Trinity 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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'Trinity College', in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3, the University of Oxford, ed. H E Salter, Mary D Lobel( London, 1954), British History Online [accessed 25 July 2024].

'Trinity College', in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3, the University of Oxford. Edited by H E Salter, Mary D Lobel( London, 1954), British History Online, accessed July 25, 2024,

"Trinity College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3, the University of Oxford. Ed. H E Salter, Mary D Lobel(London, 1954), , British History Online. Web. 25 July 2024.

In this section


Authorities. The only separate history of this college is F. E. Robinson's 'College Histories Series' (1898) by the Rev. H. E. D. Blakiston, Fellow and later President; it is based on a full survey of the college records and accounts. The original statutes were printed for the college in 1855. None of the accounts in the general histories of Oxford colleges is of much value; even Dr. Ingram's in the Memorials of Oxford is only a sketch. The registers of leases, purchases, and sales of land are in good order, and the Bursars' annual accounts are nearly complete from 1556. The admissions of fellows and scholars are registered year by year; the commoners were not registered regularly until 1664, since which date everyone admitted has inscribed his name, parentage, birthplace, &c., at first in Latin, since 1866 in English; but a practically complete list has been compiled from the caution-money books, supplemented by the university matriculation registers. T. Warton's Life of Sir Thomas Pope, described by Horace Walpole as a 'resuscitation of "nothings and nobodies"', though a monument of research, is inaccurate in the transcription of documents, and contains many actual fabrications (see Eng. Hist. Rev. for April 1896). The same author's Life of Dr. Ralph Bathurst is more trustworthy.

The fullest account of Durham College is given in Some Durham College Rolls, edited for the Oxford Historical Society, Collectanea, iii, by the Rev. H. E. D. Blakiston in 1896. This is based on accounts, inventories, and other documents preserved in the Registry of the Dean and Chapter of Durham; Bishop Hatfield's statutes are printed in Wilkins's Concilia, ii, 614–17.

For the architectural history of Durham and Trinity, as there is no ground plan earlier than 1823, the most important authorities are the views of Loggan (1675) and Williams (1726–33), supplemented by a few early illustrations in guide-books, &c. For the chapel there are partial building accounts and very few for any other part of the college; but most of the erections can be dated from the Durham and Trinity accounts, and some important letters from Wren of 1665 are printed in Warton's Bathurst with other correspondence about Bathurst's reconstructions.

Site and Buildings

Trinity College was established by letters patent of 8 Mar. 1554/5 and charter dated 28 Mar. 1555 'infra scitum et praecinctum cujusdam domus meae vulgariter vocatae Derham College', which Sir Thomas Pope had bought on 20 Feb. 1554/5 from Dr. George Owen and William Martyn, to whom it had been granted by the Crown on 4 Feb. 1553. At the Dissolution of the Monasteries this 'nursery' of Durham monks with its appropriated rectories, 'pensions', and a 'mansio' at Handborough, near Oxford, had been granted to the new Dean and Chapter of Durham in 1541, but the college itself was again surrendered to the Crown in 1546, and half its garden or grove was then included in the grant (11 Dec. 1546) of Bernard College to the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church. Part of this area, about 300 ft. north to south and 50 ft. wide, had, from about 1437, been let as a garden for 3s. 4d. a year by the Benedictines to the Cistercians. The rest of the site with some remaining of the 14th- and 15th-century buildings of Durham College is still included in Trinity College.

The earliest grant of land to the Prior and Convent of Durham was made in 1286 and the latest about 1326. Mabel (Wafre), abbess of Godstow, conveyed 5 acres of arable land 'fro a diche thurte over in Bewmounte' (now Parks Road), and all rights in 'voide grounds beside Peralowse Halle in Horsemonger-strete' (Broad Street). (fn. 1) Later on, 3½ acres, apparently adjacent to this site on the north, were obtained from Walter Bost. Smaller holdings, including a house known as Slattercourt and sites of other houses, on the south and east, were purchased from Oseney Abbey, the Hospital of St. John, the parish of St. Mary Magdalene, and private owners, as registered in an inspeximus of 3 Apr. 1292. The college then had about 50 ft. frontage, i.e. between the present porter's lodge and the SE. corner of Balliol College, with a depth of about 250 ft., and behind that, including the site of the buildings, an irregular area, measuring about 500 ft. on the east by 550 ft. on the north.

This site and the quadrangle erected in the SW. corner of the larger area are described, with nearly complete interior measurements, in a roll (now in the Record Office, Rentals and Surveys, no. 548) entitled 'the Situacion and View of Durham College', which contains also a briefer survey of Bernard College. (fn. 2) The date of this must be between the surrender of Durham Abbey in 1540 and the resurrender of the college in 1546. The monastic buildings had been completed about 100 years before. The earliest students sent from Durham by Priors Hugh de Darlington and Richard de Hoton were soon provided with a refectory, dormitory, and chambers; but there seems to have been some interval of non-occupation, in consequence of which, about 1316, the Chancellor of the University attempted to dispossess the resident monks. In 1323 the Bishop of Lincoln gave a licence for an oratory, and in 1326 Oseney Abbey granted leave for a chapel; the oratory may have been the upper room at the south end of the hall, now the fellows' common room; but no chapel was built till 1406–8. This was dedicated in 1409 and granted rights of sepulture in 1411; in the ante-chapel were altars of St. Oswald, St. Aidan, St. Nicholas, and St. Catherine. Nothing before this can be exactly dated; possibly the endowment by Bishop Thomas Hatfield in 1380, which was carried out by his executors before 1387, involved much reconstruction. By Michaelmas 1428, when a complete 'Status' or inventory of the movable property in the college was taken by the outgoing warden, William Ebchester, the contents of the chapel, vestry, hall, buttery, kitchen, treasury, parlour (loquitorium), warden's chamber, twelve other chambers mostly with fire-places and studies, and stables are catalogued. A similar inventory of 1456 does not mention the twelve chambers. The Compotus Rolls, which are nearly complete as a series from 1389 to 1496, make it possible to date most of these buildings.

The entrance gateway, 20 ft. broad from the SE. corner of Balliol, consisting of a large archway with shields and a postern surmounted by a niche, cost £5 in 1397; it was taken down in 1733. (fn. 3) The chapel was only 60 ft. by 26 ft., with three perpendicular windows and an east window; the door was in the 'entry' on the west. The vestry was under the old library. The refectory, 56 ft. by 30 ft., with an open hearth and louvre, stood on the site of the present hall until 1618; the outer buttery (still existing) and an inner buttery were to the north of the hall passage; the kitchen and larder and other offices were to the west of these butteries, with a small yard. South of the hall, lying east and west, were two large rooms, of unknown date, the outer walls of which, with a large Perpendicular window in the east end and a smaller one (blocked) in the west end, have been preserved. The north side of the quadrangle, which is seen clearly in Loggan's view, must have been built between 1409 and 1414; at the west end of it was the parlour on the ground floor and the warden's chamber above it, with a newel stair to the hall passage. The east side of the quadrangle containing the library (27 by 18 ft.) with the vestry and treasury below it, and four large rooms, two on either floor, to the north of it, was built in 1417 to 1421; the library windows were glazed in 1431–7. The fine 15th-century figures of saints, which were reset about 1765 and again in 1878, may have been brought from the old chapel; (fn. 4) but the shields in the tracery, including the arms of Thomas Hatfield, bishop of Durham (1345–81), the refounder of Durham College, and of John Wessington or Washington, bursar 1398–1403, and Prior of Durham (1416–26) are original. This east range still stands, altered internally by new staircases, &c., after it became the President's lodgings, and externally by the insertion in 1602 of 'cock-lofts' with dormer windows in the high-pitched roof. The north range of about the same date, and other buildings, and the hall after it was rebuilt, were also provided with similar attics. Loggan's bird's-eye view of Trinity in 1675 therefore shows most of the Durham quadrangle as it was left in 1540, with the addition of these upper stories; but the east and west fa¸ades of the hall do not appear. (fn. 5) The north wing of the 17th-century 'Garden quadrangle' as erected by Wren in 1665–8 stands clear in the garden. The northern front of the Durham range, which stood between the two areas until it was demolished in 1728, is shown diagrammatically in Williams's Oxonia Depicta.

