Magdalen College

A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3, the University of Oxford. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1954.

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, 'Magdalen College', in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3, the University of Oxford, (London, 1954) pp. 193-207. British History Online [accessed 21 May 2024].

. "Magdalen College", in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3, the University of Oxford, (London, 1954) 193-207. British History Online, accessed May 21, 2024,

. "Magdalen College", A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3, the University of Oxford, (London, 1954). 193-207. British History Online. Web. 21 May 2024,

In this section



William de Waynflete, shortly after he had become Bishop of Winchester, received licence (6 May 1448) to found a hall for the study of theology and philosophy, and to endow it with land to the value of £100 per annum. (fn. 1) It was to consist of a President and about fifty graduate scholars, but in fact, as Waynflete's charter of 20 Aug. 1448 shows, there were at the outset only thirteen masters and seven bachelors in arts. The site was to the west of the present Examination Schools, formerly the site of Bostar Hall and Hare Hall, and was leased by the Hospital of St. John the Baptist to Waynflete, who appointed John Horley (or Hornley), B.D., as President. (fn. 2) About this foundation little is known, but it is not to be confused with a second Magdalen Hall, which may have been in existence by 1487 (fn. 3) between the college and Longwall (i.e. on the site of the present St. Swithun's quadrangle) and which was eventually transferred to another site to become Hertford College. The relationship between this second Magdalen Hall and Magdalen College is incapable of exact definition, and the intimacy which undoubtedly existed between the two from an early date is obscured by lack of records. (fn. 4)

Waynflete was already well known as an educationalist—he had been Master of Winchester (1429–42) and Provost of Eton from 1443. His political success during the next decade, culminating in the Chancellorship of England in 1456, made it possible for him to plan the enlargement of his foundation. This was begun in 1458, by a complicated process, (fn. 5) after the surrender of the hospital itself and upon its site. (fn. 6) Horley retired and William Tybard, B.D., Principal of Haberdasher Hall, was appointed as first President. For the next twenty-one years he ruled the college without statutes. When these were given in 1480 Tybard resigned and was succeeded by Richard Mayew, Fellow of New College, whom Waynflete appointed in August. (fn. 7)

Waynflete's charter of incorporation (30 Sept. 1457) had named only the President and six scholars, four of whom came from Magdalen Hall. It is not known what happened to the other members of the hall, nor can we trace the growth of the college from this time to the numbers determined by the statutes of 1480. But the decayed hospital had only a master and four chaplains and until new buildings were ready in 1480 (fn. 8) it is unlikely that accommodation could be found there for many.

Mayew was amicably received by Tybard on the 23rd and next day he addressed the college, took the oath, and produced some statutes. (fn. 9) The 'Founder's Statutes', as we now have them, are printed from a notarial copy of 1 June 1487, and were clearly not all given at the same time. (fn. 10) They represent a closed system not to be altered by successive presidents, fellows, or visitors, (fn. 11) and as the ultimate source of authority until the middle of the 19th century deserve a full consideration. In substance much was taken from the statutes of New College, for which Waynflete had a high regard, exemplified by his rule that future presidents were to be taken from the past or present fellows of Magdalen or New College. (fn. 12) The foundation consisted of a President, forty fellows, thirty scholars called demies (semi-comunarii), four chaplain priests, eight clerks, and sixteen choristers. There were also a Master and an Usher to look after the Grammar School (q.v.). The government of the college was in the hands of the President, who had wide but vague powers, limited only by the necessity of acting with the thirteen seniors—who until the later 19th century formed in practice the governing body—or with the whole body of fellows in matters of great importance, such as the purchase of advowsons. (fn. 13) The President was to live apart, on a more lavish scale than the fellows, only dining in hall occasionally. He was allowed £20 a year, two servants and a groom, entertainment allowance and travelling expenses, and was supplied with plate and household utensils. He alone could be absent when he pleased, and hold ecclesiastical benefices to any amount. (fn. 14) The President was assisted, and in his absence represented, by the vice-president, who was elected annually by the president and the thirteen seniors, and paid 26s. 8d. a year. The President himself was elected by the whole body of fellows who selected two candidates of whom the thirteen seniors chose one and presented him to the Visitor. There were three deans, two of Arts and one of Divinity, at 13s. 4d. a year, to supervise the studies of the fellows and scholars in Arts, Civil Law and Medicine, and Divinity. (fn. 15) The duties of the chief college servants, the manciple, subdispensator (for pantry and buttery), cook, porters, groom, and washer-woman, are also specified. (fn. 16) The President and thirteen seniors elected three of the fellows to act jointly as bursars, at 13s. 4d. a year each. (fn. 17) They were assisted by a permanent clerk of accounts.

In the annual filling up of vacant fellowships regard was to be had for the skill of candidates in plainsong. They were to be tonsured, and to become priests as soon as possible, but not to serve other cures, except the nearby one of Horspath. In all cases they were to be chosen from certain counties or dioceses where the college had estates. (fn. 18) The demies were to be not less than 12 years of age and not to hold their emoluments, which were half those of a fellow, after the age of 25. They were already instructed in plainsong when elected, and were thereafter taught grammar, logic, and sophistry. The necessity for a thorough grounding in languages was fully recognized by Waynflete, as is evident from his placing a grammar school side by side with his college, and by his continued vigilance to see that demies should not advance to logic and sophistry before they had been thoroughly grounded in grammar. (fn. 19) In the early years the demies did not often become fellows, but about the beginning of Elizabeth's reign the custom grew up of admitting them to fellowships by regular succession, and this continued till 1854. (fn. 20)

The fellows, too, were to learn logic and sophistry for the first three or four years. They were instructed by the senior fellows (at 6s. 8d. a pupil), just as the younger demies were taught by one or two of the more senior.

More advanced teaching in theology and natural and moral philosophy was offered by the three praelectors. These were elected by the President and thirteen seniors. The two in philosophy received an additional 10 marks each; the theologian 10 pounds. (fn. 21) This was a new feature—the establishment of readers who instructed men from other colleges as well as their own. It was an essential part of the founder's plan that, as with his schools in Oxford and at Waynflete, part at any rate of the teaching should be done openly, publicly, and freely to all comers. (fn. 22) All the fellows had to attend these lectures, except two or three excused by the President who were to study in canon and civil law, and two or three who might study medicine. The praelectorships were open to any M.A.s or B.A.s of sufficient merit without restriction to counties or dioceses.

Detailed regulations were given for the disputations and cursory lectures of B.A.s, particular attention being drawn to mathematics and astronomy.

Every year the President was to examine the behaviour and progress of all scholars and fellows, and three times a year at least the statutes were to be read to them. (fn. 23) The religious observances of the new society were minutely laid down, as regards daily services with special commemorations, anniversaries, and obits of benefactors. (fn. 24) There was legislation, too, for the daily life and discipline of the fellows. No hounds, hawks, cards, or dice were allowed, no extravagant dress, Latin was to be spoken. No fellow was to be absent for more than sixty, and no demy for more than thirty, days in one year, and not more than ten fellows were to be absent at one time. (fn. 25) In any case of absence, even to pass the night out of college, the leave of the President and the dean of the relevant faculty was necessary. They were not to linger in hall after dinner, except on saints' days, when there was a fire. (fn. 26)

Waynflete died on 11 Aug. 1486 and was buried at Winchester, (fn. 27) but he had lived to authorize at Magdalen a side of college life of the greatest importance for the future history of the University. The medieval college consisted merely of a strictly limited number of foundationers, for the promotion of advanced study and research. With undergraduates, who lived in halls, it had little to do. The new feature was the legalization of commoners (commensales) or persons up to the number of twenty who were not on the foundation but were allowed to live in college and pay their way. They were to be the sons of noble or worthy persons, (fn. 28) and were later described as gentleman-commoners, and were all under what would now, at some colleges, be called 'moral tutors'. (fn. 29) From this new development Magdalen can claim to be not merely the last of the medieval colleges, but the first of the modern ones. (fn. 30) The problem of unattached students remained, however, of great importance. In 1581 all matriculated persons must by statute reside in a college or hall.

The life of the college for the first century of its existence was monastic in flavour, but it was by no means out of touch with events. There were visits by the founder and Edward IV (20 Sept. 1481), the founder and Richard III (19 Apr. 1483), (fn. 31) and by Henry VII in 1486–7 and 1487–8. (fn. 32) On the first of these occasions Waynflete brought 800 books for the library. A few months later (July 1482) Mayew brought further statutes, after which there were many elections to fellowships and demyships, and it is from this time that the college may be regarded as fully established. (fn. 33) Mayew was much employed by Henry VII, and he and his successors until at least 1589 had a permanent London lodging. (fn. 34) Indeed, his frequent absences and his appointment in 1504 as Bishop of Hereford resulted in a loss of discipline in the college and in his own unwilling resignation. For in the 15th century the absence of a President left the college like a school without a headmaster. (fn. 35) This is clearly seen in the visitation of 1507, which reads like any other medieval episcopal visitation. There is much puerile tale-telling, besides the revelation of faults that five centuries of experience have failed to eradicate. Fellows are delated because they have stayed out for the night, others are too fond of cards or hunting; spoken Latin is falling into disuse, drinks in hall do not arrive until the meal is nearly over, and one of the fellows has baptized a cat. A second visitation in 1520 provides similar material. (fn. 36) It was still normal in the first half of the next century for the Visitor to regulate in detail the life of the college, but in the 18th century this was not so, and this lack of external guidance may well be regarded as an additional cause of the prevailing laxity. (fn. 37)

During these early years the college had frequently to migrate on account of the plague. The move was always to its own property, at Ewelme (1487–8), Witney and Wallingford (1500–4, each year), or to the hospital at Brackley (1508, 1533, 1544, 1563, 1571), (fn. 38) but in the last quarter of the 16th century leave of absence was granted instead on such occasions (fn. 39) and this tended to become normal, though scarcity of grain was sometimes alleged as the reason, from the beginning of August till Michaelmas. (fn. 40)

The system of accounting which emerges from numerous scattered phrases in the statutes and the extant rolls and books was in no way new. On the contrary it was, and long remained, as elsewhere in Oxford, typically medieval. The administration hinged upon the Easter progress to view the estates made by the President accompanied by a fellow and the clerk of accounts, and an autumnal progress made by a fellow and the clerk. The audit of estate accounts was made, as elsewhere, in October or November at Oxford. (fn. 41) The 'commons' of the foundationers was to vary in value according to the price of corn. This was desirable, though the wealth of the new foundation was from the first considerable, the total receipts in 1487–8 (a plague year) being nearly £700, in 1504 £1,128, including loans, (fn. 42) and over £2,000 in 1552. In the Valor Ecclesiasticus the revenue is given as £1,076, more than that of any other college. Three bursars shared the administration of the college and its estates. (fn. 43) These, scattered over England south of Trent, were increased by further gifts from Waynflete. Sir John Fastolf, a wealthy soldier and landowner, died in 1450, leaving Waynflete as one of his executors. After much litigation the latter succeeded (in 1467) in acquiring some of the Fastolf property for his college. (fn. 44) He also procured for it in 1469 the decayed Priory of Sele, and Romney Hospital in 1481. (fn. 45) The annexation of Wanborough College, and of Brackley Hospital, which had originally belonged to Lord Lovell, followed in 1483 and 1484 respectively. (fn. 46) In 1484 the founder had in Selborne Priory in Hampshire (with the churches of Selborne and Basing) discovered another decayed priory for his college, and next year yet another hospital, at Aynho. (fn. 47) Thomas Danvers was the late patron of this, and he further gave Findon rectory in 1502. (fn. 48)

Among early benefactors, Thomas Ingledew in 1461 gave 723 marks to endow two chaplain fellows from the dioceses of York or Durham, (fn. 49) and James and William Preston gave 600 marks in 1487. (fn. 50) About the same time John Forman, formerly a fellow of the original Magdalen Hall, endowed a fellowship from the county of York. (fn. 51) Mr. Richard Guldford gave £200 to buy land in Swaby, co. Linc., in 1520. (fn. 52) The income from this and from a number of other benefactions was meant to improve the lot of the fellows and demies by annual exhibitions. (fn. 53) To this end Dr. Higdon, sometime President, gave £180 to buy land in Horsington, co. Linc., in 1532; Mr. Robert Morwent, late fellow, gave £80 for land in Standlake, co. Oxon., and these two joined with Claymond in giving a further £60 for land in Standlake. In 1532 Claymond also left a large property worth more than all these three benefactions put together. (fn. 54) There seems to have been a policy of consolidating college property in Standlake. The first twelve benefactors are still commemorated in chapel services, but the list was not extended after 1560.

