop of St. Asaph, and one of the famous “Seven Bishops,” and the
notorious Mr. Charles Sedley, a donor of plate to the College, all of
whom matriculated in 1655. An even better known member of Wadham was
John Wilmot, the wicked Earl of Rochester, who matriculated in 1659,
immediately after Warden Wilkins had been promoted to the Mastership
of Trinity College, Cambridge; but as he proceeded to his M.A. in
September 1661, being then well under fourteen, he probably did not
give much trouble to the disciplinary authorities. John Mayow too,
the distinguished physician and chemist, who became scholar in 1659,
continued the scientific traditions of the College.

Wilkins and three of his four successors all became Bishops; of these
the most famous was Ironside, who, as Vice-Chancellor in 1688, ventured
to oppose James II. in his arbitrary proceedings against Magdalen.
The fall of James saved Ironside, who was made Bishop of Bristol (and
afterwards of Hereford) by William III., and was succeeded by Warden
Dunster, the object of Thomas Hearne’s hatred and contempt. He accuses
him[313] of being “one of the violentest Whigs and most rascally
Low Churchmen” of the time, and of various other defects, physical
and moral, which may perhaps be conjectured to be in Hearne’s mind
convertible terms with the above.

Wadham as a whole during this period was strongly Whig and Low Church;
not improbably this was due to its close connection with the West
country, where the suppression of Monmouth’s rebellion had taught men
to hate the Stuarts; but whatever the reason, the fact is undoubted.
Probably there is no other College hall in England which boasts of
portraits both of the “Glorious Deliverer” and of George I.

As might be expected, Hearne’s account of the College is extremely
black. He dwells on the blasphemies[314] for which a certain Mr.
Bear of Wadham was refused his degree; and even the distinguished
scholar, Dr. Hody, the Regius Professor of Greek and Archdeacon of
Oxford, is continually attacked by him, though he admits “he was very
useful.”[315] Hody, both in his life and by his will, showed himself
a loyal son of his College. Dying at the early age of forty-six,
he bequeathed the reversion of his property to Wadham, for the
encouragement of Hebrew and Greek studies; and the ten exhibitions
he founded (now made into four scholarships) have been especially
successful in developing the study of the former language. A far
greater scholar than Hody belongs in part to Wadham at the same period.
In 1687 Richard Bentley was incorporated M.A. of Oxford from St. John’s
College, Cambridge, and put his name on the books of Wadham. He was in
Oxford as tutor to the son of Bishop Stillingfleet.

Almost to the same period belong the buildings erected on the south
side of the College (No. IX. staircase), which were begun in 1693,
and finished next year; it was intended to build a similar block on
the north side, beyond the Warden’s lodgings, as is shown in some old
prints, but this was never carried out. I am unable to assign a date
to No. X. staircase. It certainly belonged to the College before the
final purchase of the staircase next the King’s Arms (No. XI.), which
was made early in the present century: there exists a drawing of it in
a much earlier style of architecture than the present, or than that of
No. IX.

The only other person worthy of special mention connected with the
College at this period, was Arthur Onslow, Speaker of the House of
Commons throughout the reign of George II., who matriculated in 1708;
his affection for Wadham is illustrated by the splendid service-books
presented by him to the chapel, while two excellent portraits show the
pride which the College felt in him.

The fifty years which follow the promotion of Warden Baker to the
see of Norwich in 1727 were an undistinguished period in the history
of Wadham, as in that of the University generally. Of the four
Wardens, only one, Lisle, became a bishop, and there is reason to
think the College was in a bad state; very few of its members rose
to distinction, though James Harris of Salisbury, the author of
_Hermes_[316] (whose portrait by Reynolds hangs in the hall), Creech,
the translator of Lucretius, and Kennicott, the Hebrew scholar, might
be mentioned.

But in Warden Wills, who was appointed in 1783, the College found its
most liberal benefactor since the death of the foundress. It was in
his time that the present beautiful garden was laid out on the site
of the old formal walks, with a mound in the centre, which appear in
the prints of the last century. It has been conjectured with some
probability that “Capability” Brown had a hand in the laying out of the
garden as it now is. Whoever was the gardener, it may be confidently
asserted that a finer result was never produced in so small a space.
Warden Wills in another way increased the beauty of the College, by
buying for the use of the Warden the lease of a large piece of land
to the north of the College property; of this the College afterwards
bought the freehold from Merton, and it was incorporated with the
Warden’s garden.

Early in this century too the College received its final extension
in the way of rooms, by purchasing from the University the buildings
between itself and the King’s Arms, which had formerly been used by the
Clarendon Press; the old name of No. XI. staircase, “Bible warehouse,”
long preserved in the books of the College the memory of the old use of
the buildings: probably the site had belonged to the College from the
first, and it was only the remainder of a lease that was now bought.
This purchase was made in the Wardenship of Dr. Tournay, who presided
over the College with dignity and success for twenty-five years till
1831, when he resigned. The most distinguished member of Wadham during
his time was undoubtedly Richard Bethell, afterwards Lord Westbury,
who was elected scholar in 1815, before he had completed his fifteenth
year. This fact is duly recorded, at his own especial wish, on his
monument in the ante-chapel, as having been the foundation of his
subsequent success.

Shortly after the resignation of Warden Tournay, the chapel was taken
in hand by the “Gothic Renovators,” a new ceiling was put on, and the
whole of the east end was recast by the introduction of some elaborate
tabernacle work, which, if not entirely appropriate in design, is yet
interesting as displaying a careful study of mediæval models most
unusual so early as 1834.

Of the history of the College since 1831 there is not space to say
much. Under Warden Symons it became recognized as the stronghold of
Evangelicalism in the University; so much was this the case that on his
nomination to the Vice-Chancellorship in 1844, he was opposed by the
Tractarian party; but this unprecedented step met with no success, as
the Chancellor’s nomination was confirmed by 883 votes to 183. It was
during his tenure of the Vice-Chancellorship (1844-8) that proceedings
were taken against Mr. Ward, and against Tract No. XC. But if on the
one hand the College produced leading lights of the Evangelical school,
like Mr. Fox and Mr. Vores, it also lays claim to Dr. Church, the late
Dean of St. Paul’s, and Father Mackonochie. It may well be doubted
whether there ever was a more brilliant period in the history of Wadham
than about the middle of the century, when Dr. Congreve was Tutor and
one of the leaders in the University of the “Intellectual Reaction”
against the Tractarian movement. With him as Tutor was associated the
late Warden, Dr. Griffiths, whose name will be always remembered as
that of one whose true interest throughout life was in his College, and
who ranks among its benefactors by his bequests, especially that of his
collection of prints and drawings illustrative of the history of the
College and of those who had been educated at it.

Under them within less than ten years there were in residence as
undergraduates the present Bishop of Wakefield, the late Professor
Shirley, Dr. Johnson the Bishop of Calcutta, Mr. B. B. Rogers the
scholarly translator of Aristophanes, Mr. Frederic Harrison, the
present Warden, Professor Beesly, Dr. Bridges afterwards Fellow of
Oriel, Dr. Codrington the missionary and philologer, and others who
might be mentioned, who have won distinction in ways most various.
Wadham carried off three Brasenose Fellowships in succession within a
very short space of time, just as in 1849 its Boat Club had “swept the
board” at Henley; these were but the outward signs of the intellectual
and physical activity of the College. And here its story must be left,
for we are already among contemporaries, while the action of the
Commission of 1854-5 has drawn a gulf for good or ill between old and
modern Oxford. Enough has been said to show that the sons of Wadham
have not been altogether unworthy of a College of which other than her
own sons have said that to know her and “to love her was a liberal




Pembroke College has its name from William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke,
Shakespeare’s friend and patron, thought to be “Mr. W. H.,” the “onlie
begetter” of the Sonnets. Clarendon calls him “the most universally
loved and esteemed of any man of that age.” This Society, constituted
as a College in 1624, is one of the younger Oxford foundations. But
there had been a considerable place of religion and learning here from
the earliest times, Pembroke College having for centuries previously
existed as _Broadgates_, or, more anciently still, _Segrym’s_ Hall.

Wood calls this Hall “that venerable piece of antiquity.” He believes
that St. Frideswyde’s Priory had here a distinguished mansion, from
which the canons received an immemorial quit rent, and that here their
novices were instructed. In Domesday it is called Segrim’s Mansions,
a family of that name then and for generations afterward holding it
from the priory in demesne, with obligation to repair the city wall.
But in the 38th of Henry III. Richard Segrym, by a charter of quit
claim, surrenders for ever to God and the Church of St. Frideswyde,
“that great messuage which is situated in the corner of the churchyard
of St. Aldate’s,” the canons agreeing to receive him into their family
fraternity, and after his death to find a chaplain canon to celebrate
service yearly for his soul, the souls of his father and mother, and
the soul of Christiana Pady.

From a very early date this house was occupied by clerks, studying the
Civil and Canon Law. It is described as a “nursery of learning,” and
“the most ancient of all Halls.” It retained the name Segrym (sometimes
Segreve) Hall till the accession of Henry VI., when, a large entrance
being made,[317] it came thenceforth to be called Broadgates Hall,
though there were in Oxford several other houses of this name. It was
the most distinguished of a number of hostels occupied by legists, and
clustered round St. Aldate’s Church, then a centre of the study of
Civil Law, which had come into vogue in the twelfth century. A chamber
built over the south aisle (Docklington’s aisle) of that church was
used as a Civil Law School and also as a law library, the books being
kept in chests, but afterwards chained. Such a library of chained
books still exists over one of the aisles of Wimborne Minster. The
aisle below was used by the students before and after the Reformation.
The “Chapel in St. Eldad’s” (Hutten[318] tells us) “is peculier and
propper to Broadgates, where they daily meete for the celebration of
Divine Service.” The fine monument of John Noble, LL.B., Principal of
Broadgates, was formerly in this aisle.

The importance of the Halls dates from 1420, when unattached students
were abolished, and every scholar or scholar’s servant was obliged
to dwell in a hall governed by a responsible principal. After the
great fire of 1190 they were built of stone. They contained a common
room for meals, a kitchen, and a few bedrooms, each scholar paying
7_s._ 6_d._ or 13_s._ 4_d._ a year for rent. Every undergraduate was
bound to attend lectures. Discipline however was not very strict. One
summer’s night in 1520, an ever-recurring dispute happening between the
University and the city respecting the authority to patrol the streets,
certain scholars of Broadgates had an encounter with the town watch, in
which one watchman was killed and one severely hurt. The delinquents
fleeing were banished by the University, but allowed after a few months
to return on condition of paying a fine of 6_s._ 8_d._, contributing
1_s._ 8_d._ to repair the staff of the inferior bedell of Arts, and
having three masses said for the good estate of the Regent Masters and
the soul of the slain man.

Broadgates Hall becoming a place of importance, and being obliged
to extend its limits, acquired a tenement to the east belonging
to Abingdon Abbey, the monks of which owned also a moiety of St.
Aldate’s Church, the other moiety having passed to St. Frideswyde’s,
according to a curious story related by Wood.[319] A little further
east still was a tenement which the Principal of Broadgates rented
from New College (_temp._ Henry VII.) for 6_s._ 8_d._ In 1566 Nicholas
Robinson[320] mentions Broadgates among the eight leading Halls, and
as especially given up to the study of Civil Law. In 1609 Nicholas
Fitzherbert[321] says it was a resort of young men of rank and wealth.
In 1612 it had 46 graduate members, 62 scholars and commoners, 22
servitors and domestics, in all 131 members, being exceeded in numbers
by only five Colleges and one Hall, viz. Christ Church, 240; Magdalen,
246; Brasenose, 227; Queen’s, 267; Exeter, 206; Magdalen Hall, 161. A
century later Pembroke had only between 50 and 60 residents, and in the
preceding century, when Oxford had been for a while almost empty, the
numbers must have been few. The zeal of the reforming Visitors in 1550
had left the chamber above Docklington’s aisle four naked walls. “The
ancient libraries were by their appointment rifled. Many MSS., guilty
of no other superstition than red letters in the front or titles were
condemned to the fire … such books wherein appeared angles [angels]
were thought sufficient to be destroyed because accounted Papish, or
diabolical, or both.” We read of two noble libraries being sold for
40_s._ for waste paper.

Henry VIII., in 1546, annexed Broadgates, together with the housing of
Abingdon to the new College established by Wolsey under a Papal bull
on the site and out of the revenues of St. Frideswyde’s--successively
Cardinal College, King Henry VIII.’s College, and Christ Church.

Broadgates Hall then had filled no inconsiderable part as a place of
learning when it became Pembroke College. The history of the foundation
of Pembroke is interesting. Thomas Tesdale, or Tisdall (descended
from the Tisdalls of Tisdall in the north of England), was a clothier
to Queen Elizabeth’s army, and afterwards attended the Court. Having
settled at Abingdon as a maltster he there filled the posts of Bailiff,
principal Burgess and Mayor. Finally he removed to Glympton, Oxon,
where trading in wool, tillage, and grazing he attained to a very
great estate, of which he made charitable and pious use, his house
never being shut against the poor. He maintained a weekly lecture
at Glympton, and endowed Christ’s Hospital in Abingdon. The tablet
placed in Glympton Church to his wife Maud records the many parishes
where “she lovingly annointed Christ Jesus in his poore members.” A
fortnight before Tesdale’s decease in 1610, he made a will bequeathing
the large sum of £5000 to purchase lands, etc., for maintaining seven
Fellows and six Scholars to be elected from the free Grammar School in
Abingdon into any College in Oxford. This foundation Abbot, Archbishop
of Canterbury, sometime Fellow of Balliol (his brother Robert at this
time being Master), was anxious to secure for that Society; and the
Mayor and burgesses of Abingdon falling in with the plan a provisional
agreement was signed, on the strength of which Balliol College bought,
with £300 of Tesdale’s money, the building called Cæsar’s Lodgings, for
the reception of Tesdale’s new Fellows and scholars, and they for a
time were housed there.

Meanwhile, however, a second benefaction to Abingdon turned the
thoughts of the citizens in a more ambitious direction. Richard
Wightwick, B.D.--descended from a Staffordshire family, formerly of
Balliol, and afterward Rector of East Ilsley, Berks, where he rebuilt
the church tower and gave the clock and tenor bell--agreed, twelve
or thirteen years after Tesdale’s death, to augment the Tesdale
foundation so as to support in all ten Fellows and ten Scholars. For
this purpose he gave lands, bearing however a 499 years’ lease (not
yet expired), the rents of which amounted at that time to £100 a year.
Thereupon, the Mayor, bailiffs, and burgesses of Abingdon, abandoning
the previous scheme, desired the foundation of a separate and
independent College, for which purpose no place seemed more suitable
than Broadgates Hall. An Act of Parliament having been obtained, they
presented a petition to the Crown, in reply to which King James I. by
Letters Patents dated June 29th, 1624, constituted the said Hall of
Broadgates to be “one perpetual College of divinity, civil and canon
law, arts, medicine and other sciences; to consist of one master or
governour, ten fellows, ten scholars, or more or fewer, to be known
by the name of ‘the Master, Fellows, and Scholars of the College of
Pembroke in the University of Oxford, of the foundation of King James,
at the cost and charges of Thomas Tesdale and Richard Wightwicke.’”
The better, we are told, to strengthen the new foundation and make it
immovable, they had made the Earl of Pembroke, then Chancellor of the
University, the Godfather, and King James the Founder of it, “allowing
Tesdale and Wightwick only the privileges of foster-fathers.” James
liked to play the part of founder to learned institutions, and the Earl
of Pembroke was a poet and patron of letters--“Maecenas nobilissimus”
Sir T. Browne calls him. In his honour the Chancellor was always to
be, and is still, the Visitor of the College. Moreover, as a Hall
Broadgates had had the Chancellor for Visitor. Wood says that “had
not that noble lord died suddenly soon after, this College might have
received more than a bare name from him.”

On August 5th, 1624, Browne, as senior commoner of Broadgates, now
Pembroke, delivered one of four Latin orations in the common hall. The
new foundation was described as a Phœnix springing out of the rubble
of an ancient Hall, and the right noble Visitor, it was foreseen,
would create a truly marble structure out of an edifice of brick. Dr.
Clayton, Regius Professor of Medicine, last Principal of Broadgates and
first Master of Pembroke, spoke the concluding oration of the four.
The Letters Patents were then read, as well as a license of mortmain,
enabling the Society to hold revenues to the amount of £700 a year.
The ceremony was witnessed by a distinguished assembly, including the
Vice-Chancellor and Proctors, many Masters of Arts, a large company
of the nobility and gentry of the neighbourhood, and the Mayor,
Recorder, and burgesses of Abingdon. Indeed, great and wide interest
seems to have been taken in this youngest foundation, carrying on as
it did the life of a very ancient and not unfamous place of academic
learning. The students of Broadgates were now the members of Pembroke,
and the speeches on the day of the inauguration of the College still
affectionately style them “Lateportenses.” A commission issued from
the Crown to the Lord Primate, the Visitor, the Vice-Chancellor, the
Master, the Recorder of Abingdon, Richard Wightwick, and Sir Eubule
Thelwall, to make statutes for the good government of the House. The
statutes provided that all the Fellows and scholars should proceed to
the degree of B.D. and seek Holy Orders. Some were to be of founders’
kin, but, with this reservation, the double foundation was to be
entirely for the benefit of Abingdon. These provisions have been for
the most part repealed by later statutes. But the tutorial Fellows are
still bound to celibacy.

Further additions were soon made to the original foundation. In 1636
King Charles I., who in that year visited Oxford “with no applause,”
gave the College the patronage[322] of St. Aldate’s, which had been
seized by the Crown on the dissolution of the religious houses. With
a view to raising the state of ecclesiastical learning in the Channel
Islands, King Charles further founded a Fellowship, as also at Jesus
College and Exeter, to be held by a native of Guernsey or Jersey.
Bishop Morley, in the next reign, bestowed five exhibitions for Channel
islanders. A principal benefactor to this College was Sir J. Benet,
Lord Ossulstone. In 1714 Queen Anne annexed a prebend at Gloucester to
the Mastership. The Master, under the latest statutes, must be a person
capable in law of holding this stall. Other considerable benefactions
have from time to time been bestowed.

The new foundation, however, was not disposed to forego any portion of
what it could claim. Savage, Master of Balliol, whose “Balliofergus”
(1668) contains the account of the opening ceremony called “Natalitia
Collegii Pembrochiani,” 1624, complains with pardonable resentment:
“This rejeton had no sooner taken root than the Master and his company
called the Master and Society of our Colledge into Chancery for the
restitution of the aforesaid £300” (the £300, viz. of Tesdale’s money
with which Cæsar’s Lodgings had been purchased). Wood says: “The
matter came before George [Abbot] Archbishop of Canterbury, sometime
of Balliol College, who, knowing very well that the Society was not
able at that time to repay the said sum, bade the fellows go home,
be obedient to their Governour, and JEHOVAH JIREH, _i. e._ GOD shall
provide for them. Whereupon he paid £50 of the said £300 presently, and
for the other £250 the College gave bond to be paid yearly by several
sums till the full was satisfied. The which sums as they grew due did
the Lord Archbishop pay.” Abbot seems to have allowed the agreement
between the Mayor and burgesses of Abingdon and Balliol. Yet his
attitude towards Pembroke, in whose foundation he was concerned, was
one of marked benevolence. It is to be noted that Tesdale’s brass in
Glympton Church, put up between his death and the new turn of affairs
brought about by Wightwick’s benefaction, describes him as “liberally
beneficial to Balliol Colledge in Oxford.” He is represented standing
on an ale-cask, in allusion to his trade as maltster. The alabaster
monument to Tesdale and Maud his wife was repaired in 1704, as a Latin
inscription shows, by the Master and Fellows of Pembroke.