For a year or two the new Dean and Chapter tried but failed to carry on the college. For the next ten years the buildings were a private hall of Dr. Walter Wright, Archdeacon of Oxford and Vice-Chancellor in 1547–9. Sir Thomas Pope must have done something to put them in order before May 1556, when his first President with 12 fellows and 7 scholars were admitted. He sent down to Oxford a liberal provision of plate and vestments for the chapel, books for the library, and other necessaries; but there is no record of any buildings except some orders for stone (from the Friaries near the river) for the wall between Trinity and St. John's, for which he left £100 in his will. But the new foundation took up more room than Hatfield's 8 monks and 8 'pueri'; and as commoners, some with private tutors, and servitors or batteliers, were statutably allowed and soon invited, the expense of maintaining the medieval buildings soon exceeded the Founder's calculations. In 1573 attics were built over the chambers at the south and north of the hall, and over the north range in 1577. In 1602 the attics over the library were hastily prepared for young Lord Wentworth (afterwards Earl of Cleveland) and his brother, stepson of the Founder's nephew, Sir William Pope, 1st Earl of Down. President Kettell notes with pride and at short intervals various improvements in the offices, latrines, and cellars, but in 1618 h.s too ambitious excavations brought down the Durham refectory, and he built the present hall in good Stuart gothic, with deep cellars below, and chambers over it, lighted by windows in ogee gables, at a cost of about £700. In 1618 the library was refitted by a bequest from Edward Hyndmer, an ex-fellow, with oak book-cases, desks, and seats, which, though twice reconstructed, can still be identified, (fn. 6) but the interior of the hall was completely modernized about 1774.



After the Restoration the number of commoners was increased, rising to about 120 in 1685, as the college became more fashionable under Dr. Bathurst. At the same time the medieval system, by which three to five men had beds in each room but worked in studies or 'musaea' partitioned off from them, fell into disuse. In 1665 Bathurst solicited subscriptions, and called in as architect Sir C. Wren who, though he would have preferred a 'Pile' in the grove, was eventually responsible for the northern side of the 'Garden quadrangle', the block of 12 sets of rooms in the French Renaissance style, which is seen in Loggan's view with its original windows, central pediment, and attics. (fn. 7) As each large room has two smaller ones of about equal size behind it, it is possible that these were meant to serve either for studies or for bedrooms. In 1682 the west side of the new quadrangle was erected on the same plan, but in this section, and in the north side of the Durham quadrangle, as rebuilt by William Townesend in 1728, the smaller compartments are clearly bedrooms and pantries, not studies. In 1665 the lower Durham room at the south end of the hall (which was possibly the scholars' dormitory) was made into a fellows' common room, one of the earliest in Oxford; the beautiful oak panelling for it cost £54 locally in 1681. In the 19th century this room became the bursary and the room over it, once (probably) the oratory of the monks, was fitted up as the common room.

Further improvements were made very soon after the date of Loggan's print. In 1676–7 the present kitchen with a deep cellar, and four chambers over it, cost £1,000; it projected on the west for a few feet over the yard of an inn called the Cardinal's Hat, belonging to Christ Church. Through this yard Trinity had obtained more convenient access to its kitchens, &c., and when the inn was sold to Balliol, Trinity still retained on a perpetual lease a very narrow slip of land running up to St. John's College on the north. In 1687 Bathurst erected at his own expense a plain block of six rooms on the site of the old stables shown by Loggan, with other outbuildings. This 'Bathurst building' was used for undergraduates until 1885, and was approached by a small door and a passage between the old vestry and the new chapel. The President's lodgings, which included the whole of the east side of the Durham quadrangle, except the library itself, were also remodelled and provided with two staircases projecting from the east front, and the rooms over the hall were improved. Kettell Hall, held on lease from Oriel, was occupied by commoners under 'Chamber Supervisors' for about 50 years from 1665. After that the College sublet it as a private house until 1843.

Bathurst's greatest work, however, was the rebuilding of the chapel, which had become not only 'very homely' but 'infirm and ruinous'. A back elevation in the All Souls Collection may perhaps be one of a set of drawings made by Wren about 1680, when an attempt was first being made to collect funds. (fn. 8) Eventually Bathurst himself paid for the shell, and obtained subscriptions for the interior fittings. Tradition assigns the original 'Orthography and Ichnography' of 1691 to Dean Aldrich; the correspondence shows that Wren did not actively collaborate until 1692, when he suggested some structural improvements. Unfortunately Bursarial accounts for the years 1692 and 1693 are missing, and there is no documentary evidence for the attribution of the carvings in lime and 'cedar' (i.e. juniper) to Grinling Gibbons. But Miss Celia Fiennes (c. 1695) was told they were 'by the same hand' as those at Windsor, and that the 'fine sweet wood' was the same that 'ye Lord Orford brought over when high admiral of England', viz. from Bermuda. (fn. 9) This chapel, with the gateway passage and the tower, containing two panelled rooms for the Dean (fn. 10) and adorned with statues of Theology, Medicine, Geometry, and Astronomy, perhaps by Caius Cibber, remains unaltered internally except (1881–1901) by the addition of a large organ in the ante-chapel and stained glass by Powell in seven of the windows. The tomb erected for the founder and herself by his widow, Elizabeth, afterwards Lady Paulet, at first protected by iron railings, is now in an alcove with sash windows in the NE. corner, where the chapel overlaps the small doorway from the Durham vestry. Externally the walls of local stone though mended with Roman cement and refaced in parts about 1820–30, must soon be dealt with more drastically. The roofs, which are entirely of oak, were found in 1932 to be so extensively ravaged by death-watch beetle that they had to be completely reconstructed, under Mr. John Coleridge, all the upper timbers being removed and the beams and rafters supporting the plaster ceiling fortified with steel girders, and the balustrades rebuilt, at a total cost of over £5,000. This sum included the roof of the tower, which had been damaged when the clock bell-turret was inserted.

In 1780–7 the site of the college was increased by purchases which proved of importance 100 years later. On the west much of the site and yards of the Dolphin inn was bought to provide a new cart-way to the back premises; a servant's cottage, still standing, was built there in 1795, and farther east a block of latrines to replace the Durham ones which were near the kitchen. In 1864 a few yards of frontage on the west were exchanged for a strip of garden ground between these buildings and the present boundary of Balliol College. This long 'Dolphin Yard' contains the newest latrines (1920) and the bath-house (1929–30). Near the street a building had been put up in 1885 for a lecturer in engineering; this was lent during the First World War to Serbians and to military cadets; thereafter, with other converted offices erected against the Balliol wall in the original yard, it was used as a laboratory for physical chemistry until 1941. In 1948 this 'Millard' laboratory was demolished, and a new Gatehouse erected on the St. Giles frontage, completely transforming the old backentrance to the college. This 'Dolphin Gate', designed by Sir Hubert Worthington, forms a continuous front on St. Giles, with the new wing of St. John's College.

The exact boundary of Durham College to the south of the chapel and the old stable-yard towards Broad Street is not accurately known, but in 1786 the college bought from Magdalen and Oriel colleges the whole area bounded by the garden of Kettell Hall on the east and the Durham entry and gardens on the west. The three or four Broad Street 'cottages' were usually occupied by college servants, who took in Trinity undergraduates as lodgers, until 1885, when the outbuildings were demolished and the three houses became staircases, nos. 1, 2, and 3 with the porter's lodge and cottage. The original President's yard, kitchengarden, and orchard, thus enlarged, became the Front quadrangle, its original boundary to the west being still indicated by the fruit-trees on the eastern half of the grass plot.

Except for some internal rearrangements about 1824 of the President's lodgings in the east range of the Durham quadrangle and for an extension northwards of the staircase in the NW. angle of the Wren quadrangle in 1864, which added four sets of rooms, nothing further was done until under President Percival the college was enlarged by an extension towards Broad Street forming the east wing of the Front quadrangle. Kettell Hall was bought from Oriel College; and though it was until 1898 let as a private house, first to Dr. W. Stubbs and then to Dr. J. H. Mee, its narrow garden, which reached down to the grove, was used in 1883–5 as the site of the 'New Buildings', a block designed by Sir T. G. Jackson to include rooms for the dean, twentyseven other sets of rooms, a lecture room, and a junior common room. On the site of 'Bathurst' in 1885–7 a new house was built for the President, in the same rather over-ornate Jacobean style. The old President's lodgings and the 'cottages' (and later on Kettell Hall) were then converted into twenty sets of rooms. The iron railings with the open gateway of 1737 were replaced by a stone wall with gate piers copied from those of 1713 on the eastern (Parks Road) boundary of the garden.

