St. Edmund Hall

Pages 319-335

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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Tradition has long associated St. Edmund Hall with the site of the house where St. Edmund of Abingdon (Archbishop of Canterbury, 1234–40) lived while he was lecturing in Arts in the University. (fn. 1) It is known that with lecturefees (collecta) received from his pupils St. Edmund erected in Oxford a chapel in honour of our Lady 'in the parish in which he resided'. (fn. 2) Architectural evidence points to the Lady Chapel attached to the Church of St. Peter-in-the-East as most likely to have been the chapel which St. Edmund had built. This identification supports the long-standing tradition that St. Edmund Hall, which is situated on the south side of St. Peter's churchyard, commemorates in its designation the residence of St. Edmund in a house on its site. So far as is known, the earliest mention of the hall under the designation Aula Sancti Edmundi is found in a rental of the Oxford property of Oseney Abbey for 1317–18, one of the few that survive for the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 3)

As an academical hall for the residence of undergraduates, St. Edmund Hall knows no founder, and consequently received no initial endowment or statutes. The academical halls that multiplied in Oxford during the course of the 13th century owed their origin to the initiative of graduates who voluntarily assumed the responsibility of renting and maintaining premises suitable for use as boarding-houses for undergraduates. (fn. 4) The date of the first opening of St. Edmund Hall is not known. The occupation of the original part of its site after St. Edmund's time by three beneficed clerics in succession may have some academical significance. (fn. 5) The Oseney rental of 1317–18 which contains the first known mention of the hall as such also contains the first mention of a Principal, Mag. I. de Cornubia or de Eglosfeyl. William Boys, who is entered as tenant of the same premises in an incomplete rental of about 1316, may have been Principal, although he is not so designated. (fn. 6)


Early in the 13th century (fn. 7) John de Bermingham, rector of Iffley, a member of the Warwickshire family of that name, owned the whole of the site covered by the existing front quadrangle, but later divided it into four plots, retaining for himself the one bordering on the lane leading to St. Peter's Church and giving away the other three, one to the Benedictine priory of Sandwell, Staffs., one to the priory of Austin Canons at Wroxton, Oxon., and the easternmost to the hospital of St. John the Baptist, Oxford. Subsequently the plot which he retained for himself passed into the hands of two relatives, Roger de Bermingham, rector of Enville, Staffs., and his brother, Sir Brian de Bermingham. (fn. 8) In 1261–2 Sir Brian with the concurrence of his brother sold this messuage to Thomas de Malmesbury, perpetual vicar of Cowley, Oxford. Nine years later it was granted in frankalmoin by Thomas de Malmesbury to the abbey of Oseney, and thereafter continued in the possession of the abbey until its dissolution. (fn. 9)

In 1318 the Abbot and Canons of Oseney effected an exchange of properties in Oxford with Edward II, as a result of which the site of the hall was extended eastwards by the inclusion of ground that had comprised the two plots which Sandwell and Wroxton Priories had received from John de Bermingham. (fn. 10) In the middle of the 15th century the frontage of the hall on the lane was extended southwards by the addition of two small properties. (fn. 11) About 1469 the full extent of the present front quadrangle was completed by Oseney Abbey purchasing from Magdalen College a piece of garden that had previously been rented by the Principals of the hall. (fn. 12)

During the 15th century the provision of more accommodation in rooms became necessary. This provision was secured by the annexation of two adjacent halls, first, White Hall, and later, St. Hugh Hall, which was used as a Grammar Hall. (fn. 13) As the prosperity of a hall depended largely on its Principal, extensions made in this way had the advantage of being easily terminable, since the tenancies were usually annual.

In the reign of James I the site occupied by the little building which stands beside the chapel at the east end of the quadrangle became matter for dispute. It was successfully contended by Mr. Martin Powdrell, innholder of the 'Angel', that the late Principal, Mr. Thomas Bowsfield, in erecting this building had encroached on the store-yard behind the King's Arms, which was rented by him from Magdalen. (fn. 14) Consequently Dr. Aglionby, Bowsfield's successor, was obliged to obtain a lease of the site. After successive renewals of the lease the site was bought for the hall in 1783 from Magdalen by The Queen's College. (fn. 15) The King's Arms has given place to a dwelling-house, No. 48 High St., and the store- or timber-yard behind it to a garden. In 1922 the upper part of this garden was acquired by the hall from Magdalen.

When in 1680 Stephen Penton, Principal, formerly fellow of New College, laid plans for the erection of the chapel and library, he was granted the requisite site at a nominal rent of one shilling a year by the Warden and fellows of his former college, 'pro pio suo erga bonas literas affectu'. (fn. 16)

Until recently the south side of the quadrangle still remained in alien hands. In 1925 the hall purchased from Magdalen a small plot of ground in rear of Nos. 42 and 43 High St. In 1934 the sale by The Queen's College of a plot of ground in rear of Nos. 44 and 45 High St. placed the hall in complete control of the south side of its quadrangle.


As the medieval halls, unlike the colleges, received no original endowment, their Principals met the current expenses of their establishments from the fees paid to them by their resident members. It was not until the 17th century that the few remaining halls first began to receive benefactions for particular purposes, such as the provision of exhibitions. Under his will dated 20 Jan. 1630–1, Dr. John Rawlinson, Principal 1610–31, bequeathed to the Principal of the hall for the time being a quit-rent of £6 a year on land of his at Cassington, Oxon., 'for the mayntenance of a Divinitie Lecture'.

Thomas Lancaster, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, the first post-Reformation Principal of the hall, made a will in which he provided for the foundation of a free school or college at Drogheda, to be called 'Queen Elizabethes Colledge', to which were to be attached eight scholarships or exhibitions tenable at St. Edmund Hall. The circumstances under which this will was made—it was dictated when the primate lay in lodgings at Drogheda, 'crased', it was said, 'and sycklye after his travell thyther'—led to litigation, and his bequest came to nothing. (fn. 17)

The first exhibition to benefit the hall formed part of a bequest of Sir Charles Thorold, kt., Alderman of the City of London. Under his will, dated 13 Apr. 1709, Sir Charles made over an annuity of £40 for 99 years, payable to him out of the Exchequer, to the Ironmongers' Company in trust that the Master and Wardens should grant eight yearly exhibitions of £5 each to poor students in eight colleges or halls in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, of which St. Edmund Hall was named as one. During the 18th and 19th centuries the hall was several times disappointed in the establishment of exhibitions through change of mind or inadequate dispositions on the part of benefactors. (fn. 18) Admiration for Dr. Joseph Smith, newly appointed Provost of Queen's, led the Lady Elizabeth Hastings to settle on that college the six exhibitions of £20 per annum which she had intended to leave the hall. When the time came for Dr. Smith to make his own will he, fittingly enough, remembered the hall. After his death in 1756 it was found that he had left to the Provost and scholars of Queen's the sum of £700, part of the capital sum of £800 subscribed by him to the British Fishery, in trust to be laid out by them in the purchase of an estate held from some collegiate or cathedral church, the interest on which was to be used to furnish, in addition to certain awards affecting his own college, 'two distinct Exhibitions of £10 per annum each to be settled upon Edmund Hall for the benefit of two young Scholars who are or shall be born in the Diocese and regularly bred up in the Free School at Durham to be enjoyed by them two years after their taking a B.A. Degree'. Investment in the British Fishery, which led many others in this country besides the Provost to expect that 'we were to supply all Europe with herring upon our own terms', proved a hopeless failure; consequently this bequest came to nothing.

In 1855 the Rev. Edmund Hobhouse, fellow of Merton and vicar of St. Peter-in-the-East, and subse quently Bishop of Nelson in New Zealand, set aside the sum of £5,000, part of the patrimony recently inherited from his father, to form a trust 'for the maintenance and education or otherwise for the benefit of ten of the undergraduates for the time being of St. Edmund Hall'. The trust was made subject to his revocation. The assistance given by it seems, for some time at least, to have taken the form of a remission of tuition fees and, in the case of occupants of certain rooms in hall which Bishop Hobhouse had furnished, of a remission of room-rents. On the death of Bishop Hobhouse in 1904 this trust came to an end.

During his principalship (1864–1913) Dr. Edward Moore provided a fund for the award of an Organist and a Librarian Exhibition, each of the annual value of £24. During his latter years he had at his disposal temporarily a sum of about £200 a year for providing small exhibitions of varying amounts ranging from £24 to £10 a year.

