The University of Cambridge


Victoria County History



J. P. C. Roach (editor)

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'The University of Cambridge: Chancellors', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 3: The City and University of Cambridge (1959), pp. 331-333. URL: Date accessed: 29 November 2014.


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c. 1246Hugh de Hotton. (fn. 2)
1256Reginald Gerninghall.
1257Stephen Hepworth.
1259William de Ludham.
1260Richard de Gedney.
1261Richard Dryfield.
1267John de Asgarby.
1270–5John Hooke.
1276Roger de Fulbourn.
1283Andrew de Gisleham.
1286Thomas Sheringham.
1287Stephen Hepworth (recurs).
1289–90Ralph de Leicester.
1290–2Geoffrey de Pakenham.
1293–5Henry de Boyton.
1295–6John de Bradenham.
1296–9Thomas de Sheringham (recurs).
1299Stephen Hepworth (recurs).
1300–3Stephen Haslingfield.
1303–7Stephen de Segrave, later Archbishop of Armagh. (fn. 3)
1307Stephen Haslingfield (recurs).
1315Richard de Ashton.
1321–6Roger Northburgh, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry.
1326–9Richard de Badew.
1329–31Thomas de Foxton.
c. 1330 (fn. 4) Robert de Winwick.
1331–4John de Langley.
1334–5Robert Mildenhall.
1335–7Henry de Herwarden.
1337–9Richard Harling (or Ling).
1340Robert de Claydon.
1341Thomas de Northwood.
1344Thomas de Northwood (recurs).
1346–8John de Crakhall. (fn. 5)
1348Thomas de Grantchester.
1348William de Lymbergh.
1349–51Richard de Wetherset (or Hetherset, Wetheringsett; alias de Cantabrigia).
1351Richard Harling (recurs).
1352Anthony de Grantchester.
1352–9William Tynkell.
1359–60Thomas Sutton.
1360–1Richard de Wetherset (recurs).
1361–2Michael de Haynton.
1361–6Michael de Causton.
1366–9William de Gotham.
1369Thomas de Stewkley, Abbot of Colchester.
1371John de Donwich.
1373–4Adam de Lakenheath.
1374John de Donwich (recurs).
1376William de Gotham (recurs).
1378–9Richard Scrope, later Archbishop of York.
1380Eudo (or Guy) Zouche.
1380–1John Cavendish.
1382Guy Zouche (recurs).
1382–3John de Bromyard.
1383John de Neketon.
1384John de Burgh (or Borough).
1385Thomas Hetherset (or de Hethersett).
1386John de Burgh (recurs).
1388William Colvile, Abbot of Canterbury.
1390–1Richard Dereham.
1391William Colvile (recurs).
1392John de Neketon (recurs).
1394William Colvile (recurs).
1396Guy Zouche (recurs).
1400–2Richard Billingford.
1404–8Richard Dereham (recurs).
1409–13Richard Billingford (recurs). (fn. 6)
1414Stephen le Scrope.
1415–22John de Rickingale, later Bishop of Chichester.
1422–3Thomas de Cobham.
1424–6Robert Fitzhugh, later Bishop of London.
1426William Wymbell.
1427Marmaduke Lumley, later Bishop of Carlisle and Bishop of Lincoln.
1429–30John Holbroke.
1431–2William Lascells.
1432Richard Billingford (recurs).
1433–5Richard Cawdray.
1436–45John Langton, later Bishop of St. David's.
1445–6Nicholas Kenton.
1447John Langton (recurs).
1448Robert Ascogh.
1450–1Nicholas Close, Bishop of Carlisle and later Bishop of Lichfield.
1451–6William Percy, Bishop of Carlisle.
1456–8Laurence Booth, Bishop of Durham and later Archbishop of York.
1458William Wilflete (or Wolflet).
1459–60Robert Woodlark.
1461Richard Scroope, later Bishop of Carlisle.
1462–3Robert Woodlark (recurs).
1463–4John Booth, later Bishop of Exeter.
1464William Wilflete (recurs).
1465–8John Harrison (or Herrison).
1466William Wilflete (recurs).
1468–9Edward Story, Bishop of Carlisle and later Bishop of Chichester.
1469–71Thomas Rotherham (or Scot), Bishop of Rochester and later Bishop of Lincoln and Archbishop of York. (fn. 7)
1471–2Edward Story (recurs).
1473–9Thomas Rotherham (recurs).
1479–83John Boynton.
1483–5Thomas Rotherham (recurs). (fn. 8)
1490Thomas Cosyn.
1494–6John Blythe, Bishop of Salisbury.
1496–9George Fitzhugh.
1499–1500Thomas Rotherham (recurs).
1500Richard Fox, Bishop of Durham and later Bishop of Winchester.
1502George Fitzhugh (recurs).
1503Thomas Ruthall (or Rowthall), later Bishop of Durham.
1504–35John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester.
1535–40Thomas Cromwell, later Earl of Essex.
1540–7Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester.
1547–52Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset.
1552–3John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland.
1553–5Stephen Gardiner (re-elected).
1556–8Reginald Pole, Archbishop of Canterbury.
1559–98William Cecil, Lord Burghley.
1598–1601Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex.
1601–12Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury.
1612–14Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton.
1614–26Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk.
1626–8George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.
1628–49Henry Rich, Earl of Holland.
1649–51Edward Montagu, Earl of Manchester.
1651–60Oliver St. John.
1660–71Edward Montagu, Earl of Manchester (restored).
1671–4George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.
1674–82James Scott, Duke of Monmouth.
1682–8Christopher Monk, Duke of Albemarle.
1689–1748Charles Seymour, Duke of Somerset.
1748–68Thomas Pelham-Holles, Duke of Newcastle.
1768–1811Augustus Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Grafton.
1811–34William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester.
1834–40John Jeffreys Pratt, Marquis Camden.
1840–7Hugh Percy, Duke of Northumberland.
1847–61Prince Albert, the Prince Consort.
1861–91William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire.
1892–1908Spencer Compton Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire.
1908–19John William Strutt, Baron Rayleigh.
1919–30Arthur James Balfour, Earl of Balfour.
1930–47Stanley Baldwin, Earl Baldwin of Bewdley.
1948–50Jan Christian Smuts.
1950–Arthur William Tedder, Baron Tedder.