Before 1900 the college had acquired two additional areas on the east, the two old shops 48 and 49 Broad Street with the cottages and workshops behind them, named from a former occupant 'Bliss Court'; also a club-room and workshop, &c., behind 50 and 51 Broad St. (Mr. Blackwell's bookshop), but no use could be made of these sites as the premises (no. 53 Broad St.) which intervened between them and Kettell Hall, could not be bought from the City. In 1919, however, the City having acquired St. George's church in George St., once a chapel-of-ease to the church of St. Mary Magdalene, and having granted these premises in exchange to provide a vicarage for the parish of St. Mary Magdalene, the college was able to buy the garden of no. 53, which with the previous acquisitions added to the remainder of the garden of Kettell Hall, provided a compact site of about 100 ft. square. On the eastern half of this was erected in 1925–8 the New Library as a memorial of the 153 Trinity men who fell in the First World War. This building was constructed by Mr. J. Osborne Smith from suggestions by the President. The main room measures 60 ft. by 30 ft., with a basement 9 ft. deep, and a heating chamber under the entrance bay. Eventually it can be completed by the addition of two more bays at the south end. The whole site of the college, as it is now, including the garden, which is about half the old grove of Durham College, and the Dolphin yard, amounts to about 6 acres.


The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity is the first instance at Oxford of the re-dedication of monastic lands to educational purposes by a private owner. Thomas Pope (knighted 1537) was the elder son of a yeoman farmer of Deddington in north Oxfordshire. Born c. 1507, he was educated at Banbury and Eton, and, becoming an official in the Court of Chancery, in 1535 he was clerk to Sir Thomas Audley the Lord Chancellor. As one of Audley's executors he helped to complete his re-foundation at Cambridge of the Benedictine Buckingham College of 1519 as Magdalene College (1542). Having risen eventually in 1536 to the office of Treasurer of the Court of Augmentation of the King's Revenue, he had acquired by 1555 no less than 27 manors, with landed property in 35 townships, so that (according to tradition) 'he could have rode in his owne land from Cogges by Witney to Banbury, about 18 miles'. He soon followed Audley's example by buying from Dr. George Owen of Godstow the derelict site and buildings of Durham College with the half of its grove not granted to Christ Church with Bernard College.

Letters Patent of 8 March 1554/5, authorized the foundation of a college therein for a President, 12 fellows, and 8 scholars, with a 'Jhesus scolehouse' at Hooknorton or elsewhere; and Pope established it by Charter of erection dated 28 March 1555. Four more scholars were provided for instead of the school; and on 30 May 1556 the original members were admitted formally, the estates having been handed over at Lady Day, the buildings reconditioned, and the chapel, hall, and library liberally furnished with vestments, plate, and books. Pope died on 29 Jan. 1558/9 and was buried in St. Stephen's Walbrook with an elaborate funeral described in H. Machyn's Diary (Camden Society, vol. xlii, 188). Before 1567 his widow erected a new tomb for him and herself over a vault in the Durham College chapel.

The principal endowments of the new college came from Oxfordshire. They were (1) the manor, demesnes, and lands of Wroxton and Balscote near Banbury; (2) Upper and Lower Grange farms in Drayton St. Leonard near Dorchester; (3) the rectory of Bradwell near Burford; (4) the tithes of Stopesley near Luton, once owned by St. Alban's Abbey; (5) the rectory of Navestock, in Essex, once part of the donation of King Edgar to St. Paul's; and (6) as an 'additament', some other lands in NW. Oxfordshire which in 1558 were exchanged for (7) the rectory of Great Waltham in Essex purchased from Lord Rich, and (8) a portion of the rectory of Dumbleton, Gloucs., which had been given to Abingdon Abbey by King Athelstan. There was also an equally ancient charge from Abingdon Abbey on the rectory of Tadmarton, Oxon., and the advowsons of Navestock and Great Waltham; in the church of the latter parish Pope founded an obit for himself in 1558. The total value of these endowments, as eventually settled, was £226 11s. 8d., exclusive of the rectory of Garsington which had belonged to Wallingford Priory and was attached to the Presidency. The most important estates had been let to the Founder's relations or friends on 99-year leases. It was barely adequate, even after the reversions, for the stipends, commons, salaries, doles, and other charges prescribed by the statutes. The Bradwell and Dumbleton tithes are now represented by other investments, but the other properties in land, tithe, and 'pensions' are still held by the college.

The only considerable additions to the original endowment are (1) the manor and demesne land of Abbots Langley, Herts., demised in joint trust in 1641 for exhibitions to this college and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, by Francis Combe, a grandnephew of Sir Thomas Pope; (2) various funds for such purposes as exhibitions (open or for certain schools), for purchase of advowsons, and for encouragement of special subjects; (3) a legacy of £4,800 from Dr. William Hunt in 1931 for extraordinary repairs of the college buildings; (4) the residuary estate, which realized over £40,000, left by Sir Mackenzie Dalzell Chalmers in 1927 for general purposes; and the residuary estate, amounting to over £20,000, of Mr. Frank Chadwick in 1939 for additional open scholarships. Other notable benefactors were Richard Blount, a cousin of Lady Pope, the Rev. Richard Rands, who endowed the college library, Dr. Ralph Bathurst, the Rev. James Ford, and Mr. Thomas Millard.

The objects of Sir Thomas Pope's foundation were not primarily religious. It was to be 'ad gloriam et honorem Altissimi Conditoris nostri, necnon ad proventum et publicam patriae meae utilitatem, orthodoxae fidei religionisque Christianae incrementum, et ad perpetuam pauperum Scholarium in Academia degentium sustentationem'. He still adhered to the old religion, though he had served Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell; and he provided for the usual Masses and other services with special prayers and five obits, including one for himself 'on Jesus Daye' with doles for the poor and for prisoners in the Castle of Oxford and in Bocardo, and for gaudies at Christmas and the other greater festivals 'Ecclesiae Anglicanae receptis et approbatis.' But he was careful not to commit the college to anything which would endanger its existence in a new reign. For the rest the statutes are old-fashioned rather than reactionary and exceptional only in freedom from close instructions on elections. They have some affinities with those of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and Magdalene College, Cambridge.

The Founder retained for himself and his wife, who was to be called the Foundress, the right to nominate, if they chose, to all places. The President is to be selected by the Founder or his widow or the Visitor, the Bishop of Winchester, from two fellows, being priests, nominated by solemn election in the chapel after the office of the Holy Ghost, natives of Oxfordshire being preferred ceteris paribus. His duties are mainly disciplinary and bursarial; he has two votes, a casting vote, and a veto in fellowship elections; and he assigns the chambers. The President and the seven senior fellows are to elect a vicePresident to superintend morals and theology, a Dean to see to discipline and the chapel services, bursars who are to render weekly balances and annual accounts, two readers, one in Philosophy and Logic, who is to supervise the problemata of the fellows and the sophismata of the scholars, and the other in Rhetoric, to practise translation and composition in Latin and (if possible) elementary Greek, with the younger students. The twelve fellows are to be elected on Trinity Monday from (1) the scholars, (2) natives of the dioceses, &c., in which the college has property, or (3) natives of any of the Founder's numerous manors; these are very wide qualifications. (fn. 11) They must proceed to the degrees of B.A., M.A., B.D., and D.D., and must be ordained priests within four years of taking the M.A. degree.

The scholars are to be chosen by the President and officers from natives of the counties in which the estates lie, or of the founder's manors, or (failing all these) from the schools of Eton and Banbury, or at least Brackley and Reading. They must show proficiency in the composition of Latin epistles or heroic verse, and must also be 'in plano cantu sufficienter eruditi'. They must be between 16 and 20 years of age, and in real need of assistance; and they are to be superannuated at 24. One of them is to be the organist. There may be not more than twenty commoners (convictores) and batellars, paying rent for their chambers and studying with the scholars, though some might be accompanied by their own didascali. The servants on the foundation were the manciple, butler, head cook and under cook, barber, and laundress—in Latin, obsonator, promus, archimagirus, hypomagirus, barbaetonsor, and lotrix 'talis aetatis famae ac conditionis, ut verisimiliter in earn cadere non debeat sinistra aliqua suspicio'.