Part of the founders’ money was laid out in building. Few Colleges
stand within a more natural boundary of their own than Pembroke, and
yet that boundary has only been completed within the last two years,
and the College itself is an almost accidental agglomeration of ancient
tenements. The south side stands directly on the city wall from South
Gate to Little Gate, looking down on a lane for a long time past called
Brewer’s Street, but formerly Slaughter Lane, or Slaying Well Lane,
King Street, and also Lumbard[323] Lane. The western boundary of the
College is Littlegate Street, the eastern St. Aldate’s Street (formerly
Fish Street), the northern Beef Lane and S. Aldate’s Church, though the
College owns some interesting old houses on the south side of Pembroke
Street, formerly Crow Street and Pennyfarthing[324] Street. At the
time of the transformation of Broadgates Hall into Pembroke College,
the “Almshouses” opposite Christ Church Gate were an appendage to
Christ Church. Then came the vacant strip of ground called “Hamel,”
running north and south. Next on the west stood New College Chambers
and Abingdon Buildings, which passed with Broadgates into Pembroke.
Beckyngton, Bishop of Bath and Wells, was once Principal here. Further
west still stood Broadgates Hall, the sole part of which still
remaining is the refectory, now the library. As depicted in the large
Agas (1578) it seems to have been an irregular cluster of buildings
(mostly rented), of which the largest was a double block called
Cambye’s, afterwards Summaster’s, Lodgings (vulgarly Veale Hall). This
in 1626 was altered for the new Master’s Lodgings, but in 1695 it was
replaced by a six-gabled freestone pile, the outside of which was
remodelled with the rest of the frontage in 1829, a storey being added
later by Dr. Jeune, afterwards Bishop of Peterborough. Loggan’s print
shows the old building in 1675, and Burghersh gives its appearance in
1700, as rebuilt by Bishop Hall.

Broadgates Hall (except the refectory), together with Abingdon
Buildings and New College Chambers, gave place, when Pembroke College
had been founded, to the present _Old Quadrangle_, of which the south
and west sides and a portion of the east side were erected in 1624,
the remainder of the east side in 1670. Three years later the original
north frontage, which had been merely repaired in 1624, was half pulled
down and replaced by “a fair fabrick of freestone.” The rest of the
north front as far as the Common Gate was rebuilt by Michaelmas 1691,
the _Gate Tower_ in 1694, Sir John Benet supplying most of the cost.
This tower of 1694, the last part of the frontage to be built, was more
classical than the remainder. The tower shown in Loggan’s print (1675)
in the _centre_ of the front can never have existed. Probably it was
projected only. A storey was added in 1829, when the exterior of the
College was remodelled in the Gothic revival manner of George IV. The
interior of the quadrangle, though less altered than the outside, has
lost much of its character by being refaced with inferior stone, and
by the substitution of sashes for the quarried lights. Some changes
were made in the battlements and chimneys, and in the upper face of the
tower by Mr. Bodley in 1879.

The history of the present _New Quadrangle_ is as follows: West of the
present Master’s lodging stood a number of ancient halls for legists,
viz. Minote, Durham (later St. Michael’s) and St. James’ (these two
in one) and Beef Halls. The last gives its name to Beef Lane. Dunstan
Hall, on the town wall, was (_temp._ Charles I.) pulled down, and
the whole space between the city wall and the “_Back Lodgings_,” as
the halls fringing Beef Lane were called, was divided into three
enclosures. That furthest to the west became a garden for the Fellows,
having a bowling alley, clipt walks and arbours,[325] and a curious
dial. The middle enclosure was the Master’s garden, and here were shady
bowers and a ball court. That nearest the College was a common garden;
but when the chapel was built in 1728 the pleasant borders probably got
trampled, and grass and trees were replaced by gravel. Such was, with
little alteration, the aspect of the College till 1844. Two woodcuts
in _Ingram_ (1837) show the picturesque old gabled Back Lodgings
still standing. But in 1844 Dr. Jeune took in hand the erection of
new buildings. The new hall and kitchens occupy the western side, and
the Fellows’ and undergraduates’ rooms the entire north side of the
_Inner Quadrangle_ thus formed, a large plat of grass filling the
central space, while the chapel and a tiny strip of private garden upon
the town wall form the south side. With the irregular range of old
buildings on the east, and especially when the luxuriant creepers dress
the walls with green and crimson, this is a very pleasing court, though
a visitor looking in casually through the outer gateway of the College
might hardly suspect its existence. Mr. Hayward of Exeter, nephew and
pupil of Sir C. Barry, was the architect. The _Hall_, built in 1848,
is a much better example of the Gothic revival than a good many other
Oxford edifices, and the dark timbered roof is exceedingly handsome.
There is the usual large oriel on the daïs, a minstrels’ gallery, and
a great baronial fireplace, where huge blocks of fuel burn. As in the
ancient halls, the twin doors are faced by the buttery hatches, and the
kitchen is below.

The time-honoured hall, much the oldest part of the College, and once
the refectory of Broadgates (the kitchen was in the S.W. corner of
the Old Quadrangle) was now made the College _Library_. The long room
over Docklington’s aisle in St. Aldate’s was on the foundation of
Pembroke repaired at Dr. Clayton’s expense, and used once more for the
reception of books presented by various donors, though Wood says that
for some years before the Great Rebellion it was partly employed for
chambers. The books certainly were at first few. Francis Rous, one of
Cromwell’s “lords” and Speaker of the Little Parliament, who founded an
Exhibition, “did intend to give his whole Study, but being dissuaded
to the contrary gave only his own works and some few others.” But in
1709 Bishop Hall, Master of Pembroke, bequeathed his collection of
books to the College, and a room was built over the hall to be the
College library. When the hall became the library in 1848 this room,
Gothicized, was converted to a lecture-room. From 1709 the “chamber in
St. Aldate’s” was used no more, and this extremely ancient Civil Law
School and picturesque feature of the church has now unhappily been
demolished. A Nuremburg Chronicle among Dr. Hall’s books is inscribed
by Whitgift’s hand, and a volume of scholia on Aristotle has the
autograph, “Is. Casaubonus.” Here also are Johnson’s deeply pathetic
_Prayers and Meditations_, in his own writing.

The Pembroke library has recently been fortunate enough to acquire
by gift from a lady to whom they were bequeathed[326] the unique
collection of Aristotelian and other works made by the late Professor
Chandler, Fellow of the College, and galleries were added last year
(1890). The transverse portion of the room, which is shaped like
the letter T, was built in 1620 by Dr. Clayton, four years before
Broadgates Hall became Pembroke College. A book of contributors (headed
“Auspice Christo”) is extant, and has the signatures of Pym and of
“Margaret Washington of Northants,” kinswoman of the famous Virginian.

In 1824, on the occasion of the “Bicentenary” of the College, when
Latin speeches were delivered, the windows were enlarged and filled
with glass by Eginton, and the blazoned cornice added at a cost of
£2000. But the room is the same one in which Johnson (whose bust by
Bacon is here) dined and abused the “coll,” or small beer, which he
found muddy and uninspiring to Latin themes--

    “Carmina vis nostri scribant meliora poetae?
    Ingenium jubeas purior haustus alat.”

Whitfield carried about the liquor in leathern jacks here as he had
done in his mother’s inn at Gloucester. In this room they attended
lectures. Every Nov. 5th there were speeches in the hall. “Johnson told
me that when he made his first declamation he wrote over but one copy
and that coarsely; and having given it into the hand of the tutor who
stood to receive it as he passed was obliged to begin by chance and
continue on how he could, for he had got but little of it by heart; so
fairly trusting to his present powers for immediate supply he finished
by adding astonishment to the applause of all who knew how little was
owing to study” (Piozzi). We read of “a great Gaudy in the College,
when the Master dined in public and the juniors (by an ancient custom
they were obliged to observe) went round the fire in the hall.” Johnson
told Warton, “In these halls the fireplace was anciently always in
the middle of the room till the Whigs removed it on one side.” At
dinner till lately the signal for grace was given by three blows with
two wooden trenchers, such as were used for bread and cheese till
1848. Hearne laments, “when laudable old customs alter, ’tis a sign
learning dwindles.” There were four “College dinners” annually, one
of which was an Oyster Feast.[327] The Manciple’s slate still hangs
in this room. An undergraduates’ library has lately been established
“between quads.” Where, by the bye, is Lobo’s _Voyage to Abyssinia_
(the original of _Rasselas_) which Johnson borrowed from the Pembroke

It has already been said that the students of Broadgates used
Docklington’s aisle for divine service, and the aisle was rented for
this purpose by Pembroke College. The pulpit and Master’s pew are now
at Stanton St. John’s. The present College chapel dates from 1728,
the year of Johnson’s matriculation. It was consecrated July 10th,
1732, by Bishop Potter of Oxford, a sermon on religious vows and
dedications being preached by “that fine Jacobite fellow” (as Johnson
calls him), Dr. Matthew Panting, then Master, from Gen. xxviii. 20-22.
Hearne styles him “an honest gent,” and says: “He had to preach the
sermon at St. Mary’s on the day on which George Duke and Elector of
Brunswick usurped the English throne; but his sermon took no notice,
at most very little, of the Duke of Brunswick.” Bartholomew Tipping,
Esq., whose arms are on the screen, contributed very largely towards
building the chapel. It was then “a neat Ionic structure,” plain
and unpretending, but well proportioned and pleasing enough. The
picture in the altar-piece was given at a later date by the Ven.
Joseph Plymley (or Corbett), a gentleman commoner. It is a copy of
our Lord’s figure in Rubens’ painting at Antwerp, “Christ urging
St. Theresa to succour a soul in Purgatory.” In 1884 the chapel was
elaborately embellished and enriched at an expense of nearly £3000,
so as to present one of the most beautiful interiors in Oxford. The
work was executed by Mr. C. E. Kempe, M.A., a member of the College.
The windows, in the Renaissance manner, are particularly fine. A
quantity of silver and silver-gilt altar plate was presented at the
same time. The work is not yet finished, and a design for an organ
remains on paper. It is worth recording that until twenty-seven years
since the Eucharist was administered here, as at the Cathedral and St.
Mary’s, to the communicants kneeling in their places. Johnson must,
as an undergraduate, have attended St. Aldate’s (where the College
worshipped once again for several terms during the recent decoration of
the chapel); but when in later years he visited Oxford, people flocked
to Pembroke chapel[328] to gaze at the “great Cham of literature,”
humblest of worshippers, tenderest and most loyal of Pembroke’s sons.

Dean Burgon connects a bit of old Pembroke with Johnson. The summer
common room behind the present hall was, before its demolition, the
only one left in Oxford, except that at Merton. He writes (1855):
“This agreeable and picturesque apartment was in constant use within
the memory of the present Master; but, while I write, it is in a state
of considerable decadence. The old chairs are drawn up against the
panelled walls; on the small circular tables the stains produced by
hot beverages are very plainly to be distinguished: only the guests
are wanting, with their pipes and ale--their wigs and buckles--their
byegone manners and forgotten topics of discourse. It must have been
hither that Dr. Adams, Master of Pembroke conducted Dr. Johnson and
his biographer in 1776, when the former after a rêverie of meditation
exclaimed: ‘Ay, here I used to play at draughts with Phil Jones and
Fludyer. Jones loved beer, and did not get very forward in the Church.
Fludyer turned out a scoundrel, a Whig, and said he was ashamed of
having been bred at Oxford.’” The old brazier, which Mr. Lang surmises
Whitfield may have blacked, is, I believe, in existence.

The most important modern addition to the College is the Wolsey
Almshouse, purchased in 1888 from Christ Church for £10,000, by the
help of money bequeathed by the Rev. C. Cleoburey. This is part of
“Segrym’s houses,” held of St. Frideswyde’s Priory, and converted after
the Conquest into hostels “for people of a religious and scholastick
conversation.” “With the decay of learning they came to be the
possession of servants and retainers to the said priory.” They were
occupied by Jas. Proctor when Wolsey converted them into a hospital;
later, Henry VIII. settled in them twenty-four almsmen, old soldiers,
with a yearly allowance of £6 each. Not long ago the bedesmen were
sent to their homes with a pension, and the building became the
Christ Church Treasurer’s lodging till it was heroically purchased by
Pembroke, which thus completed her “scientific frontier.” There is a
fine timber roof here, said to have been brought from Osney Abbey. The
building has been a good deal altered. Skelton (1823) shows the south
part of it in ruins.

The external history of Pembroke since its foundation in 1624 has
been comparatively uneventful. When King Charles was besieged in
Oxford in 1642, like other Colleges it armed a company to defend
the city. Twice the loyal Colleges had given their cups and flagons
for their Sovereign’s necessities. Pembroke keeps the King’s letter
of acknowledgment, with his signature. When the Parliamentary
Commissioners visited Oxford in 1647, they ejected the then Master of
Pembroke, who had received them with these words: “I have seen your
commission and examined it. … I cannot with a safe conscience submit
to it, nor without breach of oath made to my Sovereign, and breach of
oaths made to the University, and breach of oaths made to my College:
et sic habetis animi mei sententiam,--Henry Wightwicke.” Henry Langley,
an intruded Canon of Christ Church, and “one of six Ministers appointed
by Parliament to preach at St. Mary’s and elsewhere in Oxon to draw off
the Scholars from their orthodox principles,” was put in Wightwick’s
room, but removed in 1660. In 1650 “Honest Will Collier,” a Pembrokian,
heads a plot to seize the Cromwellian garrison, and is “strangely
tortured,” but his life spared.

The College pictures include a splendid Reynolds of Johnson,[329]
given by Mr. A. Spottiswoode. Two interesting relics of Johnson are
to be seen--the small deal desk on which he wrote the _Dictionary_,
and his china teapot. It holds two quarts, for Johnson once drank
five-and-twenty cups at a sitting. He called himself “a hardened and
shameless tea-drinker,” who “with tea amuses the evenings, with
tea solaces the midnights, and with tea welcomes the mornings.” Peg
Woffington made it for him “as red as blood.”

Pembroke since the seventeenth century has been a small College, though
it has a large foundation of scholars. It has not been specially noted
as either a “rich man’s” or a “poor man’s” College, and while winning
at least its fair share of distinction in the schools, it has been
known perhaps chiefly as a compact, pleasant, and not uncomfortable
Society, whose Promus no longer serves “muddy” beer, and whose Coquus
no Latin verses satirize. There is a handsome show of plate. It
includes several silver “tumblers” or “tuns,” which when placed on
their side tumble upright again, and a large hammered tankard (lately
presented) with the “Britannia” mark, and made after the ancient manner
with pegs between its thirteen pints to measure the draught to be
taken. The oldest inscribed piece of plate is dated 1653. Pembroke has
been usually a rowing College. The Eight was Head of the River in 1872;
the Torpid in 1877, 1878, and 1879, the Eight then being second. The
“Christ Church Fours” are rowed every year for a challenge goblet given
by the Christ Church Club in gratitude for an eight lent by Pembroke
in a time of need. The racing colours are cherry and white, with the
red rose for badge of the Eight and the thistle of the Torpid.[330]
The “Junior Common Room” is the oldest of undergraduate wine clubs.
There is a flourishing and old-established literary club called the
“Johnson,” and there is of course a Debating and a Musical Society.
The Master, Fellows, and Scholars of Pembroke are patrons of eight
benefices. College meetings are called Conventions.

A few names may be cited from the roll of (Broadgates and) Pembroke

_Edmund Bonner_, “Scholar enough and tyrant too much” (Fuller),
entered Broadgates in 1512. In 1519 he became Bachelor of Canon and
Civil Law; D.C.L. 1535. He was successively Bishop of Hereford and
of London, but was deprived and imprisoned under Edward VI. Having
been restored by Mary, on Elizabeth’s accession he refused the oath
of the Supremacy, and was committed to the Marshalsea, where he
died September 5th, 1569. _Thomas Yonge_, Archbishop of York, 1560.
_John Moore_, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1783, began as a servitor at
Pembroke. The Duke of Marlborough had then a house in Oxford, and
walking with Dr. Adams one day in the street, asked him to recommend
a governor for his son, Lord Blandford. Dr. Adams in reply pointed to
the slight figure of a lad walking just in front, and said, “That is
the person I recommend.” The Duke afterwards brought Moore’s merits
under the notice of the King, who placed the Prince of Wales under his
care, which led to his ecclesiastical elevation. _William Newcome_,
Archbishop of Armagh, 1795. The primatial sees of Canterbury, York, and
Armagh have thus each been filled from Broadgates or Pembroke. _John
Heywoode_, “the Epigrammatist,” one of the earliest English dramatic
writers. While attached to the Court of Henry VIII. he wrote those six
comedies which are among the first innovations upon the mysteries and
miracle-plays of the middle age, and which laid the foundation of the
secular comedy in this country. His _Interludes_, in which the clergy
are satirized, are earlier than 1521. Yet he was favoured by Mary
Tudor, and was also the friend of Sir Thomas More. _George Peele_,
dramatist. _Charles Fitzjeffrey_, 1572, “the poet of Broadgates Hall”
(Wood). _David Baker_, entered 1590, a Benedictine monk, historian,
and mystical writer, author of the _Chronicle_. _Francis Beaumont_,
the poet, entered February 4th, 1596, as “Baronis filius æt. 12.” His
father dying April 21st, 1598, he left without a degree. His elder
brother, _Sir John Beaumont_, entered Broadgates the same day. He
was a Puritan in religion, but fought on the Cavalier side. _William
Camden_, the antiquary, called “the Strabo of England,” entered 1567,
aged sixteen; Clarencieux King of Arms; Head-master of Westminster. He
died 1623. The Latin grace composed by Camden to be said after meat
in Broadgates Hall is still in use at Pembroke. In 1599 entered _John
Pym_, the politician, aged fifteen. Among the contributors to the
enlargement of the Hall in 1620 his signature appears, “Johannes pym
de Brimont in com. Somerset quondam Aulae Lateportensis Commensalis.
44/. Jo. Pym.” _Sir Thomas Browne_, author of that delightful
book _Religio Medici_, the quaint thought of which inspired Elia.
He entered as Fellow Commoner in 1623. His body lies in St. Peter
Mancroft, Norwich. When it was disentombed in 1840 the fine auburn
hair had not lost its freshness. _Matthew Turner_, one of the first
Fellows, who wrote all his sermons in Greek. It will be remembered
that, not many years before, Queen Elizabeth had received an address
in Oxford, and _replied_ to it, in this learned tongue, and that in
the period of Puritan ascendancy (1648-1659) the disputations in the
schools for M.A. were often in Greek. Other worthies of this House
are Cardinal _Repyngdon_, the Wycliffist; _John Storie_, whose career
closed at Tyburn; _Thomas Randolph_, constantly employed by Elizabeth
on important embassies; _Timothy Hall_, one of the few London clergy
who read James II.’s Declaration. He was made Bishop of Oxford, but in
his palace found himself alone, hated, and shunned; _Carew_, Earl of
Totnes; _Peter Smart_, Puritan poet, Cosin’s assailant; Chief Justice
_Dyer_; Lord Chancellor _Harcourt_; _Collier_, the metaphysician;
_Southern_, the Restoration dramatist; _Durel_, the Biblical critic;
_Henderson_, “the Irish Creichton”; _Davies Gilbert_, President of
the Royal Society; _Richard Valpy_; _John Lemprière_; _Thomas Stock_,
co-founder of the Sunday School system.

In 1694, Prideaux (whom Aldrich sets down as “muddy-headed”) calls
Pembroke “the fittest colledge in the town for brutes.” But a Mr.
Lapthorne, twenty years later, gives a different picture of it. “I
have placed my son in Pembroke Colledge. The house, though it bee
but a little one, yet is reputed to be one of the best for sobriety
and order.” It is not till the Georgian time, however, that we
get a distinct view of the inner life of Pembroke--the time when
Shenstone, Blackstone, Graves, Hawkins, Whitfield, and--towering above
all--Johnson, were contemporary or nearly contemporary here.