On Mayew's departure John Harman or Veysey, a former fellow and afterwards Bishop of Exeter (1519–51), was elected, but he would not accept the office. (fn. 55) He was succeeded by John Claymond (1507–16), an excellent latinist and a good man, the friend of Erasmus and More, a former demy and fellow of the college. He was also a close friend of Bishop Fox, who may have suggested his election, for in 1516 Fox appointed Claymond to rule his new foundation of Corpus. The connexion between the two colleges was a close one, for Fox also took from Magdalen his first vice-president, Robert Morwent (fellow and lecturer in Logic). With them went Edward Wotton, and they were soon followed by Reginald (afterwards Cardinal) Pole. Claymond, a man of European reputation, was a great loss, but he did not forget his college. His generous benefactions—he was a pluralist of considerable wealth—were made after he had gone to Corpus.

Under Claymond's friend John Higdon, fellow c. 1495–1505, (fn. 56) the college passed a severe but uneventful decade, only notable for the second visitation, in 1520, by Bishop Fox, which justified the President's behaviour. (fn. 57) His rule was certainly satisfactory to his former colleague, Cardinal Wolsey, who appointed him as the first Dean of Cardinal College. Wolsey was a fellow c. 1491–1501, being junior bursar in 1499, senior bursar 1499–1500, (fn. 58) and Dean of Divinity in 1500. With Wolsey as chaplains were three Magdalen men—Laurence Stubbs, Robert Cartar, and Richard Stokys—and his principal agent in his dealings with the University was John Longland, a former fellow. Magdalen also provided four of the original canons of Cardinal College, a further proof, if it were necessary, of the vitality and eminence of Waynflete's foundation.

For a short time after Higdon, another of Wolsey's friends, Laurence Stubbs, was President, but in 1527 he resigned. (fn. 59)

When Lutheranism came to Oxford from Cambridge by way of Cardinal College it quickly found a home at Magdalen with Thomas Garret or Garrard, and at Magdalen Hall, under Tyndall. But with Knollys as President, and with Wolsey's help, their activities were restrained. The college was little affected by the epoch-making events of the thirties. In 1534 it underwent a visitation by Cranmer and another by royal commissioners, as a result of which it formally accepted the political Reformation and established a Greek lectureship. When Knollys's quiet but progressive rule ended with his death in 1536, Cromwell was able to secure the election of his nominee Owen Oglethorpe, a fellow since 1524, and at that time Praelector in Moral Philosophy. The election was probably a popular one and Oglethorpe a strong character, for the next ten years were a period of considerable activity in the college, and temporally, at least, it prospered, the President himself receiving rapid and abundant ecclesiastical rewards. But spiritually there was a growing cleavage. (fn. 60)

Although during the Reformation the college on the whole was moderately Protestant, there was an advanced reforming party among the younger fellows, and those led by Bickley and Bentham, before the Royal Commission of 1549, committed a number of outrages in the chapel, and made the sudden changes of the period more noticeably violent at Magdalen than elsewhere. Pictures, images, and service-books were destroyed, and there was much obscure commotion. Radical and injudicious reforms were ordered by the council in February 1550, but were successfully opposed by the whole college as totally incompatible with the founder's statutes. One of the more mysterious injunctions had been that there should always be an Irishman among the fellows. An ill-conceived attempt to suppress the grammar school met with strong opposition from the city, which realized the necessity for 'the continuance of this only school of all the shire'. Within the college there were found reformers enough to petition the council against Oglethorpe (1550), as one who was disobedient to the injunctions and reactionary in policy. For the time his defence was successful, and he was not too reactionary to entertain the distinguished reformers Bucer and Peter Martyr in this year, and Coverdale the next. Unable, however, to dam the rising tide of opposition, Oglethorpe resigned in September 1552 in favour of Walter Haddon, Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Though a distinguished scholar and a royal nominee, Haddon had no connexion with the college and was not qualified for election under the statutes. Thus the reformers triumphed. Bickley became vice-president, and for nearly a year the college was ruled by the extreme Protestants. The outstanding achievement of this régime was the sale of the chapel plate and vestments for about a twentieth of their value. But the accession of Queen Mary meant a reversion to the old order. Haddon at once obtained leave of absence and shortly afterwards resigned. The extremists followed his example. Some, like John Foxe, the martyrologist, had already gone abroad. There was now a visitation by Gardiner, who had been restored to Winchester, and nine fellows (including Bickley, Mullins, Bower, Williams, Paley, and Bentham) were ejected by the Commissaries. The remainder re-elected Oglethorpe as President, but he resigned eighteen months later. (fn. 61) In this, and many other elections of the period, Robert Morwent, sometime a fellow, received numerous votes. Oglethorpe's successor, Arthur Cole, was not a healthy man and died in office three years after he was elected. Thomas Coveney, who followed him, was a doctor of medicine, and was not a priest at the time of his election, but it was for reasons of nonconformity that the Visitor deprived him in 1561.

Of this period Wood tells us that the fellows 'suffered much by expulsion, punishments, and I know not what', (fn. 62) but in this and other matters he is inaccurate. Punishments inflicted were the usual ones, and for disciplinary not religious reasons. There was no great suffering under the Marian reaction. Wood is on firmer ground when he complains of intellectual deficiencies, due in part to a rapidly fluctuating body of fellows, many of whom were quite young. The choice of Laurence Humfrey, who had returned from three years' exile at Zürich in 1556, indicates the theological tone of the college at this time, for Humfrey was a learned Calvinist. (fn. 63) His influence was reflected in the strong puritan tone of the Elizabethan House of Commons, for many of its members had been to Magdalen, which he was accused of stocking 'with a generation of non-conformists which could not be voted out in many years after his decease'. (fn. 64) In the latter half of his long presidency a strong Protestant party was led by Edward Gellibrand (fellow 1573–88), (fn. 65) and in spite of a reaction in the time of Nicholas Bond, Magdalen was still in 1610, the year that John Hampden came up as a commoner, described as 'the very nursery of Puritans'. (fn. 66) Bond himself, a former fellow and one of Elizabeth's chaplains, was recommended by the queen and naturally unwelcome to the Puritan party. Though Humfrey was learned and able—his Vita Juelli is an important historical source—he had an excessive regard for details of ecclesiastical vestments and academical dress, and his eagerness for worldly gain was one of the causes of that neglect which led to so much disorder in the college in his later years. His attention was further distracted by his being Vice-Chancellor between 1571 and 1575, and in the latter year he had to expel three fellows. It is hardly surprising that the Visitation of 1585 and the consequent injunctions revealed serious abuses. (fn. 67) Statutory provisions about elections to fellowships had been disregarded. The buildings, the estates, and the accounts were neglected. The lectures, grammar teaching, and chapel services are all the subject of severe and seemingly well-merited strictures. (fn. 68) Humfrey had admitted more commoners (fn. 69) than the twenty allowed by the founder, and with them too many 'poor scholars', who in future are not to exceed thirteen in number, one under the supervision of each of the thirteen senior fellows. Nevertheless the numbers must soon have grown again, and in 1629 there are further regulations for their admission. (fn. 70) The Visitor's Injunctions of 1664 allowed doctors, M.A.s, and B.C.L.s to retain poor scholars as servitors on payment of caution-money. (fn. 71) The size of the college can be seen from the Matriculation Register. In the first, of 1565, Magdalen stands second to Christ Church, with 132 names, including servants, i.e. a thirteenth of the whole strength of the University. The income about the same time was about £1,200. (fn. 72) By 1651 the college consisted of 220 members, including servants. (fn. 73) Throughout the period Magdalen was generally regarded as second only to Christ Church in importance, and in 1607 it was spoken of by the Archbishop of Canterbury as 'one of the Principall Colledges of that University, whereunto there is often access of great personages, both of this and forraine nationes'. (fn. 74)

The college, however, rallied to the Stuart cause in 1642. It is said that all the plate, even the Founder's Cup, was sent away to be melted down, (fn. 75) but this cannot be literally true, because after the Restoration the college brought an action against Dr. John Dale, who admitted having sold two pieces of plate when he was bursar in 1650, and there was some question of the college plate having been entrusted to him in 1648. (fn. 76) But Magdalen certainly gave more than most, if not all other colleges. (fn. 77) The unanimous election in 1626 of the Vice-President, Accepted Frewen, who in spite of his name and parentage was a High Churchman, ushered in a period of orderly progress which lasted until the Civil War. There were many improvements in the chapel and the walks, the question of the 'poor scholars' was settled for some time, and the Laudian Statutes occasioned no noticeable dissent.

During the war Prince Rupert may have had his quarters here. One of the fellows, Dr. John Nourse, D.C.L., raised a troop of undergraduates and was killed at Edgehill. (fn. 78) While the Royalists held Oxford, Magdalen was obviously important as commanding the London road and the bridge over the Cher. The 'ordnance and great guns' were parked in the college grove, where, too, the University regiment first mustered under the Earl of Dover on 14 May 1644. The same month saw the resignation of Frewen, who had become Bishop of Lichfield, and the succession of John Oliver.

When Oxford surrendered in June 1646 £2,000 worth of chapel ornaments were carried off. (fn. 79) There were no elections at Magdalen this year. In 1647 came the Parliamentary Visitors and removed Oliver, putting in his place John Wilkinson, who had been appointed by Parliament and was a Visitor. (fn. 80) In May the members of the college were asked individually whether they would 'submit to the authority of Parliament in this visitation', but only some half-dozen of the fellows submitted and about twenty-eight were expelled, as against five and twenty-one demies. All the servants except the barber were turned out, and apparently most of the non-foundationers. (fn. 81)

The fortunes of the college in the 17th century were bound up with its loyalty to the Stuart kings until the latter revealed that they proposed to enforce the Roman Catholic religion. Thus the college suffered from two sets of intruded fellows. The first invasion, by the Parliamentary Visitors in 1647, brought fellows, some of whom came from Magdalen Hall and were probably not unknown: others came from Cambridge (England), and one from Cambridge (Mass.). (fn. 82) The contrast between these and the fellows sent in 1688 is marked: James II sent men whose sole qualification for a fellowship was their religion. The same may be said of the contrast between Tudor and Stuart nominations to the presidentship. James II's predecessors had often nominated presidents, but James himself nominated the wrong man in the wrong way.

In May 1649 the Parliamentary generals, Fairfax and Cromwell, were entertained at Magdalen. (fn. 83) In July the statutory cash reserve, consisting largely of Edwardian 'Spur-royals' and at that time worth about £1,500, was discovered and embezzled by the foundationers. (fn. 84)

On the death of Wilkinson in 1650 Parliament appointed Thomas Goodwin, a Cambridge man and a strong Independent, popularly known as 'Nine-caps'. He had ten years of apparently uneventful rule, before John Oliver was restored on petition to the House of Lords. This led to another Visitation and to the restoration of seventeen fellows and eight demies. (fn. 85)

When Oliver died in 1661 Charles II required the fellows to elect Thomas Pierce, the Reader in Theology, which they therefore did. But the slackening of political tension had released all the worst academical passions, and in contrast with the comparative calm of the Commonwealth, the first ten years after the Restoration saw nothing but trouble and strife. A quarrel between Dr. Henry Yerbury and the President involved an appeal to the Visitor and then to the King's Council, (fn. 86) but in this and other disputes neither the President nor the Visitor displayed much tact and the Crown did not strengthen their position by its constant interference. Charles II frequently 'recommended' candidates for fellowships, and on Pierce's resignation he 'recommended' Henry Clerke, M.D., a layman, as President. If Wood is right, Clerke was 'lazy and idle' and 'let the College rule itself', (fn. 87) and contemporaries speak of the buying and selling of places in his day. Clerke died on 24 Mar. 1687. (fn. 88) Early in April, in pursuit of a Romanizing policy which had already alarmed the University, James II sent a mandate nominating Anthony Farmer, a disreputable and in no way qualified Cambridge person, as the next President. The fellows petitioned against him, and, on the last statutory day, elected John Hough, whom the Visitor at once admitted. The fellows were cited (28 May) before the Court of Ecclesiastical Commission, under Jeffreys, and exposed the incapacity of Farmer, whose claims were pressed no farther. The case now turned on the validity of Hough's election, which was annulled on 22 June. Aldworth, the Vice-President, and Henry Fairfax were suspended, and on 14 Aug. the remainder were instructed to admit Samuel Parker, the Bishop of Oxford, who was also unqualified by statute. A few weeks later the king came to Oxford and harangued the fellows in Christ Church. They, led by Dr. Pudsey, attempted in vain to present a petition, but still, with the exception of Robert Charnock, refused to elect Parker. So on 20 Oct. three Royal Commissioners (with three troops of horse) arrived to visit the college. These were Dr. Cartwright, Bishop of Chester, Sir Robert Wright, Chief Justice of the King's Bench, and Sir Thomas Jenner, a Baron of the Exchequer. They met in the hall on 21 Oct. and argued unsuccessfully with Hough.