The Latin statutes, in composing which Pope had the assistance of Slythurst, the first President, prescribe in minute detail not only the services, meals, precedence, costume, and hours of study, but also the subjects, methods, and even the text-books for mathematics, logic, natural, metaphysical, and moral philosophy, theology, and the humanities for seniors and juniors, with instructions that full courses must be given within the college, since 'the ordinary lectures of the regent masters' in the University were becoming useless. The usual degrees must be taken in due order, but dispensations allowed by the University are not prohibited. Lectures on geography or astronomy, and practical teaching in antiquities, oratory, or verse-composition are prescribed less minutely for the Long Vacation. In the other vacations the scholars are to produce declamations and verses, but these must not be 'dentatae et ex bile natae'. A special feature which lasted into the 19th century, was the 'narrare', a speech or recitation made from the hall lectern by one of the scholars after the circulation of the loving-cup. Scholars were allowed 30 to 40 days' absence from Oxford, and fellows 30 to 90 days, as is recorded for nearly 300 years in the 'Libri Devillantium'. The scrutinies, oaths, punishments, and conditions of residence are essentially medieval. (fn. 12) A complete register of the foundation can be compiled from the admissions formally attested by notaries. For commoners there is no admission register until after more than 100 years, but practically all the entries can be ascertained from the bursars' lists of caution money as deposited and refunded, with a few additions in the first twenty years from the university matriculation registers. It must be noted, however, that the college books contain a much larger number of names than those of the university, since before 1636 matriculation was not compulsory except for those who were proceeding to the B.A. degree. Of the original fellows, mostly B.A.s of Queen's or Exeter, six were from the north, and four from Exeter diocese; one (James Bell) retired promptly and became an ardent Protestant controversialist. Others openly 'mysliked the statutes'; and the Founder's young stepson John Basford, as an undergraduate, gave him and the college a great deal of trouble. By his will the Founder bequeathed 500 marks for a large new rectory house at Garsington and a full service of silver-gilt plate for use in the hall. His widow, on whom he had settled his house at Tyttenhanger and a great estate in Herts, and London with reversion to her nephew, Thomas Pope Blount, who had married his niece, became the second wife of Sir Hugh Paulet in 1560. President Slythurst was deprived in 1559 for refusing the oath of supremacy, and is said to have died in the Tower; and Lady Pope chose Arthur Yeldard 'for the comferthe and quietness' of the college. By 1561 five more of the fellows and some of the scholars had departed. But the changes in the chapel services were not completed by a visitation in 1566. In 1570 the college had a fortnight's notice from Bishop Horne to 'deface' the Founder's church plate, 'certaine monuments tending to Idolatrie and popishe or devill's service, as Crosses, Sensors, and suche lyke fylthie stuff'; and the three altars were replaced by a 'Communionis mensa'. But in 1567 three more fellows resigned, and in 1569 another (Christopher Wharton) fled to Douai. In the next twelve years about ten more fellows and scholars had done the same, including Thomas Forde (beatified by Leo XIII in 1886), George Blackwell the 'Archpriest', Richard Smith, Bishop of Chalcedon, and the Foundress's nephew, Richard Blount, afterwards a Provincial of the Jesuits. It appears that Lady Paulet was responsible for these difficulties. Sir Hugh Paulet, like his son Sir Amyas, was a strong Protestant; but after his death in 1572 she became a Popish recusant. Her nominees in the college were suspect, and many of them fled or were ejected. She seems to have brought about the retirement to Merton College of the brilliant scholar, Henry Cuffe, who was made Regius Professor of Greek in 1590; but as secretary to the Earl of Essex he was executed at Tyburn in 1601.

Of 144 scholars admitted in the first 50 years of the college, no less than 75 succeeded to fellowships. In the first lists of commoners there are many names from the northern counties, but in a short time the families of the southern midlands are more frequently represented. Some came up as mere boys of 10 or 12 to 15; one (Henry Constable, first Viscount Dunbar) was only 8. In 1576 rules were made for enforcing study on those who had taken the B.A. degree, commoners as well as scholars.

The internal receipts from room-rents, caution money, &c, were very small; and the expenditure, especially on repairs to the medieval buildings, usually exceeded the external income. The first legacy was £100 from Richard Blount, by which, with the assistance of Lady Paulet, a thirteenth scholarship was endowed from a lease of the rectory of Ridge, Herts. In the 16th century among eminent persons educated at Trinity were Robert Wright, first Warden of Wadham and Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, Bernard Adams, Bishop of Limerick, Dr. Henry Atkins, physician to James I and Charles I, Sir Edward Hoby, the diplomatist and controversialist, and his brother Sir Thomas Postumus Hoby, Oliver St. John, Viscount Grandison, Lord Deputy of Ireland, Thomas Lodge, the satirist, and George Calvert, first Lord Baltimore, Secretary of State 1619–25. His son, Cecilius, who completed the establishment of Maryland as a Toleration Colony, with the help of John Lewgar of Trinity (1616) and in spite of the opposition of the Jesuit, Richard Blount, was a commoner in 1621.

Ralph Kettell of Kings Langley, Herts., a protégé of Lady Paulet, had already made his mark in college offices when at the age of 36 he became President; his tenure of 44 years covers nearly half the 17th century. The archives contain many documents in his curious handwriting, with special memoranda about his addition of 'cocklofts' to the old buildings, and other minor improvements. After digging cellars under the Durham refectory in 1618 he had to rebuild it as the present hall. About 1620 he built, as an investment, not as part of the college, the fine stone house known as Kettell Hall on the site of Baner Hall, the property of Oriel College. It was used for college purposes 50 years later, and it is now incorporated in Trinity. John Aubrey (admitted commoner in 1642) recounts many amusing anecdotes of Kettell's eccentric and often humorous words and deeds, but recognized that he was really a man of 'great subtilty and reach', a judicious and generous disciplinarian, and conservative without being reactionary as an administrator. The long leases of the estates began to fall in; but Kettell did more by increasing the internal revenue from room and study rents, and by a 'Decretum de gratiis Collegio rependendis', which provided (under oath) for voluntary subscriptions from former fellows or scholars on the acquisition of property or benefices. He also invented a plate fund to which commoners contributed tankards or bowls or 20s. in money. Several long and tantalizing lists of these pieces and their donors survive; but everything except the chalice, paten, and flagons went with the Founder's plate to Charles I's mint at New Inn Hall.

In Kettell's time the college obtained by bequest two valuable benefactions in addition to the Abbots Langley estate above-mentioned. An ex-Fellow, Ralph Ironside, extracted from a Dorsetshire 'usurer' £100, which was invested in land at Oakley, Ickford, and Brill, with rights in Bernwood Forest; and in 1640 Richard Rands, rector of Hartfield in Sussex, left £20 a year for the library, derived from land, the sale of which in 1869 augmented the four charities charged on it. The college was not troubled by Laud, and Kettell contrived to put off Lord Saye and Sele when the Parliamentary forces occupied Oxford in Sept. 1642. He died during the siege of Oxford in July 1643, having relieved his feelings by sarcastic remarks to the 'Jack Lords' and Court Ladies who scandalized Aubrey by coming not only to the grove, but to the chapel, 'mornings, halfe-dressed, like Angells.'

His success as President, however, is best shown by the large number of distinguished men who had studied at Trinity in his time. On the foundation were William Chillingworth, Anthony Faringdon, Robert Skinner, Bishop of Bristol, Oxford, and Worcester, Gilbert Ironside, Bishop of Bristol, President Ralph Bathurst, and two notable physicians Nathaniel Highmore and Daniel Whistler, and the Latin poet Henry Birkhead. Among the commoners were three future bishops, William Lucy of St. David's, Henry Glemham of St. Asaph, and Gilbert Sheldon of London and Canterbury, Milton's friend Charles Diodati, Alexander Gill, surmaster of St. Paul's, William Craven, Earl of Craven, and his brother John, Lord Craven of Ryton, Sir Thomas Wentworth, (fn. 13) Earl of Cleveland, and his son Sir Thomas, Lord Wentworth, many Cavaliers such as Sir Gerard Napier, Sir Philip Musgrave, Sir Thomas Glemham, Sir Christopher Lewkener, Sir Henry Blount (a famous traveller), Sir Edward Fitton, Sir Edward Bishop, Sir Edward Ford (the hydraulist and financier), Sir William Morton, Sir William Smith, and Sir Allen Apsley. On the side of the Parliament were Edmund Ludlow, Henry Ireton (to whom Sir T. Glemham surrendered Oxford), and Sir Richard Newdigate. The principal Trinity authors of this period were James Harrington, author of Oceana, the poet Sir John Denham, the historian and dramatist Arthur Wilson, the herald Sir Edward Bysshe, and that invaluable antiquary, John Aubrey.

For the next five years Hannibal Potter, who had been senior fellow, presided over an almost empty and bankrupt college. Little is recorded of him, but he may have been interested in the scientific experiments made in his rooms by William Harvey, and his brother, Francis Potter, a clever mechanician, who took his B.D. on an interpretation of the number of the Beast, and to Aubrey 'lookt the most like a monk or one of the pastors of the old time, that ever I saw one'. The foundation was just kept alive by irregular elections during the siege of Oxford, but instead of the annual number of 20 to 30 commoners only 3 were admitted in 1643–5. The registers are defective, and the series of accounts is broken between 1639 and 1651. Before commandeering some 173 pounds of gilt and silver plate the king took a forced loan of £200 from the treasury, and the college was soon deeply in debt, with £1,385 owing to it in rents and battels by 1651. The rooms were occupied by strange guests; Ann (Harrison), Lady Fanshawe's first child, was born in the college. But some of the fellows and scholars continued their studies; George Bathurst 'moderated' in disputations at the Hollybush Inn, until he was killed at Faringdon in 1644.

