A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3, the University of Oxford. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1954.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
In this section
Nothing is known of the steps which led up to the foundation of the college. The first extant document in its history is the letters patent of foundation issued by Queen Elizabeth on 27 June 1571, at the request of Dr. Hugh Price. This provided for a college consisting of a Principal, eight fellows, and eight scholars to be known as 'Jesus College within the City and University of Oxford of Queen Elizabeth's foundation'. The letters patent laid down the purposes for which the college was founded; named the Principal, fellows, and scholars; empowered the new body to accept a bequest from Price of £60 a year, and other property up to £100 a year; gave to the college the site buildings and property of White Hall; and appointed eight Commissioners to draw up statutes for the government of the college.
The early years of the new foundation were not free from serious difficulty. (fn. 1) Price died in 1574 but his bequest was mismanaged and did not become fully effective for twenty-five years. Other benefactors did not come forward and for many years the college had buildings but no revenue. Moreover the Commissioners did not produce the statutes. None the less, on 7 July 1589, Principal Bevans, 'purchased at the charges of the College' the second letters patent from Queen Elizabeth by which the amount of property to be received from sources other than Price's bequest was raised from £100 to £200 a year and twelve persons were named to draw up statutes. But under Bevans little progress was made. In 1602 the vacancies in fellowships and scholarships that had arisen were filled up. In the same year the college received a benefaction from Herbert Westphaling, Bishop of Hereford, and one of twelve Commissioners named in the second letters patent, of lands in Herefordshire worth £20 a year. This was the first land which it actually possessed. The difficulties about Price's bequest had also been solved and the college had an income of £50 from this source. But there were still no statutes and although Griffith Powell was authorized to collect 'some statutes of other Colleges', Bevans lost the first draft and died before the second draft had received the assent of the necessary number of Commissioners. His successor, John Williams, kept the draft in his study for seven years 'at which time he never got them subscribed and confirmed' and when at last Powell protested to the Archbishop of Canterbury, deprived him of his office of Vice-Principal. Powell was restored by order of the Chancellor, but the statutes were not confirmed. They remained in the possession of the Principal until his death in 1613, by which time there were not enough of the original Commissioners alive to confirm them. Powell was nominated by the Chancellor to succeed Williams, and was admitted to the Principalship by the Vice-Chancellor in 1613. His tenure of the office saw several new benefactions—lands in Cardiganshire left by Principal Lloyd subject to his wife's interest, worth £15; lands in Anglesey from the Bishop of Bangor worth £15; and lands in Hereford bought with money left by Owen Wood, Dean of Armagh, to which was added part of the capital of Price's bequest: these were worth £20; and a small bequest from Thomas Redriche worth £10.
Many details of college history are recorded in the Bursar's accounts which were not systematically investigated by Hardy. The Battel books, partly used by him, have since his time been exhaustively tabulated for the period 1637–1799 by the Rev. A. Clark and his tables have been used in the account which follows.
Powell himself left 'all that he had', amounting to £648 17s. 2d., to the college which purchased lands in Flintshire worth at first £18 6s. 8d. Thus by 1620 the external revenue was slightly over £100.
Powell's successor, Francis Mansell, was, like his predecessor, nominated by the Chancellor and admitted by the Vice-Chancellor, despite protests from the three resident fellows, but he resigned in 1621 to make room for Sir Eubule Thelwall. Thelwall got letters patent from James I dated 1 June 1622 which allowed the college to receive endowments up to £600 a year and to increase the number of fellows and of scholars to sixteen. Six new fellows and six scholars were named to take the place of those in the original letters patent who had died and new Commissioners were appointed to draw up statutes. The Commissioners got to work at once and the statutes were signed by four of them in 1622. The statutes were closely similar to those of Brasenose College and were doubtless little more than the old draft of Powell revised.
On 4 April 1623 the Principal and three fellows met in the Principal's Lodgings and elected eight fellows and ten scholars. Thereafter elections according to the statutes were made regularly except during the Civil War, though sometimes there was insufficient revenue to pay the stipends of all those elected. None the less the college had begun to follow a normal life. Under Thelwall, too, further benefactions were received: a rent charge of £10 in Pembrokeshire from Sir Thomas Canon in 1622; £6 a year from land in Denbighshire given by Dr. Richard Parry, Bishop of St. Asaph in 1623; £4 a year from land in Denbighshire bought with a gift of £100 from William Pritchard; £25 a year from Mrs. Mary Robinson, paid through the Grocers' Company; £350 from Dr. Oliver Lloyd for a fellowship, in 1625; £500 'towards pious and charitable uses' from Sir Thomas Wynne in 1627; and £500 from Stephen Rodway for a fellowship, in the same year. (fn. 2)
Thelwall died in October 1630 and was succeeded by Mansell. The college owes much to one who is perhaps the greatest of its Principals: neither before nor since, until quite recent times, have the activities of the college been so fully recorded. If his biographer draws a true picture, Mansell was in more senses than one 'our common father'. (fn. 3) Benefactions continued to be received; from Richard Budde in 1630 for one scholar; £1,000 unconditionally from Sir John Walter in 1630, a benefaction injudiciously laid out in land by the college; lands at Caerleon worth about £20, to provide for two scholars, from William Thomas in 1633; £10 from William Robson, for two poor scholars, in the same year; property in Lad Lane, London, and land at Medmenham from King Charles I to provide three fellowships, at Exeter, Jesus, and Pembroke respectively, tenable by natives of the Channel Islands, in 1636; lands in Essex from Lewes Owen for scholarships; 'two several Chappels' in Pembrokeshire from David Parry for a fellowship—a bequest which never really materialized and seems to have come to an end before 1730; and the impropriate rectory of Holyhead from Dr. Thomas Gwynne in 1648.
By the time the Civil War began the college was making steady if unspectacular progress. But the war disrupted Mansell's plans and all but destroyed the corporate life of the college. Mansell himself was obliged to find refuge in Glamorgan and finally on 21 May 1648 was 'ejected out of the Headship' to make room for the 'infamous and corrupt' Michael Roberts. The fellows and scholars suffered with him. 'The cheerfulnesse, wherewith the generality of the Foundation-men and the rest of the Students too engaged for the King, Sufficiently evidences the right Principle in which they were bread att the College: For of Sixteen Fellows and Sixteen Schollars there remained but one Fellow and one Schollar that was not outed at the Visitation.' (fn. 4)
While the war lasted the college was 'dismantled into a part of a garrison'. In 1643 it contributed bread and beer 'to the Kinge's souldiers at the first cominge to Oxon from Edgehill'. It was taxed to the extent of £10 10s. 'towards the works'; 'uppon his Majesties motion' it gave £2 towards 'the releife and cureing of the maymed souldiers in and about Oxon', and maintained six foot soldiers for a month; it paid '12d. a head each weeke for all of the College towarde the fortifications in Christ Church Meade' from 17 June to the end of July, and 'more towarde the same' in August and September; it spent £3 14s. 3d. on 'Musquets, Pikes and the like'. One of these 'various and extraordinary expenses peculiar to the time' was 'a debt from the Lady Grandison for bread, beere, etc. had by her out of the Buttery: £13 15s. 2d'. The college also gave up all its silver. The total weight was 86 lb. 11 oz. 3 dwt.
For the years 1644 to 1648 Mansell summarized the accounts and among further 'various and extraordinary' expenses noted £4 10s. 'towards the fortification of Oxon,' 6s. 6d. 'to some of the poorer souldiers duringe the seige', 8s. 'for two bonefires upon the King's day in the yeares 47 and 48', and most surprising 'more debt contracted by The Lady Grandison for bread and beere had by her out of the Buttery: £10 17s. 2d'. Another note, perhaps significant, reads: 'there was no Bursar in all that time'.
In May 1648, Michael Roberts became Principal. But Mansell came back to Oxford in 1651 and apparently lived in the college from the beginning of 1652. The Society was far from happy and the fellows ultimately removed the Principal only to have their action overruled by the Visitors of the University. The matter was solved by the resignation of Roberts in 1658. Roberts continued to reside in college during the greater part of the Principalship of his successor, Francis Howell.
At the Restoration Howell was deprived of his office and Mansell was reinstated, thus becoming Principal for the third time. He resigned after seven months but continued to live in college, and to draw the emoluments of a prebend of Llandaff, which he had settled on the college in 1648, and a second prebend in the Collegiate Church of Brecon, until his death on 1 May 1665. He was succeeded by Leoline Jenkins who was elected on 1 March 1661.