1 To a great extent the authority for the list printed here is Alumni Cantabrigienses, ed. J. and J. A. Venn. The Historical Register of the University of Cambridge . . . to 1910, ed. J. R. Tanner (1917) was also used in its compilation, but the names of the chancellors listed there on pp. 15–19 for which there is no sound evidence have been omitted from the present list, and the details in Venn, Alumni, have usually been preferred to those in the Historical Register. Other sources used for compiling the present list include Cooper, Annals; Fuller, Hist.; Complete Peerage; and D.N.B. In the list, the first date given against each name is that of election.
2 Hotton is the earliest known Chancellor; the earliest known reference to a Chancellor is in 1226: New College, Oxford, 'Liber Niger', f. 37; see also H. E. Salter, 'The Beginning of Cambridge University', E.H.R. xxxvi (1921), 419–20, and Newington Longeville Charters, ed. Salter (Oxford Record Soc. 1921), 70, in both of which the number of the relevant folio of the 'Liber Niger' is wrongly given. See also above, p. 151.
3 In Segrave's absence Richard de Ashton (Chancellor in 1315) was his deputy: Venn, Alumni.
4 The date given for Winwick's chancellorship is doubtful, especially since there is no gap in the list of Chancellors between 1321 and 1339. No better date than c. 1330, however, can be found. Another reputed 14th-cent. Chancellor is Oliver Deincourt; the only indication of his period of office is that he died before 1392: Venn, Alumni. A third reputed 14th-cent. Chancellor should here be mentioned; Thomas de Cobham, Bishop of Worcester (d. 1327). That he was ever Chancellor has been disputed in D.N.B., where it is suggested that he has been confused with a Chancellor of the same name who held the office 1422–3. The date of Bishop Cobham's chancellorship is given as c. 1320: Venn, Alumni.
5 Probably to be identified with John de Crakhall is a John Clarel, named as Chancellor at an uncertain date in the 14th cent.: Historical Register (1917), 19; Venn, Alumni.
6 During Billingford's absence in Rome in 1412–13 Thomas Ashwell was his deputy, or Vice-Chancellor: Venn, Alumni.
7 Dr. J. A. Venn thinks that there is a possibility that the Chancellors other than Rotherham named between 1471 and 1500 were in fact his deputies, or, in two instances, Vice-Chancellors; in the other three instances separate Vice-Chancellors for the dates concerned are named: Historical Register (1917), 22.
8 For 1485 Thomas Northwood is named as Chancellor and for 1488 Richard Badew: Historical Register (1917), 18. These entries apparently derive from Fuller, Hist. 170; they are extremely suspect, for Chancellors of the same names occur in the 14th cent., and the allegedly 15th-cent. Northwood and Badew, unlike other Chancellors of the same period, have no biographical details under their names in Venn, Alumni. That they were not Vice-Chancellors is clear from the fact that separate Vice-Chancellors are given for 1485 and 1488 in Historical Register (1917), 22.