Next morning they met in the common room. They saw Hough alone, but he still refused to submit or to give up his keys. After declaring him no longer President they struck his name out of the Buttery-book. Dr. Fairfax was interviewed with a like result. They then saw the fellows as a body, but all except three refused. (fn. 89) In the afternoon Hough, returning 'with a great company', formally protested against the whole proceedings. The audience 'buzzed' and 'hummed' and the Chief Justice was furious. The same evening Hough left Oxford. When the court met again on the 25th it installed Parker by proxy, and broke into the Lodgings.

The attitude of the fellows, perhaps owing to the departure of Hough, weakened somewhat and twentytwo fellows and demies agreed to submit to the intruded President as far as the statutes allowed. (fn. 90) The commissioners were now prepared to go away, and there was some unfavourable popular comment on the behaviour of the fellows. However, at the king's instigation further demands were made upon them at sessions on 28 Oct. and 15 Nov. They took the opportunity to stiffen their resistance and even to explain away their former submission.

And so on 15 Nov. twenty-five of them were expelled (fn. 91) and declared incapable of receiving any preferment. Smith, Charnock, and Thompson submitted and remained. But public opinion was with the expelled fellows and subscriptions were raised for them. Within the college there was great confusion. Parker was in the Lodgings, two Roman Catholics were brought in as fellows on 16 Nov., and ten more were shortly nominated. The demies, in spite of many expulsions, would not obey Charnock as dean.

Matters went from bad to worse after the death of Parker in March. The installation of Bonaventure Giffard as President on the 31st meant that even Thomas Smith rebelled and was, with six others, deprived of his fellowship. Of the whole body of fellows only Hawles and Younger remained. (fn. 92) For another seven months the college suffered, but in October, when the king had begun to realize the effects of his folly, he allowed the Visitor to restore Dr. Hough and the fellows. This restoration took place on 25 Oct. 1688. The names of the intruders were struck out of the books and Charnock (fn. 93) was expelled.

The 'Golden Election' of demies in 1689, under the victorious Hough, augured well for the intellectual harvest of the coming century, which, however, even in its better years, bore sadly little fruit. (fn. 94) In 1693 the uneventful years were broken by the death of the Principal of Magdalen Hall, when Hough unwisely claimed the right to nominate by prescription, and because the hall was, if not itself college property, at any rate on college land. The Vice-Chancellor counter-claimed under the Laudian statute of 1636 and the resultant suit in Common Pleas was won by the University. The college did not recover full possession of the land until Magdalen Hall was transferred elsewhere and ultimately became Hertford College (q.v.). In the 18th century there is little to be chronicled, though there were a number of men distinguished in their own day, (fn. 95) and a few, such as Thomas Warton, William Collins, Richard Chandler, and Edmund Cartwright, (fn. 96) who are still remembered in our own. The presidents were solid but not outstanding men. Rogers, Bayley, Harwar, and Butler left little mark in the history of the college, which like the rest of Oxford reached its nadir about the middle of the century. The period has been immortalized by the acid comments of Gibbon, whose recollections of his fourteen months as a gentleman commoner (1752–3) at the age of 15, are substantially true. (fn. 97) Undergraduates were few and those who wished to be idle received little encouragement to work, but the strictures of Gibbon are of more than local application, and the 'monks of Magdalen' could not be expected to anticipate the verdict of posterity upon an age in which civilization had been accomplished and it only remained to discuss it.

The Jacobites had a foothold in Magdalen until Butler's time. The Non-jurors included Thomas Smith, who thereby lost his fellowship, George Hickes, Dean of Worcester, who had been a 'poor scholar', and John Fitzwilliam, formerly demy and fellow. According to Hearne, Bayley (fn. 98) and Harwar (fn. 99) themselves were Jacobites. Butler, a politically minded Whig, (fn. 100) was a considerable benefactor to his college. Jenner, also President for twenty years, was an undistinguished Professor of Divinity. Horne is remembered for his commentary on the Psalms. He became Bishop of Norwich in 1790, having held the Deanery of Canterbury with the presidentship since 1781.

The venerable Routh (demy 1771, fellow 1775), a man whose views were formed and reputation made before the French Revolution, at the outbreak of which he was 30, did not find it necessary to change his opinions, nor apparently his habit of life or dress, from the time of his election at the age of 36 (in 1791) (fn. 101) to his death sixty years later. As a divine he was considerable; he was accurate and he published much. In his support of the Tractarians he was almost alone among the heads of houses. (fn. 102) In this, perhaps in this alone, he was really up to date: in college matters he preferred to interpret the statutes according to the customs in vogue in his youth. With regard to the demies—a vital matter—his attitude was in question from at least 1814. (fn. 103) Connected with the college, as demies and fellows, during his long reign were: Nassau Senior, the economist (1812); John Rouse Bloxam, the historian of the college; Frederic Bulley, the liturgiologist; William Palmer (1832), the ablest of the Magdalen Tractarians; Richard Durnford, afterwards Bishop of Chichester; Charles Daubeny (1815–67), a pioneer in the promotion of the study of natural science in Oxford; and Charles Reade (1835–84), the novelist. From other colleges came Henry Philpotts in 1795, afterwards Bishop of Exeter, Roundell Palmer in 1834, afterwards Earl of Selborne and Lord Chancellor, and James Bowling Mozley in 1840, Regius Professor of Divinity. Among the demies were also John Conington and Goldwin Smith.

During the 18th century the standards of religion, learning, and education maintained at Magdalen did not noticeably differ from those achieved by other colleges. Oxford as a whole was in a state of torpor. But the revised system of University Examinations introduced by the statute of 1800 and the awakening of Oriel, Christ Church, and Balliol, in the early years of the century, had set a new pace. In the class lists of the first half of the century, however, Magdalen played but a small part. Perhaps it is significant that at Magdalen in 1799 the chains were removed from the books in the library and the library rules were ordered to be printed. The sumptuary laws of 1787 against gentlemen commoners and the regulations for undergraduates of the following year point to a revived consciousness of corporate obligations. (fn. 104) But the revival was not in full swing till about 1850, for Goldwin Smith described Bulley, a lecturer in modern history, as 'about the first, I should think, among the fellows of Magdalen, who thoroughly recognized the duties of education', and it is true that in 1850–1 important measures were taken for improving discipline and tuition. (fn. 105) The approach of the Commission of 1850 led the college to set up a committee in Feb. 1851, and this reported some months later, recommending (1) that gentleman-commoners be limited and examined at entrance; (2) that ordinary commoners be admitted; (3) that a new quadrangle be built for sixty 'poor scholars', each in a single room; (4) that the duties of the praelectors be increased. This, and another scheme proposed in 1854, was blocked by the President. But in the latter year it was decided, against Routh, that the demies should no longer succeed to vacant fellowships as a matter of course, and that they should retire at the age of 25. (fn. 106) It was also decided to admit no more gentleman-commoners. (fn. 107)

The Ordinance of 1857 framed by the Commissioners in pursuance of the statute of 17 & 18 Vic. c. 81, led to more drastic measures. The President lost his veto on the decisions of college meetings, and the territorial restrictions for fellowships and demyships were abolished. Ten fellowships were suspended to pay for the change-over, ten demyships and twenty exhibitions added, and four Waynflete Professorships—including one of Physical Geography which was afterwards dropped—were to be established as money allowed. (fn. 108) Up to ten fellowships were declared to be lay fellowships, the office of President was no longer restricted to fellows of New College or Magdalen. The provisions of the Founder's Statutes in regard to the internal life of the college—study, dress, language, devotions, absence, and many other matters—were declared to be void.

The statutes of 1882, which resulted from the Act of 1877, carried the same work farther (fn. 109) before the reorganized finances had had time to adjust themselves to the strain imposed by the Ordinance of 1857. (fn. 110) Senior demyships not to exceed eight in number were established. (fn. 111) Eleven of the fellowships, to be attached to tutorial or administrative posts, were to be official. The four Waynflete Professorships were increased to six by the addition of Physiology (1883) and Mathematics (1892). Instead of the twenty annual exhibitions a sum of £500 was annually to be set aside. The first Sherardian Professor of Botany under the new statute was appointed in 1884. A seventh chair (Geography not being counted) was attached to the college in 1927 (the Serena Professorship of Italian Studies), and an eighth by decrees of 1936–7 (the Nuffield Professorship of Clinical Medicine).

Under Bulley as President the ordinary commoners increased from 16 to 116. (fn. 112) Bulley was not the man to initiate reform, though he did not oppose it so strenuously as Routh, but it was during his reign that the major changes took place which transformed Magdalen from a society of graduate foundationers to one in which the undergraduates not on the foundation were numerically predominant. It was left for his successor, Herbert Warren (b. 1853, d. 1930), to bring Magdalen into line with the more advanced colleges. Already a markedly successful tutor, he remained President for forty-two years. Thus a space of 137 years (1791–1928) was covered by the reigns of three men. From every point of view Warren's tenure of office was a memorable period in the history of the college. As tutor his encouragement of and even active participation in undergraduate life had helped to raise the college to that position in the University for which it was marked out by its earlier history and its wealth. (fn. 113) Routh and Bulley had both passed the Vice-Chancellorship, so that it was 140 years since a President of Magdalen had been Vice-Chancellor. During his period of office (1906–10), with Curzon as Chancellor, he initiated a policy of University reform which was temporarily held up by the Great War. (fn. 114)

The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, was in residence from 1912 to 1914.

It was only in part owing to the statutory changes that Magdalen began to take a prominent part in scientific studies, for the Daubeny Laboratory was built in 1848 and much was due to the example and teaching of Dr. Charles Daubeny (d. 1867). (fn. 115) It was the work of his pupils to claim for the college its large share of successes in the Natural Science School in the later years of the century and after.

The commissions left unchanged the composition of the choir that served the chapel. At the same time that the college was awakening in educational matters the standard of music was being raised by Sir John Stainer (organist 1859–72) and Sir Walter Parratt (organist 1872–1908). (fn. 116)

One or two customs may be briefly mentioned. The practice of keeping deer in the grove is of considerable antiquity, as the killing of does is mentioned in 1706. (fn. 117) The May Morning hymn Te Deum patrem colimus, sung yearly by the choir from the top of the Great Tower, is supposed to have been composed by Thomas Smith (fellow); it was set to music by Benjamin Rogers, the organist. (fn. 118) The Christmas Eve celebrations with carols in hall date only from about 1840. (fn. 119)

The arms of the college are those used by Waynflete after he had become Provost of Eton. They are: Lozengy ermine and sable, on a chief of the second three lilies argent slipped and seeded or. The motto is a verse of the Magnificat: 'Fecit mihi magna qui potens est.'

The Library.

The following are outstanding among the college's manuscripts: a 12th-century pontifical of Hereford use; the autograph copy of William of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontificum; an illuminated psalter of the early 13th-century formerly belonging to Worcester Cathedral Priory; Cardinal Wolsey's Gospel book written by his scribe Peter Meghen in 1529 and illuminated by a Flemish artist; a companion volume to the Epistle book at Christ Church, written in 1528; the cartularies of Brackley Hospital (13th cent.), the priory of Sele (14th cent.), and the Hospital of St. John the Baptist, Oxford (13th cent.).

Among the notable early printed books are Cicero, De officiis and Paradoxa, printed by Johann Fust and Peter Schöoffer on parchment (Mainz A.D. 1465), and Antonius Andreae, Questiones super XII libros metaphysice, printed by John Lettou in London (A.D. 1480).