_Samuel Johnson_ entered as a Commoner October 31st, 1728, aged
nineteen. Old Michael Johnson anxiously introduced him to Mr. Jorden,
his tutor. “He seemed very full of the merits of his son, and told the
company he was a good scholar and a poet, and wrote Latin verses. His
figure and manner appeared strange to them; but he behaved modestly,
and sate silent, till, upon something which occurred in the course
of conversation, he struck in and quoted Macrobius.” Johnson told
Boswell that Jorden was “a very worthy man, but a heavy man.” He
told Mrs. Thrale that “when he was first entered at the University
he passed a morning, in compliance with the customs of the place, at
his tutor’s chamber; but, finding him no scholar, went no more. In
about ten days after, meeting Mr. Jorden in the street, he offered to
pass without saluting him; but the tutor stopped and enquired, not
roughly neither, what he had been doing? ‘Sliding on the ice,’ was
the reply; and so turned away with disdain. He laughed very heartily
at the recollection of his own insolence, and said they endured it
from him with a gentleness that whenever he thought of it astonished
himself.” Once, being fined for non-attendance, he rudely retorted,
“Sir, you have sconced me twopence for a lecture not worth a penny.”
Dr. Adams, however, told Boswell that Johnson attended his tutor’s
lectures and those given in the Hall very regularly. Jorden quite won
his heart. “That creature would defend his pupils to the last; no young
lad under his care should suffer for committing slight irregularities,
while he had breath to defend or power to protect them. If I had sons
to send to College, Jorden should have been their tutor” (Piozzi).
Again, “Whenever a young man becomes Jorden’s pupil he becomes his
son.” Still, when Johnson’s intimate, Taylor, was about to join him at
Pembroke, he persuaded him to go to Christ Church, where the lectures
were excellent. In going to get Taylor’s lecture notes at second-hand,
Johnson saw that his ragged shoes were noticed by the Christ Church
men, and came no more. He was too proud to accept money, and, some
kind hand having placed a pair of new shoes at his door, Johnson, when
his short-sighted vision spied them, flung them passionately away. His
room was a very small one in the second storey over the gateway; it is
practically unaltered.

“I have heard,” wrote Bishop Percy, “from some of his contemporaries,
that he was generally to be seen lounging at the College gate with a
circle of young students round him, whom he was entertaining with wit
and keeping from their studies, if not spiriting them up to rebellion
against the College discipline, which in his maturer years he so much
extolled. He would not let these idlers say ‘prodigious,’ or otherwise
misuse the English tongue.” “Even then, Sir, he was delicate in
language, and we all feared him.” So Edwards, an old fellow-collegian
of Johnson’s, told Boswell half a century later. Johnson, hearing
from Edwards that a gentleman had left his whole fortune to Pembroke,
discussed the ethics of legacies to Colleges. Edwards has given us
a saying we would not willingly lose: “You are a philosopher, Dr.
Johnson. I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; but, I don’t
know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.” Johnson remembered
drinking with Edwards at an alehouse near Pembroke-gate. Their meeting
again, after fifty years spent by both in London, Johnson accounted one
of the most curious incidents of his life.

Dr. Adams told Boswell that Johnson while at Pembroke was caressed and
loved by all about him, was a gay and frolicsome fellow, and passed
there the happiest part of his life. “When I mentioned to him this
account he said, ‘Ah, sir, I was mad and violent. It was bitterness
which they mistook for frolick. 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.’” Bishop Percy told Boswell, “The pleasure he took
in vexing the tutors and fellows has been often mentioned. But I have
heard him say that the mild but judicious expostulations of this worthy
man [Dr. Adams, then a junior Fellow] whose virtue awed him and whose
learning he revered, made him really ashamed of himself: ‘though I
fear,’ said he, ‘I was too proud to own it.’” Johnson was transferred
from Jorden to Adams, who said to Boswell, “I was his nominal tutor,
but he was above my mark.” When Johnson heard this remark, his eyes
flashed with satisfaction. “That was liberal and noble,” he exclaimed.
Jorden once gave him for a Christmas exercise Pope’s “Messiah” to turn
into Latin verse, which the veteran saw and was pleased to commend

Carlyle has drawn a fancy picture of the rough, seamy-faced, rawboned
servitor starving in view of the empty or locked buttery. Dr. Birkbeck
Hill has shown that though Johnson was poor, he lived like other men.
His batells came to about eight shillings a week. Even Mr. Leslie
Stephen introduces the usual talk about “servitors and sizars.”
Johnson was not a servitor. “It was the practice for a servitor, by
order of the Master, to go round to the rooms of the young men, and,
knocking[331] at the door, to enquire if they were within, and if no
answer was returned to report them absent. Johnson could not endure
this intrusion, and would frequently be silent when the utterance of a
word would have ensured him from censure, and … would join with others
of the young men in hunting, as they called it, the servitor who was
thus diligent in his duty; and this they did with the noise of pots and
candlesticks, singing to the tune of ‘Chevy Chase’ the words of that
old ballad--

    ‘To drive the deer with hound and horn.’”

Any one who has occupied the narrow tower staircase can imagine the
noise of Johnson’s ponderous form tumbling down it in hot pursuit. The
present balusters must be the same as those he clutched in his headlong
descents one hundred and sixty years ago. Amid this boisterousness he
read with deep attention Law’s racy and masculine book, the _Serious

Dr. Hill has examined exhaustively the difficult question of the length
of Johnson’s residence, and proved that the fourteen months, to which
the batell books testify, was the whole of his Oxford career. He was
absent for but one week in the Long Vacation of 1729. He ceased to
reside in December, 1729, and removed his name from the books October
8th, 1731, without taking his degree, his caution money (£7) cancelling
his undischarged batells. But, his contemporaries assure us, “he had
contracted a love and regard for Pembroke College, which he retained to
the last.” It has been thought that the College helped him pecuniarily.
He loved it none the less that it was reputed a Jacobitical place.
In his _Life of Sir T. Browne_ he speaks of “the zeal and gratitude
of those that love it.” Whenever he visited Oxford in after days he
would go and see his College before doing anything else. Warton was
his companion in 1754. Johnson was highly pleased to find all the
College servants of his time still remaining, particularly a very old
manciple, and to be recognized by them. But he was coldly received when
he waited on the Master, Dr. Radcliffe, who did not ask him to dinner,
and did not care to talk about the forthcoming Dictionary. However,
there was a cordial meeting with his old rival Meeke, now a Fellow.
At the classical lecture in hall Johnson had fretted under Meeke’s
superiority, he told Warton, and tried to sit out of earshot of his
construing. Besides Meeke, it seems, there was at this time only one
other resident Fellow. Boswell describes other visits, when Dr. Adams,
Johnson’s lifelong friend, was Master. He prided himself on being
accurately academic, and wore his gown ostentatiously. The following
letter from Hannah More to her sister is dated Oxford, June 13th,

“Who do you think is my principal cicerone in Oxford? Only Dr. Johnson!
And we do so gallant it about! You cannot imagine with what delight he
showed me every part of his own College (Pembroke), nor how rejoiced
Henderson looked to make one of the party. Dr. Adams had contrived a
very pretty piece of gallantry. We spent the day and evening at his
house. After dinner Johnson begged to conduct me to see the College;
he would let no one show it me but himself. ‘This was my room; this
Shenstone’s.’ Then, after pointing out all the rooms of the poets
who had been of his College, ‘In short,’ said he, ‘we were a nest of
singing birds. Here we walked, there we played at cricket.’ He ran over
with pleasure the history of the juvenile days he passed there. When
we came into the common room we spied a fine large print of Johnson,
framed and hung up that very morning, with this motto, ‘And is not
Johnson ours, himself a host?’ under which stared you in the face,
‘From Miss More’s Sensibility.’ This little incident amused us; but
alas! Johnson looked very ill indeed; spiritless and wan. However he
made an effort to be cheerful, and I exerted myself to make him so.”

A few months before his death, his ebbing strength beginning to return,
he had a wistful desire to see Oxford and Pembroke once again, and,
weary as he was with the journey, revived[332] in spirit as the coach
drew near the ancient city. He presented all his works to the College
library, and had thoughts of bequeathing his house at Lichfield to the
College, but he was reminded of the claims of some poor relatives. “He
took a pleasure,” Boswell says, “in boasting of the many eminent men
who had been educated at Pembroke.”

_Shenstone_, the poet, entered Pembroke in 1732, after Johnson had
left. Burns says: “His divine Elegies do honour to our language,
our nation, and our species.” Johnson writes: “Here it appears he
found delight and advantage; for he continued his name in the book
ten years, though he took no degree. After the first four years he
put on the civilian’s gown.” _Hawkins_, Professor of Poetry. _Rev.
Richard Graves_, junior, admitted scholar, November, 1732--poet and
novelist. He was the author of the _Spiritual Quixote_, a satire on the
Methodists. He tells us: “Having brought with me the character of a
tolerably good Grecian, I was invited to a very sober little party, who
amused themselves in the evening with reading Greek and drinking water.
Here I continued six months, and we read over Theophrastus, Epictetus,
Phalaris’ Epistles, and such other Greek authors as are seldom read at
school. But I was at length seduced from this mortified symposium to a
very different party, a set of jolly, sprightly young fellows, most of
them West country lads, who drank ale, smoked tobacco, punned, and sang
bacchanalian catches the whole evening.… I own with shame that, being
then not seventeen, I was so far captivated with the social disposition
of these young people (many of whom were ingenuous lads and good
scholars), that I began to think them the only wise men. Some gentlemen
commoners, however, who considered the above-mentioned a very _low_
company (chiefly on account of the liquor they drank), good-naturedly
invited me to their party; they treated me with port wine and arrack
punch; and now and then, when they had drunk so much as hardly to
distinguish wine from water, they would conclude with a bottle or
two of claret. They kept late hours, drank their favourite toasts on
their knees, and in short were what were then called ‘bucks of the
first head.’ … There was, besides, a sort of flying squadron of plain,
sensible, matter-of-fact men, confined to no club, but associating with
each party. They anxiously inquired after the news of the day and the
politics of the times. They had come to the University on their way to
the Temple, or to get a slight smattering of the sciences before they
settled in the country.” Graves breakfasts with Shenstone (who wore his
own hair), a Mr. Whistler being of the company. This was “a young man
of great delicacy of sentiment, but with such a dislike to languages
that he is unable to read the classics in the original, yet no one
formed a better judgment of them. He wrote, moreover, a great part of a
tragedy on the story of Dido.” In a later day we may surmise this young
gentleman of delicacy of sentiment would have written a Newdigate. The
three friends often met and discussed plays and poetry, Spectators or

_George Whitfield_ entered as a servitor, November, 1732. An old
schoolfellow, himself a Pembroke servitor, happened to visit
Whitfield’s mother, who kept a hostelry in Gloucester, and told her
how he had not only discharged his College expenses for the term, but
had received a penny. At this the good ale-wife cried out, “That will
do for my son. Will you go to Oxford, George?” “With all my heart,” he
replied. He tells us that at College he was solicited to join in excess
of riot with several who lay in the same room; but God gave him grace
to withstand them. His tutor was kind, but when he joined Wesley’s
small set he met with harshness from the Master, who frequently chid
him and even threatened to expel him. “I had no sooner received the
Sacrament publickly on a week-day at St. Mary’s, but I was set up as a
mark for all the polite students that knew me to shoot at. … I daily
underwent some contempt from the collegians. Some have thrown dirt at
me, and others took away their pay from me.” Johnson told Boswell that
he was at Pembroke with Whitfield, and “knew him before he began to
be better than other people” (smiling). But they cannot have been in
residence together, nor can Whitfield have been “chevied” by Johnson
to the accompaniment of candlestick and pan.

To the pictures of Pembroke life supplied by Graves and Whitfield, Dr.
Birkbeck Hill adds a sketch of a gentleman commoner of this time. Mr.
Erasmus Philipps, of Picton Castle, (afterwards fifth baronet), entered
in 1720. He is a youth of fashion, but not, as he would probably be in
the present day, a dunce and a fool. He attends the races on Port Mead,
where the running of Lord Tracey’s mare Whimsey, the swiftest galloper
in England, brings to his mind the description in Job. He goes to see
a foot-race between tailors for geese, and another day to see a great
cock-match in Holywell between the Earl of Plymouth and the town cocks,
which beat his lordship. He attends the ball at the “Angel”--a guinea
touch--and gives a private ball in honour of the fair Miss Brigandine.
He writes an Essay on Friendship set him by his tutor, who the same
evening goes with the young man to Godstow by water with some others,
taking music and wine. Or he attends a poetical club at the “Tuns,”
with Mr. Tristram,[333] another of the Fellows, drinks Gallician wine
there, and is entertained with two masterly fables of Dr. Evans’
composition. Pembrokians meet at the “Tuns” to motto, epigrammatize,
etc. Mr. Philipps has literary tastes and attends the Encaenia, not to
make a poor noise, but to criticize the Proctor’s oration. He presents
a curious book to the Bodleian, and Mr. Prior’s works in folio to the
Pembroke library. He cultivates the society of men of learning and
taste, among them an Arabic scholar from Damascus. “On leaving Pembroke
he presented one of the scholars with his key of the garden, for which
he had on entrance paid ten shillings, treated the whole College in the
Common Room, and then took up his Caution money (£10) from the bursar
and lodged it with the Master for the use of Pembroke College.”

When Graves went to All Souls as Fellow (which many Pembroke students
of law did), his friend Blackstone went with him. _Sir William
Blackstone_, the great jurist, entered in 1738, aged fifteen. He is
buried at Wallingford.

Westminster Abbey has received the ashes of at least four members of
this House, viz. Francis Beaumont and his brother Sir John, Pym the
parliamentarian, and Johnson the champion of authority. Pym’s body was
cast out at the Restoration.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Nisi Dominus aedificaverit Domum in vanum laboraverunt qui aedificant




_Gloucester College_, 1283-1539.

The beginnings of the history of Gloucester College anticipate by nine
years the establishment of Merton College upon its present site and
under statutes which had assumed their final shape, by three years
the code of rules drawn up by the University for the University Hall,
and by one year the date of the statutes of Balliol College, statutes
which preceded the establishment of students upon the present site of
that College. It was in 1283 that John Giffarde, Baron of Brimsfield,
on St. John the Evangelist’s day, being present in St. Peter’s Abbey
at Gloucester, founded Gloucester College, “extra muros Oxoniæ,” as
a house of study for thirteen monks of that abbey, appropriating for
their support the revenues of the church of Chipping Norton. This was
the first monastic College established in Oxford. It differed from the
Hall which not long after was built for the Benedictines of Durham,
in that, while Durham College admitted secular students, Gloucester
College was limited to monks of the Benedictine Order. It was not long
before the other great English Benedictine Houses, whose students
when sent to Oxford had hitherto been placed in scattered lodgings,
recognized the advantage of bringing them together under common
discipline and instruction and a common Head. They obtained permission
therefore of the Abbey of Gloucester to share with them their house at
Oxford, and to add to the existing buildings several lodgings, each
appropriated to the use of one or more of the Benedictine Houses. The
building made over in the first place by Giffarde had been originally
the mansion of Gilbert Clare earl of Gloucester, for whom it had the
advantage of being close to the Royal palace of Beaumont, in Magdalen
Parish. His arms were in Antony Wood’s day still to be seen “fairly
depicted in the window of the Common Hall.” It subsequently passed into
the hands of the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, and was exempt
from Episcopal and archidiaconal jurisdiction “a tempore cujus memoria
non existit.” It was from the Hospitallers that Giffarde bought the
house which he made over to Gloucester Abbey. In 1290 or 1291, upon
the agreement to admit other Benedictine Houses to a joint use of the
College, the founder purchased four other tenements, and, obtaining a
license in mortmain from Edward I., conveyed the whole to the Prior and
monks. Thereupon was held at Abingdon a General Chapter of the Abbots
and Priors of the Order, at which provisions were made for regulating
the new buildings to be erected and for providing contributions towards
the expenses, while rules were drawn up for the conduct of the College.
All Benedictines of the Province of Canterbury were to have right
of admission to “our common House in Stockwell Street,” and all the
students were to have an equal vote in the election of the Prior. The
strife and canvassing which took place over these popular elections
in time arose to such a head as to create a scandal in the order, to
remedy which it was decreed by a General Chapter that the author of
any such disturbance should be punished by degradation and perpetual
excommunication. The monks themselves, differing in this respect from
the subsequent foundation of Durham College, were not permitted to
study or be conversant with secular students; they were bound to attend
divine service on solemn and festival days; to observe disputations
constantly in term-time; to have divinity disputations once a week,
and the presiding moderator was endowed with a salary of £10 per annum
out of the common stock of the Order, which provided also for the
expenses of their Exercises and Degrees in the matter of fees and
entertainments. It was the duty of the Prior to enforce all regulations
and to see that the monks preached often, as well in the Latin as in
the vulgar tongue. It was further jealously stipulated that in their
exercises they should “answer” under one of their own Order, a trace
of the struggle between the religious orders and the University which
arose to such a height in the case of the various orders of Friars.

Few structures carry their history and their purpose upon their face in
a more obvious or more picturesque manner than do the still surviving
remains of the old Benedictine colony. Each settlement possessed a
lodging of its own “divided (though all for the most part adjoining
to each other) by particular roofs, partitions, and various forms of
structure, and known from each other, like so many colonies and tribes,
(though one at once inhabited by several abbies,) by arms and rebuses
that are depicted and cut in stone over each door.” These words of
Antony à Wood are a perfect description of the cottage-like row of
tenements which still form the south side of the present quadrangle,
and partially apply to the small southern quadrangle, though many of
the features have been in this case obliterated. But on the north side
all that now remains of what is represented in Loggan’s well-known
print is the ancient doorway of the College, surmounted by two shields,
(there used to be three, bearing respectively the arms of Gloucester,
Glastonbury and St. Alban’s,) and the adjoining buildings, which are
of the same character as the tenements on the south side. The first
lodgings on the north side were allotted, we are told, to the monks of
Abingdon: the next were built for the monks of Gloucester. These in
later days became the lodgings of the Principal of Gloucester Hall,
an arrangement followed in the position of the present lodgings of
the Provost of the College. On the five lodgings of the south side
one may see still in place the shields described by A. Wood. Over the
door at the S.W. corner is a shield bearing a mitre over a comb and a
tun, with the letter W (interpreted as the rebus of Walter Compton, or
else in reference to Winchcombe Abbey). Another shield bears three
cups surmounted by a ducal coronet. Between these is a small niche.
The chambers next in order were assigned by tradition to Westminster
Abbey; and the central lodgings of the five were “partly for Ramsey and
Winchcombe Abbies.” Over the doors of the easternmost lodgings again
are shields, the first bearing a “griffin sergreant,” the other a plain
cross. Another plain shield remains _in situ_ in the small quadrangle;
one has been removed and built into the garden wall of the present

A. Wood gives a list of the abbies which sent their monks to Gloucester
College. These were Gloucester, Glastonbury, St. Alban’s, Tavistock,
Burton, Chertsey, Coventry, Evesham, Eynsham, St. Edmondsbury,
Winchcombe, Abbotsbury, Michelney, Malmesbury, Rochester, Norwich. It
may be presumed that other Houses of the Order made use of the place,
among those whose representatives were present at the Chapter held at
Salisbury the day after the interment of Queen Eleanor, 1291, when
the Prior for the time being, Henry de Helm, was invested with the
government of the College, and provision was made for the election of
his successor.

We do not at this early date find any mention of Refectory or Chapel.
The parish church was, no doubt, as in other cases, frequented by the
student-monks for divine services, but they also had licence to have
a portable altar. It was not till 1420, in the prioralty of Thomas de
Ledbury, that John Whethamsted, Abbot of St. Alban’s, formerly Prior,
contributed largely to the erection of a chapel, which stood upon the
site of the present chapel. Its ruins are figured in Loggan’s sketch.
He built also a Library on the south side of the chapel, at right
angles to it, the five windows of which, giving upon Stockwell Street,
are also depicted in Loggan’s sketch. Upon this Library he bestowed
many books both of his own collection and of his own writing; and at
his instance Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, besides other benefactions,
gave many books to the Library. The benefits conferred by Whethamsted
were such that a Convocation of the Order styled him “chief benefactor
and second founder of the College.” One other name, a name of local
interest, we find associated with the place as its benefactor--that of
Sir Peter Besils, of Abingdon. Thus a century of dignified prosperity
was assured to the College, during which period it numbered among its
_alumni_ John Langden, Bishop of Rochester; Thomas Mylling, Abbot of
Westminster and afterwards Bishop of Hereford; Antony Richer, Abbot
of Eynsham, afterwards Bishop of Llandaff; Thomas Walsingham the

The dissolution of the monasteries of course involved the suppression
of the Benedictine College; Whethamsted’s Chapel and Library were
reduced to a ruin; and the books “were partly lost and purchased, and
partly conveyed to some of the other College Libraries,” where Wood
professes to have seen them “still bearing their donor’s name.”