When in 1913 the struggle to prevent the absorption of the hall into The Queen's College had been won, the college generously agreed to contribute an annual sum of £300 to the Exhibition Fund of the hall. This grant, under the terms of the statute, approved by the King in Council on 21 Dec. 1937, dissolving the connexion between the college and the hall, will cease after 1952.

In 1924 the Rev. J. C. Gawthern, who entered the hall in 1861, gave securities of the value of £1,700, subject to a life interest, for the formation of an Exhibition Fund to be known as the Secker Exhibition Fund in memory of his great-great-uncle, Dr. Thomas Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury (1693–1768). In making this gift Mr. Gawthern was prompted by a desire to make some restitution for the action of a Mr. Thomas Frost, who married a niece of the archbishop, in obtaining through the Courts the setting aside of a valuable bequest which the archbishop made for the benefit of poor students at the University.

A fund to provide one or more exhibitions for the assistance of undergraduates of the hall intending to enter Holy Orders was instituted by public subscription in 1929 to commemorate the centenary of the birth of Dr. H. P. Liddon (Vice-Principal 1859–62): it has at present a sum of £1,000 invested. A Bursary Fund for the assistance of ordinands who have already completed one year of residence at the hall was formed in 1928 by the Rev. W. L. Martin, who entered the hall in 1866, by a gift of securities of the value of about £800. In 1931 and 1932 respectively two graduates of the hall, Mr. H. N. ffarington and Mr. H. C. Ingle, each made a gift of £1,000 for the establishment of exhibitions. In 1941 Mrs. Dorothy Little bequeathed the sum of £1,000 for the endowment of a scholarship in classics. In 1944 the Rev. A. C. Keene, also a graduate of the hall, bequeathed the residue of his estate for the provision of scholarships.

Under his will, dated 4 June 1763, Dr. George Holme, rector of Hedley, Hants, and sometime fellow of Queen's, left the sum of £1,000 to the University to be invested, until, with the interest, it should amount to a sum sufficient to purchase the advowson of a living of at least £200 yearly value, with the object of attaching such living to the principalship of St. Edmund Hall. In 1821 the rectory of Gatcombe in the Isle of Wight was purchased and in 1844 Dr. William Thompson, then Principal, was appointed rector. In 1913, the attachment of this rectory having been found inconvenient, an Act of Parliament was obtained severing the living from the principalship but charging the emoluments of the living with the annual payment of a sum of £150 to the Principal of the hall. (fn. 19)

Constitution And Statutes

No example is known to survive of the statutes which there is reason to believe Principals of halls drew up from time to time during the medieval period for the internal government of their respective societies. Between 1483 and 1490, during the chancellorship of John Russell, Bishop of Lincoln, Statuta Aularia were promulgated for the regulation of the halls of the University. (fn. 20) This 15th-century code was supplemented by Cardinal Pole (fn. 21) and amended early in the 17th century (fn. 22) and again by Archbishop Laud in the course of his thorough revision of the Statutes of the University. The Laudian recension gave place in 1835 to the existing code. (fn. 23)

During the reigns of Elizabeth and the first two Stuarts the halls underwent periodical visitation by the Vice-Chancellor. The usual procedure would seem to have been for the Vice-Chancellor to cause a copy of the Articles of Inquiry which he had drawn up for his Visitation to be posted in every hall, and at the same time to appoint a day on which he would visit the Principal, scholars, and servants of each hall in respect of the articles 'to everie whereof true presentment is to be made by them or such of them, as shall have speciall charge therefore, in writinge with their names thereto subscribed'. These Articles of Inquiry, which underwent some little variation at the hands of successive Vice-Chancellors, were very largely based on the Aularian Statutes. On the occasion of these visitations inquiry was always made 'whether the statutes of your Hall be openlie readde in the presence of all your house once everie halfe yere': but there is reason to believe that the statutes thus referred to were the Aularian Statutes, a copy of which was required to be kept in every hall for the information of its members, and not statutes specially pertaining to the hall in question.

It may be safely assumed that in its main essentials the constitution of St. Edmund Hall during the medieval period was identical with that of other academical halls. A medieval Principal was responsible for the annual payment of the rent. His tenure depended upon his depositing with the Chancellor each year on 9 Sept. a caution covering the annual rent due from him. He could look to the landlord of his hall to carry out all necessary repairs, so long as he gave him proper notification. From the close of the 16th century the Principals of St. Edmund Hall were expected to undertake the entire charge of maintaining the fabric. A Principal made such arrangements as he thought fit for the employment of tutors to assist him in the instruction of undergraduates. He had complete control over the financial affairs and internal economy of his hall. Down to the end of the 17th century it was customary for the Principal or a tutor appointed by him to supervise the expenditure of the undergraduate members of his society. In all matters affecting his hall a Principal was free to act on his own responsibility, and was under no obligation to take his tutors into consultation.

In 1912 the University made with the concurrence of The Queen's College a statute 'providing for the continuance of the Hall as a place of education, religion, and learning separate from The Queen's College, while preserving the right of the College to appoint the Principal of the Hall'. (fn. 24) This statute, which was approved by the King in Council on 11 Feb. 1913, regulated in certain directions the powers of the Principal but did not appreciably limit his authority.

After the First World War this statute was revised. The new statute received the approval of the King in Council on 25 Feb. 1926. (fn. 25) As the hall, unlike a college, is not a corporate society, it is not able to hold real and personal property in its own name. This inability was common to all the medieval halls. In the case of St. Edmund Hall, such small benefactions as it had received had been vested either in the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University or in the Provost and Scholars of The Queen's College in trust for the hall. The statute of 1926 provided for the creation of a body of six trustees.

When, in 1934, The Queen's College generously acceded to the suggestion that the growth and development of the hall warranted its liberation from the leading-strings in which it had been held by the college since the first year of Elizabeth's reign, a revision of statutes once again became necessary. (fn. 26) Before the dissolution of the connexion between the hall and the college could take place, it was necessary to make arrangements for the transfer of the freehold of the site and buildings of the hall, which since 1557 had been vested in the college, and to make new provision for election to the principalship. This transfer was secured by a separate statute and by a conveyance whereby the freehold has been vested in the Official Trustee of Charity Lands, as Custodian Trustee, thus avoiding the necessity of a fresh conveyance every time that a new trustee is appointed.

The election to the principalship has been transferred to the trustees of the hall. Under the new statute, approved by the King in Council on 21 Dec. 1937, the number of the trustees has been raised to ten. Their powers have been enlarged so that they now share with the Principal responsibility in regard to all important matters affecting financial administration and outlay. With the exception of the site and buildings of the hall, all real and personal property belonging to the hall is vested in the University, as Custodian Trustee; but the trustees of the hall are left free as managing trustees to decide in conjunction with the Principal all questions of investment and reinvestment at their own discretion.

The statute of 1937 was no less radical in the changes made in the constitutional relationship between the Principal and the Vice-Principal and tutors of the hall. Hitherto the Vice-Principal and tutors had had no constitutional part in the government of the hall. Under the new statute their consent is required, very much in the same way as that of the fellows of a college, in matters affecting 'the internal administration and educational policy of the Hall'. In consequence of this closer association of the Vice-Principal and tutors with the Principal in the government of the hall in so far as its academical activities are concerned, it seemed fitting that they should, in conformity with the usage of colleges, be accorded the title of fellows. It may be pointed out in this connexion that in colleges a reverse process has taken place. The title tutor was originally confined to the graduate members of halls who were engaged in the instruction of undergraduates. But when colleges ceased to restrict their attention to postgraduate studies and began to compete with the halls in the admission of undergraduates, the title of tutor was accorded to fellows of colleges who undertook the instruction of undergraduates; and even to-day in colleges only a certain number of fellows have the status of tutor.

The statute of 1937 has, in important respects, approximated the administration of the hall to that of a college. 'The Principal shall have charge of the Hall', the statute lays down in its initial definition of the constitution of the hall, 'subject to the superintendence of the Trustees and the collaboration of the Fellows.'