The new Principal inherited a substantial burden of arrears of revenue and although the income of the college increased considerably during his lifetime little progress was made in collecting the arrears which appear annually as 'old and desperate debts', and when he died in 1685 the arrears of revenue amounted to £1,490 4s. 8d. (fn. 5) New benefactions came from William Backhouse in 1661 of land in Berkshire to maintain two fellows 'able at the time of their election thoroughly to understand and readily to speak the Welsh language'; from Dr. William Thomas and the chapter of St. David's in 1662 of an annual pension of £30 a year to maintain one fellow or two scholars; from Charles II who 'required' the Bailiff and Commonalty of Abergavenny to transfer to the college the rectory of Badgeworth in Gloucestershire with its glebe, tithes, and appurtenances, to endow a fellowship and a scholarship: in return the college undertook certain liabilities towards the school of Abergavenny; from Mansell who left his two prebends to the college in addition to some money which was used to buy land in Glamorganshire; from Richard Bloom in 1681 of land and property in Carmarthen worth £30 a year; and from Rice Powell in 1685 of an annual sum of £24. (fn. 6)
Jenkins resigned his Principalship in 1673 and was succeeded by Dr. John Lloyd. He continued, however, to interest himself in the college and at his death left all his real and personal estate to it. This so greatly increased the revenue that Leoline Jenkins has not inappropriately been called the second founder of the college. Lands in Gloucestershire, Northampton, Lambeth, and Glamorgan were added to the estates and with the money left, lands in Oxfordshire were purchased. In all the revenue was increased by about £700 a year.
This revenue was not entirely free from restriction. Some was to be used to augment the stipend of the Principal, to pay in full the sixteen fellows and scholars, to provide for two new fellowships, and to maintain Cowbridge School which was left to the college. Perhaps more important, however, was the indenture made between the executors of the will and the college for the purpose of implementing Sir Leoline's expressed wish that, in the settlement of the £120 to pay the fellows and scholars in full, 'before they receive any part of it, to fill up all Fellowships and Scholarships that are now vacant, and to set forth in one scheme the present sixteen Fellowships and sixteen Scholarships, and therein to show to what Diocese, County, Town, place or family, each by the disposition of the respective founder and donor ought of right to belong: and in case there be any of those places that are not already so affected and fixed by the particular donors, then to set forth in the said scheme how, and to what Diocese, County, Town, place or family they may be … appropriated with strict regard had to the donations and dispositions of the particular Benefactor respectively and with most advantage to the peace of the said College'. The scheme as drawn up by the college and approved by the executors of the will provided for seven fellows each from north and south Wales, one from England and one from the Channel Islands. The same arrangements held for scholarships except that there were two from England and none from the Channel Islands. Of the money actually available for fellowships and scholarships, amounting to about £430 in 1687, only £221 was closed to Welshmen although a further £69 was restricted to founder's kin which in most cases meant restriction to Wales. £120 was entirely 'open', which meant at the disposal of the college at their discretion, and £20 was confined to the Channel Islands. The 'open' money could have provided fellowships which under the scheme might have been allocated to localities in England but instead £90 of this revenue was appropriated to pay for Welsh fellowships the donors of which had not provided enough endowment. Thus the college, so far as its fellows and scholars were concerned, became a closed corporation. (fn. 7) This arrangement is not surprising for it merely gave legal form to what had become an established custom. The letters patent, and the statutes imposed no restrictions except that the statutes had regard to the wishes of benefactors. But the college had always been almost entirely Welsh. During the first 50 years of its existence only 84 Englishmen matriculated as against 233 from Wales and a further 70 from the Welsh border. The list of admissions, and the Battel books tell the same story for the remainder of the 17th and 18th centuries.
The college was never a large body. In 1631, when detailed records begin, 16 persons were admitted in addition to the foundationers, and this number was only slightly exceeded in the next 10 years. Nor could many more be housed for in 1639 'Jones ye commoner' had his admission fee refunded 'because he could not be fitted with a chamber'. For 10 years after the Civil War numbers rose slightly to an average annual admission of about 15. During the remainder of the century they were higher still, averaging about 24. (fn. 8)
The Royalist connexions of the college were maintained after the Civil War. Charles II was a benefactor and among the interesting relics left to the Principals of the college by Jenkins were a watch belonging to Charles I and a ring worn by his queen, containing a beautiful miniature of her husband. The Duke and Duchess of York and their daughter Anne visited the college in 1683 and viewed 'Sir Leoline Jenkins's new buildings'. When he became king, James II by letters patent confirmed the scheme for the disposal of Jenkins's benefaction. Special forms were bought 'for ye proclamation and thanksgiving service' on 26 July 1685, the year of Monmouth's rebellion, towards the defeat of which the college had contributed both to 'the University troop' and to the tenants of Badgeworth 'for ye militia'. Yet they helped the French protestants in 1688, celebrated 'the coronation of their Majesties' in 1689 and in 1690 gave £5 to the 'deprived clergy of Scotland'. (fn. 9)
The Welsh character of the college was strengthened by the large endowment of Edmund Meyricke who died in 1713. By his will he left lands in north Wales for 'the better maintenance of six of the junior scholars who are or shall be scholars of the foundation of the college out of the six counties of north Wales', and for six exhibitioners also from north Wales, as well as for buying 'Rectories, Impropriations, and Vicarages'. As a result of this bequest the emoluments of the north Wales scholars were raised above those of the south Wales scholars. Moreover, the availability of additional emoluments may explain the fact that entrants from north Wales became more numerous in the 18th century and by the middle of the century generally exceeded those from south Wales. Between 1758 and 1789, 248 entrants came from south Wales and 306 from north Wales.
During the 18th century college records tell of little but routine entries and departures of fellows and scholars. Numbers remained fairly constant: for the first half of the century about 25 entered each year: during the second half the number never reached this average and after the seventies was about 17. In 1702 the fellows, now paid in full, added to their number the two fellows provided for by Jenkins to be employed 'in his Majesty's Fleet at sea' or 'if there be no use of their service at sea' to be 'called by the Lord Bishop of London for the time being to go out into any of his Majesty's foreign plantations'. These fellowships were restricted to natives of the dioceses of Llandaff or St. David's and carried an additional stipend of £20 a year.
As early as 1694 a further provision of Jenkins was carried out when some of the fellows received an additional stipend 'for ye encouragement of ye study of Divinity'. (fn. 10) These fellows, known as 'Sir Leoline's Divines', were regularly paid throughout the century although their number and stipend varied from year to year in accordance with the terms of the will.
In 1729 the Principal and fellows began to divide among themselves the surplus from the Jenkins estate. In that year they divided £169 16s. 4d. and put £5 in the college chest. This 'dividend' only fell below £100 in three years up to 1750 and after that was usually much more. Payments into the chest were also increased. By the end of the century, however, and during the 19th century up to 1881 the whole of the surplus was divided and on occasion reached £4,000. It is doubtful whether this was strictly in accordance with the intention of the benefactor whose prudence would undoubtedly have conserved some of the surplus to increase the endowment. (fn. 11)
The college was little affected by the Napoleonic wars. Numbers fell substantially. There were about a dozen scholars. The average yearly number of new entrants was 18 for the period 1773–9, 16 for 1783–9 and only 10 for 1793–9. First indication of the war came with a subscription for raising men for the Navy in 1795. The next year 'it was agreed to raise the price of commons from six to seven pence on account of the high price of Butcher's meat'. Three years later the Principal, Joseph Hoare (1768–1802), subscribed £100 'for the prosecution of the war' and £20 for 'purchase of musquets and other necessaries for our members belonging to the University corps'. Four fellows added £31 to the fund which was spent with Collis the gunsmith and Badnall the tailor. Four college servants, Thomas Forster, Charles Prichett, William Bunting, and John Day were each fitted out with a uniform jacket, with buttons, a white dimity waistcoat, a black velvet stock, a pair of Russian drab pantaloons, a pair of buckles and garters. Mr. Davies and Mr. Flew, both scholars, were provided with swords, and Mr. Davies with accoutrements. Hats for the servants cost £6 10s., and other purchases were 'a sergeant's pike', 30 buff accoutrements with cartouch boxes and gilt stars, and '15 musquets with bayonets', all marked and numbered. Most of these wellequipped men do not seem to have left Oxford. Flew, who took his B.A. in 1799, was deprived of the scholarship 'for absence' in 1802 and Davies disappears from the list of scholars but Forster continued to clean the bursary and Day to perform his duties for many years.