_Bishop of Oxford’s Palace_, 1542-1557(?).

The College, its buildings and grounds, remained in the hands of the
Crown till the thirty-fourth year of Henry’s reign, when, upon his
founding the Bishoprick of Oxford, the seat of which was at Osney,
it was allotted to the Bishop for his palace, and was for a certain
time occupied by Bishop King, who had been the last Abbot of Osney.
On the transfer of the See within three years to the church of St.
Frideswyde, the endowments which had been attached to the Bishoprick
and temporarily resigned to the Crown were conveyed to the new
foundation, the intention of Henry VIII., who had died in the meantime,
being carried out by Edward VI. But there is no mention among the
endowments thus re-conveyed of Gloucester College, which remained in
the possession of the Crown until it was granted by Elizabeth, in the
second year of her reign, to William Doddington. He at once made it
over to the newly-founded College of St. John Baptist, for whom it was
purchased by the founder. The legend runs that Sir Thomas Whyte was
inclined for a while to Gloucester Hall as the site of his new College,
but that a dream directed him to the selection of St. Bernard’s College.

The Bishop of Oxford in 1604 revived his claim to the Hall, maintaining
that the surrender to the Crown had not been acknowledged by Bishop
King, nor duly enrolled in Chancery, and to try his rights he “did
make an entry by night and by water, and did drive away the horses
depasturing on the land belonging to the said Hall.” He failed however
to make good his claim against St. John’s College.

_Gloucester Hall_, 1559-1714.

Sir Thomas Whyte effected considerable repairs in his new purchase, and
converted it into a Hall with the name of the Principal and Scholars of
St. John Baptist’s Hall: the Principal was to be a Fellow of St. John’s
College, elected by that Society and admitted by the Chancellor of
the University. On St. John Baptist’s day, 1560, the first Principal,
William Stock, and one hundred Scholars took their first commons in
the old monks’ Refectory. It was in the September of this same year
that the body of Amy Robsart, Robert Dudley’s ill-fated wife, was
secretly brought from Cumnor to Gloucester College, and lay there
till the burial at St. Mary’s, “the great chamber where the mourners
did dine, and that where the gentlewomen did dine, and beneath the
stairs a great hall being all hung with black cloth, and garnished
with scutcheons.”[334] Before long the patronage of this Hall passed
with that of others into the hands of the Chancellor, this same Robert
Dudley, then become Earl of Leicester, so that the restriction to
Fellows of St. John’s College was no longer observed.

There are but few notices of the Hall to be found in the Register of
St. John’s College. Under date 1567 there is entry of the lease of a
chamber, formerly the Library, to William Stocke, Principal of the
Hall. In 1573 it was ordered that at the election of a Principal to
succeed Mr. Stocke it be covenanted that Sir Geo. Peckham may quietly
enjoy his lodging there. And again in 1608 there is entered a grant of
six timber trees out of Bagley Wood towards building a chapel. This was
in the principalship of Dr. Hawley, in whose time it was that the old
Hall for a second time, if the legend of Sir Thomas Whyte be credited,
won the regard of an intending Founder; Nicholas Wadham selected it as
the site of his projected College, and his widow, Dorothy, sought to
carry out his intention, and purchase it. But the scheme went off; for
the Principal, Dr. Hawley, refused to resign his interest in the Hall,
except upon the Foundress naming him as the first Warden of her College.

In Principal Hawley’s time it may be inferred that the Hall was
at a low ebb in point of numbers; but among its students was one
whose quaint, adventurous career had its fit commencement in those
picturesque ruins. Thomas Coryate the Odcombian--that strange amalgam
of shrewdness, buffoonery, learning, and adventure--became a member
of the Hall in 1596. He passed his life in wandering afoot--a pauper
pilgrim--through the East. He was so apt a linguist as to silence
“a laundry woman, a famous scold,” in her own Hindustani. From the
Court of the Great Mogul he dated epistles, which were the amusement
of the wits, and are now the treasures of the collector of literary
curiosities. These, and the “Crudities hastily gobbled up,” a record of
his earlier wanderings in Europe, will preserve his memory, when men of
more serious consequence have passed into oblivion.

At this low ebb of the Hall’s chequered existence, it seems to have
been a common practice to let lodgings to persons not necessarily
connected with the Hall. We have already seen how Sir George Peckham
occupied a lodging in Principal Stocke’s time; the famous Thomas Allen
again in the reign of Elizabeth and James found a refuge here for many
years; and now Degory Whear, who had been, with Camden, a member of
Broadgates Hall, and then Fellow of Exeter, retiring with his wife to
Oxford upon his patron’s death, had rooms allotted to him in Gloucester
Hall. In 1622 he was, through Allen’s interest, appointed by Camden the
first Professor on his History Foundation, and retained this chair,
together with the Principalship of the Hall to which he was nominated
in 1626, until his death in 1647. Degory Whear, though the friend and
_protégé_ of so good antiquaries as Allen and Camden, finds amusingly
scant favour in the eyes of Antony Wood, who bestows upon him the faint
praise that “he was esteemed by some a learned and genteel man, and by
others a Calvinist. He left behind him a widow and children, who soon
after became poor, and whether the Females lived honestly, ’tis not for
me to dispute it.”

The fame or vigour of Degory Whear, with the reputation of Thomas
Allen, revived the decaying fortunes of the Hall; for we are told
that “in his time there were 100 students: and some being persons of
quality, ten or twelve met in their doublets of cloth of gold and
silver.” Among other noticeable names Christopher Merritt, Fellow
of the Royal Society, was admitted in 1632, and Richard Lovelace
in 1634. At that date there were ninety-two students in the Hall
(Wood’s _Life_, ii. 246). Degory Whear not only filled his Hall with
students, but carried out many much-needed repairs of the buildings.
The chapel, for instance, to the erection of which we have seen that
St. John’s contributed six timber trees from Bagley Wood, was now by
his exertions completed; the Hall and other buildings were repaired;
books were purchased for the Library, plate for the Buttery. In a MS.
book preserved in the College Library are set forth the names of donors
to these objects between the years 1630 and 1640. Among the entries
are the following--“_Kenelmus Digby_ Eques auratus 2 li. _Johannes
Pym_ armiger 20s. _Rogerus Griffin_ civis Oxon. e Collegio pistorum
donavit 2 millia scandularum ad valorem 22 solid. _Johannes Rousæus_
publicæ Bibliothecæ præfectus 1 li. 2s. _Samuel Fell_ S. Th. Doctor 5
li. _Thomas Clayton_ Regius in Medicina Professor 2 li. _Guil. Burton_
LL. Baccalaureatus gradum suscepturus 2 li. 10s.” This last was at
first a student at Queen’s, where he was the contemporary and friend of
Gerard Langbaine, but, his means failing him, Mr. Allen brought him to
Gloucester Hall, and conferred on him the Greek Lecture there. As the
friend of Langbaine it may be supposed he would have a friendly leaning
to the plays which at this time, Wood says, were acted by stealth “in
Kettle Hall, or at Holywell Mill, or in the Refectory at Gloucester
Hall” (_Life_, ii. 148). He subsequently became the Usher to the famous
Thomas Farnaby, and at last Master of the School of Kingston-on-Thames.
His “Graecæ Linguæ Historia; sive oratio habita olim Oxoniis in Aula
Glevocestrensi ante XX & VI annos,” was published in 1657 with a
laudatory letter of Langbaine’s, and a dedication to his pupil Thomas

We next have an account of the expenditure upon the chapel--“Imprimis
fabro murario sive cæmentario 25 li 10s. Materiario sive fabro tignario
38 li 10s. Gypsatori et scandulario 10 li. 11s. Vitriario 4 li 6s.
fabro ferrario 7 li 10s. pictori 1 li 4s. storealatori 00 9s.”

The Hall too was put into repair; for this Thomas Allen’s legacy of £10
was employed, as also for the purchase of an _armarium_ or bookcase,
“parieti inferioris sacelli affixum.” But in spite of this safeguard,
the books, Wood says, with pathetic simplicity, “though kept in a large
press, have been thieved away for the most part, and are now dwindled
to an inconsiderable nothing.” Under the date 1637 there is an entry
of a contribution of 40 shillings to the expenses of the University
in the reception of the King and Queen. It may be noted that these
disbursements seem to have required the assent of the Masters of the
Hall as well as of the Principal.

There are two papers in the University Archives bearing the signature
of Degory Whear as Principal, which give some information as to fees
and customary observances of the Hall. Commoners upon admission paid to
the House 4_s._, to the College officers (Manciple, Butler and Cook)
4_s._ Semi-commoners or Battlers, to the House 2_s._, to the officers
1_s._ 6_d._ A “Poor Scholar” paid nothing. Every Commoner paid weekly
to the Butler 1_d._, towards the Servitors of the Hall a halfpenny. He
also paid quarterly 1_s._ for wages to the Manciple and Cook, besides
a varying sum for Decrements, a term which covered kitchen fuel,
table-cloths, utensils, &c. This item sometimes amounted to 5_s._
a quarter, never more. On taking any Degree 10_s._ was paid to the
Principal, and another 10_s._ to the House, or else there was given a
presentation Dinner. The Principal further received only the chamber
rents, out of which he kept the chambers in repair, and paid quarterly
to two Moderators or Readers the sum of £1 6_s._ 8_d._ It appears that
it was the custom for every Commoner to take his turn as Steward, go
to market with the Manciple and Cook, see the provisions bought for
ready money, apportion the amount for each meal, attend to oversee
the divisions at Dinner and Supper, and be accountable for any Commons
sent to private chambers. At the end of every quarter the accounts
were inspected by the Principal and such of the Masters as he pleased
to send for. On Act Monday it had been customary for the proceeding
Masters to keep a common supper in the Hall, but this charge had of
late years been turned to the building of an Oratory, the flooring of
the Hall, the purchase of plate and of books.

In Whear’s time then the Hall must be regarded as having attained its
highest prosperity, due no doubt partly to the energy and distinction
of the Principal, but due also in great measure to the influence and
reputation of Mr. Thomas Allen, to whom the Principal himself had
owed his promotion. This distinguished mathematician and antiquary,
“being much inclined to a retired life, and averse from taking Holy
Orders,”[335] about 1570 resigned his Fellowship at Trinity College,
and took up his residence in Gloucester Hall, where he remained until
his death in 1632. His intimate relations with the Chancellor, the
Earl of Leicester, at once marked and increased his distinction,
while it exposed him to the attacks of Leicester’s enemies. Leicester
would have nominated him to a Bishoprick, and the malignant author
of “Leycester’s Commonwealth” stigmatizes him as one of Leicester’s
spies and intelligencers in the University, and couples him with his
friend John Dee as an atheist and Leicester’s agent “for figuring and
conjuring.” Indeed his reputation as a mathematician (“he was,” says
his pupil Burton, “the very soul and sun of all the Mathematicians
of his time”) caused him to be regarded by the vulgar as a magician.
Fuller says of him that “he succeeded to the skill and scandal of Friar
Bacon,” and that his servitor would tell the gaping enquirer that “he
met the spirits coming up the stairs like bees.” Indeed in those days
when horoscopes were in fashion the mathematician merged into the
astrologer; the friend of John Dee not unnaturally was supposed to
have dealings in magical arts, and Leicester’s patronage of both would
give countenance to the reputation. But the friendship of the most
learned men of the time--of Bodley, Saville, Camden, Cotton, Spelman,
Selden--is an indication of Allen’s genuine attainments. Bodley by his
will bequeaths to Mr. Wm. Gent of Gloucester Hall “my best gown and my
best cloak, and the next gown and cloak to my best I do bequeath to
Mr. Thomas Allen of the same Hall.” Camden also leaves him in his will
the sum of £16.[336] Allen’s valuable collection of MSS. passed into
the hands of his eccentric pupil, Sir Kenelm Digby, by whom they were
placed in Sir Thomas Bodley’s newly-founded library.

On Whear’s decease in 1647 Tobias Garbrand, of Dutch descent, was made
Principal by the Earl of Pembroke as Chancellor. He was ejected at the
Restoration in 1660. From this date the fortunes of the Hall seemed to
have reached their lowest depth.[337] If a stray gleam of fortune lit
upon the place, it was only to suffer immediate eclipse. Thus, when
John Warner, Bishop of Rochester, left a foundation in 1666 for the
maintenance of four Scotch scholars to be trained as ministers, and the
Masters and Fellows of Balliol College were unwilling to receive them,
as being not in any way advantageous to the House, they were for a time
placed in Gloucester Hall. But when Dr. Good became Master of Balliol
in 1672, Gutch remarks with quiet humour, “he took order that they
should be translated thither, and there they yet continue.”

The fortunes of the Hall sank lower and lower, till a time came when
it remained for several years entirely untenanted by students. It
shared in the general depression of the University, to which Wood bears
evidence. “Not one Scholar matric. in 1675, 1676, 1677, 1678, not one
Scholar in Gloucester Hall, only the Principal and his family, and two
or three more families that live there in some part to keep it from
ruin, the paths are grown over with grass, the way into the Hall and
Chapel made up with boards.”

Prideaux, writing to Ellis (Sept. 18, 1676), says--“Gloucester Hall
is like to be demolished, the charge of Chimney money being so great
that Byrom Eaton will scarce live there any longer. There hath been no
scholars there these three or four years: for all which time the hall
being in arrears for this tax the collectors have at last fallen upon
the principal, who being by the Act liable to the payment, hath made
great complaints about the town and created us very good sport; but the
old fool hath been forced to pay the money, which hath amounted to a
considerable sum.”

Loggan’s picturesque view, taken in 1675, suggests a mournful
desolation, and the pathetic motto which it bears--“Quare fecit Dominus
sic domui huic?”--is eloquent of decay. Dr. Byrom Eaton, Archdeacon
of Stow, and then of Leicester, had held the Principality for thirty
years, when in 1692 he resigned it to make way for a younger and more
vigorous man. Such was found in Dr. Woodroffe, one of the Canons
of Christ Church, whose nomination to the Deanery by James II. in
1688 had been cancelled at the Revolution in favour of Dean Aldrich.
Woodroffe is described by Wood as “a man of a generous and public
spirit, who bestowed several hundred pounds in repairing (the place)
and making it a fit habitation for the Muses, which being done he by
his great interest among the gentry made it flourish with hopeful
sprouts.” The hopeful sprouts, however, do not seem to have been so
very numerous after all, since we find the entry in Wood’s _Life_ under
date Jan. 1694--“I was with Dr. Woodroffe, and he told me he had six
in Commons at Gloucester Hall, his 2 sons two.” Prideaux’s letters
to Ellis contain several references to Dr. Woodroffe, the reverse of
complimentary--ludicrous accounts of sermons, which he confesses to
be hearsay accounts, accusations of heiress hunting, of whimsical
ill-temper, of want of dignity. “Last night he had Madam Walcup at his
lodgings, and stood with her in a great window next the quadrangle,
where he was seen by Mr. Dean himself and almost all the house toying
with her most ridiculously and fanning himself with her fan for almost
all the afternoon.” But Prideaux’s gossip was probably inspired by
personal antipathies and College jealousies. Woodroffe was no doubt a
keen, bustling, pushing man.[338] He was shrewd enough, at any rate,
to marry a good fortune; but became involved in difficulties, which
led to the sequestration of his canonry. He seems to have lost no
opportunity of advertising himself and combining “public spirit” with
private advantage. Such was the man who became associated with one of
the most interesting though short-lived experiments in the history of
the University--the establishment of a Greek College. Some seventy
years had passed since Cyril Lucar, Patriarch first of Alexandria and
then of Constantinople, had sent to England a Greek youth, Metrophanes
Critopylos, whom Abp. Abbott placed at Balliol College, of which his
brother had not long before been Master. Here Critopylos remained as a
student till about 1622, when he returned to the East, and subsequently
became Patriarch of Alexandria in the room of Cyril Lucar. Nothing
more seems to have come of this particular overture, but the English
Chaplains of Constantinople, Smyrna, and Aleppo, kept open to some
extent the communications with the Eastern Church. At last, upon the
representations of Joseph Georgirenes, Metropolitan of Samos (a man
who subsequently took refuge in London, and had built for him as a
Greek church what is now St. Mary’s, Crown St. Soho), Archbishop
Sancroft and others who favoured the hope of reunion with the Eastern
Church promoted a scheme for the education of a body of Greek youths
at Oxford, and the establishment of a Greek College there. Foremost
amongst Oxford sympathizers was Dr. Woodroffe, the newly appointed
Principal of Gloucester Hall. In a letter to Callinicos, the Patriarch
of Constantinople, he suggests that twenty students, five from each of
the four patriarchates, should be sent over to the Greek College now
founded at Oxford (Gloucester Hall), which had been placed “on the same
rank footing and privilege which the other Colleges enjoy there.” He
explains the course of study to be pursued, and suggests the advantage
of a reciprocity of students, as also of books and manuscripts. He
designates the three English chaplains named above as convenient
channels of communication. The scheme contemplated an annual succession
of students, who were to be of two classes. For two years they were to
converse in Ancient Greek, and then to learn Latin and Hebrew. They
were to study Aristotle, Plato, the Greek Fathers, and Controversial
Divinity. The services were to be in Greek, and public exercises were
to be performed in Greek, as directed by the Vice-Chancellor. Their
habit was to be “the gravest worn in their country,” and finally they
were to be returned to their respective Patriarchs with a report of
the progress made. Trustees were to manage the funds of the College,
which was to be supported by voluntary contributions. This bold scheme
was but partially attempted, and before long came to a disastrous end.
Mr. Ffoulkes, who first claimed attention in the “Union Review” for
the Greek College, which, as he observes, had been strangely ignored
by Wood’s continuators, quotes from Mr. E. Stevens, a nonjuror, and
enthusiastic advocate of “Reunion,” his account of the experiment and
its breakdown. Five young Grecians were in 1698 brought from Smyrna
and placed in Gloucester Hall. Three of them were, according to Mr.
Stephens, lured away by Roman emissaries: two of these, brothers, after
various adventures, took refuge with Mr. Stephens, and were at last
sent home “with their faith unscathed.” The third was decoyed to Paris,
to the Greek College lately established there, presumably in rivalry of
the Oxford scheme. There appears too to have been another establishment
set up in friendly rivalry at Halle in Saxony. But the most fatal blow
was the mismanagement of the College itself. “Though they who came
first were well enough ordered for some time; yet afterwards they and
those who came after them were so ill-accommodated both for their
studies and other necessaries, that some of them staid not many months,
and others would have been gone if they had known how; and there are
now but two left there.”[339] Add to these drawbacks the temptations
of London, and it is not surprising that the Oxford College received
its quietus in a missive from Constantinople. “The irregular life of
certain priests and laymen of the Eastern Church, living in London, is
a matter of great concern to the Church. Wherefore the Church forbids
any to go and study at Oxford, be they ever so willing.” This was in
1705. From that moment, as Mr. Ffoulkes picturesquely says, the Greek
College “disappears like a dream.” Of its students one name only is
preserved to us. We find in _Hearne_ (March 15th, 1707)--“Francis
Prasalendius, a Græcian of the Isle of Corcyra, lately a student in the
Public Library, and of Gloucester Hall, has printed a book in the Greek
language (writ very well as I am informed by one of the Græcians of
Glouc. Hall) against Traditions, in which he falls upon Dr. Woodroffe
very smartly.”