The original buildings of the hall were grouped at the north-west corner of the present site. As at present, the refectory, with rooms above, flanked the lane leading to St. Peter's-in-the-East, and at right angles, contiguous with the churchyard, stood the buttery and the kitchen, also with rooms overhead. (fn. 27) All expenditure on the fabric of the hall was carried out by the landlords of the hall, the Abbot and Canons of Oseney. Entries relating to work done at the hall are to be found in the surviving computus rolls of the abbey. (fn. 28) During the principalships of John Thamys (c. 1438–c. 1459) and Thomas Lee (c. 1459–c. 1470) considerable building operations took place, including an extension at the south end of the refectory on a site which, as has been already stated, was acquired for the hall about 1450. (fn. 29) This extension contained the chambers which, 'being very ruinous were pulled down', as Wood says, 'by Dr. Airay, Principal, and those Edifices now standing in their place (which are on the south side of, and over, the common entrance into the Hall) were by him, at his own charges built, and finished about 1635'. The refectory, too, which, according to Wood, 'looked very old and ruinous', was demolished in 1659, and replaced by the present one. (fn. 30)

In medieval times the further half of the present quadrangle served as a garden. (fn. 31) No building was erected in it before 'about the year 1596', when the eastern part of the range of rooms that now forms the north side of the quadrangle was added, Wood says, by Thomas Bowsfield, Principal 1581–1601. (fn. 32)

Adam Airay, Principal 1631–58, took a lease of the messuage on which the grammar hall had stood in the 15th century. (fn. 33) After his death in 1658 the lease was taken over by his nephew, Christopher Airay, a bookbinder, who erected on the part of the site that abuts on the quadrangle a five-storied building 'for the accommodation of Chambers when those belonging to the Hall were full'. (fn. 34) In a lease dated 6 Dec. 1683 this new building, 'consisting of six chambers whereof one is used for the common room, and the five chambers have two studies in each of them', is described as 'lett to Edmund Hall', as are also 'three other chambers of the tenement of Christopher Mickleton', now No. 42 High St. (fn. 35) Airay's Lodgings, as this new building was called, provided the hall with the extra accommodation that was needed during the golden period of Dr. Tullie's principalship, and there is reason to believe that Christopher Airay intended that they should be permanently attached to the hall, but died before the necessary arrangements had been made. It is known that by Dec. 1694 Airay's Lodgings were no longer annexed to the hall, but had passed into the occupation of Ann Croney, widow.


In 1680 Stephen Penton, Principal 1675–84, took steps to satisfy in one building the twofold need of the hall for a chapel and a library. (fn. 36) On 19 April that year the foundation stone was laid by Dr. John Fell, Bishop of Oxford, and on 7 Apr. two years later the chapel was consecrated by the bishop with the dedication: 'St. Edmund's Chapel in the University of Oxford.' Although the chapel had been consecrated, a good deal still remained to be done before the chapel and the library were properly furnished. It was not until 1688 that the work was brought to completion by Dr. John Mill, after ill health had obliged Penton to resign. The master-mason employed was Bartholomew Peisley.

The original woodwork, carried out by Arthur Frogley, the leading Oxford joiner of the period, is still intact in the chapel, but, except for the balustrade of the gallery, all his furnishing of the library was cleared away in the early part of the 19th century to make room for new shelving. The gallery is in itself a feature of some interest for, as Dr. Streeter has pointed out, this library was probably the first college library in Oxford to be furnished on the wall system, just as it was the last library in Oxford to be furnished with chains. (fn. 37) In common with other college libraries, the chains were removed from the books about 1760. The Principal's Ledger-Book contains two inventories of the 'Utensils in the Chapell', the one relating to Penton's time and the other to the first year of Dr. Mill's principalship. The 'two great brass Candlesticks' on the altar belong to the original equipment. A silver-gilt chalice and paten were given in 1688 by James Clavering, an upper commoner of the hall, and a handsome silver-gilt flagon in 1692 by Henry Partridge, also an upper commoner of the hall. The earliest catalogue of the contents of the library was made by Thomas Hearne while he was a B.A. resident in the hall. The earliest book-plate for the use of the library was engraved in 1704. An organ was first installed in the chapel in 1862. A sacristy was added to the antechapel in 1931 and at the same time the organ was rebuilt and placed in an organ chamber constructed on the north side of the chapel. The east window of the chapel (inserted 1865) is the earliest example in Oxford of the work of Sir Edward BurneJones and William Morris in stained glass. BurneJones provided cartoons for all the panels in the window except the two on the right-hand side, which were designed by Morris. The rest of the glass in the window was designed by Philip Webb, who was also responsible for the general arrangement.

When Dr. Shaw came to the hall as Principal in 1741 he found that it had been 'for many years', to quote his own words, 'in a ruinous Condition; occasioned as well from length of Time, as for the want of proper Repair, whenever they became necessary'. The measures that he was obliged to take for the restoration of the buildings are set out in the appeal which he made for funds to help him complete the work. (fn. 38)

'He was', he writes, 'under an immediate Necessity of laying out, of his own private Fortune, more than four hundred Pounds, in order to repair the Chapel and Refectorium, and in making the Lodgings, together with one Half of the North Side of the Quadrangle, fit to be inhabited. But the other, and the much larger Half, having been built more than 400 years agoe, was ready to drop down, and not capable of being repaired; (as all the old materials were found, upon Examination, to be rotten and decayed;) and estimate was made, the last spring (1746) of the whole Expence of pulling down and rebuilding the Same, which was then given in to be, a little more or less, three hundred Pounds. But as it was presumed, when this Estimate was made, contrary to what was afterwards found, upon pulling down, that the old Foundation, together with five or six foot of the wall above it, would have been of sufficient strength to have built upon: the above said valuation has fallen short of what will compleat the same, in glazing, flooring, harthing and plaistering, by upwards of one hundred Pounds.'

In the reconstruction this half of the north side of the quadrangle was raised one story and given an elevation similar to the other half which had been erected at the close of the reign of Elizabeth. The only portion of the medieval building that was saved was the open fire-place of the kitchen, which now forms an interesting feature of the junior common room.

The Principal's Lodgings in the south-west corner of the quadrangle have been several times enlarged during the last 150 years. (fn. 39) Adjacent to it, on the site of Airay's Lodgings, a building containing a new library for the use of undergraduates was erected in 1927. The rest of the south side of the quadrangle was completed by the erection of the Canterbury Building in 1934, in commemoration of the 700th anniversary of the consecration of St. Edmund of Abingdon as Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1930 No. 48 High St., and in 1932 Nos. 46 and 47 High St., were annexed on 21 years' leases from Magdalen College and converted to the uses of the hall.

The original well from which the hall derived its water-supply was reopened in 1927 and a new wellhead erected over it. Down to the 16th century the water was obtained by windlass and bucket, but subsequently two lead pipes were inserted in the well and the water drawn by two pumps, one placed in the middle of the north side of the quadrangle, the other at the north-west corner by the Principal's Lodgings.

General History

Under its earliest known Principals St. Edmund Hall would seem to have been a resort for West Country students. When the hall first appears as an academical hall in the rentals of Oseney Abbey its rent amounts to 35s.; after the extension of its site in 1318 its rent was raised to 46s. 8d. If this latter figure be compared with the rents of other halls, it will be seen that at this period St. Edmund Hall ranked with the larger but not with the largest of them. Owing to gaps in the sequence of Oseney rentals it is not possible to determine how long the West Country connexion of the hall continued. (fn. 40) Edward Upton, who was Principal about 1385, may be identified with the author of a small treatise on the subject of natural philosophy, entitled Septem Conclusiones Proportionum. (fn. 41) An interval divides Edward Upton from Henry Rumworth or Cirencester, who appears as Principal in 1395. (fn. 42) It is during his principalship that White Hall is first found annexed as a dependent hall at a yearly rent of 35s. If, again, comparison be made with the rents of other halls, it may be reckoned that at the close of the 14th century St. Edmund Hall was capable of housing about thirteen and White Hall about twelve students. Rumworth is the first Principal who is known to have been connected with The Queen's College. Elected a fellow, probably, in the academical year 1402–3, he continued to enjoy his fellowship until 1406, by which time he had ceased to be Principal. Leaving Oxford he entered the royal service, was rewarded by the deanery of the King's Free Chapel of Hastings in 1408, and was one of the royal chaplains who accompanied Henry V on his second expedition to France. For the last four years of his life he served Archbishop Chichele as Archdeacon of Canterbury. His effigy in painted glass is preserved in a window in the north aisle of the nave of Horley Church, Oxon., a chapelry attached to the prebend of King's Sutton to which Rumworth was appointed in 1412. (fn. 43)