The sixteen Greek manuscripts and MSS. lat. 1–247 were catalogued by H. O. Coxe, Catalogus Codd. MSS. Coll. Oxon., 1852, ii, 1–99. The more important manuscripts and printed books were described by W. A. B. Coolidge in Notes and Queries, sixth series, vii (1883).


The college plate has been listed by E. A. Jones, Catalogue of the Plate of Magdalen College, Oxford, 1940, and by H. W. Greene in Macray's Register of Magdalen College, new series, iii (1901), 206–61. Plate weighing over 296 pounds, more than from any other college, was given to the King in 1642 (Gutch, Collectanea, i, 227), and the only pre-reformation pieces now belonging to the college are a chalice and paten of English work, A.D. 1507–27, given by Sir John Noble in 1935. The silver drinking-cup of T. E. Lawrence was given in 1940.


The altar-piece in the chapel is a large painting (79 in. by 62½ in.) of Christ carrying the Cross which was presented to the college in 1745 by William Freeman. It was taken at Vigo in 1702 and brought into England by James, Duke of Ormonde. It has been attributed to various artists, and is a work of the Seville School of the early seventeenth century. In the President's Lodgings there is a monochrome painting on canvas (76 in. by 34 in.) of Christ and the Canaanite Woman, based on the engraving after Annibale Caracci's altar-piece in the Farnese Palace in Rome. From stylistic similarities with the windows of the antechapel it may be assumed to be by Richard Greenbury, and is probably one of the works painted by him for the chapel c. 1630.

The college has no portraits (fn. 120) of outstanding merit, but the painting in the Hall of Prince Rupert (canvas 90½ in. by 57 in.) inscribed on the back as by John Michael Wright 1672 is of some interest. In the President's Lodgings are a portrait of Sir Edmund Isham by Hudson and a pastel drawing by Greenhill of Joseph Harris the actor in the character of Wolsey, signed J. G. and dated 1664.

The glass medallions of Charles I and Henrietta Maria in the oriel window of the Hall are dated 1633.


The present matrix is a copy of a medieval seal and was made possibly in the 18th century. Circular, 65 mm. in diameter. St. Mary Magdalen standing under a crocketed canopy and holding in her left hand a book and in her right hand an ointment-pot. On dexter is the standing figure of St. Peter holding the keys in his right hand and on sinister the standing figure of St. Paul holding his sword in his right hand. St. Peter and St. Paul are flanked by smaller figures of winged angels, the one on the sinister kneeling and the one on the dexter sitting; both are on pedestals and under crocketed canopies. In base is the kneeling figure of the founder, hands in prayer, with a pastoral staff on his right. On the dexter of the founder is his shield of arms lozengy on a chief three lillies, and on the sinister a sword and a key in saltire with a mitre above. Legend: SIGILLŪ CŌE PRESIDETIS & SCOLARIUM: COLLEGEII BEATE MARIE MAGDALENĒI UNIVRSITATE: OXONIE:

The second seal of the Hospital of St. John Baptist is illustrated as No. 2 in the frontispiece of H. E. Salter's edition of the Cartulary of the Hospital of St. John the Baptist, volume iii. Pointed oval 50 mm. by 44 mm.


John Horley or Hornley. (fn. 121), (fn. 122) 18 Aug. 1448–25 Sept. 1457.
William Tybard. (fn. 122) 30 Sept. 1457; resigned 23 Aug. 1480.
Richard Mayew. (fn. 122) 23 Aug. 1480; ceased late in 1506.
John Veysey or Harman. Dec.-Jan. 1506/7; resigned Apr. 1507.
John Claymond. 3 May 1507; resigned 2 Dec. 1516.
John Higdon. 7 Dec. 1516; resigned 6 Nov. 1525.
Lawrence Stubbs. 22 Nov. 1525; resigned 16 Jan. 1527/8.
Thomas Knollys. 6 Feb. 1527/8; resigned 3 Feb. 1535/6.
Owen Oglethorpe. 21 Feb. 1535/6; resigned 27 Sept. 1552.
Walter Haddon. 1 Oct. 1552; resigned 31 Oct. 1553.
Owen Oglethorpe, again. 31 Oct. 1553; resigned 7 Apr. 1555.
Arthur Cole. 22 Apr. 1555; died 18 July 1558.
Thomas Coveney. 2 Aug. 1558; expelled by Visitor 10 Sept. 1561.
Laurence Humfrey. 11 Dec. 1561; died 1 Feb. 1588/9.
Nicholas Bond. 5 Apr. 1589; died 8 Feb. 1607/8.
John Harding. 22 Feb. 1607/8; died 5 Nov. 1610.
William Langton. 19 Nov. 1610; died 10 Oct. 1626.
Accepted Frewen. 24 Oct. 1626; resigned 11 May 1644.
John Oliver. 26 May 1644; deprived 17 Mar. 1647/8.
[John Wilkinson. 13 Apr. 1648; died 2 Jan. 1649/50.]
[Thomas Goodwin. 8 Jan. 1649/50; removed 9 May 1660.]
John Oliver. Restored 12 May 1660; died 27 Oct. 1661.
Thomas Pierce. 9 Nov. 1661; resigned 4 Mar. 1671/2.
Henry Clerke. 5 Mar. 1671/2; died 24 Mar. 1686/7.
John Hough. (fn. 123) 15 Apr. 1687; resigned 29 Mar. 1701.
[Samuel Parker. 14 Aug. 1687; died 20/21 Mar. 1687/8.]
[Bonaventure Gifford. 26 Mar. 1688; removed 25 Oct. 1688.]
John Rogers. 12 Apr. 1701; died 10 Feb. 1702/3.
Thomas Bayley. 25 Feb. 1702/3; died 15 Aug. 1706.
Joseph Harwar. 29 Aug. 1706; died 15 July 1722.
Edward Butler. 29 July 1722; died 29 Oct. 1745.
Thomas Jenner. 13 Nov. 1747; died 12 Jan. 1768.
George Horne. 27 Jan. 1768; resigned 11 Apr. 1791.
Martin Joseph Routh. 28 Apr. 1791; died 22 Dec. 1854.
Frederic Bulley. 5 Jan. 1855; died 3 Sept. 1885.
Thomas Herbert Warren. 13 Oct. 1885; resigned 29 Sept. 1928.
George Stuart Gordon. 17 Nov. 1928; died 12 Nov. 1942.
Henry Thomas Tizard. 25 July 1942; resigned 21 Dec. 1946.
Thomas Sherrer Ross Boase. 13 Feb. 1947.

Ecclesiastical Patronage

* = alternate presentation

* Appleton, R., Berks. Bought 1638.
* Ashbury, with Compton Beauchamp, R., Berks. Granted by Joan Danvers to the founder 1458.
[Ashurst, R., Sussex. Mrs. Sheppard's benefaction, 1820. Sold 1947.]
Aston Tirrold, R., Berks. Bought 1608.
Basing cum Upnately, V., Hants. Selborne Priory, 1485.
Basingstoke, V., Hants. Selborne Priory, 1485.
Beaconsfield, R., Bucks. Bought 1707.
* Boyton, R., Wilts. Bought 1729. United with Sherrington in 1907.
Bramber, R., cum Botolph's, V., Sussex. Sele Priory, 1471. United in 1514.
[Brandeston, R., Norf. 1478. Sold 1884.]
[Bridgeford, East, R., Notts. Alternate presentation given by the founder in 1482. Mrs. Sheppard's benefaction, 1838. Sold May 1939.]
* Candlesby cum Scremby, R., Lincs. Cromwell lands, 1477.
* Dinton, V. with Teffont Magna, C., Wilts. D. Robert Hyde's benefaction, 1722: Now with Baverstock, R., Wilts.
Ducklington, R., with Hardwick Ch., Oxon. Bought 1684.
Emmington, R., Oxon. Bought 1932.
Evenley, V., Northants. Bought in or after 1542.
Findon, V., Sussex. Benefaction of Thomas Danvers, 1502.
[Fittleton, R., Wilts. Bought 1721. Sold 1947.]
* [Horsington cum Stixwold, R., Lincs. Given by Higdon, 1532. Sold 1947.]
Horspath, C., Oxon. Hospital of St. John the Baptist, 1458.
Houghton Magna, R., Northants. Bought 1808.
Ilsley, East, R., Berks. Dr. Thomas Sheppard's benefaction, fell in 1830.
[Otham, R., Kent, with St. John Maidstone. Mrs. Mary Horne's benefaction, 1846. Sold 1946.]
* Saltfleetby, All Saints, R., Lincs. Founder's benefaction, 1477.
Sandford-on-Thames, R., Oxon. (fn. 124)
[Saunderton, R., Bucks. Bought 1725. Sold 1946.]
Selborne, V., Hants. Selborne Priory, 1485.
Sele alias Upper Beeding, V., Sussex. Sele Priory, 1471.
Shoreham, New, V., Sussex. Sele Priory, 1471.
Shoreham, Old, V., Sussex. Sele Priory, 1471.
Slymbridge, R., Gloucs. Benefaction of Thomas Danvers, 1502.
Standlake, R., Oxon. Founder's benefaction, 1482.
Stanway, R., Essex. Bought 1736.
* Swaby, R., Lincs. Bought 1531.
Swerford R., with Showell Ch., Oxon. Bought 1807.
* Teffont Ewyas with Teffont Magna R., Wilts.
Theale, R., Berks. Mrs. Sheppard's benefaction, 1832.
Tilehurst, R., Berks. Dr. Thomas Sheppard's benefaction, 1814.
[Tisted, West, a Donative, Hants. Selborne Priory, 1484. Sold 1947.]
Tubney, R., Berks. Founder's benefaction, 1482.
Washington, V., Sussex. Sele Priory, 1471.
* Grandborough with Willoughby, V., Warw. Hospital of St. John the Baptist, 1458.
Winterbourne Basset, R., Wilts. Bought 1715.
Worldham, East, V., Hants. Selborne Priory, 1485.


Magdalen Hall, founded by Waynflete in 1448, was situated within the city boundary and on the south side of what is now the High Street, but the purchase and suppression of St. John's Hospital in 1458 provided Magdalen College, founded in the previous year, with a site extra portam orientalem Oxonie and with revenues, to which others were added from the estate of Sir John Fastolf and the possessions of Sele Priory, out of which building costs could be paid. (fn. 125) Political changes, how ever, involving the founder's resignation of his office as Lord Chancellor and the expensive purchase of favour from Edward IV, helped to delay the building of the college, which began only in 1467, with the erection of the boundary walls, a work occupying some seven years. While the walls were rising it would seem prudent to use such of the hospital buildings as were convenient. The college tradition in the 16th century was that the hospital buildings, with one exception, 'weare in a manner defaced and utterly rased in the Founder's tyme', (fn. 126) but it does not follow that they were pulled down immediately and it does not appear that the demolition had in fact been quite so complete as the President and seniors believed in 1596. (fn. 127) The college kitchens, near the Cherwell, incorporate a building perhaps used for the same purpose by the hospital; it is possible that some of the older institution's fabric has been included in the north side of the Cloister Quadrangle; and certainly the hospital chapel survived. It was a building of two stories: the upper one was used, in 1596, for 'diverse lectures and exercises of learning'; the lower one was then 'a stonie vault verie lowe under the grounde and therby unholesome', none the less so, probably, for having, as later excavation was to show, a charnel beneath its floor. This lower story was used as an almshouse (fn. 128) in the 16th and 17th centuries until, in 1665, it was made into chambers. The street front was then altered and brought into line with the buildings to left and right of it. Its position was west of the Tower and east of the present Porter's Lodge: the eastern end of the chapel was near a blocked-up doorway, visible from the High St., once an entrance to the hospital. (fn. 129)

In the absence of complete accounts little can be said in detail about the building of the walls by which the site of the college was mainly, though not entirely, surrounded. (fn. 130) It is, however, known that much of the stone came from Headington and that about 1470 the most important freemason employed by Waynflete was William Orchard. Of the college buildings proper, the first to be begun was the chapel, (fn. 131) the foundation of which was blessed by Robert Toly, Bishop of St. Asaph, in his pontificals, and reverently laid by William Tybard, President of the college, in the middle of the high altar on 5 May 1474. The official in charge of the financial and accounting side of the building operation was Richard Berne, or Bernes, Vice-President from 1469 to 1499, who seems to have followed a conservative policy of keeping expenditure well within the limits of income: at least in the year for which totals are extant that was the fortunate position, the expenditure being £285, out of £381 9s. 6d. received, so that Bernes had £96 9s. 6d. in hand. His accounts show, in some detail, the order and organization of the work. Payment was made for what, in a later age, was called baring the quarries, (fn. 132) i.e. clearing away the soil down to the freebedde or cropperagge stone. The areas thus cleared were, for the time, fairly large, being some 20 or 23 yards square; but in addition to these quarries, at Headington and possibly elsewhere, of which the dimensions are given, stone was obtained from the Abbot of Bruern's quarry at Milton and from Taynton and Wheatley. Each of the latter was in the charge of a mason, who supervised the preparing of stone on the spot and dispatched cartloads of hewn stone for mouldings. (fn. 133) Besides clearing quarries it was necessary also to clear the site of the orchard ubi erit Collegium de novo situandum and to dig out the foundations, work for which the navvies received 4d. a day.