In 1799 Davies was paid £3 3s. 'for the O.U.V.' and three servitors, Edward Griffiths, Roderick Lewis, and John Callowhill, were equipped with uniforms. Mr. Sergeant Matthews was provided with an epaulette at a cost of 4s. 6d. and Sergeant Carrick was paid £4 7s. 6d. for 'breast plates and gilding'. Griffiths and Lewis remained until Trinity Term, 1799, and Callowhill until Trinity Term, 1801.
In 1800 the fellows petitioned the Visitor to make a variation in the statute which prohibited them from holding property worth more than £10, because of the change in the value of money, and he agreed to increase the sum to £100.
No further direct references to the Napoleonic wars have been noticed in the records but the many special forms of prayer bought for use in the chapel, the subscriptions in 1800 of £10 10s. 'to the poor for soup' and in later years to the Vice-Chancellor's fund 'for ye poor' and large sale of timber from the college estates in 1806 and 1807 show that the college was not entirely unaffected. And it presumably celebrated peace prematurely, by paying for 'a transparency for the illumination' in 1814 and spending £22 6s. 7d. on the illuminations themselves. The aftermath of the war is reflected in a donation, in 1816, of £30 'to the association for the relief of the manufacturing and labouring poor' and in the increase in the salaries of all the college officers in 1824.
After the war the college recovered its numbers. From 1815 to 1820 the average yearly number of admissions was nearly seventeen, and during the next ten years it rose to twenty. But the minute book continues to record little but entries and withdrawals. The economic effects of the war may perhaps be seen in the rise of the 'old and desperate' debts from £478 18s. 9½d. in 1814 to £986 10s. 5d. in 1832. Meanwhile some effort had been made to overcome the disparity in the value of the north and south Wales Scholarships. Principal Hughes gave £105 in 1809 'for increasing the value of the South Wales and English Scholarships' and in 1810 came the first of the large benefactions from Rev. John Nichol for the same purpose. In all Nichol gave £1,750 between 1810 and his death in 1831. In 1828 the college also received a benefaction of £500 'under the will of the late Dr. Edward Jenkins'.
As the middle of the century approached, the minute book gives evidence of a fall in quality within the college. Scholarships went unfilled for want of candidates sufficiently qualified, and both scholars and fellows obtained frequent leave of absence. At no college meeting up to 1850 were more than 10 fellows recorded as being present. Numbers of undergraduates were slowly falling. Entrants only rose above 20 in 3 of the years between 1830 and 1850, and once, in 1842, fell to 7. The average over the first 10 years was about 16, and over the second 10 years about 15. The last gentleman commoner, the Hon. C. R. Cranstoun of the Island of St. Christopher, West Indies, was admitted in 1832 but apparently did not come into residence until 1835.
In the second half of the century great changes were made. In 1852 the Royal Commission was appointed. In October of that year the college drew up new regulations for college offices and in September 1853 appointed a committee 'to consider what changes might advantageously be proposed in, and how effected for, the College'. It reported in December. It accepted as a guiding principle the claim 'that the various Benefactors of the College intended to benefit the Principality of Wales'. In this frame of mind it is perhaps surprising that the college went so far as to suggest that restrictions within Wales should be abolished and that fellowships should not be given to scholars automatically but only if ceteris paribus they were fully qualified. The Commissioners wished to go much farther and a long struggle followed. The college remained obstinate (fn. 12) and the Commissioners gradually weakened until in the end the scholarships were left much as they had been except that local restrictions in Wales were abolished and the value was both raised in total and equalized as between north and south, while the fellowships were divided, one half to remain Welsh 'if and so long as the Principal and Fellows shall deem it expedient for the interests of education in connection with the Principality of Wales'.
The college reluctantly accepted the often-changed ordinances of the Commissioners in April 1857. In September of that year Principal Foulkes died and was succeeded by Charles Williams. Some attempts were then made to reform the college from within. In 1858 money prizes for Honours in Moderations and in the Second Public Examination were instituted. In the following year one of the fellows, J. D. Jenkins, gave notice of motion that the Holy Communion be celebrated weekly but 'after a conversation on the subject' in a college meeting the motion was withdrawn. In 1860 E. R. Wharton proposed and carried a resolution 'that it is desirable to add to the number of sermons preached in the College chapel' and elaborate plans were drawn up to put this into operation. Fellows could, however, avoid their duties and for all 'as nearly possible a month's notice from the Principal' was agreed. In 1867 it was decided that the Holy Communion should be celebrated on Ascension Day and on Trinity Sunday in addition to the usual Sunday in the term but two years later, in April 1869, L. Gilbertson failed to carry a motion 'that there be a celebration of Holy Communion in Chapel before Mattins on Holy Days and Sundays'. Clearly the governing body had changed little in its theological complexion in twenty years for in 1850, when H. D. Harper stood as a candidate for the vacant Headmastership of Sherborne School one fellow described him as 'always much opposed to any ultra notions in divinity, especially to Puseyism' and the Vice-Principal wrote: … 'amid the perversion of many of our brethren here in Oxford … I with much anxiety watched the workings of the mind of my young friend, and was delighted to observe that his great mind stood continually untouched and unleavened, that he was throughout a firm adherent to the faith of his forefathers, and an uncompromising opponent of the Popish tendencies of that time.' (fn. 13)
Despite all efforts for improvement numbers continued to fall, and between 1850 and 1870 entries only rose above 20 in one year (1869). For the first 10 years of the period they averaged nearly 13 but fell to 6 in 1855. During the second 10 years they rose to a yearly average of nearly 16 though in 1865 they were only 10. Nor did the admonitions of the Principal and of W. Eccles Jones who was Vice-Principal for a long period, produce any marked results. Williams died in 1877 and was succeeded by Harper, successively scholar, fellow, Headmaster of Cowbridge Grammar School and of Sherborne. He immediately found himself involved in the controversies over the proposals of the Royal Commissioners. His picture of the college is not favourable. Speaking at Llandovery School in 1879 he said:
In the four years 1862 to 1865, before the universal opening of other scholarships was developed and its influence fully felt, there were five Welsh scholars of Jesus College in the first class in classics in the first public examination; in the fourteen subsequent years there has been one only. In the final schools those earlier scholars generally attained second classes, and in the four years from 1864 to 1867 seven Welsh scholars won that honourable position—only one Welsh scholar has reached it since that time. The first class in classics in the final school would have had no representative from Jesus College in the last sixteen years, but for the marvellous energy and ability of one man, whom I should pain if I mentioned him by name. (fn. 14) In the first class in mathematics there have been two Welsh scholars during the same period. In the five years from October 1873 to October 1878, 188 natives of Wales and Monmouthshire matriculated as members of the University of Oxford, but only 70 of them as members of Jesus College. More of them were holding open scholarships at other Colleges than close scholarships at Jesus. (fn. 15)
The proposals of the Commissioners to remove some of the anomalies left by their predecessors in 1857 roused bitter opposition in Wales. Harper had stated his own view in 1878 and this produced a remarkable reaction. Led by the Dean of Bangor correspondents filled the pages of Welsh newspapers, protesting at the 'robbery' to be carried out, affirming that the sole purpose of the college was to serve the interests of Wales, and even in one extreme case declaring that 'it is monstrous and intolerable that a body … doing barely the work of a second-rate Welsh grammar school should be allowed to cumber the earth any longer'. Nonconformists joined the Anglicans; protest meetings were held all over the country; and opposition was organized in Parliament. Harper kept a dignified silence; J. R. Mowbray and James Bryce dealt with the opposition at Westminster; and the college accepted the proposals of the Commissioners.
After 1882 when these proposals took effect all official fellowships were thrown open though the college was left the right to elect non-official Welsh fellows, while for the scholarships the original proposals of the earlier Commission were adopted.
Four days before Principal Williams died, on 13 October 1877, it was agreed 'that it is desirable that the College should appoint Honorary Fellows' and the first three elected were John Rhys, Professor of Celtic, Lewis Morris, and the Rev. J. R. Green. (fn. 16) Two more honorary fellows were elected in 1882—Boyd Dawkins and Whitley Stokes.