If Rumworth's immediate successor as Principal was William Taylor, then it is Taylor who must be credited with being responsible for the change whereby the hall became a stronghold—probably the last stronghold—of Wyclifism in Oxford. (fn. 44) Taylor brought himself under the notice of the ecclesiastical authorities as the result of a sermon that he preached at St. Paul's Cross in 1406 or 1407. After persevering in preaching, in spite of excommunication, he was eventually condemned for heresy and burned at the stake in Smithfield on 2 March 1423. (fn. 45) The Wyclifite cause had hardly a less stalwart champion in the next Principal but one, Peter Payne. (fn. 46) Besides making himself prominent in the University through controversy with the Friars, he gained particular notoriety when, in 1406, on the eve of the new academical year he dispatched to Hus and his associates at Prague letters testimonial from the University in commendation of Wyclif's life and teaching, securing—his enemies said, stealing—for the purpose the common seal of the University. Notwithstanding the efforts of Archbishop Arundel to eradicate Wyclifite opinions from Oxford, Payne continued in residence until 1412. By the end of 1411 the University had surrendered to the pressure exerted by Arundel and framed measures for the exclusion of all supporters of Lollardry. At the same time Payne's landlord, Nicholas Bishop, terminated his lease of White Hall, at the instigation, it may be suspected, of his enemies. If he was to avoid a martyr's death there was no alternative for him, as he himself admitted, but to escape from England. This he did, probably in the late autumn of 1413, and found refuge in Prague. During the forty years or more that he was in exile—he died at Prague in 1455—he took rank as one of the chief religious leaders in Bohemia after the death of Hus. (fn. 47)

John Darley, Payne's successor in the principalship, brought the hall back into the paths of orthodoxy. The connexion with The Queen's College was renewed by Darley's election to a fellowship in 1421. Ten years later he vacated both offices and left Oxford for Herne in Kent, where his faithful tenure of the benefice is still commemorated by a memorial brass. (fn. 48) With the accession of John Thamys to the principalship about 1438, the hall grew to be one of the leading halls in the University. (fn. 49) The additions to the site and the building operations that took place while he was Principal have already been mentioned. His annexation of St. Hugh Hall to serve as a dependent grammar hall is specially notable, as it would seem to have been the only one of the five grammar schools then existing in Oxford to be attached to an academical hall. By so doing, Thamys appears to have anticipated on a small scale the arrangement which characterized the new Magdalen foundation of Bishop Waynflete; but with the difference that St. Hugh Hall was not a free grammar school, but unendowed and looking, therefore, to fee-paying pupils for its support. It seems probable that it was the rapid success of Waynflete's school, opened in 1480, that brought St. Hugh Hall to a close during the principalship of Richard Broke. Thamys's achievement is the more significant as his principalship coincides with the period during which the medieval halls may be said to have reached their fullest development.

On his appointment in 1458 to be vicar of Ross, in Herefordshire, Thamys was succeeded as Principal by his former pupil, Thomas Lee, who, in his turn, was succeeded by another graduate of the hall, Richard Broke. (fn. 50) Under Lee the hall continued to flourish, but under Broke it began to feel the ill effects of the years of depression which so adversely affected the University and its constituent halls at the close of the 15th century. The hall's dependent establishments were given up, and Broke combined with the principalship the charge of the town parish of St. Mary Magdalene. On Broke's death in 1500, after a brief tenure of the principalship by Humphrey Wistowe, sometime fellow of All Souls', the hall entered on a new phase in its history. (fn. 51)

The succession of Thomas Cawse in 1501 brought the hall into a fresh relation with The Queen's College. (fn. 52) Hitherto such connexion as there had been between the two societies had resulted from Principals of the hall—Rumworth and Darley—becoming fellows of the college; but Cawse would appear to be the first fellow of Queen's to become Principal. In 1503 he was followed in the principalship by another fellow of the college, William Patenson. This combination of principalship and fellowship does not signify the existence of any formal bond between the hall and the college; it was typical of a practice, already well established, whereby fellows of colleges were able to supplement their stipends at a time when preferment outside Oxford was difficult to obtain. It also marks the first stage in the process by which the older colleges came to open their doors to the admission of undergraduates. On the evidence of the lists of Principals' cautions entered in the Chancellor's Registers, it may be estimated that between 1469 and the end of the century a dozen halls had ceased to exist, and that in the first quarter of the next century the number had been further reduced from about 24 to 12. (fn. 53)

John Pyttes, Principal of Magdalen Hall, followed Patenson; but on Pyttes's appointment as rector of Shere, Surrey, the sequence of Principals from Queen's was resumed in the person of John Cuthbertson, a fellow of the college. (fn. 54) When Cuthbertson resigned, Miles Braithwaite, a Queen's man, but not a fellow, was admitted Principal in 1528. In the course of Braithwaite's principalship the hall was brought for the first time into official relationship with the college. About 1531 the college obtained a lease of the hall from Oseney Abbey, and, thereafter, as the Long Rolls of the college show, the college received the room-rents and became responsible for the repairs. (fn. 55) But even so, the college seems to have had difficulty, owing to the uncertainty of the times, in finding fellows who would undertake the responsibilities of the principalship. (fn. 56)

In Nov. 1539 the abbey of St. Mary of Oseney was surrendered with all its property into the king's hands. In spite of the efforts made by the college to secure recognition of its lease, the freehold of the site and buildings of the hall was sold by the Crown in 1546 to John Bellowe and Robert Bygott, both considerable speculators in monastic property, and a month later passed into the hands of William Burnell, a gentleman of London. (fn. 57) The Provost, William Denysson, had particular reason for annoyance, as Ralph Rudde, whose expulsion from his fellowship he had procured the previous year, had seized the occasion to assume the principalship. From this vantage-point Rudde renewed his attacks on the Provost; but in 1553 Denysson was able to purchase the freehold from Burnell, thus securing himself and his successors against the possibility of the hall being used again as a base for the conduct of hostile operations. So long as Rudde continued punctually each year to pay his rent, Denysson was precluded by University custom from extruding him; but on Rudde's death in June 1557 he lost no time in completing his intentions. (fn. 58) On 29 July he executed a conveyance transferring the freehold of the site and buildings of the hall to his college, and on 28 Jan. 1559 he received the authority of Convocation to elect the Principal, subject to conditions to be laid down by Congregation. On 1 March the same year a composition was made in Congregation whereby the right of election to the principalship was vested in the college, provided that 'henceforth for ever they will preserve the aforesaid Hall and will preserve it to literary uses'. This exceptional privilege was granted by the University in recognition of the good service which the college had rendered by saving St. Edmund Hall from conversion 'to uses not agreeable with good learning' and by undertaking to ensure its continuance as an academical society. Ten years later the rights of nomination to the principalships of the five other halls which survived into the reign of Elizabeth were vested in the Chancellor of the University. (fn. 59)

Rudde had brought the hall to the verge of extinction. In the census taken of the colleges and halls in 1552 it was returned as comprising, in addition to the Principal, one graduate, six students, and a manciple, whereas the numbers returned for the other halls ranged from 49 to 23.

After the hall came under the control of The Queen's College its fortunes remained for some years at a low ebb. Considerable expenditure on the part of the college was needed to put the buildings of the hall into repair. (fn. 60) No new Principal was appointed until 1564; but, even so, the hall at no time seems to have been entirely without residents. (fn. 61) When the college came to fill the principalship, Bishop Lancaster, Treasurer of Salisbury, was elected and was duly admitted by the Vice-Chancellor on 26 Feb. 1564–5. (fn. 62) It was a curious choice. Thomas Lancaster had been consecrated Bishop of Kildare in 1549, had been deprived by Queen Mary in 1554, had lived in retirement during the rest of her reign, and, on the accession of Elizabeth, had been appointed Treasurer of Salisbury and a royal chaplain, and, as Bishop of Marlborough, acted as suffragan to Bishop Jewel. (fn. 63) He seems to have managed to combine the principalship of the hall with his other appointments. In the autumn after he became Principal he crossed over to Ireland with the new Lord Deputy, Sir Henry Sidney, and was soon immersed in Irish affairs. (fn. 64) In 1568 he was appointed Archbishop of Armagh and resigned the principalship. He still continued, however, to keep the hall in mind, and in 1581 broached to Sir Francis Walsingham his intention of erecting in Drogheda a free grammar school for the maintenance of eight scholars who were afterwards to enter Oxford with exhibitions at the hall. (fn. 65) This project, as has been mentioned above, (fn. 66) was frustrated as the result of litigation over his will.