As was the case elsewhere, the stone-workers were of two kinds rowe masones, rough masons, latomi ponentes, i.e. layers, and others called simply latomi, i.e. hewers or freemasons. It is clear, however, that no rigid line could be drawn between them, for some of the rough masons were paid for dressing stone at the quarry (fn. 134) and, on the other hand, freemasons were paid both for hewing and setting. (fn. 135) Probably the hewing done by rough masons was, mainly at least, rough hewing of ashlar for walls or for straight moulded work: the setting done by freemasons was probably not ordinary laying but particular pieces of work where greater precision was required, as for instance, quoins and window traceries. Some of the work was done for a daily or weekly wage, the rates being apparently 6d. a day for a rough mason and 3s. 4d. a week for a freemason, but a good deal of the hewing, like the quarrying and transport, was paid by the piece. (fn. 136)

If, as seems certain, Bloxam's extracts from the building accounts do not extend beyond the year 1474, the work must have gone on apace, for the walls had risen to such a height that a crane was required, or at any rate was obtained in readiness. (fn. 137) Some windows, at least, were in position. (fn. 138) Moreover, a tower in the wall versus portam Collegii had been built and roofed. (fn. 139) Arrangements were also well in hand for the timber work of the chapel and hall. Twenty acres of wood were acquired in Shotover and many of the trees were felled: (fn. 140) others were obtained from the chase of Witney and six great oaks, selected by the master carpenter, John Bowden of Burford, (fn. 141) and Walter his associate, were got from Marlow.

Richard Bernes, from whose accounts these particulars are drawn, had probably little, if anything, to do with the strictly architectural side of the work, (fn. 142) which was the province of William Orchard, or William the Mason. Waynflete, no doubt, determined the general arrangement of his buildings and may have decided some of the details. Certainly he would require to be kept informed of the progress of the work and the fact that Orchard rode to London ad loquendum cum Domino et a London [ad] Waltham (fn. 143) suggests that Waynflete from time to time made his wishes clear. There can, however, be little doubt that Orchard was the architect, in the sense of taking general charge of the work and of designing parts, if not the whole, of it. But it is also clear that, unlike the modern architect, he was a contractor as well.

In 1475 he was described as 'freemason of Oxford', but it is possible that even then he had interests outside the city. Certainly in 1478 the college leased to him, for fifty-nine years, lands at Barton in the parish of Headington. Eight years later this lease was changed into one for life or twenty years at a nominal rent, (fn. 144) the college reserving to itself free ingress and egress to dig and raise stone in its quarries. The agreement, however, concedes to William Orchard all right in certain 2 acres which he had acquired and it is likely that he, too, owned and worked quarries. In 1479 he held a quarry at farm from the king and agreed to set men at work in it to provide stone for the building of Eton College, (fn. 145) which Waynflete then had in hand. Orchard also provided stone for the law school at Oxford in 1482–3. (fn. 146) It is therefore by no means improbable that part at least of his work at Magdalen was wrought in his own stone. (fn. 147)

His supervisory and administrative status is clear first of all from his title, principalis lathomus dicti operis, from his fee of 20s. and his livery of 10s. (fn. 148) It was through him that the Abbot of Rewley was paid for a crane (fn. 149) and by his hands that some of the masons received their money. (fn. 150) Moreover, in addition to his ordinary fee he received 20s. 'pro sua diligencia et attendancia ad superintendum diversis vicibus et ad impedimentum operis sui proprii'. What his own work was is not evident, but in all probability it was the making of windows for the chancel and nave of the college chapel, the shaping of which may well have been done at Headington. For these he received, before the close of Bernes's account, the sum of £74, besides £11 11s. for other work, a total of £85 11s., (fn. 151) which would be as much as an ordinary mason could earn in ten years. Much of the money, no doubt, was on account of materials, but it is quite clear that to supply the workmanship Orchard must have had several masons in his employment.

This is true also of the rest of his work for the college, as the contracts (fn. 152) relating to it show. In Sept. 1475 he agreed with the founder to fashion for the western end of the college chapel a great window of seven lights 'according to the portraiture made by the said William', a provision that clearly indicates a capacity to design tracery. That, indeed, we might well expect from the craftsman to whom the wonderful fan vaulting of the Divinity School, finished some seven years later, is with probability attributed. For the great west window William Orchard was to be paid 20 marks. In addition he agreed to make twenty-two cloister windows (fn. 153) with buttresses at £2 8s. 4d. each; to hew freestone for 12 doors and 102 chamber windows at 6s. 8d. each; and to make windows, each of two lights, for the library at 13s. 4d. each. These, like the other windows, were to be as good as those of All Souls or better. The quantity of work was considerable and the bill, not counting the cost of the library windows, came to more than £104. It was paid in instalments during 1477 and 1478, by which time, probably, we may take it that this part of Orchard's work was finished. (fn. 154) Certainly he was free in Jan. 1479 to undertake work on the ashlar for the buttresses and battlements of the hall, chapel, and library, for the cloister chambers, and for two towers, which were the Muniment Tower and the Founder's Tower. In April of the same year he contracted to make, at 6s. a foot, the vyse or winding staircase of the Founder's Tower, a spire thereon for 9 marks, and pinacles, at 11s. 1d. apiece, for the chapel, hall, and two towers. It is not known exactly when these works were finished; but it is very probable that the buildings were occupied by the summer of 1480. (fn. 155) In August of that year there was commenced the building of a grammar school, just outside the college gates, Richard Bernes being in charge of the work. (fn. 156) Whether William Orchard was the master mason or contractor, there is no evidence to show, nor is it known how quickly the work was carried on. It is, however, probable that the founder saw it in a finished condition when he came to Oxford in 1483. By that time also, probably, the northern, eastern, and western walks of the cloister were in large part built, if not completed, and Orchard's contribution to the building of the college had perhaps been made. He survived Waynflete by fifteen years or more, (fn. 157) but he does not appear to have been employed on the building work undertaken after the founder's death in 1486. By that time the first additions to the President's lodgings and a house connected with the Song School were in progress: (fn. 158) their completion may perhaps be taken as marking the end of the first phase of the building of the college, carried on under the active supervision of Richard Bernes.

In the following twenty years the money spent on building was used chiefly to pay for repairs and renewals in connexion with the chapel, the finishing of the south cloister, the erection of buildings between the hospital chapel and the New Tower, and especially the New Tower itself. These operations cannot, unfortunately, be studied by means of detailed particulars of account and the available material consists of entries, sometimes detailed and sometimes not, under separate heads in the bursars' general accounts, each volume of which is entitled Liber Computi. There is, however, sufficient information in most cases to show when, how, and by whom the work was carried on. With regard to the south walk of the cloister quadrangle, indeed, we know very little; not even when it was begun nor whether it was part of Waynflete's plan: (fn. 159) but since the items under the heading Custus Claustri in 1490–1 relate mainly to timber work and plumbing, it is likely that this part of the college buildings was then nearing completion. Payments in connexion with the cloisters were made in subsequent years, but not on any very considerable scale before 1508–9, when a sum of more than £12 was spent on stone and workmanship for the 'gargels'. (fn. 160)

There seems to be little or no hope by now of discovering whom an admiring posterity should credit with the idea of adding the New Tower, or Bell Tower, to the college buildings. The existing belfry, possibly part of the hospital buildings, may have become unserviceable through age; (fn. 161) or Mayew may have wished to leave a lasting memorial of his presidency. The idea, in any event, was sufficiently admired to call forth subscriptions which, to an unknown extent, relieved the college funds of part of the charge. (fn. 162) As with earlier building, the work, of which the 'first corner stone' was laid on 9 Aug. 1492, (fn. 163) was supervised by a fellow; at one time by Richard Gosmore (fn. 164) and later by Thomas Prut. They received and paid money and kept accounts: whether they did anything else, such as arranging for supplies of stone and timber or drafting contracts with workmen, the accounts are too meagre to show. The name of the chief mason employed is given as William Raynold, (fn. 165) but there is little or nothing to suggest that he acted in any directing capacity, either during the first decade of the work or during its final phases, or that he designed it. He was, to judge by the evidence at present available, a craftsman of less repute and substance than William Orchard. In 1494–5 he was employed in hewing relatively small quantities of stone at piece-work rates: (fn. 166) in 1496 he was paid for seven cartloads of Taynton stone for the chapel, and in that year and later was paid for day work, usually at the ordinary mason's rate of 3s. a week, occasionally at 3s. 4d. He certainly had an apprentice, for whose labour he was paid 6d. a day, but William Raynold's status appears to have been no different from that of other masons, such as John Coles and John Gyll, employed by the college on work of the same sort during the same period. (fn. 167) In 1503 and 1504, however, he was clearly more important, for during a period of eighteen months he received £70, usually in instalments of £10, for building the New Tower. (fn. 168) The work was evidently progressing more rapidly then than in previous years: (fn. 169) carpenters' work was in hand in 1503–4 and 1504–5: in the latter year the bells were removed from the old belfry and a clock, the joint product of a mason, a painter, and a brewer, was installed. The tower was not, however, yet finished, for payments to masons, (fn. 170) chiefly for work on the windows, were made in 1506–7, 1507–8, and even 1508–9. Altogether, therefore, the building of the Bell Tower occupied some sixteen or seventeen years, a longer time than was required for the hall, chapel, and most of the cloisters; from which it is evident that the work must have been interrupted by difficulties, possibly financial.

The original intention had probably been for the Bell Tower to stand alone, but that plan was soon given up and by 1509 the buildings between the tower and the hospital chapel to the west and others, at right angles, on the east, had been erected. These additions enclosed the approximately triangular Chaplains' Quadrangle, which has the hall and chapel for its hypotenuse. The few details relating to the novum edificium inter aulam et novam turrim in the bursars' accounts show that some of the masons employed on it had also worked on the cloisters and suggest that part of the work at least was carried out by contract. (fn. 171)

From the date of the completion of the Bell Tower and the buildings at its base there extended a period of about a century, coinciding approximately with the reigns of Henry VIII and his children, during which the building history of the college is a mixed story of construction and destruction, relating mainly to the President's Lodgings and the chapel. Originally the President had been lodged in the Founder's Tower, but, as early as 1485, further accommodation was provided, probably on a site immediately to the west. Complaint was made at the time of the 1520 Visitation that the expenditure on the Lodgings had been excessive, but in 1530 considerable additions and alterations were undertaken, the accounts for which fill five pages of the Liber Computi, and the cost of which came to more than £65, (fn. 172) and further work on a relatively large scale was undertaken in 1557, 1562–3, and 1568. All this expenditure resulted in a roughly L-shaped building, with the wider arm more or less at right angles to the west side of the cloisters, and forming the northern boundary of St. John's Quadrangle.