Gradually the college began to take on new life. The new Principal found about sixty undergraduates in residence 'some of them the sons of Welsh gentlemen and very charming, but the larger proportion of young men the sons of ambitious Welsh countrymen, who had come to Oxford intending in most cases to be ordained to serve in Welsh villages, and who were not much accustomed to general society'. (fn. 17) But numbers remained small. In the eighties there were about six or seven scholars elected every year with a dozen others. In the nineties the number of scholars remained about the same while the non-foundationers increased to a yearly average of eighteen.
Other reforms came at a more leisurely pace. In June 1880 'it was decided to inquire as to the intentions of Mr. H. E. Roberts, Mr. J. H. Jones, and Mr. Evans Phillips as to their passing the examinations for their degrees'. Some weeks later these gentlemen 'stated their intention of offering themselves for examination in the Michaelmas Term'. In another ten years inquiry gave place to demand. Scholars were not infrequently deprived of their emoluments and internal discipline generally was improved. Smoking was prohibited in the quadrangles in 1884 and the gas lighting in the undergraduates' reading room was to be turned off at 10 p.m. 'except on debate nights'. In 1886 the prizes offered for third class honours were discontinued and undergraduate studies were encouraged by increasingly large sums spent on the Meyricke Library.
Ironically it was under Harper, the 'thief' of 1878, that the college assumed some of its modern Welsh characteristics. In 1878, as an experiment, a Welsh service was held daily at 10 p.m. The experiment was apparently unsuccessful and in January 1879 it was decided that the afternoon services at 5.30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays, should be in Welsh. That custom was continued until 1925. In 1882 it was decided that the commemoration of the founder and benefactors should be held in future on 1 March. The proposal was not carried out, and four years later the college let the hall for a Welsh dinner on that day and changed the hour of its own dinner to 6 p.m. But shortly after the college itself celebrated St. David's day with a Welsh service in chapel and an elaborate dinner.
Harper ceased to attend college meetings after November 1889 and played little part in college life during his long illness. None the less the college had greatly benefitted from his Principalship and was undoubtedly stronger at his death, which occurred in January 1895, than it had been when he was elected seventeen years earlier. Moreover, the progress which he stimulated was maintained under his successor, John Rhys. Numbers rose steadily. By 1902 the total new entries were 29; by 1912 they were 41. In composition, however, the college was slowly changing. The non-Welsh entrants, who had numbered 8 in 1882, and 11 in 1892, were 12 in 1902 and 23 in 1912. Though still regarded as 'the Welsh College' it was in fact not more than half Welsh by the outbreak of war in 1914.
The academic achievements of its members steadily improved during the Principalship of Rhys. First classes in the Schools were now relatively common and university prizes by no means rare. An important development came in 1907 when D. L. Chapman was elected to a fellowship and given charge of the chemistry laboratory which was formally opened in 1908. In 1912 M. P. Appleby was appointed a demonstrator in the laboratory. The successes of Jesus men in the Honour School of Chemistry were a tribute both to their tutors and to the foresight of that small governing body which as early as 1904 had discussed the question of building a laboratory. During the First World War this laboratory was the centre of important work for the Government.
During the First World War the college in the ordinary sense almost ceased to exist. In Trinity Term 1914 there were 129 members in residence: these had dropped to 59 a year later and to 36 in Hilary Term, 1916. At a college meeting on 18 August 1914 it was resolved to inform all scholars and exhibitioners who joined H.M. Forces that they could resume their emoluments on ceasing to serve. The fellows set up a rifle range in the fellows' garden and on occasions sent a bullet into Market St. A Belgian refugee, J. Tengals, was accommodated in 1914 and two more in the following January. On 28 April 1915, the minutes record: 'The Principal and Fellows having come to an informal understanding in the Vacation as to the sale of alcoholic drinks within the College and having further discussed the matter on meeting together on 24th instant, the Principal on that day put up a notice as follows: "The Principal and Fellows have resolved, that following the example set by his Majesty the King, the College supply no alcoholic beverage so long as the war continues".' In July an emergency statute was 'approved by the Lord Chancellor acting temporarily as Visitor during the absence of our Visitor with his Majesty's Forces abroad', and by September the Bursar was arranging to insure the London property against damage in air-raids. In that year too, Dr. A. E. W. Hazel, then fellow and tutor in Law, left to join the Ministry of Munitions, and special measures were taken to extinguish lights in emergency. In March 1916, the college provided a reading-room for soldiers, and in October opened more of its empty rooms to refugee students from Belgium and Serbia. It insured its Oxford property against air-raids and sent to all its agricultural tenants a circular urging them to increase as much as possible the food production of their holdings. Meanwhile on Sunday, 20 August 1916, its traditional routine was disturbed by the arrival of 63 officers of the Royal Flying Corps: thereafter they continued to reside, in varying numbers, until 14 December 1918. By that time the college was getting back to its normal life though it had lost its Principal, Sir John Rhys, who died in December 1915, and sixty-four of its members, and was shortly to lose its Bursar, William Hawker Hughes, who died in February 1919 and whose great services to the college 'in many and varied capacities continuously since 1873' were recorded in the minutes. By Trinity Term, 1919 the numbers were 104 and by Hilary Term, 1920, 166. To meet the shortage of accommodation a number of 'double' rooms were provided in the old and inner quadrangles and part of the Principal's Lodgings were used for undergraduates. This latter arrangement lasted until the summer of 1921, after which the Lodgings were occupied by the new Principal, E. G. Hardy, who had been elected in January of that year.
Hardy had been Vice-Principal for many years and was by now partially blind. None the less, his influence on the college had always been, and continued to be, great and during his short tenure of the Principalship—he died suddenly in October 1925—several important changes took place. In 1920, after protracted negotiations, the college transferred the freehold of Cowbridge Grammar School to the Glamorganshire County Council, under a scheme approved in 1919, and only bound itself to continue payments to the school so long as the provisions of the scheme were observed. In 1922 it received £2,101 from the Welsh Church Commissioners as compensation for the loss of its Welsh advowsons consequent upon the bringing into operation of the Welsh Church Act of 1914.
The economic effects of the war showed themselves in increases in wages to the staff in May 1919. These led to small increases in the charges to undergraduates, and months later were followed by small increases in the stipends of fellows. No real improvement in the position of the teaching staff was made until after the coming into operation of the new statutes in October 1926.
In the inter-war period, and particularly under the Principalship of A. E. W. Hazel (1925–44) great progress was made. To the History fellowship established in 1919 a second was added in 1933. In 1924 a second fellowship in Chemistry was established. Fellowships in Theology and in Physics date respectively from 1927 and 1934. In 1944 the lectureship in Modern Languages, provided for as early as 1921, was converted into a fellowship. This additional teaching strength, much of it recruited from former scholars of the college, was doubtless in part responsible for a remarkable academic record in the Schools and in university prizes, which placed Jesus in this respect among the leading colleges in Oxford.
During this period numbers were steadily rising. In 1923 and succeeding years the average annual admission, including scholars, was slightly above 40. In 1929 the number admitted was 50, and in 1936, 48. The total number of resident undergraduates and post-graduates reached its maximum of 196 in 1938.
Old emoluments were being offered for an increasing range of subjects and new scholarships were being established. Thus the King Charles I Scholarships were made available for 'any subject recognized in the Final Honour Schools of the University' in 1924, and in 1933 scholarships and exhibitions were offered for modern subjects (English, Modern Languages, and Geography).
This period also saw important changes in the sources of college revenue. In the immediate post-war period many small hill farms in north Wales belonging to the Meyricke Trust were sold and the proceeds invested in Government securities. This particular trust greatly benefited from the transaction. On the other hand the Tithe Act of 1936 adversely affected the revenues of the college to the extent of about £400 a year. Finally in 1935 the London County Council began its efforts to secure the property in Lambeth which had been in the hands of the college since 1685. Although the price ultimately received seemed high the college none the less suffered a serious diminution in revenue as a result of the sale. (fn. 18) It says much for the skilful handling of its property by two of its Bursars, A. E. W. Hazel and later P. A. Seymour, that the college not only survived the agricultural depression and these serious financial losses, but actually ended in a much stronger position in 1939 that it occupied in 1919.