_Worcester College, founded 1714._

But while the Greek College was still perishing of inanition, its
principal was engaged in a scheme of a more ambitious though less
interesting nature. A Worcestershire Baronet, Sir Thomas Cookes, had
made known his desire through the Bishop of Worcester of founding a
College at Oxford; £10,000 was the sum he proposed for an endowment.
There was competition for the prize. Dr. Woodroffe wanted to secure it
for Gloucester Hall, Dr. Mill for St. Edmund Hall, Dr. Lancaster for
Magdalen Hall; Balliol College was at one time the favourite object, at
another a workhouse for his county. The choice inclined to Gloucester
Hall, but was well-nigh lost; for Woodroffe had inserted in the charter
a clause providing that the King should have liberty to put in and
turn out the Fellows at his pleasure. With the recent experience of
Magdalen fresh in men’s minds, such intervention of the crown was not
likely to find favour, and Bishop Stillingfleet drily observed that
“kings have already had enough to do with our Colleges.” The hopes of
Edmund Hall rose high; for indeed the Bishop had, according to Hearne,
nominated that Hall in the first place. However Dr. Woodroffe prudently
withdrew his clause, and in 1698 a charter passed the great seal for
the incorporation of the Hall under the title of the Provost, Fellows,
and Scholars of Worcester College, with Dr. Woodroffe for the first
Provost.[340] This was followed by a Ratification dated November 18th,
naming the Bishop of Worcester as Visitor, and the Bishop of Oxford as
his assessor in difficult cases, and making elaborate provision for the
organization, conduct, and educational system of the College. There
were to be twelve Fellows, six Senior Tutors, six Junior Sub-Tutors,
and eight Scholars, chosen from the Founder’s schools of Bromsgrove and
Feckenham, or, failing them, from Worcester and Hartlebury. Each Fellow
and Scholar was to have £14 per annum, the Provost double that amount.
There were to be Lectureships, two “solemnes” in Theology and History,
three ordinary in Mathematics, Philosophy, and Philology; the Lecture
in Theology to be catechetical, on the model of that at Balliol, and
to be given in the chapel. The Prælector of History was to lecture
from seven to nine on Sundays on Biblical history. The others were to
lecture at the discretion of the Provost five or at least four times a
week. An elaborate scheme of medical and other studies was prescribed.
There was a carefully-graduated scale of payments “obeuntibus cursus
et acta,” ending with 13_s._ 4_d._ for the speech in commemoration of
the Founder. The Provost was to allot a cubiculum to one or at the
most to two occupants. In winter the afternoon chapel service was to
be at three, the morning service at seven, but in summer at six. This
was to consist of a shorter Latin form “ad usum Ecclesiæ Xti,” with a
chapter of the Bible in Greek. Private prayers and Bible-reading were
enjoined for each day, and two hours specified for Sunday. A chapter in
Greek or Latin was to be read at meal-times in Hall. Offenders against
rules were to be “gated” or sent into seclusion, “quasi minor quædam
excommunicatio,” or else to be exiled to the ante-chapel. As regards
the cook, butler, &c. the Aularian Statutes were to be observed.

After all the Charter remained a dead letter. Sir Thomas Cookes,
anxious to find excuses for putting off Dr. Woodroffe’s importunities,
claimed for his heirs the nomination to the Headship; and after two
years the Chancellor conceded this point. It was objected that the
Chancellor had not the power to make this concession without the
consent of Convocation: which was never asked; and if it had, would
not have been given. Sir Thomas found fresh reasons for hanging back.
The fact that Gloucester Hall was a leasehold and that St. John’s were
supposed to have been forbidden by their Founder to part with the fee
simple was one of these difficulties. Then there were the Statutes,
which Sir Thomas Cookes persistently refused to sign, “nor would he pay
one farthing for passing the Charter.” In 1701 he died, leaving his
£10,000 in the hands of certain Bishops, with the Vice-Chancellor and
the Heads of Houses, for the carrying out his intentions. The money was
left to accumulate for some years till it amounted to £15,000. In the
meantime Dr. Woodroffe tries to obtain an Act in 1702 for settling the
money on Gloucester Hall, the lease of which he proposed St. John’s
College should make perpetual at the then rent of £5 10_s._ The Bill,
however, was thrown out on the second reading. At Oxford, it is clear,
there was a powerful opposition to Dr. Woodroffe and his claim for
Gloucester Hall. On Nov. 22, 1707, nineteen out of the thirty Trustees
met in the Convocation House, and on the ground that “the erecting of
Buildings would make the charity of less use than endowing some Hall
in Oxford already built,” determined “to fix the Charity at Magdalen
Hall, and to endow Fellows and Scholars there.” On the other hand the
Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Worcester, the Bishop of Oxford
and others were in favour of carrying out what they believed to be in
spite of all his vacillation the final determination of Sir Thomas
Cookes in favour of Gloucester Hall. They deposed moreover[341] that
“the ground Plats of Gloucester Hall and the Gloucester Hall buildings
Quadrangles and Gardens are 3 times as much as Magdalen Hall, and the
ground on which the buildings of Gloucester Hall stand is twice as much
as that of Magdalen Hall, and there are large and capacious chambers
in Gloucester Hall to receive 20 scholars, and 9 are inhabited, and
the principal’s lodgings are in good repair and fit for a family of
12 persons, and there is a large Hall, Chapel, Buttery and Kitchen,
and a large common room lately wainscoted and sash windows, and in
laying out about £500 in repairs there will be good conveniency for 60
scholars, and the place is pleasantly situated and in a good air.” Dr.
Woodroffe dies in 1711, his ambition still unfulfilled, and a Fellow of
St. John’s, Dr. Richard Blechynden, succeeds to the Principalship of
an empty Hall. There was, according to Hearne, hardly one Scholar in
the place. At last the trustees saw their way to carrying out the will
of Sir Thomas Cookes. St. John’s College in 1713 agrees to alienate
Gloucester Hall for the sum of £200, and a quit-rent of 20_s._ per
annum. In the following year, two days only before the Queen’s death, a
Charter of Incorporation, for the second time, passes the great seal,
and Gloucester Hall or College is finally merged in Worcester College.
The foundation was now to consist of a Provost, six Fellows, and six
Scholars, whose emoluments were to be on a somewhat more liberal
scale than that of the original statutes. Fellows and Scholars were
to be allowed sixpence a day for commons, the Fellows to have £30 per
annum, the Scholars 13_s._ 8_d._ a quarter, the Provost £80 per annum,
but no allowance for commons. Among the other “ministri” was to be a
Tonsor, receiving an annual salary of 20_s._ This important official
lingered on in diminished importance till the present generation. The
Bishops of Worcester and Oxford and the Vice-Chancellor were appointed
Visitors. In other respects the provisions of the new Statutes were
much simplified. The scheme of Lectureships was omitted; so were the
elaborate directions as to studies, private devotions, &c., as well
as the scale of payments on the performance of exercises. Latin was
to be the ordinary speech, “so far as might be convenient,” except at
College meetings. Undergraduates were to “dispute” every day, and write
weekly Themes; Bachelors to “dispute” twice a week, and make a Terminal
“Declamation.” Candidates for Degrees were to oppose or respond on a
problem set by the Provost in the College Hall, while candidates for
the M.A. Degree had the option of commenting on a passage of Aristotle.
On the Degree Day a Bachelor was to give a supper, or pay 20_s._ for
the College uses. The supper given by an M.A. was not to exceed 40_s._

Of the new College Principal Blechynden was named as the first Provost;
of the six Fellows, one, Roger Bouchier, was already a member of
the Hall--“a man of great reading in various sorts of learning, the
greatest man in England for Divinity.”[342] The others were Thomas
Clymer of All Souls’, Robert Burd of St. John’s, William Bradley of New
Inn Hall, Joseph Penn of Wadham, and Samuel Creswick of Pembroke, who
was afterwards Dean of Wells.

It was not till 1720, that with the modest sum of £798 0_s._ 3_d._,
the remnant of a disputed bequest of Mrs. Margaret Alcorne, the
newly-founded College was enabled to commence the “restoration” of
its buildings. Had the designs of Dr. Clarke, illustrated by the
Oxford Almanack of 1741, which were similar in character to those of
Hawkesmoor and other architects for the reconstruction of Brasenose,
All Souls’, and Magdalen, been carried out, the picturesque history
of the place would have been entirely effaced, and a quadrangle of
“correct” and “elegant” monotony would have satisfied the taste of
Dean Aldrich and the amateurs of the day. Fortunately the means were
wanting; all that was put in hand at first were the Chapel, Hall,
and Library. By the liberality of Dr. Clarke the interior of the
Library was completed in 1736, its exterior in 1746. The Hall was at
last finished in 1784, while the Chapel still remained incompleted
in 1786, the date of Gutch’s account--nor does the College Register
give any indication on the point. But in the meantime two considerable
benefactors arose, who contributed new Foundations to the corporation.
Dr. Clarke, Fellow of All Souls’ and Member for the University, left
an endowment for six Fellowships and three Scholarships, together with
his valuable library, while Mrs. Sarah Eaton, daughter of the former
principal, bequeathed an endowment for seven Fellowships and five
Scholarships to be held by the sons of clergymen. These new Foundations
were incorporated by Charter in 1744. For lodging Dr. Clarke’s
Foundation the demolition of the old buildings on the north side of the
quadrangle was begun, and nine sets of rooms erected by his trustees,
1753-9, while in 1773 the remainder of the old north side was swept
away, and twelve sets of rooms built for Mrs. Eaton’s Foundation,
together with the present Provost’s lodgings. Meanwhile the College was
providently with such resources as it possessed enlarging its borders.
In 1741 it purchased of St. John’s College for £850 the garden ground
on the south side of the College, and in 1744 the gardens and meadows
to the north and west, “together with the house called the Cock and
Bottle.” In 1801 it bought for £1330 the “King’s Head,” opposite to
the front of the College, and in 1813 enfranchised the premises on the
east front held under lease of the City; while in 1806 it cleared away
“Woodroffe’s Folly,” a building erected by that Principal opposite
the front of the College, for which St. John’s received a valuation
of £401 16_s._ The College thus became surrounded with an open belt,
destined to be an incalculable boon in the modern days of building
extension. The garden ground on the south side was in 1813 ordered to
be kept in hand for the use of the Fellows, and it was about the year
1827 that the late Mr. Greswell signalized his Bursarship by laying
out the ornamental grounds, as they now exist. These gardens, falling
to a piece of water, together with the fortunate preservation of an
open quadrangle, a mode of construction for the merits of which Sir
Christopher Wren contended at Trinity,[343] secured to the College
the sanitary as well as the picturesque advantages of a _rus in
urbe_--a “_rus_” so rural that, the tradition runs, a tutor of the last
generation would take his gun, and slip down between his lectures to
the pool for a shot at a stray snipe.

William Gower, upon Dr. Blechynden’s death, was nominated Provost
in 1736. He had been admitted Scholar in 1715, the year after the
incorporation of the College. He rivalled Thomas Allen in the length
of his connection with the College. For 62 years he was borne upon
its foundations, as Scholar, Fellow, or Provost. Longevity has been
a characteristic of the Provosts of this College. One only, Dr.
Sheffield, held his office for so short a period as 18 years. The
other three, Gower, Landon, and Cotton, were Provosts respectively for
41, 44, and 41 years--collectively 126 years, and Dr. Cotton kept 70
years of unbroken residence. Dr. Gower was a man of great literary
attainments. He left many valuable books to the College Library. Dr.
King[344] says that he was “acquainted with three persons only who
spoke English with that eloquence and propriety that if all they said
had been immediately committed to writing, any judge of the English
language would have pronounced it an excellent and very beautiful
style.” The other two were Atterbury and Johnson. It was in his second
year’s Provostship that Samuel Foote of Worcester School claimed and
established a right to a Scholarship as Founder’s kin. His student
life was brief and stormy. In 1740 the College passes sentence that
“Samuel Foote having by a long-continued course of ill-behaviour
rendered himself obnoxious to frequent censure of the Society public
and private, and having while he was under censure for lying out of
College insolently and presumptuously withdrawn himself and refused to
answer to several heinous crimes objected to him, though duly cited
by the Provost by an instrument in form, in not appearing to the said
citation, for the above reasons his Scholarship is declared void,
and he is hereby deprived of all benefit and advantage of the said
Scholarship.” This entry gives an interest to the opening of Gower’s
Provostship; another of a different character occurs near its close. In
1775 is recorded an injunction of the Visitors of the College “as to
the use of napkins in the Common Hall.”

The Provostship of Dr. Landon, 1795-1835, witnessed the commencement
of that growth of Oxford, of which our own generation has seen so
remarkable a development. The opening up of Beaumont St., as to which
the College was in treaty with the city in 1820, materially assisted in
drawing Worcester within the comity of Colleges.[345] It was still--and
for many years to come--unrecognized upon the Proctorial rota. The
first Proctor it nominated in its own right held office in 1863. The
College could only be approached either by George St. and Stockwell
St., or more directly by the narrow alley called Friar’s Entry; and an
amusing picture is given of the stately Vice-Chancellor--“Old Glory”
was his soubriquet--preceded by his Bedels, with their gold and silver
maces, ducking beneath the fluttering household linen suspended across
the alley on washing day. This must have been a trying test of the
dignified deportment which had distinguished Dr. Landon as host of the
Allied Sovereigns, and gained for him--so it is said--from the Prince
Regent the Deanery of Exeter.

The College, thus drawn more directly within the influences of
University life, began to feel the impulse given to academical resort
by times of peace. New rooms were added; sets long vacant were fitted
up for occupants. In 1821 three additional sets were constructed “in
the space afforded by the old College chapel.” In 1822 it was ordered
that all such apartments not at present inhabited, as shall be found
capable of accommodating undergraduates, be immediately prepared
for their reception. In 1824 the roof of part of the old building
was raised, so as to give six additional sets of rooms. Finally in
1844 a new and handsome kitchen was built and seven additional sets

The most distinguished inmate of the College in Landon’s time was
Thomas de Quincey, of whom his old servant on No. 10 staircase--Common
Room man till 1865--retained many memories. He lived a somewhat recluse
life. He was always buying fresh books, and was sometimes at a loss
how to find money for them. In those days men dressed for Hall: and De
Quincey having one day parted with his one waistcoat for the purchase
of a book went into Hall hiding his loss of clothing as best he could.
But concealment was in vain, and he was promptly sconced for the
deficiency. De Quincey crowned the peculiarities of his College career
by suddenly leaving Oxford before the close of a brilliant examination.

In 1826 another member of the College--Francis William Newman--received
the unique distinction of a present of books (now in the College
Library) from his mathematical examiners. Bonamy Price, Arnold’s
favourite pupil, shed a lustre upon the next generation of
undergraduates. Both of them were subsequently Honorary Fellows of
the College, and were present at the celebration of its six hundredth
anniversary. Dr. Bloxam, a contemporary of the two, preserves some
interesting recollections of the customs of the day. The Bachelors who
resided for their M.A. Degree used to appear in Hall in full evening
dress, breeches and silk stockings. Undergraduates had left off
attending dinner in white neckcloths and evening costume. The table on
the right was occupied by the gay men of the College, and was called
the “Sinners’ Table.” These formed a class by themselves. The table on
the left was called the “Smilers’ Table,” who also formed a distinct
set between the “Sinners” and the “Saints,” the latter being the more
quiet men, who occupied the table nearest the High Table, on the left.
The Fellow Commoners, an institution retained at the present day for
the convenience of older men resorting to the University, were at that
time young men of fortune, who desired an exemption from the stricter
discipline of undergraduate life. They dined at the High Table, and
were members of the Common Room. But their affinities lay rather with
the occupants of the “Sinners’ Table,” and their existence must have
been a perpetual difficulty to a sorely-tried Dean. “Bodley” Coxe, a
member of the College in those days, subsequently one of its Honorary
Fellows, would tell of the formidable muster of “pinks” in Beaumont
St. after a champagne breakfast, and of the excuse which satisfied a
simple-minded tutor that the delinquent would not offend again during
the whole of the summer.

There has been a great change too in the habits of the Seniors. The
tutors, as elsewhere, gave their lectures or rather lessons, consisting
of translations by the class, with questions and answers, without form
or ceremony in their own rooms. After an early dinner they would retire
to an uncarpeted Common Room. There after wine long clay pipes were a
regular indulgence. An evening walk or other interlude was succeeded
by a hot supper at nine, and the evening finished with a rubber. Dr.
Cotton in his time was singular in retiring to his rooms after Common
Room without joining the whist and supper party. All these customs have
dropped away with the barbers and knee-breeches of our fathers. The
Latin form of Morning Prayers was abolished by an excess of reforming
zeal, and the Statutes of the College are no longer recited in annual
conclave. Ordinances have succeeded statutes, and statutes succeeded
ordinances. One ancient custom lingers on--the Porter still makes his
morning rounds, and hammers upon the door of each staircase with a
wooden mallet. This is a Benedictine usage, an echo of the thirteenth
century continuing to haunt the old Benedictine walls.




Although Hertford is the youngest College of the University, it
stands close to the very centre of the University’s most ancient
home, on a site which has been the scene of Academical life from the
earliest times. What the Oxford Local Board has chosen to call S.
Catherine’s Street, has been known from the earliest times onwards as
“Catte-Street” (Vicus Murilegorum). Lying just outside School Street,
the scene of the Arts lectures, Cat Street was in the twelfth century
the especial home of the Writers, Bookbinders, Parchment-makers, and
Illuminers, for whose wares the growth of the University had created a
demand. In the following century, it was partly occupied by University
Halls or Hospices. At least four were comprised within the limits of
the present College: Cat Hall, near the present Principal’s Lodgings;
Black Hall, at the corner of New College Lane; Hart Hall, and Arthur
Hall, the two latter occupying the Library corner of the Quadrangle.
Hart Hall eventually swallowed up all its neighbours as well as the
ground between them. The history of this process want of space forbids
me to trace. I must confine myself to the Hall which has given its name
to the present College.

_Hart Hall_, 1280(?)-1740.

The house is first known to have been a residence for scholars when
it had passed into the possession of one Elias de Hertford, from whom
it got its name of Hert Hall (_Aula Cervina_). This was between 1261
and 1284. A Hall was then simply a boarding-house, hired by a party of
students as a residence. One of them, called a Principal, paid the rent
and collected the amount from the rest. From the first the Principal
possessed a certain authority, but it was not necessary that he should
be a Master or even a Graduate. Eventually the University required
that he should be a Graduate, and a new Principal had to be admitted
by the Chancellor. When, after the Reformation, the Colleges absorbed
the greater part of the now greatly reduced Academic population, most
of the old Halls disappeared and no new ones were created. Hence the
few that remained divided the monopoly of University education with
the Colleges, and their Principalships became not unimportant pieces
of patronage, which after a long struggle the Chancellor succeeded in
appropriating to himself, except in the case of S. Edmund Hall. To a
very late period, however, there remained traces of the old democratic
_régime_, under which the students claimed the right to elect their
own Principal, that is to say, to consent to the transfer of the
house by the landlord from one Principal to another. Since, prior to
the Laudian statutes, there was nothing to prevent a scholar freely
transferring himself from one Principal to another, the necessity of
their acceptance of the landlord’s new tenant is obvious. Even after
the right of the Chancellor to nominate was fairly acknowledged, it was
considered necessary that the students (graduate and undergraduate)
should be solemnly assembled in the Hall and required to elect the
Chancellor’s nominee, a formality which at Hart Hall lasted as long as
the Hall itself. The present Fellows of Hertford enjoy less autonomy
than the ancient students, and the Chancellor still enjoys an absolute
right to appoint the Principal.

In 1312 the Hall, after some intermediate transfers, passed to Walter
de Stapeldon, Bishop of Exeter. For some years before the acquisition
of their present site, it was the habitation of the Rector and Scholars
of Stapeldon Hall, now known as Exeter College. After this, Hart Hall
continued to belong to them and was let to a Principal, usually one of
their own Fellows. The rent varied from time to time till 1665, after
which a fixed sum of £1 13_s._ 4_d._ continued to be paid, and it
became a question whether prescription had not extinguished any further
rights on the part of the College.