Internal alteration of the older buildings commenced in 1541 with expenditure under the head of Custus celature in aula, that is, on wood-carving and panelling in the hall, (fn. 173) much of the materials being bought in London. Ten years later Protestant iconoclasm wrought changes of a different kind. In accord with royal orders issued in the previous November, the high altar was demolished and the wall behind it robbed of its ornaments and plastered. (fn. 174) Early in Mary's reign both the high altar and others were restored, (fn. 175) and in the following years something was done to reproduce the ancient splendour, Henry Bolton, for instance, being paid for carving a crucifix and images of SS. Mary Magdalen and John the Baptist. They did not long remain: the accounts from 1559 to 1564 reflect the contemporary changes in Church and State: copies of the Book of Common Prayer come in; the images go out; the rood loft is demolished; the altars are broken down and taken away. (fn. 176) The 17th century, on the other hand, was a period of extension and restoration. More of the hall was panelled in 1603; a few years later extensive additions were made to Magdalen Hall, including much of the block now known as the 'Grammar Hall'; by 1636 further accommodation had been provided for commoners in buildings near the Cherwell; and in 1635 a new gateway, said to have been designed by Inigo Jones, (fn. 177) was erected in a position practically at right angles to the present entrance. Meanwhile, Accepted Frewen, elected President in 1626, had in that year begun in a Laudian spirit to restore beauty and richness to the chapel, which had suffered so much damage in the previous century. Frewen himself supervised the work and probably spent upon it a good deal of his own money, in addition to the funds provided by the college. These amounted to £100 in 1631–2; during the following two years the annual allocation seems to have been reduced by a third and from 1638 to 1640 it was apparently £40 a year. (fn. 178) The whole outlay, which must have been considerable, paid for repaving the floor in black and white marble, decorating the east wall with pictures, providing stained glass for the ante-chapel and furniture, including the brass lectern still in the chapel. Unfortunately, the tracery of William Orchard's great west window was altered to accommodate a picture in stained glass. Puritanical zeal may have caused some destruction of the chapel ornaments in 1649 or 1651 (fn. 179) but it was less fatal than the iconoclasm of the 16th century, and the damage may have been almost entirely remedied by an expenditure of £23 13s. on glass in 1651. It is not to 17th-century religious prejudices but to changes in taste in a later age that the disappearance of Frewen's work must be attributed.

More than once in the course of the 18th century the ancient fabric of the college was in danger of being swept away in order to make room for new and fashionable buildings. In 1720 Hearne was told by a fellow that 'they unanimously agreed at Magdalen-College to pull down and rebuild the East side of that College', (fn. 180) and in 1724 the architect Hawksmoor wrote to Dr. Clarke that Magdalen was 'a College soe decriped that Repairing any part (except the hall and Chapell) signifys but little, so that the whole must (or ought to be) new'. (fn. 181) A building-fund had already been started, (fn. 182) but nothing was actually done until 1729, when 12 guineas were spent Pro ichnographia novorum aedificiorum. The author of the design is not mentioned, but on 1 Feb. 1730/1, it was 'agreed that the Plan of the New building should be contracted according to the Scheme deliver'd in by Mr Townshend with the addition of the Garretts'. (fn. 183) On 28 July the plan is again referred to as Townesend's, and it seems clear that he was the architect of the New Buildings commenced in Aug. 1733 on a site some 200 ft. to the north of the old cloisters. (fn. 184) It was, however, 'Agreed also to consult Mr Gibbs & Mr Smith (fn. 185) on the aforesaid Plan', (fn. 186) and the influence, if not the hand, of Gibbs can be detected in the treatment of the lower windows of the north front, which are in his characteristic manner. The complete scheme, as engraved by order of the college, (fn. 187) and illustrated in the 1731 Almanack, would have substituted for the cloisters a great classical quadrangle, with a Palladian library projecting from the centre of its west side, flanked by detached houses for the President and the Lecturer in Theology. Of this quadrangle only the northern range was built. Plans for its completion were prepared from time to time by various architects, but none was ever adopted, and in 1824 the incomplete ends (page 196) were faced with ashlar under the direction of Thomas Harrison of Chester. (fn. 188) A further addition was made, some half a century later, in West's Buildings near the Cherwell. Later in the century James Wyatt prepared drawings for a large quad rangle, of which the New Buildings, suitably gothicized, were to constitute the northern side, but this compromise design was abandoned, as also were those of Repton, Nash, and others. (fn. 189) The destructive capacity of Wyatt was, however, given an opportunity to show itself on the hall and chapel. Signs of decay had been noted in their roof timbers in the spring of 1790, and both Wyatt and Pears, a builder whom he employed on much of his work in Oxford, reported their condition as very dangerous. (fn. 190) Estimates were therefore sought for the reconstruction, by Pears under the supervision of Wyatt, the work including the raising of the walls by 3 ft. 6 in., taking down the old roof and substituting a new one with a lath and plaster ceiling below. These alterations between 1790 and 1796 cost over £4,360 and do not appear even to have had the merit of being very sound, since re-roofing with Westmorland slate was required in 1804. (fn. 191)

For about a quarter of a century after Wyatt's changes the buildings were little disturbed, but in 1822 further alterations were begun in circumstances which provoked a public controversy. (fn. 192) An investigation had shown that the roof timbers and the fabric of the northern and eastern sides of the Cloister Quadrangle were in an unsatisfactory, and perhaps dangerous, condition. (fn. 193) Alterations, according to a plan by Mr. John Buckler, were determined upon in July 1822. (fn. 194) An idea had certainly got abroad that the alterations were intended to remove parts of the cloisters merely in order to provide an attractive view from the New Buildings, and the rapidity of the demolition, which began in August, caused some alarm. The senior fellow, Dr. Ellerton, happened to return just in time to prevent the demolition of the east side, to which the builder, Evans, was proceeding, on the same plea of insecurity. By the autumn it was clear that the purpose of the college authorities was not to destroy but to reconstruct the north side, (fn. 195) a work which was completed in 1824. The east side was restored in 1825–6 and the south side in 1827, (fn. 196) the architect for all the work being Joseph Parkinson, of London. In the following year it was decided that the old Grammar School building, also by now unsafe, should be in large part removed but the bell turret was restored and preserved. At the same time the refitting of the chapel interior was resolved upon and a competition, for a prize of one hundred guineas, was arranged in order to procure adequate designs. Out of eighteen competitors, L. N. Cottingham, of London, was adjudged the best and was appointed architect for the work, which was begun in July 1829 and occupied six years or more, (fn. 197) during which Frewen's black-andwhite marble pavement, Wyatt's roof, and much older work was removed, so that little but the shell of Magdalen College Chapel can now claim any considerable antiquity. (fn. 198) The removal of ancient art coincided with the introduction of modern comfort in the form of a heating system. (fn. 199)

The beginning of Queen Victoria's reign thus marked the end of extensive alterations of the older buildings. The 1635 gateway was indeed removed in 1844 and a new one, by Pugin, put in its place, (fn. 200) and in 1845 there was further demolition of the buildings of Magdalen Hall. But the founder's buildings, the Tower, and the adjacent members were never again in danger despite their inadequacy to meet the needs of a greatly increased undergraduate body, one-third of which, by 1875, had to be accommodated outside the college walls. Five years later, work was begun on St. Swithun's Buildings, designed by Messrs. Bodley & Garner, and standing for the most part on the site formerly occupied by Magdalen Hall, between St. John's Quadrangle and Long Wall St. These buildings, ready for occupation in 1884, solved the problem of accommodation for the time, but further additions have been required in recent years, between them and the Grove.