The next three Principals followed one another in quick succession. Nicholas Cooke, a fellow of Queen's, (fn. 67) resigned within twelve months of his appointment and was succeeded in 1570 by a former fellow of the college, Nicholas Pullen, vicar of Aldermaston and Buckland, Berks., (fn. 68) who in his turn was succeeded in 1572 by a fellow of the college, Philip Johnson. (fn. 69) On his appointment as domestic chaplain to Archbishop Grindal, Johnson made way in 1576 for another fellow of the college, Henry Robinson, who became Principal at the age of about 24. Under Robinson the hall gained 'a good measure of popularity'. (fn. 70) When in 1579 the Vice-Chancellor called for a return of numbers from the halls, the Vice-Principal of St. Edmund Hall was able to report that there were thirty commoners on the hall books. As a result of the appointment of Queen's men to the principalship the north country connexion of the college was communicated to the hall. One of the first-fruits was George Carleton, Bishop of Chichester, (fn. 71) a favourite pupil of Bernard Gilpin, 'the Apostle of the North' and his biographer, who entered the hall as an undergraduate in the year that Robinson assumed the principalship. In 1581 Robinson returned to his college as Provost, and in 1598 was appointed Bishop of Carlisle. (fn. 72)

In his place Thomas Bowsfield, son of Provost Bowsfield, was appointed Principal. (fn. 73) Bowsfield, after graduating from Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1575, had migrated to Queen's, where he held the post of lecturer in logic. (fn. 74) In 1578 he had succeeded his father as rector of Trotterscliffe, Kent. (fn. 75) In the year of his appointment as Principal he accepted presentation to an additional living, that of Romney Newchurch, situate in another part of Kent, and in the following year he became a prebendary of Sarum. (fn. 76) Reference has already been made to the new buildings erected in the hall during his principalship. It is credited to him by a contemporary, Miles Windesor, fellow of Corpus, that 'ab ipsis fundamentis aulam suam renovavit'. (fn. 77) But Bowsfield's zeal seems to have outrun his discretion. At the end of 1600 an inquiry was instituted by the Vice-Chancellor into his administration of the hall. He was charged with having raised contributions towards new building within the hall by obtaining payments from the manciple and other officers of the hall in consideration of a guarantee of security of tenure during the period of his principalship, and by making other undesirable bargains. Among other charges it was objected that 'by reason of the often absence of you the sayde Principall from the saide Hall especially in the terme tymes there hath bine greate neglecte of the ordinarie lectures, disputations and other exercises required by the Statutes of the saide Hall and of the devoute frequentinge of devine prayer'. Bowsfield put up a defence, but before the inquiry closed he decided to settle matters by resigning the principalship. (fn. 78)

On the resignation of Bowsfield the right of The Queen's College to elect the Principal was challenged by Mr. Justice Walmesley who cast doubts on the validity of the composition of 1559. On his motion the Chancellor of the University, Lord Buckhurst, raised the question whether the right of election ought to belong to the Chancellor, as in the case of the other halls, or to the college, or to the scholars of the hall itself. After consultation with the Vice-Chancellor, he appointed a commission of inquiry, consisting of two nominees of his own, two of Queen's, and two of the hall. The commissioners upheld the right of the college and the matter was allowed to drop. (fn. 80) This interference on the part of Mr. Justice Walmesley seems to have been due to a desire on his part to secure the principalship for his son, Henry, a fellow of Brasenose. (fn. 81)

Confirmed in the exercise of their privilege, the Provost and fellows of Queen's appointed one of their number, Dr. John Aglionby, to be Principal. (fn. 82) Aglionby at the time of his appointment was a chaplain-inordinary to the queen with the reputation of being 'a most polite and learned preacher'. (fn. 83) In addition to the principalship he accepted in 1601 the rectory of Bletchingdon, Oxon., and in 1607 that of Islip in the same county, and later received permission from the Crown to hold a third living along with these other two, provided that he found a sufficient curate when non-resident. (fn. 84) As Principal he enhanced his reputation as a scholar by the part that he took in the translation of the New Testament for the Authorized Version of the Bible. 'To the very great reluctancy of all learned and good men', (fn. 85) he died in 1610 at the age of 43. During his principalship the number of members of the hall on the books stood at about 38. (fn. 86)

The Provost and fellows of Queen's lost no time in electing a new Principal. On the day following Aglionby's death Barnabas Potter, a fellow of the college, was elected, but, before he could be admitted by the Vice-Chancellor, placed his resignation into the hands of the Chancellor, Archbishop Bancroft. (fn. 87) According to Archbishop Laud, (fn. 88) Bancroft exerted influence with the college to secure in Potter's place the appointment of a former fellow of his own college, St. John's, Dr. John Rawlinson, rector of Taplow, Bucks. (fn. 89) On becoming Principal, Rawlinson resigned the living of Taplow, but subsequently he accepted presentation to the rectories of Selsey, in Sussex, and Whitchurch, in Shropshire, 'in all which places he was much followed by his frequent and edifying preaching and great charity and public spirit'. (fn. 90) His reputation as 'a fluent and florid preacher' received some measure of recognition by his appointment as a prebendary of Sarum and as a chaplain-in-ordinary to James I. After holding the principalship for nearly twenty-one years he died at his rectory at Whitchurch in Feb. 1631. The benefaction which he made to the hall under his will has already been mentioned. (fn. 91)

During this period, as has been stated above, The halls were subject from time to time to visitation by the Vice-Chancellor. Although the Articles of Inquiry issued on these occasions have been preserved, the only visitation for which complete returns exist for St. Edmund Hall is that which took place in April 1613. (fn. 92) Besides the Principal, there were present, on that occasion, 6 Master of Arts, 3 B.A.s, 8 of the 20 undergraduates who had their names on the books at the time, the manciple, the butler, and the cook. In the absence of other documentary evidence these returns furnish acceptable information concerning the cost of residence and the regulations in force in the hall at this date. The respondents to the Articles of Inquiry reported that all 'our Undergraduates have tutors' and that only one member of the hall had not been duly matriculated. Proper provision, it was said, was made for 'lectures, disputations, theames, and such like', and 'weekelie corrections' were held in the hall: but in reply to the question 'whether all Scholars and Bachilars do speke latin not onlie to the Principall, Readers and Maisters of the house, but amongst themselves also' it was admitted that 'the bachelours and schollars are negligent in speakinge of latine'. It appears from these returns that three of the graduates resident in the hall were beneficed. A detailed schedule is given of all the payments to which members of the hall were liable, and it is noted concerning the fees that had been raised during the preceding twenty years that 'all these augmentations stand with the consent and good likinge of the studentes'. Estimate is made that 'our schollars spend in battles ordinarilie 5s., wch summe if anie exceede he is usuallie punished by the principall'. The returns are free from any complaints, except that in 'our dining-hall some windowes and stayres are not well repayred'. 'All our students in our house', it is stated, 'are sworne to be true to commons: our allowance of bread, drinke and meate is reasonably provided: our manciple layeth out readie money: wee have alwayes single beere: … we have one cooke, one butler, one manciple, and one bible-clarke who is our porter: they doe all their duties in their owne persons: such officers wee have had time out of minde: they came freelie to their places for anie thing wee know, or have cause to suspect.' Morning prayer is said daily in term-time between 5 and 6 a.m., out of term between 7 and 8, and on Sundays and holy days at 8. A chapter is read at dinner time by the bible clerk and 'heard with silence'. The gates are ordinarily shut after 9 o'clock every evening, and undergraduates of the hall, it is affirmed, no longer go into the town without leave of the Principal or their tutor, as they used to do.

From 1620, when he graduated B.C.L., to 1627, when he proceeded to the doctorate, there were lodging in the hall Matthew Nicholas, subsequently Dean of St. Paul's, (fn. 93) and with him, as a chamber mate, his cousin, John Ryves, both sometime members of New College. Nicholas took his lodgings on a 7 years' lease, 'for which I give £4 fine and £4 yearly rent'—in his estimation 'too harde a bargaine'. (fn. 94) As Nicholas says that his cousin 'hath newly resigned his place in Newe Colledge', it seems probable that their residence at the hall was in accordance with the practice, not infrequent at this period, of graduates of one society migrating to another where they could live more economically while studying for one of the higher degrees.