Among the “Principals” appear the first three Wardens of New College,
Richard de Tonworthe (1378), Nicolas de Wykeham (1381), and Thomas
de Cranleigh, afterwards Archbishop of Dublin (1384).[348] During
these years (probably 1375-1385) Hart and Black Halls were occupied
by William of Wykeham’s New College, while their own buildings were
in course of erection. There is, indeed, in the New College book of
“Evidences” what purports to be a conveyance (dated 1379) of Hart Hall
to William of Wykeham, under a quit-rent, by the Prioress and Convent
of Studley. But from the documents of Exeter College it is clear that
the “capital lords” in actual possession were the Prior and Convent
of S. Frideswyde’s.[349] Hence it would seem that the astute Bishop
of Winchester was outwitted for once by the Nuns of Studley (who were
really proprietors of the adjoining Scheld Hall), and bought land with
a bad title.[350] Nuns had a great reputation as women of business.

Later on the Hall was tenanted by a body of scholars supported by
Glastonbury Abbey. At the dissolution a pension of £16 13_s._ 4_d._
was paid for the support of five scholars to Hart Hall, or rather to
the University on its behalf. The amount was at first a rent-charge
payable, but not always paid, by the grantee of certain Abbey lands. At
the Restoration these lands were resumed by the Crown. The pension was
still paid at the end of the last century, but has now disappeared.

The most distinguished man who can be fairly claimed as an _alumnus_
of Hart Hall is the learned Selden (1600-1603), then “a long
scabby-pol’d boy but a good student.” Ken, the saintly Bishop of Bath
and Wells, was apparently a member of the Hall for a few months while
waiting for a vacancy at New College. Sir Henry Wotton, one of the
seventeenth century worthies immortalized by Izaac Walton, resided
here, though it would seem that he was not a member of the Hall but a
Gentleman-Commoner of New College.

Richard Newton was born in the year 1675 or 1676, being a son of the
squire of Laundon, Bucks, a moderate estate to which he eventually
succeeded. He came up to Christ Church as a Westminster Student in
1694. After being for a time a Tutor of that House, he became tutor
to the two Pelhams, the future Duke of Newcastle and his brother. In
1704 he was presented to the Rectory of Sudbury, Northants, by Bp.
Compton. He was admitted Principal of Hart Hall, and took his D.D. in
1710, continuing to hold Sudbury. He made his mark as a preacher; and
a number of pamphlets testify to his zeal as a University Reformer. In
1726 he wrote against an undoubted abuse, the evasion of the statute
against unauthorized migration, though it must be admitted that his
zeal on that occasion was stimulated by a recent desertion from his
own Hall. Another of his pamphlets is on the perennial subject of
University expensiveness. It is clear that in his own Hall he attempted
to practise what he preached. In the pamphlets against him there are
sneers against “a regimen of small-beer and apple-dumplings”--which (it
is possible) had something to do with the frequent migrations of which
the Doctor had to complain, though we are told that in one case the
attraction was a Balliol Scholarship, and in another the “fine garden”
of Trinity which the deserter “hoped would be to the advantage of his
health.” Eventually he even stopped the small-beer, holding that (as
he explains) more beer was drunk when it was got both in the Hall and
out of it than when it could only be obtained outside. Newton was the
“active” Head of his day, the “Monarch of Hart Hall” as the scoffers
put it. He had pupils to travel or stay with him in “the Long,”
usually “young gentlemen of fortune” in his College. He lamented
the indolence and inactivity, and was pained to observe “the secular
views and ambitious schemes” of other Heads. He held what was then
accounted the eccentric opinion that “a gentleman-Commoner has a soul
to be saved as well as a servitor, and is under the same obligations to
religion and virtue.” In confidential moments he would declare himself
in favour of “Common-sense and Reason in matters of Religion”; and he
appears to have practised a somewhat latitudinarian mode of meditation.
“He[351] would, a little before bed-time, desire his young friends
to indulge him in a short vacation of about half-an-hour for his own
private recollections. During that little interval they were silent,
and he would smoke his pipe with great composure, and then chat with
them again in a useful manner for a short space, and, bidding them
good night, go to his rest.” When resident on his living, he had daily
service at seven p.m. He was a Church Reformer as well as a University
Reformer, and wrote on “Pluralities Indefensible.” After his call
to Oxford, he held his living as an absentee, but “never pocketed a
farthing of the profits thereof”; and eventually succeeded in resigning
in favour of his curate. Altogether the life of Dr. Newton exhibits an
example of independence, honesty, and disinterestedness, rare indeed
among the Churchmen of his time. Pelham gave it as his only reason for
not preferring his old tutor, that he could not do it “because he never
asked me.” A man whom Pelham actually employed to write King’s Speeches
for him might certainly have been a Bishop for the asking. It was only
in the year before his death (1752) that he got a Canonry at Christ

_Hertford College_, 1740-1816.

Newton had one ambition, and that was a disinterested one. “Dr. Newton
is commonly said to be Founder-mad,” wrote the malicious Hearne; “Dr.
Newton is very fond of founding a College,” wrote another, in 1721.
The patronage which he would not stoop to ask for himself, he sought
to use for his College. But his grand friends did little for him;
nearly all that he spent came out of his own pocket. He spent about
£1500 on building a Chapel for the Hall (consecrated in 1716) and the
adjoining corner of the present Quadrangle. He published an edition of
Theophrastus by subscription for the benefit of his College, but it did
not appear till after his death. His proposals for the foundation of a
College were made public in 1734 in a Letter to the Vice-Chancellor,
though he had already “made a noise” about it “many years.” Considering
the slenderness of the means at his disposal, it is not surprising
that the project encountered some ridicule. Hearne had at first been
much impressed by the Doctor’s sermons, and styled him “an ingenious
honest man,” but on the appearance of his pamphlet on migration
pronounced him “quite mad with pride and conceit,” and the book a “very
weak, silly performance.” Now he laments that “’tis pitty Charities
and Benefactions should be discountenanced and obstructed; but it
sometimes happens when the persons that make them are supposed to be
_mente capti_ and aim at things in the settlement which are ridiculous,
which seems to be the case at Hart Hall, as ’tis represented to me.
However, after all,” the charitable critic concludes, “’tis better
not to publish the failings of persons, especially of clergymen, on
such occasions, least mischief follow, the enemy being always ready to
take advantage.” The grant of the charter was long opposed by Exeter
College: but the opinion of the Attorney-General was unfavourable to
the claim on the part of that College to anything but the accustomed
rent. In 1740 Dr. Newton got his Charter of Incorporation, and his
Statutes approved by George II.

Dr. Newton was not at all disposed to lose by his elevation to the
Headship of a College the autocracy which he had so long enjoyed as
Head of a Hall. Hence, although he styles the four Tutors of the new
Foundation “Senior Fellows” and their eight “Assistants” “Junior
Fellows,” the whole government of the College seems to be ultimately
vested in the Principal, who was to be a Westminster student and Tutor
of Christ Church nominated by the Dean of that House. There were to be
no “idle fellowships” on Newton’s foundation: all were “official,” and
lasted, the Senior Fellowships till the completion of eighteen years
from Matriculation, the Junior only from B.A. to M.A. The College was
designed for thirty-two “Students,” who enjoyed a modest endowment of
£6 13_s._ 4_d._ for the first year and £13 6_s._ 8_d._ for four years
more, with commons. There were also four “Scholars” who were to act as
Servitors to the four Tutors, and to perform such functions as ringing
the bell and keeping the gate. Commoners and Gentleman-Commoners were
expressly excluded: but wealthier men might become honorary Scholars,
with leave to wear a “tuft” as well as the Scholar’s gown. Each Tutor
was to take charge of the freshmen of one year, who remained his
pupils throughout their course. This division of the College into four
classes must have been suggested by the Scotch University system, or
by the arrangement of the French Colleges on which the Scotch system
was based. It was, at all events, vastly superior to the old “Tutorial
system,” under which every Tutor played the polymathic Professor to
Undergraduates of every year simultaneously.

Dr. Newton’s Statutes are very curious reading. He aimed at
perpetuating the “system of education” which he had himself introduced.
They are full of wise provisions, some of them rather crotchety, and
others excellent in themselves but perhaps hardly practicable even
then. Each Tutor lived in a different “Angle” of the Quadrangle,
and was responsible for its discipline. His post must have been no
sinecure, if he was really to keep men out of each others’ rooms
during the hours of work, from Chapel (6.30 or 7.30 a.m. according
to season) till the 12 o’clock dinner, and from 2 to 6 p.m. Supper
was at 7 instead of the usual 6 p.m., to limit the time available
for compotations. The gate was shut at 9 p.m., and after 10 the key
was to be taken to the Principal’s bed-room and no egress or ingress
permitted. As an “educationist,” the Founder apparently believed in
Disputations and insisted much on English composition, but disbelieved
in verse-making except for “Undergraduates having a genius for
Poetry.” The sumptuary regulations are somewhat severe, including the
requirement that no bills shall be “contracted without their Tutor’s
knowledge and consent.” Allowances from parents were to be sent to
the Tutor, who was to pay his pupils’ debts before transmitting the
remainder to their destination. “Dismission” was the penalty for
contracting a debt of more than 5_s._ “with any person keeping a
Coffee-house or Cook’s-shop or any other Public House whatsoever.”

Newton’s first two successors were men of mark in their day. William
Sharp (1753-1757) was Regius Professor of Greek. David Durell
(1757-1775) was eminent as a Hebraist. But the Principalship depended
for its endowments entirely upon room-rent, and the Studentships
could never have been really paid out of Newton’s slender endowment
of less than £60 _per annum_. The existence of the College depended
upon the reputation of its Tutors. During the Tutorship[352] of
Newcome, afterwards Archbishop of Armagh, the College was still
prosperous. His “pupils were for the most part men of family,” says
Sir George Trevelyan; among them, Charles James Fox (1764-1765). For a
Gentleman-Commoner (Dr. Newton’s Statutes were defied) Fox read hard,
and found Mathematics “entertaining.” “Application like yours,” the
Tutor found it necessary to write to him, “requires some intermission,
and you are the only person with whom I have ever had any connexion,
in whom I could say this.” He read so hard in fact, that his father,
Lord Holland, sent him abroad without taking his degree, to the no
small injury of his mind and character. It appears, however, that Fox’s
life had a lighter side even while at Oxford. In Lockhart’s story of
Reginald Dalton, we read: “Although Hart Hall has disappeared, we trust
the authorities have preserved the window from whence the illustrious
C. J. Fox made the memorable leap when determined to join his
companions in a Town and Gown row.” Alas! the window has disappeared
not only from the world of reality but (what does not always follow)
from that of tradition!

It was in the time of the fourth Principal, Dr. Bernard Hodgson,
that the College collapsed. On his death in 1805 no one would accept
the almost honorary headship; but at last in 1814 the one surviving
Fellow,[353] who was (we are told) considered “half-cracked,” announced
that he had “nominated, constituted, and admitted himself Principal”!
At this time the place was all but deserted. It became a sort of no
man’s land in which a score of “strange characters” (“as if being
‘half-cracked’ were a qualification for admission”) squatted rent free.
Eventually the University took upon itself to close the building. In
1820 the building adjoining Cat Street actually fell down “with a great
crash and a dense cloud of dust.”

_Magdalen Hall_ (on this site), 1820-1874.

On January 9th, 1820, a fire deprived Magdalen Hall of its local
habitation.[354] The old Hall stood upon the site of the existing S.
Swithin’s buildings, and belonged to the College from which it took
its name. In 1816 the President and Fellows had procured an Act of
Parliament transferring the site and buildings of Hertford Society to
Magdalen Hall, _i. e._ technically, to the University in trust for the
Hall. With part of the small property of the College, the Hertford
Scholarship was founded: the rest passed to the Society of Magdalen
Hall, which in 1822 took possession of its new home. A word must be
said as to the traditions of which Hertford College thus became the

About the year 1480 the Founder of Magdalen College built some rooms
near the gate of his College for the accommodation of the officers of
his Grammar School. To these other rooms were added, and the building
occupied by students and called S. Mary Magdalen Hall. This Society
had at first the closest connection with the College, the Principal
being always a Fellow. It was not till 1694 that the Chancellor of the
University finally established his right to nominate the Principal of
Magdalen Hall.

It was in this Hall that the Ultra-Protestant traditions of Magdalen
lingered after they had died out in the College itself. It had been
within the walls of Magdalen Hall that the English Reformation had
its true beginning in certain meetings for Bible-reading started by
William Tyndale, afterwards the translator of the Bible; and in the
seventeenth century, when the Laudian movement had got the upper
hand in the Colleges at large, it became a refuge for the oppressed
Puritans. At one time it boasted three hundred members. In 1631 its
Principal John Wilkinson, and Prideaux, Rector of Exeter, were summoned
before the King in Council at Woodstock and received “a publick and
sharp reprehension for their misgoverning and countenancing the
factious partie!” Soon after, Oxenbridge, one of its Tutors,[355] was
convicted of a “strange, singular, and superstitious way of dealing
with his Scholars by perswading and causing some of them to subscribe
as votaries to several articles framed by himself (as he pretends, for
their better government),” for which presumption he was “distutored.”
In 1640 Henry Wilkinson (also of the Hall) was suspended for preaching
in a very bitter way against some of the ceremonies of the Church.[356]
But the day of vengeance came. When the Parliamentary Visitors came to
Oxford the suspended Tutor, Henry Wilkinson, senior, commonly known
as “Long Harry,” was the most prominent and zealous of the Visitors.
The students of Magdalen Hall and New Inn submitted to a man, and the
places of the ejected Fellows and Scholars were largely recruited
from their numbers. A very large proportion of the eminent Puritans
of the seventeenth century came from these two Halls. A few of the
distinguished Magdalen Hall men, whom Hertford College now claims as a
sort of step-mother, may be added. John L’Isle, President of the High
Court of Justice; John Glynne, Lord Chief Justice of England under
Cromwell; William Waller, the Cromwellian Poet (afterwards at Hart
Hall); Sir Matthew Hale, the most famous of English Judges; Sydenham,
“the English Hippocrates”; Sir Henry Vane; Pococke, the Orientalist;
and Dr. John Wilkins, the Mathematician, afterwards Warden of Wadham,
then Master of Trin. Coll. Cambr., and later Bishop of Chester. Few
Colleges in the University ever sent out so many distinguished men
within so short a time. But the greatest name that Magdalen Hall can
boast figures oddly in this list of Puritan Worthies. Thomas Hobbes of
Malmesbury entered when not quite fifteen in 1603, and went down in
1607 with the B.A. degree. It is curious that it should have been by
the Puritan Principal, John Wilkinson, that the Philosopher of Erastian
Absolutism was introduced as tutor or companion into the Devonshire
family with which he remained connected for the rest of his life. In
spite of the Puritan _régime_, which was, however, hardly established
in his day, Hobbes describes the place of his education as one “where
the young were addicted to drunkenness, wantonness, gaming, and other
vices.” Clarendon was also a member of the Hall for a short time while
waiting for a Demyship at Magdalen College. Swift, whose Undergraduate
life was passed at Dublin, took his Oxford B.A. from Magdalen Hall in
1692, and proceeded M.A. a few weeks later, during which interval we
may perhaps assume that he resided in the Hall.

_Hertford College, founded 1874._

The last of the many vicissitudes which this venerable site has
experienced remains to be recorded. In 1874 the defunct Hertford
College was recalled to life by the munificence of Mr. T. C.
Baring, M.P., who endowed it with seventeen Fellowships, and thirty
Scholarships of £100 per annum, limited to members of the Church
of England.[357] An Act of Parliament gave the new foundation “all
such rights and privileges as are possessed or enjoyed or can be
exercised by other Colleges in the University of Oxford;” and Dr.
Richard Michell, the last Principal of Magdalen Hall, became the first
Principal of the present Hertford College.

While future ages will feel towards the name of Baring all the
loyalty that is a Founders due, it is a fortunate circumstance that
the accidents which have been related enabled him to give to his new
foundation the only thing which money could not buy--a slight flavour
of antiquity. The existing foundation is substantially the creation of
Mr. Baring, but enough remains of its predecessors--the Elizabethan
hall now transformed into a Library, the Jacobean Common-rooms which
represent the pre-Newtonian Hart Hall, Newton’s Chapel with the
adjoining “angle,” the plate and pictures of Magdalen Hall and its ten
Scholarships[358]--to give us a link with the past, a not uninteresting
past, of which, however glorious its future, the College need never be
ashamed. In one sense, notwithstanding the newness of its foundation,
the College belongs to the past more than its more venerable sisters.
It is untouched by recent legislation, its Statutes are constructed
upon the old model, and it still rejoices in Fellowships which are
tenable during life and celibacy.




This, the most recent of the Oxford colleges, was opened in 1870, the
foundation of it being due to a combination of three different but
cognate causes: the first was a widespread desire to make University
education more widely accessible to the nation, and especially to those
who were anxious to take Holy Orders in the Church of England; the
second, the desire to ensure that this education should be in the hands
of Churchmen; and the third, the desire to perpetuate the memory of the
Rev. John Keble, formerly Fellow and Tutor of Oriel College, Professor
of Poetry in the University (1832-1841), Vicar of Hursley (1836-1866),
and author of _The Christian Year_, _Lyra Innocentium_, _A Treatise on
Eucharistical Adoration_, &c.

Of these motives the first had been stirring in Oxford for many years.
In 1845 the following address was presented to the Hebdomadal Board--

“Considerable efforts have lately been made in this country for the
diffusion of civil and spiritual knowledge, whether at home or abroad.
Schools have been instituted for the lower and middle classes, churches
built and endowed, missionary societies established, further Schools
founded, as at Marlborough and Fleetwood, for the sons of poor clergy
and others; and, again, associations for the provision of additional
Ministers. But between these schools on the one hand, and on the other
the ministry which requires to be augmented, there is a chasm which
needs to be filled. Our Universities take up education where our
schools leave it; yet no one can say that they have been strengthened
or extended, whether for Clergy or Laity, in proportion to the growing
population of the country, its increasing empire, or deepening

“We are anxious to suggest, that the link which we find thus missing
in the chain of improvement should be supplied by rendering Academical
education accessible to the sons of parents whose incomes are too
narrow for the scale of expenditure at present prevailing among the
junior members of the University of Oxford, and that this should be
done through the addition of new departments to existing Colleges,
or, if necessary, by the foundation of new Collegiate bodies. We
have learned, on what we consider unquestionable information, that
in such institutions, if the furniture were provided by the College,
and public meals alone were permitted, to the entire exclusion of
private entertainments in the rooms of the Students, the annual
College payments for board, lodging, and tuition might be reduced to
£60 at most; and that if frugality were enforced as the condition of
membership, the Student’s entire expenditure might be brought within
the compass of £80 yearly.

“If such a plan of improvement be entertained by the authorities of
Oxford, the details of its execution would remain to be considered. On
these we do not venture to enter; but desire to record our readiness,
whenever the matter may proceed further, to aid, by personal exertions
or pecuniary contributions, in the promotion of a design which the
exigencies of the country so clearly seem to require.