  • 1. Magdalen College Archives, Mortmaynes, no. 1. For Waynflete see Richard Chandler's Life of William Waynflete (London, 1811), which contains a valuable selection of documents, and for the founder's family see also the scholarly work of H. A. Wilson, Magdalen College, chapters i–iv, hereafter cited as 'Wilson'.
  • 2. Magdalen College Archives, chartae regiae, nos. 50–5. Deeds concerning the hall are printed by Dr. Salter in his Chartulary of the Hospital of St. John the Baptist (Oxf. Hist. Soc.), i, 248–65. Some of them are analysed by Chandler, pp. 49–52.
  • 3. W. D. Macray, Register of Magdalen College, Oxford (1894–1915), i, 98. Hereafter cited as 'Macray'. This is a continuation of the more accurate Register of the Demies … of Saint Mary Magdalen College, Oxford, vols. i–vii, by J. R. Bloxam (Oxford, 1853–85), hereafter cited as 'Bloxam'.
  • 4. Cart. Hosp. S.J.B. (O.H.S.), i, 147; cf. Macray, iv, 181.
  • 5. The process of foundation may be shown by tabulation of the relevant deeds: (1) 27 Oct. 1456. The king grants to Waynflete the patronage and advowson of the hospital, which has licence to grant its possessions and the site to the hall (Chart. Reg. 1, 4). (2) 27 May 1457. The master of the hospital agrees to the proposed foundation in return for compensation (ibid. 56 (1)), (3) And on 5 July 1457 grants the hospital to Magdalen Hall (ibid. 57). (4) 18 July 1457. Licence to Waynflete to found his college, giving the bounds (ibid. 82). (5) 28 July 1457. The hall gives the hospital a respite till Michaelmas (ibid. 31). (6) 25 Sept. 1457. The hall conveys the site to Waynflete (ibid. 35). (7) Waynflete nominates and incorporates the President, fellows, and scholars on 30 Sept. 1457, being Tybard and six others, four of whom came from Magdalen Hall (Chartae concessae 42). (8) 13 Oct. 1457. Henry VI's patent for the foundation of the college and incorporation with it of the hospital (ibid. 38). (9) 14 March 1458. Papal permission to suppress the hospital (Chart. reg. 37). (10) 12 June 1458. Foundation charter of Waynflete, printed by Chandler, p. 389 (ibid. 81, 41), naming six fellows, three M.A.s and three B.A.s. (11) 20 June 1458. The President of Magdalen Hall grants the hall and the hospital to Magdalen College, as printed in Cart. Hosp. S.J.B., ii, nos. 946–8 (ibid. 14, 16).
  • 6. The Master received a pension of £40 and each of the four (later reduced to three by default) chaplains one of £10 (Salter, loc. cit. iii, pp. l–li; cf. Chart. Reg. 562).
  • 7. Macray, N.S., vii, 102–14. Tybard died in November and was buried in the chapel.
  • 8. Wilson, p. 28.
  • 9. Macray, i, 5. Mr. Richard Bernys Fellow, was admitted as Vice-President, and Mr. William Colett as Bursar.
  • 10. The Founder's Statutes were printed for the 1850 Commission in 1853 from Bod. Lib. MS. Rawl. Q. c. 14, which is contemporary, collated with Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 1235 (A.D. 1677) and Hargrave MS. 148 (A.D. 1720, but an official copy). Pp. 16, 56–6 (the dispute over the Proctorship) show this. The date is on p. 93.
  • 11. The Bishop of Winchester was to be Visitor. Pope Sixtus IV transferred the college from the diocese of Lincoln to that of Winchester in 1481 (Macray, i, 6).
  • 12. The points of similarity with and difference from the New College Statutes are displayed by Wilson in his third chapter.
  • 13. Cf. the position of the six seniors at B.N.C. The President was not to burden the college beyond the term of forty years by granting perpetual pensions, corrodies, chantries, or the like (Statutes, p. 58).
  • 14. Statutes, pp. 38–40. Fellows, except doctors and the praelectors in theology and philosophy, were not to hold benefices worth in all more than £8 a year (Statutes, p. 46).
  • 15. Statutes, p. 24.
  • 16. Ibid., p. 25.
  • 17. Ibid., p. 27.
  • 18. This restriction seems to have taken place in 1482 (Chandler, Life, p. 156).
  • 19. 'Because, as experience proves, a weak foundation betrays the superstructure, and grammar is acknowledged to be the mother and basis of all science … .' (Statutes, p. 16.)
  • 20. Macray, i, p. vi.
  • 21. Ibid., pp. 47–8. The early history of the Waynflete Praelectors in Natural Philosophy is given by R. T. Gunther in The Daubeny Laboratory Register (Oxford, 1904–24), pp. 141 ff.
  • 22. Archives, chart. reg. 32.
  • 23. Statutes, pp. 31–2.
  • 24. Daily prayers were ordained for Henry III, Edward III, Henry VI, Edward IV, Sir Ralph Cromwell, John Fastolf, the founder's parents, and other benefactors, by each fellow (Statutes, p. 52). The obits of Henry III, Joan Danvers, Francis, Lord Lovell and his wife, William, Earl of Arundel, and Sir Thomas Maltravers (ibid., p. 54). There were also prayers for the Lords Reede and Scures, Joan Borowgh, and Sir—Borowgh (ibid., pp. 63–7).
  • 25. Ibid., pp. 42–5, 69–70.
  • 26. The guests at high table ranged from the more important local tradesmen to the abbess of Godstow and other ladies. The habit of inviting ladies dropped out at the Reformation (Macray, i, 25, 29).
  • 27. Materials for the Reign of Henry VII (Rolls Series, 1877), ii, 67. Two years before his death Waynflete had begun to build and endow a free school at his birthplace. This existed as Magdalen College School, Wainfleet, until 1936.
  • 28. Statutes, p. 60: 'De extraneis non introducendis ad onus Collegii.'
  • 29. Creditors, tutores, et fidejussores (Statutes, p. 127), vulgariter 'creancers' (ibid., p. 60). The regular teachers were not tutores but informatores (p. 78).
  • 30. Another noteworthy feature is the absence of any provision for founder's kin.
  • 31. Magdalen College Archives, Reg. A, fol. 27. Richard was entertained by disputations in which Grocyn, the Divinity Lecturer, took part.
  • 32. Macray, i, 8–9, 11–12, 19; Gairdner, Letters and Papers (Rolls Series, 1861), i, 7. Prince Arthur was three times entertained, and there are fine tapestries in the President's Lodgings representing his marriage with Catharine of Aragon.
  • 33. Wilson, p. 35.
  • 34. Macray, i, 18–19; iii, 26.
  • 35. A decree of January 1495 increases the stipend of the Vice-President because of the President's absences.
  • 36. Macray, i, 39, 43, 47, 71.
  • 37. Macray, iv, 30. A chronological table of visitations, appeals, royal mandates, &c., is given by Bloxam in his Index volume, pp. 158–9.
  • 38. Macray, i, 21, 30–3, 64; ii, 11, 21, 36, 43.
  • 39. Ibid. iii, 5–6, 9, 10.
  • 40. Ibid. 24, 29.
  • 41. Statutes, pp. 50–2.
  • 42. Macray, i, 21, 34; ii, 28.
  • 43. The present division between Estates Bursar and Home Bursar was made in 1881 (Macray, vii, 1).
  • 44. Archives, chart. reg., no. 78. See the Paston Letters, ed. Gairdner (1873–5), ii, 402; iii, 119. Fastolf had arranged for the foundation of a college at Caistor. A brief account of the disputes is given by Chandler, pp. 99–104.
  • 45. Archives, chart. reg., nos. 139–43. They took possession July 1484 (Registrum A).
  • 46. Ibid., nos. 145, 147.
  • 47. Ibid., nos. 148, 151.
  • 48. Archives, chart reg., no. 159.
  • 49. Statutes, p. 81.
  • 50. Macray, i, 4, 17; Chandler, p. 131; Statutes, pp. 100–3.
  • 51. Statutes, p. 98.
  • 52. Ibid., pp. 112–15; Macray, ii, 9, 11.
  • 53. Bloxam, ii, pp. lxvi–lxvii. See ibid. vi, introd., for benefactions on behalf of the demies.
  • 54. Statutes, pp. 116–32.
  • 55. He died at a great age in 1554.
  • 56. For the date of his election see Wilson, p. 66 n.
  • 57. Macray, i, 71–9.
  • 58. The accounts for this year are, however, not extant.
  • 59. He had, it seems, previously resigned in 1525, but was reinstated by Wolsey, consequent upon a Legatine Visitation (Wilson, pp. 69–71).
  • 60. 'The Vice-President's Register' begins in 1547. See Wilson, pp. 85–6, for a description of the nature of this important record, which is still continued.
  • 61. Bloxam, ii, pp. xl–lv.
  • 62. Annals, 1558. For the leading Roman Catholics and Protestants see Bloxam, ii, p. xxxviii, and for the Churchmen and Puritans ibid., pp. cv–cvi.
  • 63. Humfrey had a large family. Two of his brothers and four of his sons became fellows.
  • 64. a J. E. Neale, The Elizabethan House of Commons, p. 304.
  • 65. Cf. Wood, Annals, ii, 224–5.
  • 66. Bloxam, ii, pp. lxxxvi.
  • 67. Macray, ii, 101–18; iii, 11–24.
  • 68. a Among the fellows were Sir Ralph Winwood (afterwards Secretary of State), John Digby, afterwards ambassador at Madrid and first Earl of Bristol, and James Mabbe, the Spanish scholar and translator.
  • 69. The more eminent commoners of this period were Sir Thomas Bodley, Florio, John Lyly, William Camden, and Simon Forman (Wilson, p. 129). Poor scholars are first mentioned at Magdalen in 1497, when they appear in the accounts as employed upon menial tasks (Bloxam, iii, 19 n., cf. 91 n.).
  • 70. Macray, iii, 49, 52; iv, 30; Bloxam, iii, 133. There were 76 'poor scholars' in 1612 (Wilson, p. 141). See also Bloxam, iii, 163–4.
  • 71. Macray, iv, 21–2.
  • 72. Plummer, Elizabethan Oxford, p. xxviii, cited by Mallet, Hist. of the Univ. of Oxford, ii, 150, n. 2.
  • 73. Macray, iv, 8.
  • 74. Ibid., iii, 75. For the visit of James I and Prince Henry see Nixon, Oxford's Triumph, and the extracts from the college register printed by Chandler, Life of Waynflete, pp. 403–8.
  • 75. Macray, iii, 222. The present Founder's Cup appears to date from 1601, though it did not necessarily come to the college before the Civil War. In consequence of the transactions mentioned in the text the college possesses little preRestoration plate. A Restoration Cup was presented by those who returned in 1660, and another noteworthy piece is the silvergilt salver given by the Emperor Alexander I of Russia to Dr. Routh. It is English work of 1820.
  • 76. Dale's defence is printed by 'T.C.D.' in The Genealogist's Magazine, iv (1928), 58–9.
  • 77. See Bloxam, v, 15 for the amount.
  • 78. Ibid., ii, pp. cxlvi, 341. See also F. J. Varley, The Siege of Oxford, 1932, and Supplement, 1935.
  • 79. Bloxam, ii, p. ciii.
  • 80. See Wilson, p. 162 and n.
  • 81. For a list of the fellows ejected see Bloxam, ii, p. civ. The Vice-President's register for 1647–60 is almost all missing.
  • 82. They included Theophilus Gale (Bloxam, ii, 204–8), Christian Ravius (Macray, iv, 78–82), Henry Hickman, James Baron, and Joshua Crosse.
  • 83. Bloxam, ii, p. cvii.
  • 84. A good account of this discreditable affair is given by Chandler, Life of Waynflete, pp. 291–5. Contemporary accounts are mentioned by Wilson, pp. 169–72, and cf. Bloxam, ii, p. clxxxvi; Macray, iii, 120–1.
  • 85. Bloxam, ii, pp. cxvii–cxviii.
  • 86. Ibid., v, 177–94.
  • 87. Wood's Life and Times, ed. A. Clark, ii, 243.
  • 88. The documents relating to the events of 1687–9 are brought together by Bloxam in his Magdalen College and James II (O.H.S. 1885). Macaulay's account in his eighth chapter is to be supplemented by Wood's Life and Times, ed. A. Clark, iii, App. ix (where Wood's narrative is printed from Bod. Lib. MS. Tanner 456b). See also Sir Charles Firth's Commentary on Macaulay's History (Macmillan, 1938), pp. 270–1, for a modification of Macaulay's view of the part played by William Penn.
  • 89. Charnock assented: Dr. Pudsey and Thomas Smith were irresolute.
  • 90. Fairfax refused and was expelled.
  • 91. The names are in Bloxam, 204, and ii, pp. cxlvii, cl. The intruded fellows are given in ibid., p. cliii.
  • 92. Wood's Life, iii, 257, states that in Feb. 1688 there was not a commoner left in Magdalen.
  • 93. Charnock came to a bad end: see Bloxam, vi, 35; Macray, iv, 135–48; and Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 94. Wilson, p. 212; Bloxam, vi, 57 ff. Joseph Addison (fellow 1697–1711), Hugh Boulter (fellow 1696–1709), Richard Smallbrook (fellow 1698–1709), and Henry Sacheverell (fellow 1701–13) were among the seventeen elected. Uffenbach, visiting Magdalen in 1710, was surprised to find that 'so well-made and well-favored a man [as Sacheverell] should meddle with such foul plots' (cited by Mallet, Hist. of the Univ. of Oxford, iii, 22).
  • 95. Thomas Yalden, the poet (fellow 1698–1713), Phanuel Bacon (fellow 1724–35), Edward Holdsworth (demy 1705–15), Goring Knight, librarian of the British Museum (demy 1735–46).
  • 96. Warton was a fellow 1714–24 and Professor of Poetry in 1718. Collins was a demy 1741–4; Chandler, the historian of the founder, was a fellow 1770–80; and Cartwright, the inventor of the powerloom, a fellow 1764–73.
  • 97. Gibbon in his Autobiography describes this period as 'the most idle and unprofitable of my whole life'. His tutors were Thomas Waldegrave, whom he admits was 'learned', and Thomas Winchester (Bloxam, vi, 220–5). James Hurdis, fellow and Professor of Poetry, attempted a Word or Two of Vindication in 1795.
  • 98. Collections, i, 283: 'He has left the Character of an Honest Man behind him.'
  • 99. Ibid., vii, 383: 'He was a Man that seldom appear'd abroad in the University ... but is reputed to have been very charitable.' Anyone so spoken of by Hearne may safely be regarded as a Jacobite.
  • 100. He was Vice-Chancellor 1728–32 and M.P. for the University from 1737.
  • 101. He was spoken of as 'venerable' at the age of 40.
  • 102. R. D. Middleton, Magdalen Studies (S.P.C.K. 1936), p. 141. His fine library he bequeathed to the University of Durham.
  • 103. Ibid., pp. 171 ff. See also the same author's Dr. Routh (Oxford, 1938), and Wilson, pp. 234–5 n. Routh was rector of Tilehurst near Reading from 1810 until his death.
  • 104. Macray, v, 25 ff., and Bloxam, ii, p. clxxxv.
  • 105. Ibid., v, 130; vi, 33, 35.
  • 106. The last demy under the old rule resigned in 1877, after holding his demyship for forty-two years (Wilson, p. 234 n.)
  • 107. In 1811 there were 8 gentlemancommoners, after which they increased gradually to 21 in 1825 and then declined again to 3 in 1850. By 1855 only 1 was left.
  • 108. The Chair of Philosophy was filled up in 1859, that of Chemistry in 1865, and that of Mineralogy in 1895.