After the temporary respite guaranteed to the University at the surrender of the city, a bill for a visitation was passed in 1647, and the visitors controlled the colleges until 1658. The imposition of the Solemn League and Covenant, the Negative Oath, and the Ordinances concerning Discipline and Worship, were resisted for some months with great ingenuity, eventually by Potter, though 'of a very timorous nature', as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Dean Samuel Fell, under the direction of Dr. Sheldon, Warden of All Souls, and Dr. Baylie, President of St. John's. But evasion was useless in the face of the simple question, 'Do you submit to the authority of Parliament in this "visitation"? Potter was formally 'outed' in April 1648; in May all the residents (3 fellows, 9 scholars, and 26 commoners) were cited: 26 appeared before the visitors at Merton College, and 13 submitted unconditionally. In June R. Bathurst submitted, and two other fellows refused. By January 1649 about 20 members had been sentenced to expulsion or removed for non-appearance; but it is clear that some of them were allowed to remain. £48 10s. of caution money was refunded to ejected commoners, and £100 got in from the orders of 1645–6 was distributed equitably to the old President, fellows, and scholars. The old festivals were still observed as days of augmented commons. In 1649–50 the visitors appointed, mostly from among those who had submitted, 7 fellows and 6 scholars; and on 23 May 1651 passed an order that Trinity and Wadham 'are so reduced as that they are in a fitt capacity to make their owne elections in a statutable way'; but the notarial attestations do not recommence until 1655.

That the break in continuity was no greater must have been due to some tact and toleration on the part of the President in truded by the visitors, himself one of them, Dr. Robert Harris, of Magdalen Hall, a copious preacher and lecturer, who was rector of Hanwell near Banbury until he was ejected in 1642, and then of St. Botolph's Bishopsgate, and Petersfield. There were some stories of appropriation of money and plate found hidden in the lodgings, and no doubt there were plenty of sermons such as those which Dr. Harris republished in folio in 1654–5. But Bathurst, who is said to have acted as archdeacon at the secret ordinations held at Launton by Bishop Skinner of Oxford (an ex-fellow of Trinity), seems to have worked with the President, in such a way that 'there was ever a fair correspondency'.

The Visitors insisted on application to study on the part of even the gentlemen-commoners. College suppers on 'fasting nights' took the place of those in taverns; and there were gatherings for music or scientific discussions in coffee-houses. A good deal was spent on the college grove and the president's and fellows' gardens as the finances gradually improved. Among those admitted before 1660 were Nicholas Stratford, Bishop of Chester, Samuel Parker, the Bishop of Oxford who was made President of Magdalen by James II, Sir Francis Winnington, a solicitor-general, Daniel Whitby, a voluminous controversialist, and Abraham Campion, Dean of Lincoln.

Harris died 12 Dec. 1658; a laudatory epitaph by Bathurst over his grave in the old chapel has disappeared. There was no official visitor, though there had been a scheme in which Trinity and Queen's were assigned to the Warden of the Cinque Ports. The new Protector, Richard Cromwell, as Chancellor of the University, in spite of an impudent letter of advice from the independent President of Magdalen, Dr. Thomas Goodwin, 'commonly called nine-caps, because having a cold head was forced to wear so many', chose 'a loyal, learned, and modest person', William Hawes (fellow from 1642), who had not appeared in 1648, but seems to have submitted afterwards. He broke a vein in his lungs, and resigned on 12 Sept. 1659, dying two days later, while the fellows were hurriedly electing not Bathurst but an unqualified Cambridge man, who was 'very well acquainted and beloved': Seth Ward had refused the Covenant at Sidney Sussex College in 1644, and about 1649 had settled at Wadham as Savilian Professor of Astronomy under the protection of Dr. Wilkins, who with Bathurst, Boyle, Wren, Petty, F. Potter, and others started the Oxford meetings which preceded the London Royal Society. Ward's biographer says that he would have been well contented to remain at Trinity, but he had to retire in 1660, when Hannibal Potter was reinstated by his contemporary, Bishop Skinner, and the old bursar, Josias Howe, reappeared as senior fellow. No one else was deprived either then or in 1662; and the college subscribed loyally to royal receptions and festivities. Ward soon obtained the Deanery of Exeter, was then made bishop of that see 'by the House of Commons', and translated to Salisbury in 1667. Potter only survived his readmission for four years.

Ralph Bathurst, fifth of the thirteen sons of George Bathurst (commoner 1604), a country gentleman whom Kettell had selected for his 'frugality' to marry the elder Villiers' stepdaughter, had been the leading influence in the college for 10 years. He had 'sequestered' himself from the University to study medicine, but in 1653 returned, with the D.M. degree instead of the D.D., and practised at Oxford; he had also some connexion with the Navy. Though quite a good scholar and divine, his main interests were in natural science; he was President of the Oxford branch of the Royal Society in 1688, and encouraged the study of chemistry in the college. He was Dean of Wells from 1670, but refused the bishopric of Bristol in 1691. His intellectual and social qualifications were used to promote the popularity of the college. As Vice-Chancellor in 1673–6, he refitted the choir of St. Mary's, and was complimented by Dryden in an Oxford prologue. His extensive building operations within the college have already been described.

The Founder's statutes were becoming obsolete in some details, but Bathurst resisted with spirit attempts to influence elections unduly by the Crown or the Visitors. Home letters and reminiscences such as those of Edmund Verney and John Ham, as well as the punishment registers, show that the discipline was above the average; and there is little against the college in A. Wood's diaries, though he did not like Bathurst and his wife. Attendance at lectures, services, and meals was regulated by college orders which are extant from 1684. A 'Lower Library' was provided for undergraduates, and the expenses of degrees were revised. Besides the large and small subscriptions there were some permanent benefactions in land, advowsons, and rent-charges; the most interesting is a charge of £2 on the rectory of Poole given by the eccentric Anthony Ettrick, the magistrate who committed Monmouth, and made for himself a curious tomb in Wimborne Minster. The most eminent Trinity men of Bathurst's presidency were John Somers, Lord Chancellor, James, 1st Earl Stanhope, Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, Allen, 1st Earl Bathurst, Sir Thomas Reeve and Sir John Willes, Chief Justices of the Common Pleas, and Sir Robert Sutton.

Of literary men the best known to their contemporaries were probably William Derham, an able exponent of religious philosophy, natural history, and mechanics, John Harris, the encyclopaedist, Samuel Parker, a prominent nonjuror, and Dryden's absurd rival, Elkanah Settle, 'the City poet'. Arthur Charlett, who became Master of University College in 1692, and as Pro-Vice-Chancellor stimulated the University Press after Dr. Fell's time, is valued for his correspondence with other antiquaries, which is preserved in the Bodleian Library.

Bathurst appears to have started the first register of admissions by compiling from some other sources a list of 18 pages beginning with 1648. From 1664 every commoner admitted has inscribed his name, his father's name (and sometimes residence), his birth-place and county, age or date of birth, and sometimes his school, with date of entry under the tuition of one or more of the fellows. Up to 1866 these autograph records are in Latin, and after 1816 the same volumes include the fellows and scholars, who had previously been entered only in the college register, unless they had originally been admitted as commoners. This record of admissions, now in its fourth volume, is one of the most elaborate and complete in Oxford.

None of the four presidents of the 18th century figures in the Dictionary of National Biography. All four had been scholars and fellows of the college. Hearne describes Dr. Sykes as 'a great Tutor, an Honest man (i.e. a Jacobite) and a learned Divine'. Dr. Dobson was also 'honest', but arbitrary and injudicious; one of the many appeals against him to the Visitor was complicated by pamphlets. Dr. Huddesford as Vice-Chancellor in 1753–6 engaged in a controversy with the Whig common room of Exeter College over the county election of 1754. His tenure of office exceeded by three months Dr. Kettell's record. Dr. Chapman, like his predecessor, was under 35 when elected; he was Vice-Chancellor in 1784–8 and took things easily for 32 years. As in other colleges the numbers fell rapidly, while owing to the rise in the value of landed property the stipends and the standards of comfort increased. The fellows were all in orders; some managed to hold cures by means of resignation bonds, others took duty near Oxford, sometimes solemnizing marriages in the college chapel. The inelasticity of the statutes produced appeals to the Visitor which were often settled by connivances and evasions. The scholars were elected from among the resident commoners and were allowed nine years to wait for the chance of a fellowship; the names of Dobson, Huddesford, Chapman, and Warton tend to recur on the foundation. B.A. scholars had to reside regularly, and M.A.s at frequent intervals of 20 days. The president and officers or the six or seven senior fellows, who also by custom divided certain revenues, governed the college; the juniors had little power and practically no duties. In the B.A. scholars' common room Thomas Warton instituted the custom of electing a 'Lady Patroness' with a 'Poet Laureate' to celebrate her charms in an album of verses. Bishop Hoadly, as Visitor, issued a masterly dissertation in 1751 on the procedure for dispensations (i.e. from taking orders), but though there were a few instances of 'enlarging the Founder's good intentions' by the substitution of medicine for divinity, little or nothing could be done to improve the educational position until the last quarter of the century, when college lectures began to take the place of the obsolete 'disputations' in the Schools, and 'premiums' were offered for declamations, themes, verses, and vacation notes. The Narrare in hall was insisted on; and in 1789 a college order provides for viva-voce examinations in Lent and Act terms.