“Sandon, Ashley, R. Grosvenor, W. Gladstone, T. D. Acland, Philip
Pusey, T. Sothron, Westminster, Carnarvon, T. Acland, Bart., W.
Bramston, Lincoln, Sidney Herbert, Canning, Mahon, W. B. Baring, J.
Nicholl (Judge Advocate), W. T. James, S. R. Glynne, J. E. Denison,
Wilson Patten, R. Vernon Smith, S. Wilberforce, R. Jelf, W. W. Hall,
W. Heathcote, Edward Berens, J. Wooley, Hon. Horace Powys, W. Herbert
(Dean of Manchester), G. Moberley, A. C. Tait.”[359]

In spite of this influential list of signatures no action was taken
by the Board, but the subject gave rise to many pamphlets, one of
which, by the Rev. C. Marriott, deserves a special notice. In it he
propounded a definite scheme for the foundation of a college either
in or out of Oxford, which should contain about one hundred students
living “a somewhat domestic kind of life,” which should be shared in
close intercourse by their tutors. Mr. Marriott received considerable
promises of help towards the endowment of such a college, but his
early death cut short the scheme.[360] The University Commission of
1854 tended to stimulate the desire to make University education
more national; but it was not until 1865 that any definite step was
taken. On Nov. 16 of that year a meeting of graduates was held at
Oriel College, “to consider the question of University Extension with
a view especially to the education of persons needing assistance and
desirous of admission into the Christian ministry.” The conveners of
this meeting were chiefly influenced by the belief that the education
of the national clergy was the unquestionable duty of the Universities,
but that it was to a large extent passing out of their hands. They
recognized, however, that this was far from the sole ground of
University Extension, and especially urged that the system of Local
Examinations required as its natural complement some further movement
which should enable the successful candidates to follow out their
studies at the University itself. At this meeting six sub-committees
were formed to consider various methods of such extension. The history
of Keble College is concerned only with the first of these, of which
Dr. Shirley, the Professor of Ecclesiastical History, was Chairman, the
other members being Professors Bernard, Burrows, Mansel, Pusey, and the
Revs. W. Burgon, R. Greswell, W. Ince, and J. Riddell.

The instructions given to them were to consider the suggestion of
extending the University “by founding a college or hall on a large
scale, with a view not exclusively but especially to the education of
persons needing assistance and desirous of admission into the Christian
ministry.” The substance of the report was to the effect that, without
interfering with either the moral and religious discipline or the
social advantages of an academical life, it would be possible very
considerably to reduce the average of expenditure. With this purpose
they suggest the building of a new Hall, by private subscription, large
enough to hold one hundred undergraduates; for the sake of economy
the rooms should be smaller than in most colleges, they should be
arranged along corridors instead of by staircases, and be furnished
by the College; breakfast as well as dinner should be taken in
common, caution-money and entrance fees abolished, and all necessary
expenditure included in one terminal payment. By this means it was
hoped that the University would be opened to a class of men who cannot
now enter, but without placing them apart from the classes who now
avail themselves of it. The Hall was not to be “such an eleemosynary
establishment as would be sought only by persons of inferior social
position, less cultivated manners, or of attainments and intellect
below the ordinary level of the University, but rather one which is
adapted to the natural tastes and habits of gentlemen wishing to live

In the following year (on March 16, 1866) the Rev. John Keble died,
and on the day of his funeral it seemed to his friends that the most
fitting memorial to him would be to build such a college as had been
contemplated by this committee. Mr. Keble had himself joined in the
movement which led to the appointment of the committee; he had seen and
approved the Report. This report was accordingly taken as the basis
of action. The details were, in the main, arranged upon its lines;
perhaps the chief difference was that from the first the preparation
of candidates for Holy Orders was less insisted upon, and more
emphasis was laid upon the duty of providing a suitable education for
all Churchmen, whatever their vocation might be. To quote the words
of the appeal which was issued, “The College was intended first to
be a heartfelt and national tribute of affection and admiration to
the memory of one of the most eminent and religious writers whom the
Church of England has ever produced, one whose holy example was perhaps
even a greater power for good than his _Christian Year_; secondly, to
meet the great need now so generally felt of some form of University
Extension, which may include a large portion of persons at present
debarred through want of means from its full benefits; while, thirdly,
it is hoped that it will prove, by God’s blessing, the loyal handmaid
of our mother Church, to train up men who, not in the ministry only
but in the manifold callings of the Christian life, shall be steadfast
in the faith.”[362] The aims of the promoters of Keble College were,
in a word, exactly the same as those of the munificent founders of the
earlier colleges, viz. to extend University education to those who
could not otherwise enjoy it, to extend it in the form of collegiate
life, and in loyalty to the English Church.

A public appeal for subscriptions was at once made, and these amounted
in a very short time to more than £50,000. The building of the College
was intrusted to Mr. Butterfield. On St. Mark’s Day (the anniversary
of Mr. Keble’s birthday), 1868, the first stone was laid by the
Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. Longley); and rooms for one hundred
undergraduates and six tutors were ready for occupation in 1870, and at
Commemoration the first Warden, the Rev. E. S. Talbot, senior student
of Christ Church, was formally installed by the Chancellor of the
University. A council had already been elected by the subscribers: this
constitutes the Governing Body of the College, and perpetuates itself
by co-optation as vacancies arise. The Council elect the Warden, who
nominates the Tutors. On June 6th a Royal Charter of Incorporation was
granted. This, after reciting that the subscribers had joined together
to give public and permanent expression to their feeling of deep
gratitude for the long and devoted services of the Rev. John Keble to
the Church of Christ, and with that intent had resolved to establish a
college or institution in which young men now debarred from University
education might be trained in simple and religious habits, according
to the principles of the Church of England, created the Warden,
Council, and scholars into a corporate body with power to hold lands
not exceeding the value of five thousand pounds (A subsequent amendment
of the Mortmain Act, passed by Parliament in August 1888, extended to
Keble College the exemption of the Mortmain Act, by which persons are
enabled to bequeath property to it.) This Royal Charter carried with it
no academical privileges. It left the Council free to move the College
elsewhere, or even to wind up the Corporation; at the same time it
authorized them, if they saw fit, to obtain the incorporation of the
College within the University of Oxford.

This was not, however, the course actually adopted; the question of
formal incorporation was not free from difficulties, as in previous
cases such incorporation had been generally effected either by Royal
Charter or by an Act of Parliament, and so it has never been raised.
What actually happened was as follows. On June 16th, 1870, a decree was
passed by Convocation, authorizing the Vice-Chancellor to matriculate
students from Keble College pending further legislation. On March 9th,
1871, a new statute dealing with New Foundations for Academical Study
and Education was passed, and on April 8th Keble College was admitted
to the privileges granted by it. By this statute all its members have
in relation to the University the same privileges and obligations as
if they had been admitted to one of the previously existing Colleges
or Halls, and the Warden has with regard to the members of his society
the same obligations, rights, and powers as are assigned to the heads
of existing Colleges or Halls, though the statute does not impose
upon him any other obligations or confer any other right, privilege,
or distinction. Any other statutes in which Colleges are mentioned by
name, such as those respecting the University sermons or the election
of Proctors, would not apply to any such new foundations, unless
so amended as to include them expressly. The statute affecting the
Proctorial cycle was so amended in 1887, and Keble College was for that
purpose placed on a level with other colleges. The further question
whether the head of such a society possesses the rights possessed by
the heads of the earlier colleges has never been decided.[363]

Meanwhile the College had been opened successfully in Michaelmas Term
1870. At that time the north, east, and west blocks were completed,
with a temporary chapel and hall on the south. The rooms were arranged
in corridors, but subsequent experience has since partly modified
this arrangement. The quadrangle south of the gateway was commenced
in 1873, and finished on the eastern side in 1875, on the western in
1882. In 1873 W. Gibbs, Esq., of Tynterfield, laid the foundation of
the permanent Chapel, of which he was the sole and munificent donor.
This was formally opened on St. Mark’s Day, 1876, and on the same day
the foundation-stone of the Hall and Library was laid, these being the
scarcely less munificent gifts of his sons, Messrs. Antony and Martin
Gibbs. The architect of these buildings also was Mr. Butterfield. In
the Chapel, the general aim of the decoration is to set forth the
Christ as the sum and centre of all history, to whom all previous ages
pointed, from whom all subsequent ages have drawn their inspiration.
In the main body of the Chapel the mosaics represent typical scenes
from the lives of Noah, Abraham, Joseph, and Moses, while the great
prophets and kings of the Old Testament are portrayed in the windows.
Around the Sanctuary the ornament is richer as it attempts to do honour
to the fact of the Incarnation--alabaster and marble take the place of
stone. On either side in the mosaics are seen the Annunciation, the
Birth, the Baptism, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection of the Lord; in
the windows the leading Apostles and Doctors of the Christian Church.
The Ascension is given in the east window; while in the quatre-foil
mosaic, the centre of the whole decoration, appears a vision of the
Lord Himself as described by St. John in the Apocalypse, seated in the
midst of the candlesticks, with the stars in His hand, and the sword
coming out of His mouth. Around the Living Lord are grouped saints of
all the Christian centuries and of every vocation in life. The western
mosaic closes the series with the Last Judgment.

In one respect the arrangement differs from that of all the other
College chapels--all the seats are ranged eastwards, not north and
south. This results from the change which has passed over college
life in Oxford. The earlier chapels were built for colleges in which
every one was in theory a life-member on the foundation, and had
his permanent seat as in a cathedral body; but a modern college
chapel, containing almost exclusively a large passing congregation of
undergraduates, presents conditions much more like that of an ordinary
church, and alike for purposes of worship and of preaching it seemed
better that the whole body should face eastward in the usual manner.
It should also be mentioned that the chapel has not been formally
consecrated, it being a question whether such consecration might not
limit the powers conferred upon the Council by the Charter.

The Hall and Library were formally opened in 1878, Mr. Gladstone being
among the speakers on the occasion. Since then the Hall has been
enriched with a beautiful oil painting of the Rev. J. Keble, painted
by G. Richmond after Mr. Keble’s death from a crayon drawing which he
had made in his lifetime; by portraits of Archbishop Longley, who laid
the foundation stone of the College; of Dr. Shirley, Chairman of the
Committee on whose report the College was based; of Earl Beauchamp, the
senior member of the Council, from the first one of the most strenuous
and munificent friends of the College; of the Rev. E. S. Talbot, the
first Warden (1870-1888); of W. Gibbs, Esq., the donor of the Chapel;
and of J. A. Shaw Stewart, Esq., the treasurer of the original Memorial
Fund and resident Bursar of the College (1876-1880). To these is to be
added soon a portrait of Dr. Liddon, member of the Council (1870-1890),
and of the Rev. Aubrey L. Moore, Tutor (1881-1890). In addition to
these, all of which are connected with the College history, Earl
Beauchamp has presented a portrait of Archbishop Laud.

In the Library the nucleus of the collection was formed by the gift
of the majority of Mr. Keble’s own books and many of his MSS.,
presented mainly by his brother, partly also by his nephew. Among
these are the original drafts of the _Lyra Innocentium_ and many of
the _Miscellaneous Poems_ (written on stray scraps of paper or on
backs of envelopes), of the _Eucharistical Adoration_, the sermons on
Baptism, and the translation of St. Irenæus; and, most interesting of
all, a fair copy made by himself of the greater part of the _Christian
Year_, written in an exquisitely clear and delicate hand in seven
small note-books. Other relics of Mr. Keble, including his study-table
and the candelabrum presented to him by his pupils on leaving Oxford,
are preserved in the common room. The Library has also received large
donations or legacies of books from Cardinal Newman, Archbishop Trench,
Lord Richard Cavendish, Miss Yonge, &c. Quite recently there has been
added to it Dr. Liddon’s library, rich especially in historical,
liturgical, and theological books, and containing also an excellent
collection of Dante literature. Mr. Holman Hunt’s picture, _The Light
of the World_, presented by Mrs. Combe of the University Press, at
present hangs in the Library, though it will probably be ultimately
transferred to the chapel.

Of the history of the internal working of the College there is little
to say. From the opening till the present its rooms have always been
full; and clear proof has thus been given of the reality of the demand
for University extension on such a plan. The annual charge to each
undergraduate is £82 a year, which includes tuition, board, and rent
of furnished rooms; groceries, wines, &c. have been supplied from the
College stores; and a special common room is open to undergraduates,
serving both for entertainment and as a reading-room. Two of those
who have worked as tutors in the College have already been raised to
the Episcopate--Dr. Mylne, the Senior Tutor in the first years of the
College, now Bishop of Bombay, and Dr. Jayne, now Bishop of Chester.

In academical distinction the College has quite held its own with
many of the older Colleges, and has specially gained distinction in
the Honour Schools of Theology, Modern History, and Natural Science.
Several private benefactions, notably those of Miss Wilbraham (1872),
Mrs. William Gibbs (1875), A. J. Balfour, Esq., M.P. (1875), Lady
Gomm (1878), Miss Chafyn Grove (1879), H. O. Wakeman, Esq. (1882),
and a subscription raised to found a “Caroline Talbot” Scholarship in
memory of the first Warden’s mother, have enabled the College to offer
several scholarships for open competition to members of the Church
of England, or to aid those who are already members of the College
to complete their career. There are also special prizes to encourage
the study of theology, such as the Wills and Phillpott’s prizes for
undergraduates, the Liddon prize, and the “Edward Talbot” studentship,
founded to commemorate the services of the first Warden, for graduates;
but these are all the endowments that the College has, and they are
not sufficient to enable it to compete on equal terms with the other
colleges in the offer of scholarships.

The College has also received many advowsons, and is likely to do
useful service to the Church of England as patron of livings.


[1] From the old printed copy in Bodl. Bibl. MSS. Tanner 338, fol. 216.

[2] _Annals of University College_, p. 339.

[3] I have used Mr. William Smith’s rendering of these passages of
Matthew Paris.

[4] This, as Mr. William Smith says, to whose printed volume and MSS.
preserved in the College archives, my obligations are so profuse that
henceforth I will not mention them in detail, was the sum allowed to
the Merton scholars also, and would in an ordinary year purchase twelve
and a half quarters of the best wheat.

[5] This writ of King Richard is only entered on the back of the
ancient roll containing the French Petition, and is not upon Record.
(W. Smith’s _Annals_, p. 311.)

[6] Mr. Wm. Rogers of Gloucestershire, a member of the College. The
speech spoken by Mr. Edw. Hales upon ye setting up of it was printed by
Dr. Charlett. Mr. Hales was afterwards killed at ye Boyne in Ireland
most couragiously fighting for his master King James. (Hearne by Doble,
II. p. 143.)

[7] In the earlier part of this chapter I have been under constant
obligations to the old College history entitled _Balliofergus, or,
a Commentary upon the Foundation, Founders, and Affaires of Balliol
Colledge, Gathered out of the Records thereof, and other Antiquities.
With a brief Description of eminent Persons who have been formerly of
the same House._ By Henry Savage, Master of the said Colledge (Oxford
1668). I am also considerably indebted to Mr. Maxwell Lyte’s _History
of the University of Oxford_ (1886), and to the somewhat perfunctory
and ill-informed account of the College muniments given by Mr. H.
T. Riley in the appendix to the Fourth Report of the Historical
Manuscripts Commission (1874). The Statutes of the College are cited
from the edition prepared for the University Commission of 1850, and
published in 1853. In dealing with later times I have had the advantage
of a number of references kindly furnished me by Dr. G. B. Hill of
Pembroke College, Mr. C. E. Doble of Worcester College, and Mr. C. H.
Firth of Balliol College. Mr. Rashdall, of Hertford College, has been
so good as to look over the proof-sheets of this chapter; and, although
he is not to be held chargeable with any errors that may have escaped
him, I have to thank him for many corrections and suggestions.

[8] The identification seems certain, though the name is suppressed in
the _Chronicon de Lanercost_ (ed. J. Stevenson, 1839), p. 69.

[9] _Chron. de Mailros_, s. a. 1269.

[10] _Statutes of Balliol College_, pp. v.-vii.

[11] In this document we have for the first time the mention of the
_Master_ and Scholars of the House: Savage, p. 18.

[12] See extracts from the deeds in Riley, p. 446.

[13] 13 July 1293: ibid., p. 443.

[14] See Savage, pp. 29 f.; Wood, _Hist. and Antiqq. of the Univ. of
Oxford_ (ed. Gutch), _Colleges and Halls_, pp. 73, 86 f.

[15] In this document the head of the College is styled _Warden_
(Riley, p. 443), a title which occurs in 1303 (Wood, _Colleges and
Halls_, p. 81), and which alternates with that of Master for some time
later. _President_ occurs in 1559; _Statutes_, p. 25.

[16] Wood, _Hist. and Antiqq._ ii. 731-733.

[17] Ibid., pp. 774 f.

[18] Riley, pp. 442 f.; Wood, _Colleges and Halls_, p. 73.

[19] _English Historical Review_, vi. (1891) 152 f.

[20] _Dict. of Nat. Biogr._ xix. (1889) 194-198.

[21] _Statutes of Balliol College_, pp. viii-xix.

[22] It may be remarked that a grant of the year 1343 is noted by
Savage, p. 52, as the first among the College muniments in which the
name _Balliol_ is spelled with a single _l_.

[23] See the extract from a letter of the Rectors, one a Doctor of
Divinity and the other a Franciscan, of 1433, given by Riley, p. 443

[24] In 1433: Savage, pp. 64 f.

[25] In 1477: ibid., p. 66.

[26] _Statutes of Balliol College_, pp. 1-22; cf. Lyte, pp. 415 ff.

[27] The eightpence a-week assigned them by the Statutes of
Dervorguilla had been raised to twelve pence so early as 1340, by Sir
William Felton’s benefactions, which also provided funds for clothes
and books (Savage, p. 38). It was now ordered that the sum should not
exceed 1_s._ 8_d._ Besides this Masters were to receive an annual
stipend of 20_s._ 8_d._; Bachelors, of 18_s._ 8_d._ (_Statutes_, p. 14).

[28] Compare Savage, p. 74.

[29] _Statutes_, pp. 38 f.

[30] _Queen’s College Statutes_, p. 14.

[31] We may remember that “between the years 1485 and 1507, Oxford was
visited by at least six great pestilences” (Lyte, p. 380). In 1486 we
find the Fellows of Magdalen sojourning at Witney and Harwell (not far
from Wantage) “tempore pestis.” Rogers, _Hist. of Agric. and Prices_,
iii. (1882) 680.

[32] See W. W. Shirley, _Fasciculi Zizaniorum_ (1858), intr., pp.
xi-xv, 513-528; P. Lorimer, notes to Lechler’s _John Wiclif_ (ed.
1881), pp. 132-137; R. L. Poole, _Wycliffe and Movements for Reform_
(1889), pp. 61-65.

[33] _Dict. of Nat. Biogr._, xi. (1887) 157 f.

[34] Lyte, p. 321.

[35] W. D. Macray, _Ann. of the Bodl. Libr._ (2nd ed., 1890), pp. 6-11.

[36] _Comment. de Scriptt. Brit._ (ed. A. Hall, Oxford 1709), p. 442.

[37] _Scriptt. Brit. Catal._ (Basle 1557), viii. 2.

[38] Leland, p. 460.

[39] Wood, _Hist. and Antiqq. of the Univ. of Oxf., Colleges and
Halls_, p. 89; who notices (vol. ii. 107) that though Balliol Library
lost much in 1550, it also gained some of the spoils of Durham College
at the time of its dissolution.

[40] The substance of the foregoing account is borrowed from the
writer’s article on Grey in the _Dict. of Nat. Biogr._ xxiii. (1890)

[41] See, on the buildings and inscriptions, Savage, pp. 67-72, Wood,
_Coll. and Halls_, pp. 90-98.

[42] Lyte, p. 326.

[43] Savage, pp. 105-108.

[44] Leland, pp. 475-481; Lyte, pp. 385 f.; _Briefwechsel des Beatus
Rhenanus_ (ed. A. Horawitz & K. Hartfelder, 1886), p. 72.

[45] Lyte, p. 322.

[46] Nevill supplicated for his B.A. degree in 1450: Anstey, _Munim.
Acad. Oxon._ (1868), p. 730 f.

[47] _Reg. of the Univ. of Oxford_, i. (ed. C. W. Boase, 1885) 1.

[48] Leland, pp. 466-468, 476; Lyte, pp. 384 f.

[49] Tanner, _Bibl. Brit. Hib._ (1748), p. 598; Le Neve’s _Fast. Eccl.
Angl._ (ed. T. D. Hardy, Oxford 1854) i. 141.

[50] Leland, p. 462 f.

[51] _Dict. of Nat. Biogr._, xxiii. 351.

[52] Already by Anthony Wood’s time “the old accompts” were lost; “So
A. W. was much put to a push, to find when learned men had been of that
coll.” _Life_ (ed. Bliss, Eccl. Hist. Soc., Oxford 1848), p. 144. So
too _Athen. Oxon._ (ed. Bliss) iii. 959.