On the day following Dr. Rawlinson's death the Provost and fellows of Queen's appointed Adam Airay, B.D., vicar of Sparsholt, Berks., a former fellow of the college, to be Principal. (fn. 95) This haste on the part of the college to fill the vacancy was remarked upon by Bishop Laud, who had been appointed Chancellor of the University in the previous year. In communicating to the Vice-Chancellor his confirmation of the election made by the college he wrote: 'This I am content to do for the love of justice, without reflection upon the suddenness of their late choice, which might have been done with more respect to me and less hazard to themselves.' (fn. 96) Mention has already been made of Airay's reconstruction of part of the hall buildings in Queen's Lane, and of his concern for the extension of its accommodation. But with the outbreak of the Civil War the halls suffered a severe set-back, as they had no endowments to help them through a period during which the number of students entering the University was greatly diminished. When war began, St. Edmund Hall had probably as few undergraduates in residence as any of the halls, and for a time entries fell off altogether. (fn. 97) Airay's name is apparently not mentioned in connexion with the Parliamentary Visitation, but it is to be assumed that he made his submission, as he continued vicar of Sparsholt until 1653, when he was appointed rector of Charlton-on-Otmoor, Oxon., also a Queen's College living. At Charlton he died in 1658. (fn. 98)

Thomas Tullie, fellow of Queen's, was appointed Principal in his place. (fn. 99) Ten years earlier, when he was 34 years of age, Tullie was described by Provost Langbaine as 'a very hopefull young man'. (fn. 100) 'He was forced abrod', the Provost went on to say, '(for want of maintenance) during the troubles; & taught schole at Tetbury in Glocestershyre; after the surrender of Oxford, he return'd home & repeopled the Colledge with a new Colony of Commoners to whom he is Tutor & Reader of Hebrew in the House.' On his transference to the hall as Principal, Tullie found full scope for his ability. The hall was depleted in numbers, as were other academical societies in Oxford at the close of the Protectorate. One of Tullie's first cares, as has been already noted, was the reconstruction of the dining-hall and the rooms above it. (fn. 101) He encouraged, at the same time, a good custom whereby upper commoners on going out of residence made the hall a present of plate (fn. 102) or of money for the purchase of books. In this way a beginning was made with building up a library of books for the hall. (fn. 103)

Under Dr. Tullie's firm but kindly rule the number of undergraduates at the hall rapidly increased. By 1662 the annual entry had risen to 20, and, among the other halls, was only exceeded by that of Magdalen Hall. In 1667–8 as many as 29 undergraduates were matriculated. As was customary Tullie held a benefice in conjunction with the principalship: he was appointed rector of Grittleton, Wilts., the same year that he came to the hall. It is noteworthy that several of the under graduates who entered the hall in his time and achieved later some prominence in public life belonged to Wiltshire families, as, for example, William Ashe, Henry Calne, Sir Thomas Estcourt, Thomas Jacob, and John Methuen of the Methuen Treaty with Portugal, all of whom served as members of Parliament. It may be mentioned here, too, that, among the various distinctions gained by undergraduates whom Tullie admitted to the hall, two, Sir Thomas Littleton and Sir Richard, subsequently 1st Baron, Onslow, became Speakers of the House of Commons. Tullie was well supported by his Vice-Principal, John March, who had been his pupil at Queen's and had followed him to the hall, where he 'became a noted Tutor'. (fn. 104) It was the opinion of Andrew Allam, who was an undergraduate of the hall under Tullie and became tutor, and then Vice-Principal under his successor, that the hall during Tullie's principalship 'flourish'd in proportion to its bigness equall wth any other in ye University; & this was effect'd by means of ye exercise of a strict, even, & regular discipline'. (fn. 105) According to the Poll Tax returns for 1667 the members of the hall numbered about 65. (fn. 106)

An intimate picture of the life of an undergraduate at the hall under Dr. Tullie is preserved in the correspondence between John Freind and his father, which the latter transcribed into a book as a memorial to his son, who died at the age of 17 in 1673, at the end of his first year of residence as a commoner. (fn. 107) The correspondence reveals a closely related academical family: the doctor 'visiting the schollars chambers as he did almost every day to observe whether they followed their studyes', (fn. 108) giving encouragement to John Friend when he found him in tears because, to quote the boy's own words, 'I have bene wth my Tutor and my Lecture is to hard for mee'; the Vice-Principal, the Rev. John March, the conscientious director of John's work, whose 'method of studying' Nathaniel Friend found carefully pasted up in his son's study where he might always see it; (fn. 109) Daniel Fogg, John's room-mate, who 'being soe much dejected for the loss of my Chamber fellow' migrated to Queen's after his death; (fn. 110) and, on the day of the funeral, 'the schollers of Edmond Hall', who 'were pleased many of them to exercise their Fancyes & to shew their love to him' by penning verses and fixing them to his hearse cloth. (fn. 111) John Friend left careful accounts of all his expenditure, from which it appears that in his time a commoner of frugal disposition could meet all his expenses in hall for £18 16s. a year, while his outlay in books amounted to £2 5s. 9d., and in clothes to £11 18s. 8d.; and in other necessaries such as furniture for his room, to £2 9s. 7d. (fn. 112) In addition there are his travelling expenses and tips amounting to £1 10s. 6d., and certain 'unnecessary expenses' amounting to 5s. 10d. including such items as 'oranges twice, 4d.', 'apples severall times & coffee, 5d.', 'milkhouse 3 times, 7½d.', 'at pye house, 4d.', and 'seeing a shew, 4d.' In all John Friend cost his father £37 6s. 4d. during the year that he was at the hall, excluding the expenses connected with his illness and his funeral. An attractive glimpse of life at the hall under Dr. Tullie is also given by the anonymous biographer of John Kettlewell, the Non-Juror, who entered the hall two years before John Freind. (fn. 113)

Towards the end of his principalship Tullie's health began to fail him, and he spent much of his time at his country parsonage, He had been appointed chaplainin-ordinary to Charles II in 1660, but subsequent preferment came too late. As a result of the good offices of Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham, and Sir Joseph Williamson he was appointed Dean of Ripon in April 1675, but, as he himself protested, his was already 'a crazy body', and in the following January, before he had been able to take up his new duties, he died. (fn. 114)

As a successor to Tullie the Provost and fellows of Queen's by arrangement with the Warden and fellows of New College appointed Stephen Penton, a former fellow of the latter college. (fn. 115) Preliminary to his appointment Penton had resigned the rectory of Tingewick, Bucks., a New College living, on the understanding that the next presentation to the living would be given to The Queen's College. Penton's chief undertaking as Principal was the building of the chapel and library, to which reference has already been made. (fn. 116) In order to raise the requisite funds he began by selling all the silver plate, to the value of £187, that had been presented to the hall during the principalship of his predecessor by members on going down. (fn. 117) He himself gave generously, and contributions amounting to a little over £500 were received from members of the hall, past and present, and from other well-wishers; but even so, Penton found that he had over-estimated his ability to meet the full cost of the building. In March 1684 he resigned the principalship on account of ill health, and found retirement in the quiet vicarage of Glympton, Oxon. Thomas Hearne, who never errs on the side of leniency, writes of Penton at the time of his death twenty-two years later: 'he might have had other Preferment if he had pleas'd; but he always declin'd Greatness, being a truly Honest, good Man, & an Excellent Scholar, & of so good & facetious a temper (wth out Reserve) yt he was belov'd by all that knew him.' (fn. 118) But Andrew Allam, who was first a tutor and then Vice-Principal under Penton, thought that Penton's administration compared poorly with that of Tullie. He complains of his changeableness and liking for experiment. 'In a short time', he avers, 'we ran after all ye idle whims which could possibly be hatch'd by ye many labours and throes of an humersome and peevish brain.' (fn. 119) In particular Allam was aggrieved at the preference shown by Penton for 'an inconsiderable set of gentlemen commoners, now his only darling creatures', with the result, he claims, that, whereas the hall in Tullie's time had 'receiv'd generally 60 and sometimes more of all ranks, by these means is dwindled into less yn halfe so many'. The evidence of the buttery books certainly shows that in 1681–2 seven out of the eleven undergraduates admitted to the hall were gentlemen commoners. It is true that a decline in numbers had set in, but other halls, too, were beginning to experience a similar shrinkage, and in fairness to Penton it needs to be pointed out that the decline in numbers at St. Edmund Hall dates from the closing years of Tullie's principalship. In 1674–5 the number of matriculations had dropped to 12. Under Penton it rose to 22 in 1676–7 and did not drop below 12 until 1680–1; but by the last year of his principalship it had fallen as low as 4.

In succession to Penton The Queen's College elected Thomas Crosthwaite, a fellow of the college; but the Vice-Chancellor declared his appointment void 'for his having neglected to subscribe the Declaration against taking up arms required by the Act of Uniformity'. Elected again by a majority of the fellows, he was refused admission by the Vice-Chancellor. On the Vice-Chancellor's action being upheld by the Visitor of the college, the Provost and fellows proceeded to a new election and appointed a former fellow of the college, Dr. John Mill, rector of Bletchingdon, Oxon. (fn. 120) Mill had the reputation of being 'a ready extempore Preacher' (fn. 121) and had at an early age been appointed a chaplain-in-ordinary to Charles II. He had also attracted the attention of Bishop Fell as having 'a good warm impetuous Inclination to Studies and Labor', and at his suggestion had embarked upon 'the laborious Task of giving a new Edition of the Greek Testament with various lections'. This great undertaking continued to absorb his attention after he became Principal; so much so that 'he had not leisure to attend to the Discipline of the House, which rose and fell according to his different Vice-Principals'—an opinion recorded by the most eminent of them, White Kennett, subsequently Bishop of Peterborough.