The range of recreation open to the undergraduates was small, and did not extend much beyond eating, drinking, flirting, horse-racing, and, later on, music, and sailing or rowing in light boats, as described in the poetical letters of John Skinner (commoner 1791), a great-great-grandson of Robert Skinner, Bishop of Oxford, and afterwards the morose rector of Lamerton.

The best known of the 18th-century fellows was Thomas Warton, Professor of Poetry and of Ancient History, and Poet Laureate. His work as a precursor of the Romantic revival is important, and his History of English Poetry is still read, though it contains some specimens of 'inaccuracies' similar to the fabrications which he introduced into both editions of his Life of Sir Thomas Pope. He probably acquired his taste for antiquities (fn. 14) from the learned but unscrupulous archaeologist, Francis Wise, and passed on his predilection for poetry and topographical studies to later fellows and scholars such as James Merrick, James Dallaway, William Lisle Bowles, and William Huddesford. His friendship with Dr. Johnson is recorded frequently by Boswell, and Johnson's letters to him are preserved in the college library. Through Warton Johnson became acquainted with the two Trinity undergraduates, Topham Beauclerk (commoner 1757) and Bennet Langton (commoner 1758), who also figure in Boswell's Life of Dr. Johnson. Among the scholars are John Gilbert (1713), Archbishop of York, and Richard Mant (1795), Bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore, historian and hymn-writer.

But the commoners were naturally more likely to succeed in public life. The list of eminent Trinity men for this period includes William Pitt, the great Earl of Chatham (nephew of James, Earl Stanhope), Francis North, 1st Earl of Guilford, his son, best known as Lord North, and his stepson, William Legge, the 'pious Earl' of Dartmouth, James Maitland, the Whig Earl of Lauderdale, Sir John Sinclair, the Scotch agriculturist, Sir Charles Price and his son, both Speakers of the Jamaica Assembly, Charles Cobbe, Archbishop of Dublin, Brownlow North, Bishop of Winchester, and Henry, sixth Duke of Beaufort, who with his brother gave the college clock. Of authors the best known after Warton were Eustace Budgell of the Spectator, and Walter Savage Landor, who was rusticated after a shooting incident in 1794.

After 1728 there was no conspicuous alteration in the buildings until 1801–2, when the top story of Wren's quadrangle was raised, but the garden was laid out formally, and the lime walk planted, in 1713. Iron gates copied from the screen at the east in Parks Road were given by Lord Guilford in 1737 to replace the old Durham gateway. Attempts were made to substitute rack-rents for the old fines system in some estates, and the purchases of 'the Cottages' and the Dolphin Yard were steps which showed great foresight.

The first half of the 19th century may be regarded as the era of examinations and internal reforms. Thomas Lee, President 1808–24, is described as a 'courteous gentlemanlike man, who played a steady second violin part in a quartette'; as Vice-Chancellor 1814–18 his 'calm easygoing days' were broken only by the visit of the Allied Sovereigns. To his successor, James Ingram (1824–50), a diligent but dreadfully untidy antiquary and Anglo-Saxon scholar, and to such tutors as Henry Kett, one of the first Classical Examiners, and Thomas Short, who as fellow for 63 years is the subject of an unpublished 'Breviarium or Short Notes', important educational changes were due. The most successful of these was the throwing open of the scholarships, by custom confined to resident commoners, with reduction of tenure from 8 or 9 years to not more than 5. After 1825 it was decided that ex-scholars as well as scholars should be eligible for fellowships, and in 1843 these too were thrown open. Among the earlier elections were the historian William Stubbs (from Christ Church), afterwards Bishop of Oxford, and the classical scholar Robinson Ellis (from Balliol), Corpus Professor of Latin. The reputation of Trinity was greatly increased by being one of the few which attracted able scholars and fellows from other colleges; and before Ingram's death in 1850 the foundation had included Cardinal Newman, Roundell Palmer, Earl of Selborne, Herman Merivale, Thomas Claughton, first Bishop of St. Albans, Sir G. K. Rickards, A. W. Haddan, Vere Lord Hobart, Lord Lingen, and Mountague Bernard. J. W. Bowden, Isaac Williams, W. J. Copeland, and H. P. Guillemard carried on the traditions of Anglican churchmanship; and the scholars of 1840–3 were famous for a 'Trinity' characterized by Dean Church as involving a 'judicial and balanced thoughtfulness', with aesthetic interests alluded to by Clough as the 'talk at Trinity wines about Gothic buildings and Beauty'.

In later life the best known of this band were William Basil Jones, Bishop of St. David's, Sir George Bowen, governor of five colonies, H. J. Coleridge the Jesuit, E. A. Freeman the historian, and W. G. Palgrave the versatile traveller. The number of commoners did not increase rapidly, and Short's ideal for them was 'forty men and forty horses'. In 1804 there were 8 admissions only, in 1837 there were 31; that number was not exceeded until 1879. After the erection of additional rooms in 1883–5, the total numbers soon rose from about 120 to 140 or 150. Since 1920 an additional 20 has been normal. Among the commoners of 1800 to 1850 the most remarkable in different ways have been Richard Ford and Sir R. F. Burton; the latter soon 'withdrew' himself from Oxford with his 'splendid moustache' and with what he euphemistically reported to his family as 'an extra vacation for taking a double first with the highest honours'.

By 1850 it was clear that the original statutes had become in many points unworkable; they were evaded or even broken from the first as conflicting with postReformation laws and modern ideas, though there were fitful attempts to enforce them. An era of external reforms begins in 1850 with a Royal Commission which reported in 1852, was reopened in 1854, and sealed certain 'Ordinances' in 1857. The new President, Dr. John Wilson (1850–66), confined himself to acknowledging the receipt of the printed document; but most of the fellows followed the lead of the Rev. S. W. Wayte, who succeeded Dean Stanley as secretary to the Commissioners in 1854–8. No great innovations were found necessary at Trinity, as the restrictions on elections had become obsolete; but the existing practices were legalized. Five of the fellowships at first, and in 1870 eight, were thrown open to laymen, though all were still vacated by marriage or by the acceptance of a benefice or the acquisition of property or office of over a certain value. The governing body, now authorized to deal freely with such matters as residence, chapel services, studies, discipline, expenses, &c., made cautious and gradual changes.

Wilson and Wayte, though opposed in views on most subjects, acted together in improving the financial position of the college by such methods as the institution of a Redemption Fund to run out the old leases for lives, which were still continued in many of the richer colleges; but their efforts were almost brought to naught by the agricultural depression of the seventies. A long series of appeals and counter-appeals, mostly on technical matters, between the President and the fellows led to Wilson's retirement in 1866. Under Mr. Wayte (1866–78) no important changes took place; but the reputation of Trinity was well preserved both by a series of efficient officers and by the admission of a large proportion of able undergraduates, such as—in the same year—three future bishops, Randall Davidson of Rochester, Winchester, and Canterbury, E. S. Gibson of Gloucester, and W. W. Perrín of British Columbia and Willesden. Three more bishops, C. Geore (Worcester, Birmingham, and Oxford), A. Robertson (Exeter), and H. Whitehead (Madras), were elected to clerical fellowships in three successive years. A brilliant scholar of 1861, R. W. Raper, became an influential fellow, tutor, bursar, and Vice-President from 1871 to 1915.