[53] Savage, pp. 74-77; Wood’s _City of Oxford_, ed. A. Clark, ii. 3;
P. Heylin’s _Cyprianus redivivus_ (1668), p. 208; Wood’s _Hist. and
Antiqq._ (ed. Gutch), ii. 677.

[54] _Statutes_, p. 30.

[55] P. 33.

[56] P. 35.

[57] Savage, p. 56. After 1718 the payment was made out of the College
revenues: _Statutes_, p. 36.

[58] _Statutes_, p. 31.

[59] Humphrey Prideaux, _Letters to John Ellis_ (ed. E. M. Thompson,
Camden Society, 1875), pp. 12 f., under date 23 August 1674.

[60] _Statutes_, pp. 61-66.

[61] In 1677 the library was increased by the gift of “one of the best
private librarys in England” (Prideaux, p. 61), from the bequest of
Sir Thomas Wendy of Haselingfield, sometime gentleman commoner of the
College. In 1673 these books were valued at £600: Wood, _Colleges and
Halls_, p. 90.

[62] _Statutes_, pp. 25-28.

[63] Ibid., pp. 45-50.

[64] Savage, pp. 85-87.

[65] See Wood, _Colleges and Halls_, pp. 616-619.

[66] _Statutes_, pp. 40-45, 50-56. In 1676 the number was increased to
two Fellows and two Scholars.

[67] Ibid., pp. 57-61. The endowment provided for the erection of
lodgings for the Periam Fellow and Scholars, and the foundress’s name
is still remembered in connection with one of the buildings of the

[68] The College benefactors, down to John Warner, are enumerated by
Wood, _Colleges and Halls_, pp. 75-80.

[69] _Scotland and Scotsmen in the Eighteenth Century_, from the MSS.
of John Ramsay of Ochtertyre (ed. A. Allardyce, 1888), ii. 307 note.

[70] See above, pp. 26 f., 37.

[71] Savage, p. 77; Wood, _Colleges and Halls_, p. 99.

[72] _Life_, p. 143.

[73] Savage, p. 68.

[74] See an account of them by the Rev. C. H. Grinling in the
_Proceedings of the Oxf. Archit. and Hist. Society_, new series, iv.
137-140. The windows in their original situation are described by
Savage, pp. 77 f., and Wood, _Coll. and Halls_, pp. 100-102.

[75] Wood’s _Coll. and Halls_, p. 88, and _City of Oxford_, ed. A.
Clark, i. (1889) 634 note 8.

[76] Savage, pp. 61, 79-81; cf. Wood’s _City of Oxford_, i. 372.

[77] P. V[ernon], _Oxonium Poema_, 18.

[78] Wood, _Coll. and Halls_, p. 87, with Gutch’s note.

[79] See Wood, p. 99, and the plan in W. Williams’ _Oxonia Depicta_

[80] _Reg. Univ._, i. (ed. Boase), pref., p. xxiii.

[81] _Reg. Univ._, ii. (ed. Clark) pt. ii. pp. 30, 31.

[82] Gutch, _Collect. curiosa_ (Oxford, 1781), i. 200.

[83] _Reg. Univ._, ii. pt. ii. 412.

[84] Wood, _Hist. and Antiqq._ ii. 365.

[85] In these last two totals Commoners of more than four years’
standing have been omitted. The lists in the Calendar are moreover
always slightly in excess of the truth, since they take no account of
occasional non-residence. An unofficial census taken by the _Oxford
Magazine_ of 4 February, 1891, gives the number of undergraduates in
residence as 158.

[86] Savage, pp. 119-121; Evelyn, _Memoirs_ (ed. W. Bray, 1827), i. 13

[87] See above, p. 42.

[88] Savage, pp. 85 f.; _Calendar of State Papers_, Domestic Series,
1623-1625 (1859), p. 383.

[89] Heylin, p. 215.

[90] _Memoirs_, i. 12-16.

[91] Gutch, _Collect. cur._, i. 227; Wood’s _Life_, p. 14 note, where
the editor observes that the College retained a chalice of 1614.

[92] _Register of the Visitors_ (ed. M. Burrows, Camden Society, 1881),
pp. 167, 188, and introd. pp. cxxv, cxxvi.

[93] See the list, ibid., pp. 478 f., and the references there given.

[94] Riley (p. 444) dismisses this book as “a vapid and superficial
production”; but there is little doubt that Savage had the assistance
in it of no less an antiquary than Anthony Wood. See his _Life_, pp.
104-108, 143 f., 157. When Wood speaks disparagingly of Savage, it must
be remembered that he had himself proposed to write a work on a similar
plan: _Athen. Oxon._ (ed. Bliss, 1817), iii. 959.

[95] _Reg. of Visit._, p. 4.

[96] _Athen. Oxon._, iii. 1154.

[97] _Letters_, pp. 12 f.

[98] The sign of the house is understood to have been a double-headed

[99] Dr. Bathurst, President of Trinity, Vice-Chancellor, 1673-1676.

[100] _Letters_, pp. 13 f., under date 23 August, 1674.

[101] _Life of Ralph Bathurst_ (1761), p. 203.

[102] Gutch, _Collect. cur._, i. 195.

[103] The Master at this time was Good’s successor, John Venn, who
married “an ancient maid,” niece to the first Earl of Clarendon.

[104] W. D. Christie, _Life of Shaftesbury_ (1871), ii. 390-401.

[105] Riley, p. 451.

[106] _Reliqq. Hearn_, iii. 308.

[107] _Terrae Filius_, 1733 (2nd ed.), pp. 5f.

[108] J. R. M’Colloch, _Life of Dr. Smith_, prefixed to the _Wealth of
Nations_ (ed. Edinburgh, 1828), i. p. xvi.

[109] _Scotland and Scotsmen in the Eighteenth Century_, ii. 307 note.

[110] J. Pointer, _Oxoniensis Academia_ (1749), i. 11. Hearne mentions
a custom which had been given up at Merton since Wood’s time, but which
partially survived “at Brazenose and Balliol coll., and no where else
that I know of. I take the original thereof to have been a custom they
had formerly for the young men to say something of their founders and
benefactors, so that the custom was originally very laudable, however
afterwards turned into ridicule:” _Reliqq. Hearn_, iii. 76.

[111] R. Blacow, _Letter to William King_, 1755. The whole story is
told by Dr. G. B. Hill, _Dr. Johnson, his Friends and his Critics_
(1878), pp. 68-72.

[112] _Life and Correspondence_ (ed. C. C. Southey, 1849), i. 164, 170,
177, 203, 211 f., 215, 176 note.

[113] G. V. Cox, _Recollections of Oxford_ (1868), p. 191.

[114] Letter of 15 November 1807, in J. Veitch’s _Memoir of Sir W.
Hamilton_ (1869), p. 30.

[115] Letter of J. Traill, quoted, ibid., p. 44.

[116] Letter of G. R. Gleig, quoted, ibid., p. 53.

[117] _Discussions_, p. 750, quoted, ibid., p. 52.

[118] _Memoir_, p. 30.

[119] _Statutes_, pp. 38 f.

[120] Ibid., p. 39.

[121] W. Ward, _William George Ward and the Oxford Movement_ (1889),
pp. 429-431; cf. p. 343, &c.

[122] Quoted in Wood’s _City of Oxford_ (ed. A. Clark), i. 632. Cf. C.
Wordsworth, _University Life in the Eighteenth Century_ (1874), p. 161.

[123] The writer of this chapter is, of course, indebted to his own
_Memorials of Merton College_, published in 1885, in the Oxford
Historical Society’s series; but has revised afresh the results of his
former researches, with the aid of new materials.

[124] Subsequently called Cornwall Lane, from its proximity to the
Western College. It is now inclosed within the site of the College.

[125] From the _Life of Conant_, by his son.

[126] The “moderator” presided over the disputation, seeing that the
disputants observed the rules of reasoning, and giving his opinion on
the discussion, and on the arguments which had been advanced in it, in
a concluding speech.

[127] John Conybeare, Fellow of Exeter, 1710; Rector, 1730; Dean of
Christ Church, 1733; Bishop of Bristol, 1750.

[128] The pre-eminence of Merton, its conspicuous buildings, and its
wealth, seem to have distinguished it as “the College,” until it found
a rival in the “New College” of William of Wykeham.

[129] The seal at present in use is believed to be the original seal of
the College. The upper part represents the Annunciation; below under an
arcade is the kneeling figure of Adam de Brome. Round the edge is the
legend “Sy. Comune Domus Scholarium Beate Marie Oxon.”

The only other memorial of its foundation which the College possesses
is its founder’s cup, given to it, according to the College tradition,
by King Edward the Second; though an entry in the Treasurer’s accounts
recording the purchase in December 1493 for £4 18_s._ 1_d._, of a
standing gilt cup marked with E and S, and a cover to the same, is in
favour of its belonging to a later date.

[130] The Hospital itself was also intended to be a place to which
members of the Society could remove, in case of sickness or pestilence,
into a purer air than that of Oxford.

[131] To enable the College to take these additional endowments, a
further license in mortmain to the extent of ten pounds a year was
granted, 14th March, 1327.

[132] See page 94.

[133] Hawkesworth was one of the first Fellows of Queen’s, nominated by
the original Statutes in 1341; but as the ground on which his election
was annulled is expressly stated to be its informality and not any
defect in the person chosen, he was probably also connected with the
College either as Fellow or ex-Fellow. He appears as acting on the
College behalf in 1341.

[134] It has been printed in the Oxford Historical Society’s
_Collectanea_, vol. i. p. 59.

[135] In Wood’s list, both Symon and Byrche are entered as of
University College; but there is little doubt that they both belonged
to Oriel.

[136] These two manors adjoin one another, but are entirely independent
and in distinct parishes; they appear, however, as held together at the
time of the Domesday Survey, and never to have parted company since
that date.

[137] In his account of this building Wood must for once have fallen
asleep, or he would not have suggested that the letters O. C. (Oriel
College) were inscribed by “the Saints, in honour of their great
Commander.” But such is the vitality of error that this absurd blunder
is copied without correction into every guide-book for Oxford, and
actually reappears in the note prefixed to a very careful account of
the Hospital, published by the Oxford Architectural Society.

[138] _I. e._ take this, and prosper. To “grow thrifty” in the sense
of to thrive seems to have been used in America as late as 1851, (Dr.
Smith’s Latin Dictionary, preface, p. vii.)

[139] _State Papers, Domestic_, Elizabeth xvii. p. 57. _Letter of
Francis and others to Cecill_, 11 May, 1561.

[140] See Carleton’s _Life of Gilpin_.

[141] On the election of Joseph Browne, who succeeded Provost Smith in
1756. See _Letters of Radcliffe and James_ (Oxford Historical Society,
ix.), p. xxiii.

[142] _I. e._ to an ecclesiastical benefice.

[143] See _State Papers, Domestic_, Elizabeth, vol. 271, 49, March,

[144] P. 129.

[145] Sir Richard Richards, 1776; Sir William Carpenter Rowe, 1827;
William Basil Tickell Jones, 1848; Thomas William Lancaster, 1809;
James Garbett, 1824; Adam Storey Farrar, 1852; Edward Feild, 1825;
Samuel Thornton, 1859; Robert Gaudell, 1845. The dates are of election
to Fellowship. Sir William Wightman, Justice of the Court of Queen’s
Bench, and Henry John Chitty Harper, Metropolitan of New Zealand, were
also on this foundation, but never Fellows.

[146] Those reading “Logic,” termed “sophistae.”

[147] “Artista,” a student (here probably a Master) in the faculty of

[148] Students not yet advanced to the study of Logic.

[149] The study of theology began two years after the attainment of the
M.A. degree.

[150] See Tobie Matthew’s letter to Lord Burghley in _State Papers,
Addenda_, Elizabeth, xxxii. 89, Oct. 16, 1593, and Boast’s life in
_Dict. of Nat. Biog._

[151] Except to the grammar-boys at Merton, and the “poor boys” at

[152] The following details are from Anstey’s _Munimenta Academica_,
pp. 241, _seqq._

[153] Anstey’s _Munimenta Academica_, p. 286.

[154] In the fifteenth century Cicero or a classical poet might be
substituted. Some other alternatives are omitted.

[155] See Wood’s _Annals_ (edit. Gutch), ii. p. 292; Ayliffe, ii. p.

[156] See Professor Montagu Burrows’ delightful _Memoir of Grocyn_ in
the Oxford Historical Society’s _Collectanea_, vol. ii.

[157] A few Gentleman-commoners educated at Winchester had been
admitted to the College earlier. Among these, but only for a very
short time, was the Sir Henry Wotton who still lives in Izaac Walton’s

[158] G. V. Cox, _Recollections of Oxford_ (1870), p. 50.

[159] These “Sunday pence” were paid in all Oxford parishes. In 1525
payment was disputed; and in the test case between Lincoln College,
as rector of All Saints church, and William Potycarye alias Clerke of
All Saints parish, payment was enforced under penalty of “the greater
excommunication.” Several tenements in Oxford continue to this day to
pay to their parish church quit-rents of 4_s._ 8_d._ representing these
old “Sunday pence.” Their owners have the satisfaction of knowing that
these tenements represent the most ancient holdings in Oxford.

[160] On 13th Dec., 1432, in the time of the first rector, the
celebrated Thomas Gascoigne gave twelve MSS. to the library.

[161] Mr. Maxwell Lyte, in his _History of the University of Oxford_,
has taken for the original the seventeenth century copy on the south
side of the quadrangle, which was put there by a married Head to cloak
his annexation of College rooms.

[162] In memory of this occasion the vine was probably planted which in
Loggan’s picture (1675) is seen spreading over the west front of the
hall; the successors of which in the chapel quadrangle and the kitchen
passage still in sunny years bear plentiful clusters.

[163] Robert Parkinson, _ut supra_. Rotheram’s arms are carved on the
north wall of this building. In the herald’s certificate of 1574, they
are given as “vert, three stags trippant two and one or.” They are
nowadays generally blazoned wrongly.

[164] The final deed of incorporation is dated 20th Nov., 1478.

[165] Among the rest Dagville’s Inn (now the Mitre), which was already
an ancient inn when Dagville inherited it from his uncle.

[166] The provocation was both wanton and fatuous. On 24th Aug., 1717,
Crewe began to execute in his lifetime the provisions of his will,
viz. to pay to the Rector £20 per annum, to each of the twelve Fellows
and to each of the four Chaplains £10 per annum, to the bible-clerk
and eight Scholars together £54 6_s._ 8_d._ per annum; and to each of
twelve Exhibitioners founded by him £20 per annum. On the 27th June,
1719, the Rectorship fell vacant; the Fellows asked Crewe to state who
he wished to succeed. He twice refused; but on being asked the third
time said, “William Lupton,” Fellow since 1698. On 18th July, 1719, the
Fellows, by nine votes to three, elected into the Rectorship not Lupton
but John Morley!

[167] In 1537 the full number of Rector, twelve Foundation and three
Darby Fellows is found; again in 1587; and again in 1595. In 1606 the
Visitor allows the number of Fellows to be twelve only, and thereafter
that number is never exceeded.

[168] Of the three persons nominated by Darby in 1538 as his first
Fellows, two, William Villers (his kinsman) and Richard Gill, were
undergraduates. One nomination of this kind was eminently unsuccessful;
Walter Pitts, nominated by the Visitor in 1568 to the Darby Fellowship
for Oxfordshire, was removed in 1573 because he had repeatedly
failed to get his degree. The Parliamentary Visitors in 1650 put
undergraduates into Fellowships in Lincoln College; one of these, John
Taverner, in 1652 was fined 13_s._ 4_d._, “for swearing two oaths, as
did appear upon testimony.”

[169] When the number of Fellowships was reduced by treating the
three Darby Fellowships not as additional to, but as taking the place
of three of, the Foundation Fellowships, the Stowe Fellowship was
substituted for one of the Lincoln county Fellowships, the other two
for two of the Lincoln diocese Fellowships. With this modification the
regulations about counties and dioceses were very faithfully observed
in elections to Fellowships, until these limitations were all swept
away by the Commission of 1854.

[170] The Visitor (John Williams, who had built the new chapel), in
1631, discontinued this (except the procession on All Saints day).
The procession on All Saints day has been discontinued under another
Visitor’s Order of 6th Feb., 1867.

[171] These two services were changed at the Reformation to a sermon;
the appointment of a preacher for this sermon was discontinued about

[172] The first of these sermons was assigned to the Rector by statute,
the second by custom.

[173] The earliest College duty assigned to John Wesley, after his
election to a Fellowship at Lincoln, was to preach the St. Michael’s
sermon on Michaelmas Day 1726.

[174] B.A. Fellows might not have theological works, but only works in
philosophy and logic.

[175] Rectors, suffering under the despotism of too efficient
Subrectors, have accused this officer of mis-spelling his alternative
title and regarding himself as _Co-rector_.

[176] The barber’s duties were at first to supply the clean shave, the
tonsure, and the close crop which became “clerks.” In later ages more
extravagant fashions in hair added to his labour. At the close of the
eighteenth century he had to dress for dinner the heads of all the
College in the pomp of powder and the vanity of queue. Beginning about
noon with the junior Commoner, he concluded with the senior Fellow
on the stroke of three, when the bell rang for dinner. The higher,
therefore, you were in College standing, the longer was the time
available for your morning walk, and the ampler the gossip of the day
with which you were entertained.

[177] If any one wishes a modern parallel, he may note how Oxford
became filled with Jacobites ejected from their country cures within
two or three years of the imposition of the Oath of Allegiance to
William and Mary.

[178] Their Catholic sympathies are evident from the Colleges to which
they made their benefactions. Neither in Lincoln College under John
Bridgwater, nor in Caius College under John Caius, was a young Romanist
in any danger of being converted to Protestantism.

[179] Several entries show that their position was inferior to that of
a Commoner, and involved menial service in College. In 1661 we have an
entry--“Whereas Henry Rose, a scholar, did lately officiate as porter,
and had no allowance for his pains,” he is to be excused the College
fee for taking B.A. In Feb. 1661-2 these Traps’ exhibitioners were
exempted from some College charges on consideration of their waiting at
the Fellows’ table.

[180] As “Commissary,” _i. e._ Vice-chancellor, of the University
from 1527 to 1532, Cottisford had been set to several painful pieces
of duty, in the discovery and arrest of Lutheran members of the
University. Thus in 1527 Thomas Garret was arrested by the Proctors and
imprisoned in Cottisford’s rooms: but his friends stole into College
when Cottisford, with the rest of the College, was in chapel at Evening
Prayers, and enabled him to effect his escape. This “Lollard’s” ghost,
oddly enough, was at one time supposed to haunt the gateway-tower.

[181] On only two other occasions is this silence broken; the next is
in 1633, when the register notes that the King was at Woodstock, and
that the Rector had forbidden undergraduates to go there; the latest
is a notice of the grief of the nation on the death of the Princess
Charlotte, and of the services in the College chapel on the day of her

[182] There is some suspicion that about this time the Government had
a paid spy in College. In Sept. 1566 an Anthony Marcham, of Lincoln
College, writes to Cecil asking money, otherwise he will be unable to
stay on in Oxford (_Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series_).

[183] There is, of course, the usual legend that Rotheram built this
addition as “conscience-money” for his defalcations as Bursar.

[184] The Rotherams of Luton in Bedfordshire were descended from the
Archbishop’s brother, to whom he had bequeathed that estate.

[185] Baker’s _History of St. John’s, Cambridge_ (edit. Mayor), p. 208.

[186] The intrusive dog occurs several times in College orders.
The most noteworthy entry is perhaps that of 30th June, 1726:--“No
gentleman-commoner, or commoner, whether graduate or undergraduate,
shall keep a dog within the College. The Bursar is required to see that
all dogs be kept out of the Hall at meal-times.”

[187] Previously, the College meetings had been held in the Rector’s

[188] The rooms which Wesley occupied in College are said, by
tradition, to be those over the passage from the first quadrangle into
the chapel quadrangle.

[189] This sermon, esquire-bedell G. V. Cox notes, was “two and a half
hours long,” and the sitting it out made a vaca