In 1938 the shadows of war were already falling. The Steward and the Senior Porter were appointed air-raid wardens for the college in 1938 and in June 1939 arrangements were made for a 'black-out'. In September the first of the fellows was given permission to leave Oxford for service with the Officers' Training Corps, preparations were made to store valuables, and the pictures were being packed for storage in the cellars of Ripon Hall, on Boars Hill. By June 1940 some of the college cellars had been put at the disposal of residents in Ship St. in the event of air-raids, and an offer had been made to house some masters and boys to be evacuated from Tonbridge School. Six months later undergraduates were encouraged to remain during the Christmas vacation for fireguard duties by the provision of free board and lodging and in May 1941 all members of the college in residence in Oxford were required to perform what were then known as A.R.P. duties. Static-water tanks were built in each quadrangle and a trailer pump was bought. Thus in a somewhat different sense the college reverted to its position of three centuries earlier when it was 'dismantled into a part of a garrison'.
Yet college life went on much as usual. Many fellows left for war service or gave much of their time in Oxford to the same purpose. And although normal entrants fell from forty-eight in 1939 to twenty-six in 1942 numbers were maintained partly because the college was one of the 'reception' colleges, liable to provide for undergraduates from other colleges whose buildings had been requisitioned for war purposes, and partly because it soon began to accommodate cadets taking Naval or Air Force courses, state bursars training for scientific research, and others on special 'war' courses. Thus throughout the war period the college was full.
In 1944 the college lost its Principal, who died in August, and one of its senior fellows D. L. Chapman, who retired after nearly forty years' service. Sir Frederick W. Ogilvie, was appointed Principal in December 1944 and under him the college more than regained the position it held before the war. Largely increased numbers were accommodated in new rooms; (fn. 19) a hostel was acquired in Ship St.; and two 'Halls' became the order of the day.
The latest period of the college history has not been without its benefactors. In the nineteenth century the Assheton-Smith (1828), Thomas Phillips (1853), and Claudia Griffiths (1907) benefactions were given specifically for the benefit of Welshmen. In 1946 the Edwin Jones Scholarships were founded for a similar purpose. Hawker Hughes left money for minor exhibitions. An exhibition, confined to the Royal Grammar School, Worcester, was established by subscription in memory of R. S. Collins (1933), and a scholarship was founded by their family and friends to perpetuate the memory of T. E. Lawrence and his brothers (1937). P. W. Dodd, a former fellow, left the whole of his estate to provide grants to enable undergraduate members of the college to travel abroad (1932). Mrs. E. E. Genner endowed a prize in memory of her husband, who had been a fellow from 1903 to 1928, and in 1948 Mr. Welson endowed a prize in memory of his son. In 1940 Sir Edward Poulton gave £1,000 to provide an annual dinner for the fellows and their wives, and for the use of the senior common room, thus perpetuating the generous hospitality that he and Lady Poulton had dispensed for many years before the war. Finally in 1946 the Rev. John Whale left, unconditionally, £200 to the college and Sir Walter St. D. Jenkins gave £300 for use in the library.
The earliest book of benefactors (fn. 20) opens thus: 'Queen Elizabeth of happy and blessed memory, foundresse of Jesus College. She granted the first charter of foundation and gave the greatest parte of the ground whereupon the College is built which was before a Hall commonly knowne and called be ye name of White Hall.… It is not for certainely knowne but generally received by tradition that she gave besides out of Shotover and Stow-Wood all kind of timber for yt parte of ye Building wch was finished by Dr. Hugh Price.'
The land which was given by the queen extended from Ship St. to Market St., and in the Middle Ages was occupied by two tenements; on the north was Little White Hall, the property of Oseney Abbey, facing the city walls; on the south was Great White Hall in Market St. (or Chayny Lane), (fn. 21) belonging to St. Frideswide's. From about 1450 onwards these two halls were held as one, as is shown by the names of the Principals which survive; (fn. 22) and we are informed that an opening had been made to pass from the one to the other. We do not know what happened between 1523 when St. Frideswide's was dissolved and 1546 when Christ Church was founded. We should have expected that the part of the site which belonged to Oseney would be transferred to Christ Church; but for some reason, at present unknown, the property was retained in the hands of the Crown. Between Little White Hall and Turl St. there was a property of Lincoln College, called Lawrence Hall, which measured some 32 yds. east to west, and 30 yds. north to south. To the east of Great White Hall there were three small tenements in Turl St., belonging to Studley Priory, St. Frideswide's, and Godestow, which were ruinous by the beginning of the 16th century.
Price appears to have bought some land to the east of Great White Hall, fronting Market St. and Turl St., and there built what the Benefactors Book calls 'all the old Buildings towards ye East and South', i.e., what are now staircases I, II, III, and part of IV. Although twice radically altered since Prices' time they have much of their original character. (fn. 23) Their extent in Market St. can be seen by a slight change in the direction of the south front. If the Benefactors Book is accurate they must have been built between 1571 and 1574 when Price died. They appear on Agas's map of 1578. Price also secured from Lincoln College the lease of Lawrence Hall. In a deed of 1619 the college admitted that a portion of the chapel had been built on this leasehold land. The college continued to pay a quit-rent of £2 a year to Lincoln for this land until 1816 when it acquired the freehold.
The original buildings of White Hall survived until about 1620. A list drawn up by Principal Mansell (fn. 24) gives the names 'of those worthy personages who in Principal Powell's time (1613–1620) and at his request contributed to the building of the Hall (fn. 25) Buttery and Kitchen with the chamber over the latter'. (fn. 26) First on the list is 'Mrs. Ann Lloyd the widow of Dr. Griffith Lloyd [Principal 1572–86] whose bounty indeed gave first occasion to Mr. Powell to go about the work'. She gave £100. Two aldermen of the city of Oxford were among the local donors, and in all £160 13s. 4d. came from within the city of Oxford. Merchants and gentry in London gave £259 8s. and the remainder was raised in Wales and the Welsh border. Counties provided money as follows: Monmouth £15, Glamorgan £15, Carmarthen £59 16s., Pembroke £70 19s., Brecon £63, Cardigan £57 12s. 4d., Radnor £8, Cheshire (at the motion of Justice Chamberlayne) £10 17s., Denbigh £13 18s. 2d., Montgomery £25 11s. The clergy of Wales gave separately £78 7s. 4d. including £66 13s. 4d. from Richard Parry, Bishop of St. Asaph. The small sums received from Monmouth and Glamorgan were due to the death of Powell as a result of which many gentry who 'were to be solicited' were 'no further requested'. The recorded gifts ranged from £60 from John Young, Esq., Secretary to the Lord Chancellor, 'towards ye wainscoting' to 5s. though, as Mansell adds, 'some other of the four counteys last named did give somewhat towards this work but in such a mean proportion as we think they would have their names rather concealed than known'. The total raised was £838 12s. 2d. (fn. 27) There is no record of how the money was spent.
During the lifetime of Powell, Eubule Thelwall 'layd the foundation of the Chappell' which, shortly after he succeeded Powell as Principal, 'he finished and furnished'. (fn. 28) The fine portrait, which now hangs on the north wall of the hall, shows him seated, and in his hand is a roll inscribed 'A plan of the Chappell in Jesus Coll., Oxford built by Sir Eubule Thelwall'. On 28 May 1621 the chapel was consecrated by the Bishop of Oxford.