The Commission of 1878 whose recommendations became effective in 1882 abolished the life tenure of fellowships and, except for the chaplain-fellow, the obligation to take Holy Orders. It distinguished official, non-official, and research fellowships, permitted marriage subject to certain conditions of time and residence in college, increased the number of scholars, and created an exhibition fund by pooling most of the old benefactions for the students. The presidency, from which the Rectory of Garsington had been detached in 1871, was also thrown open to laymen. But Mr. Wayte had retired at the age of 60 in 1878, and acting apparently on suggestions made by Dr. Jowett to certain of the fellows, a bare majority elected the Rev. John Percival, ex-scholar and fellow of Queen's College and headmaster of Clifton College. This step caused some heartburnings especially among the exfellows, and was regarded as almost without precedent under normal conditions, though it has been taken occasionally elsewhere, e.g. at University College, by the election of Trinity men to the mastership in 1692 and 1923. Mr. Wayte's silent management had hardly been felt by the undergraduates; and among the commoners at least Mr. Percival's methods were regarded as too pedagogic. In University affairs also his Liberalism was considered too advanced; and in 1886 he made a move which was quite unprecedented by accepting the headmastership of Rugby School; in 1895 he was consecrated Bishop of Hereford. But he left his mark on the college as a whole, as well as in the memory of many of the scholars of his time, by several successful experiments. The numbers were increased by his prestige as a schoolmaster, and between 1883 and 1887 the whole appearance of the college was changed by the extension towards Broad St. of the quadrangle formed from the little old gardens, and bounded east and north by the 'new buildings' and the new President's House, with the Broad St. cottages, the old lodgings, and eventually Kettell Hall, converted into sets of rooms. In the schools, Trinity became definitely an 'Honours College', and figured more regularly in the First classes and the University prize and scholarship lists, especially in connexion with certain public schools, such as St. Paul's.

An undergraduates' reading-room was provided, and the original twelve scholars (or thirteen with the Blount scholar), raised by the Commission to sixteen, were joined by Open Exhibitioners (since renamed Minor Scholars), Millard Scholars in Natural Science, and Students on the close Ford foundation for King's School, Canterbury, and Ipswich and Brentwood Schools. Shortly before his resignation Mr. Percival started the idea of a College Mission in connexion with the Great Eastern Railway Works at Stratford le Bow, which was enthusiastically developed by his successor, and carried on until 1941, when the German air-raids destroyed the mission church and led to the evacuation of the area. To the same initiative the college owes its practice of electing to Honorary Fellowships. A very distinguished series of Trinity men began with Cardinal Newman, and has included many bishops, deans, judges, ambassadors, civil servants, men of mark in letters and science, and not a few benefactors such as Lord Lingen, Bishop Percival, and Dr. William Hunt. The financial management remained in the hands of the Rev. H. G. Woods, who succeeded to the Presidency in 1887.

Dr. Woods was influential in University affairs, especially on matters of art and finance, and was perhaps better known in the higher academic circles and, through his wife the poetess and novelist, Mrs. Margaret Woods, in literary society, than to the undergraduates. His successor, H. F. Pelham, scholar of Trinity and Fellow, first of Exeter and then (as Camden Professor of Ancient History) of Brasenose, was a Liberal of a more advanced school than Dr. Woods in University politics, and was famed for his lectures on Roman History. His commanding personality and wide hospitality was greatly appreciated both by residents and by past members of the college; and though he left most of the actual management to the fellows, he stimulated their efforts in many directions. Under him the playing-field of 10½ acres on the east bank of the Cherwell was purchased from Magdalen College, and then levelled and provided with a pavilion by subscribers. Owing partly to this, but still more to the exertions of one of the younger tutors, Charles Cannan, afterwards Secretary to the Delegates of the University Press, and partly to the admission of Rhodes Scholars from South Africa, Trinity became specially distinguished in the University Rugby Football teams. President Pelham was largely responsible for the institution of the Annual Dinner in Commemoration week which has taken the place of a Trinity Dinner in London, and partially at least of the original Gaudy on Trinity Monday. His tenure of office, however, was short, and was interrupted by operations for cataract. Though he had stipulated that he was not to be troubled with financial matters to the same extent as his four predecessors, he found routine business rather tiresome, and as his sight became worse, he was thinking of retiring to devote himself again more definitely to study, when he died in college, after a short illness, in February 1907. The fellows then elected the Rev. Herbert E. D. Blakiston, scholar 1881–5, and at the time senior tutor and junior bursar, who had been continuously in residence from 1887, and had in 1898 contributed to Robinson's Series a history of Trinity which, though necessarily short, is fairly comprehensive. Having been interested historically in the estates he was able to take sole charge of them when the bursar, R. W. Raper, died in 1915. He became Vice-Chancellor in 1917, and from 1918 to 1920 had to superintend simultaneously the revival of the University and of the college, and to deal with the investigations of the Royal and Parliamentary Commissions, whose results became statutory in 1923. As elsewhere, the value of the scholarships has now to be determined after investigation of means and the tenure of official fellowships is made subject to superannuation. 'Prize fellowships' were abolished, research fellowships were encouraged, and two 'non-stipendiary' fellowships were annexed to the professorships of Biochemistry and Romance Languages. Shortly after the First World War, the President raised by subscription, with interim interest, the sum of about £22,000 for the erection of a War Memorial Library, in which an ever-increasing number of modern books is provided for general use. To him is due also the definite policy by which all undergraduates are given rooms in the college for their first and second years, and go into lodgings afterwards, instead of having, in many cases, to reside as freshmen for one or two or even three terms. In its estates the college lost heavily through the relinquishment in 1933 of the lease of Wroxton Abbey by the Norths, who succeeded the Pope family there in the 17th century; but the surface working of ironstone in the same parish, which began during the War of 1914–18, has been increasingly profitable.


There have been twenty-one Presidents of Trinity. The smallness of this number for a period of nearly 400 years is due to the lengthy tenures of Yeldard, Kettell, Bathurst, and Huddesford, though Slythurst, Hawes, Ward, and Sykes had only six years between them.

Until 1871 the President was ex-officio Rector of Garsington, near Oxford, under a special grant obtained from Philip and Mary in 1557. The rectory house was rebuilt under the Founder's will for use by the college during epidemics. There are biographies of Harris (by W. Durham), of Ward (by W. Pope), of Bathurst (by T. Warton), and of Percival (by W. Temple). Besides these four, Yeldard, Kettell, Potter, Ingram, Pelham, and Blakiston appear in the Dictionary of National Biography, and many amusing stories about Kettell are to be found in Aubrey's Brief Lives (ed. Clark, vol. ii) with some references to Ward and Bathurst.

I. Thomas Slythurst (1556–9) had been Fellow of Magdalen College and Canon of Windsor. He refused the oath of supremacy, and is said to have died a prisoner in the Tower of London. (fn. 15)

II. Arthur Yeldard (1559–99), a Northumbrian from Pembroke College, Cambridge, was ViceChancellor in 1580.

III. Ralph Kettell (1599–1643), a very capable though eccentric administrator, repaired and improved the old Durham quadrangle, and rebuilt the hall.

IV. Hannibal Potter (1643–8 and 1660–4), a westcountryman, whose brother, Francis Potter, is described affectionately and at length by Aubrey (ed. Clark, vol. ii and Dict. Nat. Biog.), was 'outed' by the Parliamentary Visitors, being then a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, and was reinstated at the Restoration.

V. Robert Harris (1648–58) of Magdalen Hall, an aged preacher and pluralist, was installed by the Puritan Chancellor, Philip, Earl of Pembroke, and governed in a conciliatory manner.

VI. William Hawes (1658–9) resigned on his death-bed after less than 9 months of office.

VII. Seth Ward (1659–60) from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, became Savilian Professor of Astronomy and lived at Wadham College. Though he was not legally qualified, his election was popular. He had to retire after 10 months, but became Dean and Bishop of Exeter and Bishop of Salisbury.

VIII. Ralph Bathurst (1664–1704) was a man of considerable attainments in medicine and natural science. He built the new kitchen, two sides of the 'garden quadrangle', other rooms, and (largely at his own expense) the present chapel. He refused the bishopric of Bristol, but held the deanery of Wells, using his social position to increase the numbers and reputation of the college.

IX. Thomas Sykes (1704–5), who had been Margaret Professor of Divinity from 1691, held office for only eighteen months.

X. William Dobson (1706–31) had been out of Oxford for nearly 30 years, and seems to have been arbitrary and injudicious in office.

XI. George Huddesford (1731–76) had been Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, and was ViceChancellor in 1753–6.

XII. Joseph Chapman (1776–1808) is described as a dignified and easy-going pluralist.

XIII. Thomas Lee (1808–24) had also been nonresident for 18 years. As Vice-Chancellor from 1814 to 1818, he received the Allied Sovereigns.

XIV. James Ingram (1824–50) had been Rawlinson Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Keeper of the Archives. He was an antiquary of distinction and author of the Memorials of Oxford.

XV. John Wilson (1850–66) compiled catalogues and dissertations showing a profound knowledge of the college archives, but after many quarrels and appeals resigned office and retired to Woodperry House.