In a valuation of the headships of colleges and halls made about this period it is estimated that the principalship of St. Edmund Hall is worth £30 a year at a time when there are 20 commoners in residence. (fn. 122) To supplement the exiguous income which the principalship brought them, Principals of the hall, in accordance with accepted practice within the University, had since the reign of Elizabeth, as has already been noted, ordinarily held one or more benefices. The consequent absences of the Principal had made the post of VicePrincipal a necessary and responsible one. It is evident that in the 17th and in the two succeeding centuries the fortunes of the hall depended in no small degree upon the choice made of Vice-Principal. Hearne records that on White Kennett's leaving the hall in 1695 on his appointment as rector of Shottesbrook, some undergraduates migrated from the hall to Lincoln College, (fn. 123) and he criticizes Mill for taking 'successively three Vice-Principals from other places viz. Mr. Milles in room of Dr. Kennett, when there were several of the Hall who would have accepted of it'. (fn. 124) Hitherto it had been customary for a resident graduate of the hall to be appointed Vice-Principal, and it was expected, so it would appear, that the choice would be determined by seniority. Whatever his reason for making the change may have been, Mill's action was the more liable to criticism from members of the hall, as several of the Vice-Principals and tutors whom Tullie and Penton had appointed from among graduates of the hall, were able men who won a good reputation in other fields. Such were John March, Andrew Allam, Sir Richard Blackmore, and Thomas Tullie, Dean of Carlisle, nephew of the Principal. So, too, was White Kennett, whom Mill had himself appointed VicePrincipal in 1691 and who was the last member of the hall to be appointed Vice-Principal for many years. Two of the Vice-Principals whom Mill appointed from outside the hall, Thomas Milles of Wadham College, subsequently Regius Professor of Greek and Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, and Robert Pearce of Lincoln College, both suffer much disparagement in the pages of Hearne's diaries.

It is not possible to ascertain how many graduates in addition to the Vice-Principal acted from time to time as tutors of the hall: indeed the names of the VicePrincipals during the first half of the 17th century are not all known. Tutors, it would seem, continued, as in the Middle Ages, to be chosen from graduates of the hall who remained in residence for the purpose of studying for the higher degrees. At the beginning of Dr. Mill's principalship there appear to have been four Masters of Arts in residence besides the Vice-Principal. (fn. 125)

Another change made by Mill was the abolition of the Act Supper. (fn. 126) Hitherto on their inception as Masters of Arts, members of the hall, in accordance with long-established usage in the University, had contributed 'to make up a competent Act Supper'. (fn. 127) In place of the supper Mill required all Masters of Arts to make an extra contribution of 20s. towards the purchase of books for the hall library, over and above the payment of 20s. for the same object which since Dr. Tullie's time all members of the hall had been required to make on proceeding to a degree. (fn. 128) On his appointment as Principal Mill lost no time, as has already been stated, in setting about the completion and equipment of the chapel and library which his predecessor had been obliged to leave unfinished.

The reputation of the hall continued to stand high. 'The great Honour I have for your Person, & ye no less good Report I have heard of ye Discipline of yr Hall have invited me to send a Son unto you': (fn. 129) in these terms Sir Daniel Fleming addressed Dr. Mill, when in 1688 he entered at the hall his son George, subsequently Bishop of Carlisle.

The correspondence which passed between George Fleming and his father while he was at the University furnishes interesting particulars of the life of an undergraduate at the hall during the closing years of the 17th century. On admission Fleming was placed 'under the tutorige of the Vice-Principal Mr. Codrington, who is very sober, civil, diligent, and a laborious man', and was given by him a lecture in logic daily. (fn. 130) In his letters to his father he reports from time to time the subsequent course of his studies and renders detailed accounts of all his disbursements. During his first year his total expenditure, including clothing and books, amounted to £34 12s. 11d., and during the three remaining years of his residence it rose by about £10 each year. He spent all his vacations at Oxford except one, and then Dr. Mill wrote to his father expressing regret that 'we are to part with one of the best and most exemplary Scholars we have, for a whole Winter'. (fn. 131)

In the year that George Fleming entered the hall the number of undergraduates matriculated amounted to 10, but only twice again during Mill's principalship, in 1692–3 and 1694–5, was this figure reached. After 1691 the matriculations each year only averaged about 5. It was particularly unfortunate that Mill should have been ill-served by his Vice-Principals at a time when the completion of his edition of the New Testament in Greek was monopolizing his attention. Moreover, in 1705 he was appointed by the Crown a Prebendary of Canterbury. In June 1707 his great work was published; but he had overtaxed his strength and within a fortnight he had an apoplectic seizure at his rectory at Bletchingdon and died. (fn. 132) Hearne detested Mill's Whiggism and was quick to note that in his lodgings alone in Oxford were illuminations to be seen in celebration of Marlborough's victories; but he was not blind to his merits. (fn. 133) 'He has left', so runs the entry that he made in his diary at the time, 'the Character behind him of a Learned Divine, a charitable Man to the Poor, and in several respects of a Publick Spirit'. Mill died intestate; but Hearne had reason to think 'that had he made a Will he would have been a very great Benefactor to the Hall'. (fn. 134)

The Provost and fellows of Queen's experienced some little difficulty in filling the principalship, 'none of the College being willing to accept it, (the Hall being but thin at present) unless upon very considerable Terms of Advantage from the College'. (fn. 135) At length it was arranged that if one of their number, Thomas Pearson, accepted it, 'he should have the option of a Parsonage and in the mean time a Pension from the College equivalent to a Fellowship'. In the following year Pearson was presented to the living of Sulhampstead Abbots, Berks. Hearne describes him as bearing the character of 'a modest, good natur'd Man, and a plain practical Preacher', and remarks on the occasion of the accession of George I that he was not present at the Convocation which consented to an address to the new king. When Hearne forfeited his offices in the University on refusal to take the oath, he owed it to Pearson's kindliness that he was allowed to retain the use of his rooms in the hall. Although Hearne continued to reside in the hall until his death in 1735, his diaries have little to tell of what happened within its walls during those years. His most valuable contribution is his pithy and, often, outspoken descriptions of individual members. The hall continued 'thin' throughout Pearson's principalship: the matriculations in any one year never exceeded five. During the last five or six years of his life Dr. Pearson was afflicted with 'the dead palsey' and spent most of his time at his country parsonage. (fn. 136) His ill health and absence must have led to a further decline in numbers, as during some of these latter years there were no matriculations at all. In Feb. 1722 Dr. Pearson died at Sulhampstead 'a very poor man'.

His successor, Dr. Henry Felton, rector of Whitwell, Derbyshire, and chaplain to the 2nd Duke of Rutland, was a former member of the hall. (fn. 137) He entered in 1696, but migrated to Queen's after graduating B.A. He had been tutor to the Marquis of Granby, to whom he dedicated his Dissertation on reading the Classics and forming a just Style, a book which passed into five editions but is dismissed by Hearne as 'a meer injudicious Rhapsody'. (fn. 138) He had the reputation of having been 'an eminent preacher in and about London'.

On coming to the hall Felton, much to Hearne's satisfaction, did not reappoint Pearce Vice-Principal, (fn. 139) but, on the other hand, the new Vice-Principal, James Creed, a young graduate of Queen's, soon showed himself, in Hearne's estimation at least, unsuited for the office. (fn. 140) Felton also quickly earned Hearne's disapproval by the changes he made. The time of evening prayers was moved back from 9 to 5; (fn. 141) the time of dinner moved forward from 11 to 12; (fn. 142) fastdays were no longer observed on Fridays; (fn. 143) nor fritters served at dinner on Shrove Tuesday 'as there used always to be'. (fn. 144) 'When laudable old Customs alter', comments Hearne, ' 'tis a Sign Learning dwindles'; and a few months later he expresses the conviction that Felton is letting 'all manner of litterary Discipline fall down in Edmund Hall'. (fn. 145)

As in Dr. Pearson's time so in Felton's, matriculations from the hall never exceeded five in any one year, and during four of the last years of his principalship there was none. Some undergraduates were admitted on migration from other societies (fn. 146) —formerly a very general practice in the University, but one that was eventually to bring the halls into disrepute in their final struggle for existence. In 1727 Dr. Felton considered rebuilding the north side of the quadrangle, but his project came to nothing. (fn. 147) Outside the hall he commanded attention by his books and sermons in defence of Anglicanism, but Hearne's merciless pen writes him down 'a poor, vain, half-strained, conceited man'. (fn. 148) In 1736 he was presented to the living of Barwick in Elmet by his former pupil, the 3rd Duke of Rutland, and resigned that of Whitwell to which he had been presented in 1712 by the 2nd Duke. He died at Barwick on 1 March 1740.

