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. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1959.

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'The University of Cambridge: Chancellors', in A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 3, the City and University of Cambridge, ed. J P C Roach( London, 1959), British History Online [accessed 23 July 2024].

'The University of Cambridge: Chancellors', in A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 3, the City and University of Cambridge. Edited by J P C Roach( London, 1959), British History Online, accessed July 23, 2024,

"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. Ed. J P C Roach(London, 1959), , British History Online. Web. 23 July 2024.


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