XVI. Samuel William Wayte (1866–78) was largely responsible for the improvement in the financial position of the college. As a cautious Liberal he had been one of the Secretaries to the first University Commission. He died in retirement at Clifton in 1878.

XVII. John Percival (1878–87), of Queen's College, had been for 16 years well known as first Headmaster of Clifton College. His tenure of office was marked by the erection of the New Buildings; but he never really settled down in Oxford. After eight years as Headmaster of Rugby he became Bishop of Hereford.

XVIII. Henry George Woods (1888–97) had succeeded Mr. Wayte as a very efficient bursar; he did much for the university galleries and other institutions. Shortly after resigning office he was made Master of the Temple.

XIX. Henry Francis Pelham (1897–1907) had been Fellow of Exeter College and from 1889 was Fellow of Brasenose as Camden Professor of Ancient History. He died in office in the President's House.

XX. Herbert Edward Douglas Blakiston (1907–38) had been scholar, fellow, tutor, and junior bursar. He was Vice-Chancellor (1917–20), and built the new Library as the college War Memorial. He resigned in 1938, and died as the result of a road accident in 1942.

XXI. John Reginald Homer Weaver (1938–). formerly of Keble College, had been fellow since 1913 and librarian since 1920. He was a Pro-Vice-Chancellor from 1945.


The most important pieces of the college plate are described with photographs in H. C. Moffatt's Old Oxford Plate (1906), nos. LXXV to LXXX. Besides the pre-Reformation chalice and paten hall-marked 1529, two fine communion flagons (given in 1634) escaped Charles I's mint. There is a large quantity of good table-silver of all sorts and date, mostly given by gentlemen-commoners on going down. Some large modern pieces were presented by or in memory of Lord Lingen, Mr. C. Cannan, President Pelham, Canon R. Duckworth, and Mr. C. R. MacVicar, and an unusually fine coco-nut cup was designed by the donor, Mr. H. C. Moffatt. There is also a silver model, made to scale, of the brass hall lectern of 1723 (now in the antechapel) for commemorating successes on the river.

The Library.

The old (or Fellows') Library, occupying the room built for the monks of Durham c. 1417, was almost doubled in contents by the bequest of President Ingram in 1850. It is not rich bibliographically, but contains a good collection of the larger county histories, three volumes from the library of Henry VIII, a fine copy of the Homer of Chalcondylas, some letters from Dr. Johnson to Thomas Warton, and about 80 medieval manuscripts, the best of which is the pars hiemalis of a missal made for an abbot of Abingdon in 1461. (fn. 16) The new (War Memorial) Library has been greatly enriched from the collections left to it among others by the Rev. Dr. W. Hunt, Dr. A. Robertson, Bishop of Exeter, Colonel W. G. Peterson, a former scholar, and Dr. Blakiston.


The portraits in the hall, common room, and President's House were catalogued and fully described with some illustrations in Mrs. R. L. Poole's Oxford Portraits, vol. iii, pp. 117–46. Since then a posthumous portrait of Sir M. D. Chalmers by T. M. Ronaldson has been placed in the senior common room, and another, also posthumous, of President Blakiston, by A. Gwynne Jones, in the President's House. Of the older portraits the best known are those of President Bathurst by Kneller, and Thomas Warton by Reynolds; those of the first Earl of Down by Marcus Gheeraerts and of President Seth Ward by J. Greenhill are also important. In the President's House is an original portrait of Sir Thomas Pope, of the school of Holbein. It was purchased from Wroxton Abbey in 1930, and appears to be a replica of the one at Tyttenhanger. Of the modern pictures the best are Bishop W. Stubbs by C. W. Furse, President Pelham by Herkomer, and Professor R. Ellis by Jacob Hood.


The brass seal of the college, which is preserved in its original iron box, is vesica-shaped (3½ in. by 2½ in.) and archaic in design. It bears the medieval representation of the Trinity, the Father and Son enthroned with the Dove above them. The legend is S. COE COLLEGII SCE ET INDIVIDVE TRINITATIS IN VNIVERSITATE OXON. EX FVNDACOE THOMAE POPE MILITIS. Below is the coat of arms granted to the founder in 1535, viz. Per pale or and azure on a chevron between three griffins' heads erased four fleurs-de-lys all counterchanged. The crest is two dragons' heads endorsed erased, a coronet about their necks counterchanged or and azure, set on a wreath or and vert. The Founder's own seal with the crest only between the letters T. P. was given to the college by the 11th Baron North. The arms and (improperly) the crest are used by the college, often with the Founder's motto, Quod tacitum velis, nemini dixeris, which is almost identical with one of the so-called Proverbia Senecae.


  • 1. A. Wood, followed by Warton, Ingram, and others, erroneously supposed Perilous (or Perles) Hall to have stood on the site of Kettell Hall; and this mistake was not fully cleared up until Dr. H. E. Salter printed the Oriel Register for the Oxford Historical Society in 1926 (see O.H.S. lxxxv, 276–9, and a note in Powell's ed. of Birkbeck Hill's Boswell's Life of Dr. Johnson, vol. i, 543). The fine stone house built by President Ralph Kettell c. 1620 was on the site of Baner Hall, leased to him by Oriel College: up to 1886 it was often leased to Trinity College, and used for students' rooms or sublet to private persons. Perilous Hall really stood just to the east of the frontage acquired by the Durham monks from Oseney Abbey for access to their main site. It was probably between the present porter's lodge and the iron gates; at that point there is a hole in Agas's map, but it can be made out in Hollar's view; farther east the three 'Trinity cottages' occupy the sites of Great and Little Bodin Halls, and possibly part of the site of Brackley Hall; but the whole area was divested of buildings and used only as garden ground in the 16th century. The present three or four small houses, thrown into the college since 1885, seem to have been built on a lease granted by Magdalen College, as the successor of St. John's Hospital, in 1675 (see the Cartulary, vol. ii, in O.H.S. lxviii, 316–30).
  • 2. Printed in Early History of St. John's College (O.H.S.), pp. 88–91.
  • 3. See the drawing by Francis Wise (1695–1762) at Trinity. It is engraved in Skelton's Oxonia Antiqua Restaurata.
  • 4. The names and a few of the figures are modern; but Thomas Becket can be identified with certainty by the fragment of Fitzurse's dagger in a badly cracked head.
  • 5. Some account of the foundation, constitution, development, and personnel of Durham College will be found in the Introduction to Some Durham College Rolls in O.H.S. Collectanea, iii (1896) and in the History of Trinity College, Oxford, chap. i (Robinson, 1898) above mentioned. These are summarized by Dr. H. E. Salter in V.C.H. Oxfordshire, ii, 68–9; see also Dr. J. T. Fowler's History of Durham University, chap. i (Robinson, 1904.), with the appendix of extracts from Durham Abbey Rolls of all payments made to students at Oxford, &c.
  • 6. See the Rev. B. H. Streeter's analysis in The Chained Library.
  • 7. Wren's drawings are reproduced in Wren Society, v, pls. iv-v. The mastermason was Thomas Strong of Taynton (R. Clutterbuck, History of Hertfordshire, 1815, i, p. 167). Wren's design has been ruined by the raising of the top story in 1802 and the replacement of the single mullion and transoms by sash windows in the 18th century.
  • 8. Wren Society, v, pl. vi and p. 16.
  • 9. The chief local craftsmen employed were Bartholomew Peisley, mason, and Arthur Frogley, master carpenter, who were paid respectively £21 and £230 in the accounts for 1691, and £102 and £380 in the accounts for 1694. The London wood-carver, Jonathan Mayne, is mentioned in the 1694 accounts in connexion with a bill (£5 8s.) for carved ornaments. There is also a carriers bill for conveying opera tabulata et Sculptilia to and from London. See also W. G. Hiscock in Country Life, 31 Dec. 1948, pp. 1398, 1401.
  • 10. The consequent demolition of the old treasury over the Durham porch forced the college to resort to a banker, 'Mr. Porter ye Goldsmith', i.e. Daniel Porter, goldsmith, 118 High St., 1674–1700 (Oxf. City Prop. 127, O.H.S.).
  • 11. Oxfordshire was allowed 5 Fellows, other counties only 2.
  • 12. The Founder's Statutes and the Royal Letters Patent were printed by the college in 1855 for the University Commissioners.
  • 13. The attics over the old library were built to accommodate him and his brother Henry in 1601–2.
  • 14. See article in Eng. Hist. Rev. for Apr. 1896.
  • 15. See W. D. Macray's Magdalen Register, new series, ii, 70.
  • 16. The other half of this (Digby MSS. 227) is exhibited in the Bodleian.