  • 109. These changes can be briefly reviewed by comparing the constitution of the college as given in the University Calendar for 1858 with that for 1859, and 1882 with 1883.
  • 110. The 'Fine' system was abolished in 1870. See Salter, Cart. Hosp. S.J.B., iii, App. v.
  • 111. There were never more than two in the 19th century, but thereafter they gradually increased to nine, and are now limited to six.
  • 112. Commoners first appear in the Magdalen lists in the University Calendar under 1853, when there were 4. In the eighties they were admitted at the rate of about 25 a year. There were 35 commoners in 1870 and 70 in 1875. One of the most distinguished was Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein (1886), who died during the South African War.
  • 113. The Commission of 1872 in its Report of 1874 credited Magdalen with 27,000 acres of land and £39,000 in annual revenue. In both it was second only to Christ Church.
  • 114. Laurie Magnus, Herbert Warren of Magdalen (London, 1932).
  • 115. R. T. Gunther, The Daubeny Laboratory Register, 1849–1923 (Oxford, 1904–24), especially pp. 160–4.
  • 116. The first organ was burnt in 1550 (Bloxam, ii, 1). Another was put in in 1597 (Wilson, p. 139). One (? the next) was given to Cromwell who set it up at Hampton Court but it was restored in 1660 (Bloxam, ii, p. cxv). It was replaced in 1737 (Wilson, p. 229) and again in 1855 (ibid., pp. 378–81). The present organ dates from 1938. See further The Organ, viii, no. 29 (1928), pp. 36–46, 'The Organs of the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalen, Oxford', by Andrew Freeman.
  • 117. Macray, iv, 54; cf. Wilson, p. 281. See also Gunther, History of the Daubeny Laboratory, pp. 369–70.
  • 118. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 119. Macray, vi, 104.
  • 120. a See Mrs. R. L. Poole, Cat. of Oxford Portraits (O.H.S.), ii, 208–42.
  • 121. President of Magdalen Hall.
  • 122. Appointed by the founder.
  • 123. Deprived 22 June 1687; restored 24 Oct. 1688.
  • 124. In the gift of the President, to whom it was bequeathed in 1920–1 by Mrs. Lee Hill.
  • 125. A history of the building is contained in the Rev. H. A. Wilson's Magdalen College (University of Oxford College Histories, 1899), a work made easier by the earlier labours and researches of Dr. J. R. Bloxam, Rev. W. D. Macray, and Mr. J. C. Buckler. There is a later account, magnificently illustrated, in Aymer Vallance, The Old Colleges of Oxford, pp. 49–61. The present account aims only at a brief, but continuous, treatment of the matter which Wilson had, of necessity, to mingle with others, but the original authorities on which his excellent account was based have, by courtesy of the college, been examined.
  • 126. Salter, ed. Cartulary of the Hospital of St. John the Baptist (O.H.S.), ii, 463.
  • 127. An account of the hospital buildings by R. T. Gunther, making use of J. C. Buckler's notes, is printed in ibid., iii, 393 f.
  • 128. That may also have been its name, if not also its function, in the late 15th century: the Bursar's Account for 1494–5 contains a payment pro vectura de ly Robyll a turri ad domum pauperum (Liber Computi, 1490–1510).
  • 129. A view showing the High St. front of the chapel about 1660, 'after a picture in Magdalen College', is given in Skelton, Oxonia Antiqua Restaurata, and reproduced in Salter, Cartulary, &c., iii, 404. For a sketch of the whole front see ibid. 406.
  • 130. The accounts were used by Wilson as the basis of what he wrote in Magdalen College, pp. 21–2.
  • 131. A transcript of parts of the accounts for this operation is printed in Bloxam, Magdalen College Registers, ii, 227–34. The extracts commence with the memorandum about the foundation stone, but the subsequent entries are not dated.
  • 132. 'In primis solvi … pro fossione et remocione terrae superfluae apud quarruram', Bloxam, ii, 227.
  • 133. 'Item solvi Thomae White latomo et custodi quarrurae apud Whetle pro xxiii bigatis lapidum: le bigat. continet xxiii pedes sectos vocatos le leggement table et le crest table, le pes ijd.'
  • 134. Under the heading 'Soluciones factae ad latomos ponentes' there is entered a sum of 25s. to John Gode 'pro quadratura et pollicione lapidum apud quarruram'. Bloxam, ii, 229.
  • 135. e.g. Richard Lynne, latomus, received 8s. 4d. 'pro seccione lapidum vocatorum cunys [=quoins] et pro posicione lapidum in muro'. Bloxam, ii, 231.
  • 136. e.g. Thomas Wyke, latomus, was paid for hewing and shaping grest table and loggement table at 2d. a foot. Ibid.
  • 137. Bloxam, ii, 234.
  • 138. Ibid. 232.
  • 139. Ibid. 233. This, presumably, was the tower 'in the wall towards the College meadows' to which Wilson refers (p. 24). Possibly Bloxam read portam for pratum. This tower is called the Song School in Agas's map, and was pulled down in 1734 to make room for the New Buildings.
  • 140. Twelve acres at 5s. an acre. Bloxam, ii, 232–3.
  • 141. He received £6 13s. 3d. in solucione convencionis sue, but the entry (Bloxam, ii, 233) does not indicate the nature of the work for which he had contracted.
  • 142. A brass plate, formerly in the chapel, stated that he was quondam huic operi auctor (Macray, Magdalen College Registers, New Series, i, 81), meaning no more, perhaps, than that he did much to further it. He died, according to the plate, in 1499 at the age of 100 years, and was thus 75 years of age when drawing up his accounts for the building of the chapel.
  • 143. Bloxam, ii, 234.
  • 144. Of a red rose yearly. Magdalen College Register A, fol. 50v. The lands amounted to three virgates and a half with tenements and appurtenances. Orchard agrees 'quod non locabit alicui homini vel hominibus … nisi fuerit bonus amicus … dicto Collegio'.
  • 145. Willis and Clarke, Architectural History of the University of Cambridge, i, 410.
  • 146. Salter, Medieval Archives of the University of Oxford (O.H.S.), ii, 339.
  • 147. If so he is a relatively early example of the union in one person of the functions of master mason, quarry owner, and building contractor. Examples of this in the 17th century were Christopher Kempster and Thomas Strong, employed on various London churches and especially on the rebuilding of St. Paul's. Knoop and Jones, The London Mason in the Seventeenth Century, pp. 43, 45.
  • 148. Bloxam, ii, 232.
  • 149. Ibid. 234.
  • 150. Ibid. 231.
  • 151. Ibid. 230–2.
  • 152. Macray's Catalogue, Misc. 349.
  • 153. In the contract the number of windows is given as 32, but a note by H. A. W[ilson] in Macray's Catalogue explains that this is an error.
  • 154. About this time William Orchard changed his residence, taking a tenement in St. Michael's near the South Gate in Oct. 1478 (Ellis, Liber Albus Civitatis Oxoniensis, p. 86).
  • 155. Wilson, Magdalen College, p. 28.
  • 156. The record relating to this building, in Ledger A, fol. 5, explains that grammatici had previously been instructed at the founder's expense and that since the preceding Easter the instruction had been given 'in quadam aula bassa infra collegium ex parte australi capelle in antiquo edificio'. If the compass point be interpreted not too strictly the low room may well have been the hospital chapel.
  • 157. In Macray's biographical account in Dict. Nat. Biog., the date of his death is given as 1503, which agrees well enough with the statement that he was employed on the building of St. Bernard's College in 1503. It is now known that he died between Jan. and Michaelmas 1504 (Snappe, p. 217, O.H.S.).
  • 158. Wilson, p. 48.
  • 159. Ibid., p. 27.
  • 160. These were, probably, the curious figures in the cloister. Under the heading of 'Custus quadrivii infra claustrum' (Lib. Computi, 1490–1510, fol. 238v–9) there are entries of payments to John Butt, stone-worker, and Robert Caruer for le gargels made by them, and to Richard Heys, Richard Lewis, William Symsell, Richard Bennett, and Henry Fostar for erecting the gargels. These entries throw no light on the meaning of the figures. Bennett, Heys, and Fostar also worked on the new building between the hall and the New Tower.
  • 161. Under the heading Custus Campanilis the accounts for 1490–1 record the expenditure of 2s. 2d. on bells, 5s. 10d. on bell ropes, and 6s. 10d. for a new wheel. The gear evidently needed renewing, but repair of the belfry does not appear to have been thought necessary. If a new belfry was then being contemplated there would be little point in spending much on the old one.
  • 162. They were charged with 8d. in 1494–5 for a pair of gloves for Mr. Nele, who had given 40s. ad edificacionem novi turris.
  • 163. Register A, fol. 86v.
  • 164. Junior Bursar in 1490; Reader in Philosophy in 1494–5. See Chandler, Life of Waynflete, p. 399.
  • 165. Wilson, pp. 48–9.
  • 166. In the same year, it is true, he was, by direction of the President, paid for 'scappling ten cartloads of stone, and for carriage from the quarry to Basingstoke'. The date of the contract is not given, but it was made with Richard Bernes: he may have been in charge of the work for the New Tower at the beginning.
  • 167. John Gyll was paid his expenses riding on college business to Tewkesbury and Camden in 1494–5: possibly he was sent to arrange for the supply of stone or to recruit labour.
  • 168. Lib. Comp. 1490–1510. These payments were made by indenture, i.e. Raynold was probably paid at so much a perch.
  • 169. The total expenditure in 1502–3 was £48 2s. 8d., as compared with £26 14s. 8d. in 1498–9 (Lib. Comp.) and £37 in 1500–1 (Chandler, Life of Waynflete, p. 401).
  • 170. Lib. Comp. 1490–1, fols. 205v, 221, 236v.
  • 171. Mr. Perkyns was paid £25 17s., the amount of his bill.
  • 172. Lib. Comp. 1530–42; Macray, Magdalen College Registers, New Series, ii, 6.
  • 173. Wilson, p. 83. Macray, ii, 20, took the items to refer to re-roofing.
  • 174. Bloxam, Magdalen College Registers, ii, 272.
  • 175. Ibid. 273.
  • 176. Ibid. 275, 276, 277.
  • 177. The gateway is not listed in J. A. Gotch, Inigo Jones. For a print see Loggan, Oxonia Illustrata, p. 24; for a view in 1826, Vallance, op. cit., pl. xxviii.
  • 178. Bloxam, Magd. Coll. Reg., ii, 280–3.
  • 179. Ibid., pp. cviii, cxii; but see Wilson, p. 167.
  • 180. Hearne's Collections (O.H.S.), vii, 103–4.
  • 181. H. A. Tipping, English Homes, Period iv, vol. 2, 1, where Hawksmoor's sketch for rebuilding the college is reproduced. The original is in the Clarke Collection at Worcester College.
  • 182. Under the year 1720 the college Benefaction Book records that Edward Butler, 'Hujusce Collegii Socius, Ædificiis de novo extruendis Prospiciens, Huic operi quasi Primam manum admovit Dono dando Centum Guineas'. The entry is accompanied by a perspective view of Magdalen rebuilt as a semi-circular crescent with the tower left standing as a gateway in the centre of the chord. Butler gave 100 gns. annually for nearly fifteen years.
  • 183. College Order Book, 1708–86.
  • 184. The contracting masons were Richard Piddington and William King (ibid., 31 July 1733; cf. Hearne's Collections, xi, 249). The common attribution of the design of the New Buildings to Edward Holdsworth (1684–1746), a non-juror who had resigned his demyship in 1715, is without documentary support. He did, however, leave £100 towards the building fund in his will.
  • 185. The future architect and mastermason respectively of the Radcliffe Camera.
  • 186. College Order Book, 1708–86.
  • 187. Ibid., 28 July 1731. A set of the engravings is preserved in the Bodleian Library (G.A. Oxon. a. 116, ff. 65–6 and 69–70). For a plan of the scheme see Williams, Oxonia Depicta, 1732–3. Williams also illustrates (in elevation only) a variant design with what is evidently a library occupying the greater part of the (N?) range.
  • 188. Macray, Register of Magdalen College, N.S. vi, 4.
  • 189. [J. Chessell Buckler], Observations on the Original Architecture of Saint Mary Magdalen College, Oxford; and on the Innovations Anciently or Recently Attempted, London, 1823, pp. 110–15.
  • 190. Ibid., p. 104.
  • 191. Bloxam, ii, pp. clxxxix, cxciv. In the Hall also, Wyatt's lath and plaster were removed and an open-work timber roof substituted in 1903 (Vallance, p. 58).
  • 192. Gentleman's Magazine, 1822, vol. xcii, part ii, pp. 98, 214, 294–5, 392, and Observations, &c., pp. 120 f. It is clear that the author of the letter signed I. in Gent. Mag., vol. xcii, part ii, pp. 214–15, and the author of the Observations were one and the same. He was John Chessell Buckler, the eldest son of John Buckler (d. 1851), who was an architect and artist as well as bailiff of the College's London estates. J. C. Buckler later designed the Gothic Choristers' Hall (now the library), 1849–51.
  • 193. 'Magdalensis' (in Gent. Mag., vol. xcii, part ii, p. 295) affirmed 'from actual and minute investigation that … in most cases the timbers were reduced to touchwood'. The author of the Observations (p. 122) admitted that many of the beams were rotten but held that the whole framework was not beyond repair.
  • 194. College Orders. Extracts by Bloxam, on end pages of the Magdalen copy of the Observations. It is not clear whether these were the plans for which a payment of £100 to Mr. Buckler was ordered in Jan. 1823. Bloxam's extracts make possible a correction of the Observations, p. 142: for 'A collection of designs … which was "NOT" presented' read '… which was "No. 20" presented'.
  • 195. Bloxam's MS. notes.
  • 196. The estimate for the east and south sides came to £10,179 and £1,971 respectively (ibid.).
  • 197. The changes are described in Bloxam, ii, pp. cxcv ff.
  • 198. Some old stone-work was used in the restoration and some was transferred to Theale Church. A considerable quantity of old fittings was sold by auction in Dec. 1837 (Sale Catalogue in Bodleian Library; also reprinted in Bloxam, ii, 387–390).
  • 199. Bloxam, ii, p. cxcvii.
  • 200. Pugin's gateway was taken down in 1885 (Vallance, p. 60).