The original chapel was smaller than the present building. In 1636 Sir Charles Williams gave £200 to extend it at both ends. The entrance porch was moved westward (fn. 29) though the old door-way was not completely blocked and still remains, and the east end was carried out to its present limit on Turl St. The original east window was converted into an arch. On 28 April 1637 Mansell 'gave an account of the disbursement of Sir Charles Williams his bountye towards the new addition to the Chappell'.
|To Richard Maude free Mason by bargayne for laying the foundation, raysing the walles, making a faire East window, paving with Hedington ragge, and making four ascents into the Cappel [sic]||90||0||0|
|To James Boothe Carpenter for laying a firme substantial roofe of 14 pairs of strong rafters and bringing ye roofe of the old building to it||36||0||0|
|To Edward Baines slatter for slating all with Burford slates, (fn. 30) good lime and sand||12||0||0|
|More to him for playstering and whiting the inside throughout||3||16||0|
|To Thomas Bull Smith for iron works more than was had out of the old east window||2||10||0|
|To Edward Fletcher for glasse||3||4||0|
|To Thomas Richardson Joyner for the waynscot below and above (fn. 31)||60||0||0|
|More to him in regard to the worke better done than at first agreed upon||4||0||0|
Thelwall, in addition to building the first part of the chapel, collected money for 'the perfecting of the Quadrangle of the building and furnishing of the Library'. The largest contributor was The Lady Bromley who gave £100. The Lady Mary Cockrayne gave £50; John Harmer, Bishop of St. Asaph collected £42 15s. 6d. from his clergy. But most of the subscribers were merchants or citizens of London; among them Rowland Heylin, Alderman, (£20), Edward Littleton, Recorder of London, (£10), and Sir Julius Caesar, the Master of the Rolls. The total raised was £465 15s. To this was added 'the money left by Principal Powell' and £300 from the benefaction of Hugh Price. With this the buildings of White Hall that remained after the erection of the kitchen were pulled down to form the remainder of staircase IV and staircase V, thus completing the south range. On the opposite side of the quadrangle Thelwall built the Principal's Lodgings with its magnificent panelled dining-room. (fn. 32) The library ran westward from the north end of the Lodgings and stood on a colonnade. It soon became in a 'ruinous condition' and was pulled down by Mansell. Before this was done, however, very careful measurements were made of the interior of the building and the presses were carefully taken down and stored, with the books, in 'the Bursar house'. (fn. 33) Here, too, according to Mansell's inventory of 1648, were 'some hundreds of white and black marble stones bestowed upon the Coll. by Mr. Lewis Roberts of London, merchant, deceased, towards ye paving of the upper part of the Chappell'. (fn. 34) When these stones were put into the floor of the chapel is not known but many of them survived the drastic 'renovation' of 1864.
Mansell, like Powell, decided to extend the college by public subscription and began to collect money 'towards a second quadrangle'. Work was apparently started in 1639 when certain persons were paid for carrying timber to the college. One of the lower chambers in 'ye new building' was whitened and painted in 1641. By 1643 the work was sufficiently complete for Mansell to give a detailed account of his receipts and expenditure. (fn. 35) 'Unto the first of May' of that year he had collected £1,068 12s. from 108 subscribers. He heads the list with £100; Sir Lewes Mansell, Sir William Russell, Mr. John Craven and The Lady Anne Middleton gave £50 each, eleven fellow commoners unnamed 'who gave heretofore £3 a piece for Plate which was now thought fit to be converted to this use', provided £33. Most of the subscribers appear to have been Welshmen. The work done falls into two parts. First the old library had to be removed, and a new building put in its place. This cost £533 6s. 3d., payments being made as follows:
'The account for the 2nd peece of Buildinge towards Chayny Lane' follows with similar detail: the cost was £578 4s. 4d. All the earlier workmen were employed except Whitfield whose place as slater was taken by William Davyes who being unable to write made his mark ↑ as receipt for £68. These payments included £23 to Maude 'for diggings of gravell, wheeling the earth, pitching and levelling the quadrangle and making a newe mound wall to close it'.
Mansell ends his account somewhat pathetically. 'So ye summe of expenses exceeds that of receipts by the summe of £42 18s. 7d. to be borne by the Coll. untill money come in from Benefactors.'
The two buildings then finished gave the college staircases XIII and VI. Mansell's biographer (and successor as Principal) says that Mansell 'had contributions sufficient in view to finish and perfect his new quadrangle: Sir George Vaughan of Foulkston in Wiltshire having declared that himself would be at the whole charge of the west end which was designed to be the library.' (fn. 36) But the Civil War destroyed all Mansell's plans and the benefactors were lost for ever.
It was not until 1676 that building began again. (fn. 37) In that year £500 17s. 6d. was spent 'in aedificiis hoc anno auspicatis' and the Bursar's accounts record under donations, 'Thomas Rowney of ye City of Oxford his gift to ye new building £10'. In the following year £50 was received from Sir Leoline Jenkins, and in 1678 a further £31 2s. 6d. The first stage was finished in 1679. It had cost £1,439 15s. 1d. and had produced staircase VIII, the library and the common-room below it. Further building in 1690–2 presumably completed staircase X. Towards this a benefaction of £100 was received from the late Principal Dr. Lloyd. In 1692 no less than £205 14s. 4d. was spent on Dr. Maurice's study. (fn. 38)
In 1693 came the first of many gifts from Jonathan Edwards. He gave £80 and in that year £65 11s. 11d. was spent on the chapel, presumably in erecting the screen. (fn. 39) New gifts came in 1695 and following years 'towards ye New Building'—£20 from Dr. Evans, £30 from 'ye Reverend Mr. Principal' (Edwards), £40 from Sir Paul Pindar. In 1699 more building took place at a cost of £625 3s. 11d. and again in 1702 at a cost of £220 14s. 10d.: presumably the west range was extended. Edwards gave another £100 in 1702, a further £100 in 1703, (fn. 40) and left £600 to the college at his death in 1712. In the following year 'the northwest corner of the new Quadrangle' was built. This completed staircases XI and XII and so, after a period of seventy years, produced the quadrangle that Mansell had projected, and, except for the battlements over the hall, the one that exists to-day.
It has often been stated, apparently on the authority of Wood or Gutch, that Sir Leoline Jenkins built at his own expense a large part of the south and west ranges of the Inner Quadrangle, including the library. (fn. 41) Jenkins was a munificent benefactor but all that his biographer Wynne claims for him is 'a pretty large contribution to the building in the New Quadrangle on the West side of the College Hall', (fn. 42) and the college accounts agree with this description. The Inner Quadrangle, like the Old Quadrangle, was the gift of many benefactors.
The library was opened for use in 1679 and to it were transferred the 'waynscot with the rods, barres, chaynes and other like materials' that had been stored in the Bursar house above the buttery. When staircase X was completed the bursary was presumably moved to the ground-floor room to the north of the entrance, off which led the muniment room: this room is so named in the plan of the college dedicated to Principal William Jones (1720–5). (fn. 43) By some confusion the name 'Old Bursary' became attached in recent times to the common-room under the library.
During the period from 1675 to 1713 when the Inner Quadrangle was being completed no less than £3,164 17s. 7d. was spent, (fn. 44) but the only detailed account is for the last portion. The following is the entry in the Bursar's register:
'The NW. corner of the New Quadrangle was built in the year 1713 Joh. Wynne D.D. Prll. the summary of the charge is as follows viz
|The Mason's Bill||135||13||03|
|The Carpenter's Bill||14||04||00|
|Slater and Plaisterer Bill||032||11||05|
|Iron Monger's Bill||008||01||03|
|tot.||329||11||01' (fn. 45)|
Some at least of the timber used probably came from Windsor Forest for a licence to fell timber there was purchased in 1704 for £1 5s.
The first changes in the original buildings had been made by 1740. By that year the front of the Principal's Lodgings was carried to its present height, the top windows put in to replace the dormers, and the battlements added. (fn. 46) In 1741–2 no less than £423 17s. 4d. was spent on the hall. In 1741 £60 was paid 'to ye plaisterer for work done in ye Hall, for part (ye whole not being finished)'. This expenditure doubtless represents the cost of putting up the present ceiling and making the rooms above it in the original timbered roof. Towards this work Principal Pardo gave £21.
The same Principal gave £157 10s. in 1756 'towards altering and improving the front of the College'. This met the bill of Townesend the mason, which was £156 18s. 11d., but left heavy expenditure on other items unprovided for. Moreover, at this time the college was spending large sums in repairs to the older parts of the college, an expenditure which continued throughout the century. Principal Hoare gave £200 towards repairing the Old Quadrangle in 1791 and 1792. The Napoleonic wars do not seem to have stopped expenditure on these matters and after their end, over a period of ten years, the Old and Inner Quadrangles were altered. The chapel wall was carried to its present height and battlements added; the wall on the east range above the upper windows was similarly treated; and it is possible that the same happened to the south range. At the same time the battlements were carried along the east side of the hall, and were completed on the west side. (fn. 47) Many windows in the college were altered and new sashes put in. For some of this work the college had the advice of John Nash, who took no fee but asked that his portrait be painted and hung in the hall. (fn. 48) The fine painting by Sir Thomas Lawrence commemorates this happy association. The fee paid to Lawrence for this picture was £449 10s. In 1831 the college clock was given by Principal Foulkes. Its value was £110.
About the middle of the century further great changes took place. In 1853 'Mr. Buckler, Architect' began his long association with the college, (fn. 49) and in that year, under his direction, the south front was restored at a cost of £1,495 1s. Two years later the east front was similarly treated, and the present tower built, at a cost of £1,854. (fn. 50) Attention was next directed to the chapel. Since the erection of the screen in 1693 it had remained almost unaltered. In 1721 'the sisters and administrators of the Reverend Mr. John Brickdale, B.D., Fell. of this College, who died in 1716, gave a brazen desk for the Chapel; value 45 lb'. The money given was not enough and the Bursar's account records: 'Paid for the Brass Desk over and above what the sisters of the Rev. Mr. Brickdale, late Fellow and VicePrincipal of this College gave, £8.'
In 1736 came another benefaction. 'The Right Honourable Benjamin Parry, Privy Counsellor and Register of Deeds in Ireland, bequeath'd the sum of forty pounds to purchase a piece of plate for the Altar, mentioning in his Will that this Legacy is in gratitude for the kind reception and treatment of his uncles (both of whom were afterwards Bishops in Ireland) met with in this College during the troubles in Ireland. With which money, and eighteen pounds given by the Reverend Thomas Pardo, D.D., the worthy Principal of this College, a large pair of silver candlesticks were purchas'd for the Altar.' (fn. 51) In 1853 the Principal, fellows, and the holders of most college livings subscribed £350 10s. for an east window in the chapel. The work was entrusted to Hedgeland who carried it out for £399.
On 18 June 1863, when the college was visited by the Prince and Princess of Wales, their Royal Highnesses were conducted to the chapel, and on leaving the college 'expressed great interest in what they saw'. They must have been almost the last of the visitors who saw the chapel in its early beauty as shown in the Ackerman print. It had, in fact, already been changed by the insertion of Hedgeland's beautiful modern glass in the original 'faire' east window.
Three days before the visit of the Prince and Princess
of Wales the Principal and fellows of the college had
decided to 'renovate' the chapel. On 15 June 1863,
so runs the minute,
it was agreed that the renovation should be made in the long vacation of this year, and that it should include—(1) A north window in the Sacrarium instead of the present window to correspond with the other windows but not equally large; (2) A new arch between the main body of the Chapel and the Sacrarium; (3) New sittings and desks according to the plan, but the desks not to be very low; (4) A modification of the side alleys, right and left, walking up the Chapel; (5) Paving black and white in the body of the Chapel but with discretion to the Architect, in the Sacrarium to be left to the Architect with the instructions to avoid over much colour; (6) An Altar-rail of metal of a simple kind and present one of the altar to be used as gates or otherwise; (7) A Reredos in three compartments for designs in sculpture—to be settled by Committee of Principal, Vice-Principal, Bursar and Mr. R. Owen; (8) The Architect to suggest modifications of the antechapel to be considered by the Committee. It was agreed that the Principal and Bursar should be empowered to make contracts for the execution of this renovation, Mr. [G. E.] Street being the Architect.
A year later, on 3 June 1864, 'it was agreed that
Mr. Street the Architect be requested to send in
another design for the Reredos of the Chapel'. This
was submitted and on 11 June 'was examined and
criticism upon it directed to be sent to Mr. Street'.
Thereafter the minute book contains no entries relating to the chapel. But the Building News of 21
October 1864 reported that the 'restoration' of the
is approaching completion, and is of a very spirited character. … A handsome arch, with a span of 18' and an elevation of 25' has been substituted for the original smaller arch, and shows the east window to great advantage. … A new north window has also been inserted, the walls having been replastered, and the heavy painted cornice replaced by one in oak of elegant design. Amongst other improvements are a handsome Reredos, two archades, and a new altar screen of alabaster, Devonshire marble and yellow Mansfield stone. The new pavement is exceedingly beautiful, being composed of marble, alabaster, and Minston's encaustic tiles. (fn. 52)
In this drastic 'renovation' it is fortunate that most of the fine screen has survived, though ironically enough the arms of the builder of the chapel, Sir Eubule Thelwall, were removed to a position above the door, where they can scarcely be seen, when the new organ was put in at the end of the century. (fn. 53) The original panelling was practically given away and now adorns the chapel, dining-room, and library of Forest School, Epping. The Jacobean pulpit and some of the blackand-white paving survive as a reminder of the past and the roof retains its original beauty. The picturesque monument to Thelwall, and another to Mansell, are hidden in the sacrarium, as is the copy of Guido's painting of St. Michael overcoming the Devil, which once did service as an altar-piece and had been moved to the west wall to make room for Hedgeland's window. (fn. 54)
In June 1878 it was decided 'to take six sets of vacant rooms in Staircases I and III into the hands of the College and to improve the furniture in such manner that the valuation may not exceed £25'. It 'was also arranged to replace the staircase in No. III by a stone staircase of different construction'. This set an unfortunate precedent for on 16 January 1882 fire destroyed one room and severely damaged four others on staircase XIII. £109 10s. was recovered from the insurance company but £50 was required to pay for the loss of the property of Mr. J. E. Evans. It was decided, however, 'to replace the staircase in stone, and the stud partitions in brick, and to reface the three bays'. The ugly pattern of staircase III was copied. An incidental result of the fire was the installation of 'a fire main' in each quadrangle, and a decision to insure furniture, pictures, and plate. (fn. 55) Moreover, disputes with the occupants of the damaged rooms about the value of the furniture led the college gradually to adopt a policy of furnishing all rooms and charging a furniture rent at the rate of 5 per cent. on the value of the furniture provided.
In 1879 the south front of the chapel was refaced and in 1884 the Principal's Lodgings were greatly enlarged by the addition of a north wing. In 1906–8 the Ship St. buildings and the Leoline Jenkins Laboratories were built. The laboratories were formally opened on 23 June 1908, although they had been in use for the greater part of the academic year 1907–8. A leaflet printed for the opening ceremony gives the following particulars:
The Sir Leoline Jenkins' Laboratories are located in the west wing of a new stone building facing Ship St. The whole building is surmounted by a tower, beneath which is a new entrance to the College. Within the tower are two large rooms, one of which is to be used as a lecture room. The other contains the Library for Undergraduates, established out of a part of the income derived from the Meyricke Trust. (fn. 56) The new building also includes two new staircases XIV and XV, containing nine sets of Undergraduates' rooms situated between the Tower and the Principal's Lodgings.
The Laboratories comprise three stories. Practical work in Chemistry will be mainly confined to the two rooms on the second floor. The larger of these two rooms is already equipped with benches, draught chambers (worked with an electric fan), and the other requisite furniture of a modern Chemical laboratory. It is designed to accommodate twenty students; this maximum number has been almost reached by those regularly working in it during the Summer Term. The lecture room on the first floor is also complete, and will seat a class of about 100. Opposite to the lecture room are the preparation room and tutors' room. The ground floor, which is as yet unfurnished, will be used for the teaching of such Elementary Physics as is required by the Undergraduates of the College, and also, and principally for research. There is ample space in the basement for the storing of chemical apparatus, and for the conduct of experiments involving much dust and fumes, such as work with the electric furnace. For such experiments cables capable of carrying a current of 400 amperes have been connected with the town mains. Throughout the building the electric current needed for the working of motors and the charging of storage cells, etc., is transmitted along cables designed for 100 amperes, and in the rooms already furnished the current may be taken from a number of experimental plugs placed at convenient distances apart.
A large proportion of the teaching (both practical and theoretical) for the Honours School of Chemistry is now distributed amongst the College Laboratories, special subjects being assigned to each. Of this system the Laboratories of Jesus College will form a part, and it is intended that the Undergraduate Members of the College should still receive the full benefit of the special instruction given in other laboratories. By increasing the total accommodation the new laboratories will strengthen and amplify this now well established inter-collegiate system of training in Chemistry.
The laboratories were closed in 1947 and later converted into rooms for undergraduates. At the same time the upper floors of the remaining buildings in Ship St. were brought into use for undergraduates. The plans were prepared by Professor A. E. Richardson, R.A., and Mr. E. B. Maufe and the work was carried out by Messrs. Hutchins & Green. Accommodation has been provided for three fellows and forty-six undergraduates in addition to a lecture room and the Meyricke Library. The cost was approximately £25,000.
The hall narrowly escaped destruction in a severe fire which broke out in the early morning of 4 December 1913 in the rooms over the Bursar's sitting-room (V. 3). (fn. 57) 'For a while' so runs the minute 'the Dining Hall seemed to be in imminent peril of being burnt, but by 7 o'clock the Firemen were seen to be getting the fire under and successfully checking its progress towards the Hall'. When the Bursar's sitting-room was rebuilt a portion of it was cut off to form the gallery of the hall. The work, designed by the college surveyor, Mr. J. England, was skilfully done and few can detect where the new balustrade joins the original screen of Powell's Hall.
After the fire the kitchen and buttery were entirely rebuilt. The bursary, which had moved from staircase X back to the original 'Bursar house' now moved again, first to the first-floor room on staircase X, and later to the top floor of the same staircase. In 1945 when more space was necessary for college offices it was moved again to staircase III and now occupies a room in Price's original building, the walls of which retain some of their 17th-century panelling.
A large part of the Inner Quadrangle and of the Principal's Lodgings were refaced during the period 1927–35.
The present library, (fn. 58) completed in 1679, was furnished with the presses taken down when the earlier library was demolished, and stored for about forty years. Some changes have been made since 1679, but substantially the interior of the library is much as it was then. A long case, which obscured the proportions of the room, was put in about 1880 to house the Celtic collection, but this, and the books themselves, were removed to a room adjoining the new Meyricke Library on Staircase XVI in 1949. A comparison of the photographs in Hardy's and in Fordyce and Knox's account strikingly illustrates the improvement that this removal has made.
The manuscripts of the library, some 150 in number, have been deposited on loan in the Bodleian Library since 1886. Sixty-one of them date from the 14th or earlier centuries. The earliest manuscripts are all theological. One of the Welsh manuscripts, the Red Book of Hergest, was written in the late 14th and early 15th centuries and 'is of special interest to students of medieval literature'.
The printed books of which 'there are perhaps 10,000 to 12,000 volumes' come for the most part from seven sources. The catalogue of 1649 shows that the Library had about 430 books. Of these one hundred, mostly legal works, came from Griffith Powell, and 250 were given after Powell's death in 1620 or were printed after that date. In 1648 came the munificent gift of some 900 books from Lord Herbert of Cherbury 'for the inception of a library', a phrase indicative of the comparatively narrow range of the library as it then was. 'The books cover practically the whole range of learning of the day: besides Latin and Greek classics there are sections concerned with theology, jurisprudence, philosophy, astronomy and mathematics, medicine, music, and strategy.'
In 1649 Mansell gave to the College his 'very cornpleat' library of nearly 600 books. 'The majority of them are theological, but there are also a number of classical texts and books of legal, medical, or general interest.'
The most important gift in the second half of the century came from Sir Leoline Jenkins, which added to the theological, classical, and historical sections of the library and was particularly rich in Canon and Civil Law.
At the beginning of the 18th century came the bequest of Jonathan Edwards, a large collection which included works on theology, classics and history. Later Griffith Davies, fellow of the college who died in 1724, greatly enriched the collection of medical books, and Henry Fisher, Registrar of the University from 1737 until his death in 1761, left a larger and more diversified collection consisting in the main of contemporary publications.
The last substantial benefaction until the present century came from Joseph Hoare (Principal 1768–1802), but this gift of many hundreds of volumes was 'simply placed, or flung, into the room and lay there on the benches or the floor or in gaps in the presses, not incorporated into the library or noted in its catalogue for over a hundred years'.
For the rest there is little to record. The Celtic collection, not part of the 'Old' Library, was greatly enriched by the books of the Rev. Charles Plummer, presented by his executors in 1927: as stated above this collection has now been moved.
In 1947 Mr. R. J. Stopford gave a complete set of the works of J. R. Green, and a number of his letters to his wife, as a memorial to one of the most distinguished of Jesus men.
All the original plate (fn. 59) was given to Charles I. The earliest piece now surviving is a silver-gilt chalice dated 1661, but possibly a copy of an earlier Elizabethan chalice. There is a fine collection of domestic silver covering roughly the hundred years following the restoration: a magnificent bowl, of porringer form, dating from 1684, a very large silvergilt punch-bowl of 1726, a silver punch-bowl of uncertain date but given to the college in 1733, and four silver-gilt gallon tankards (1685, 1701, 1709, and 1713) are outstanding examples.
A large amount of silver, mainly 'potts' and tankards, known to have been in the possession of the college in the 17th century, was converted into other articles at later dates. A large bowl of 69 oz. given in 1660 was in part used, in 1770, to make a cruet stand and 'one large pott' of 38 oz. given in 1662 was converted into a pair of salvers. Nearly forty pieces were treated in this way in addition to twelve forks of 1684 which became a pair of salt cellars in 1760 and eleven spoons of 1663 which were remade at a later date.
Among the modern silver two collections are of special interest. Lord Sankey's various benefactions together make the largest gift of silver from a single donor—a tankard, a rose-bowl, a cigar-box, and two large cups one of which is a copy of a Lamarie cup of 1743. A number of individual benefactors between 1936 and 1939 gave tankards based on a design by the Danish silversmith Jansen. These tankards will in time rank high in the collection of the college plate.
The pictures (fn. 60) of the college if not large in number contain some interesting features. Of the three of Queen Elizabeth one bears the date of 1590 and a second is probably contemporary. The School of Holbein is represented by Hugh Price. There is a fine Van Dyck of Charles I and a good portrait of Charles II attributed to Lely. The same artist may have painted the portrait of Archbishop Ussher. The way in which the college came to possess the portrait of John Nash by Lawrence has been explained above. One of the few 'Missionary' fellows who actually served abroad, J. D. Jenkins, was painted by Holman Hunt in 1852 before he left for South Africa. To the modern paintings given in Mrs. Lane Poole's list should be added that of Lord Sankey, by Sir Oswald Birley, and that of T. E. Lawrence which Mrs. Alix Jennings copied from Augustus John's well-known portrait in the Tate Gallery.
David Lewes, 27 June 1571
Griffith Lloyd, 1572
Francis Bevans, December 1586
John Williams, 16 May 1602
Griffith Powell, 8 September 1613
Francis Mansell, 3 July 1620
Sir Eubule Thelwall, May 1621
Francis Mansell, October 1630
Michael Roberts, 22 May 1648
9. Francis Howell, 24 October 1657
Francis Mansell (restored), 1 May 1660
Sir Leoline Jenkins, 1 March 1661
John Lloyd, 24 April 1673
Jonathan Edwards, 2 November 1686
John Wynne, 13 August 1712
William Jones, 16 June 1720
Eubule Thelwall, 7 December 1725
Thomas Pardo, 10 July 1727
Humphrey Owen, 11 May 1763
Joseph Hoare, 27 April 1768
David Hughes, 10 June 1802
Henry Foulkes, 24 March 1817
Charles Williams, 1 October 1857
Hugh Daniel Harper, 14 November 1877
John Rhys, 18 February 1895
Ernest George Hardy, 13 January 1921
Alfred Ernest William Hazel, 28 November 1925
Frederick Wolff Ogilvie, 16 December 1944
John Traill Christie, 19 July 1949.
Aston Clinton. R. Bucks. Purchase. 1727.
Bagendon. R. Gloucs. Purchase. 1712.
Braunston. R. Northants. Purchase. 1727.
(fn. 61) Clynnog Fawr. R. Carnarvon. Benefaction. 1660.
(fn. 61) Flint. V. Flintshire. Benefaction. 1626.
Furtho. R. Northants. Benefaction. 1675.
(fn. 61) Holyhead. R. Anglesey. Benefaction. 1648.
(fn. 61) Llandow. R. Glamorgan. Purchase. 1736.
(fn. 61) Llanwnda with Llanfaglan. V. Carnarvon. Benefaction. 1660.
(fn. 61) Llandyssil. R. Cardigan. Benefaction. 1680.
Longworth. R. Berks. Purchase. 1691.
Nutfield. R. Surrey. Benefaction (part). 1685. Purchase (remainder). 1740.
Plumpton. R. Northants. Benefaction. 1846.
Remenham. R. Berks. Purchase. 1691.
Rotherfield Peppard. R. Oxon. Benefaction. 1685.
Scartho. R. Lines. Purchase. 1716.
Worc. Purchase. 1713.
Wigginton. R. Oxon. Benefaction. 1685.