His successor in the principalship, Dr. Thomas Shaw, a fellow of Queen's and vicar of Godshill, Isle of Wight, was a man of vigorous personality and varied experience. (fn. 149) After leaving the University Shaw had spent thirteen years as chaplain to the English factory at Algiers. During his residence abroad he had not only travelled widely in Algeria, Morocco, and Tripoli, but had also made expeditions into Egypt and the Levant. While still in Africa he had been elected a fellow by his college. He had returned to England in 1733 and in the following year had been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. The publication of his Travels or Observations relating to parts of Barbary and the Levant, in 1738, won for him European reputation as a scholar and natural historian. In the year after he became Principal he was appointed Regius Professor of Greek.

The dilapidated condition in which Shaw found the buildings of the hall and the extensive measures that he took for their restoration have already been mentioned. (fn. 150) In addition to his own generous contributions, he enlisted support outside the hall to help him in meeting the cost. (fn. 151) In 1742 he became vicar of Bramley, Hants, on the presentation of The Queen's College, being the first of seven Principals of the hall who successively held this living in conjunction with the principalship. (fn. 152) On coming to the hall Shaw appointed as Vice-Principal a Queen's man, Thomas Camplin, subsequently Archdeacon of Bath, who left as his monument in Oxford the Holywell Music Room, for the design of which he was responsible. (fn. 153) Camplin was followed in 1747 by Joseph Edwards, of Magdalen Hall. (fn. 154)

On Shaw's death in 1751 Dr. George Fothergill was appointed to succeed him. Fothergill, the eldest son of a Westmorland 'statesman', had entered Queen's as a servitor in 1722 and had been elected to a fellowship in 1734. A pleasing impression of his character may be obtained from the correspondence which passed between him and his family from his undergraduate days onwards. (fn. 155) The hard struggle that he had during his early years at Oxford to live on the meagre resources at his disposal would seem to have left a permanent ill effect upon his health. He died in 1760 at the age of 54 and was the first Principal to be buried in the chapel of the hall.

The Queen's College appointed in his place Dr. George Dixon who, prior to his election as a fellow in 1748, had 'preferred the labours of a parochial ministry to the indolent or even literary retirement of a college'. (fn. 156) The number of undergraduates at the hall, which under his two immediate predecessors had amounted on the average to about a dozen, now showed signs of increasing a little, and that notwithstanding the fact that the hall was beginning to lie under the odium 'of there being too much religion there'. (fn. 157) Dixon, a spiritually minded man of kindly disposition, was ready 'to esteem religion wherever he found it and to excuse errors and imperfections where he thought he discovered truth': but the Vice-Principal, John Higson, who had been appointed by Shaw a few months before his death, was a man of violent prejudices. In 1768 Higson complained to the Principal that there were in the hall several enthusiasts 'who talked of regeneration, inspiration and drawing nigh unto God'. On the Principal refusing to take action, Higson laid charges against seven of his pupils before the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Durell, Principal of Hertford. An inquiry was conducted in the hall by the Vice-Chancellor and four assessors. (fn. 158) The occasion was taken to register official reprobation of any activities within the University that might savour of Methodism; and six of the seven young men charged were expelled. The expulsion of these six students from the University provoked a vehement controversy throughout the country. Dr. Johnson had no doubt that the expulsion was 'extremely just and proper'. 'A cow', he remarked, 'is a very good animal in the field; but we turn her out of a garden.' (fn. 159)

For the next ten years the hall suffered a diminution of numbers. Dr. Dixon, greatly to his credit, had done his best to shield his offending students, although he himself had no sympathy with their Calvinistic tendencies. As a result of these events his connexion with the University was rendered 'less agreeable than formerly'; but, even so, he continued in the principalship for nineteen years more until his death in 1787. (fn. 160)

Within a week of the expulsion of his six pupils Higson ceased to be Vice-Principal. Edward Bowerbank, who took his place, also proved himself no friend of Methodism, as is evidenced by his refusal to sign letters testimonial for the ordination of Joseph Benson, who had been classical master at Wesley's school at Kingswood. (fn. 161) Bowerbank and Thomas Breeks, who succeeded him as Vice-Principal in 1775, were both Queen's men and fellows of the college. (fn. 162) In 1783 Dixon reverted to an earlier practice and appointed a member of the hall, Isaac Crouch, to the vice-principalship.

Dr. William Dowson, (fn. 163) who succeeded Dr. Dixon as Principal, and his immediate successors, Dr. George Thompson, (fn. 164) appointed in 1800, Dr. Anthony Grayson, (fn. 165) appointed in 1824, and Dr. William Thompson, (fn. 166) appointed in 1843, all of whom were fellows of Queen's, left the general charge of the hall very much in the hands of their Vice-Principals. Under the influence of Isaac Crouch the hall came to be recognized as the headquarters of the Evangelical Revival in Oxford. He also impressed upon it 'a novel character for erudition no less than seriousness'. (fn. 167) After holding office for twenty-four years, Crouch resigned the vice-principalship in 1807 and was succeeded by the most distinguished of his pupils, Daniel Wilson, subsequently Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India. (fn. 168) Wilson well maintained the tradition that Crouch had built up: 'amid the traditional College laziness which Oriel was only just beginning to break up, the Hall and its virtual Head—for Principal Thompson, like his predecessors, took no part in the tuition—began to rank extraordinarily high'. Wilson, in addition to his academic work, officiated as curate of two villages 16 miles from Oxford, Upper and Lower Worton, driving out there and back in a post-chaise each Sunday. In 1812 Wilson handed over the viceprincipalship to his pupil John Hill, who for thirtynine years faithfully kept the lamp of Evangelical piety alight within the hall. (fn. 169)

The Oxford University Commissioners of 1852 reported that notwithstanding its lack of endowment the hall 'is at present one of the cheapest places of education in Oxford'. (fn. 170) In his answers to the Commissioners' inquiries, Hill stated that 'the highest amount of the bills of any one Member during the year 1849 was 80l. 0s. 5d., the lowest was 60l. 18s. 7d.' At this date the number of undergraduates in residence was about 25. Hill, being married, lived out, as had his two predecessors. (fn. 171) Edward Arthur Litton, who succeeded Hill in 1851, belonged to the same school of thought: after graduating from Balliol, Litton had held a fellowship at Oriel until his marriage had obliged him to relinquish it. (fn. 172)

On the death of Dr. William Thompson in 1853 Dr. John Barrow, fellow of Queen's, was elected Principal. Very shortly after Barrow's appointment a petition was submitted to the University Commissioners requesting that 'the appointment to the Principalship may be adjusted with a view of hereafter throwing the post open to the University, and also of securing to the Hall its proper independence'. Public attention was directed to this request by a pamphlet addressed to the new Principal by the Rev. George Hill, a graduate of the hall, which appeared in 1855. (fn. 173) This pamphlet drew a severe reply from the Bursar of Queen's, the Rev. William Thomson, subsequently Provost and Archbishop of York. The petition on behalf of the hall had, of course, no legal basis, and nothing came of it; but it is noteworthy as showing that at that date it was already coming to be felt to be an anachronism that at every vacancy the principalship should be offered to the fellows of Queen's in order of seniority.

The appointment of Dr. Barrow as Principal brought the hall under Tractarian influences, for Barrow was a friend of the leaders of the movement. (fn. 174) His first Vice-Principal was Henry Walford, subsequently headmaster of Lancing: Walford had been at Rugby under Arnold and encouraged the belief that he was the 'Slogger' in Tom Brown's Schooldays. (fn. 175) His second Vice-Principal was Henry Parry Liddon, who came to the hall in 1859 from Cuddesdon, where he had been obliged to resign the vice-principalship in consequence of the attacks made upon him from Evangelical quarters. During the three years that Liddon was at the hall he laid the foundation of his great influence as a religious leader in Oxford, especially among undergraduates. (fn. 176) On the resignation of Barrow in 1861, (fn. 177) the principalship was again filled by a HighChurchman, John Branthwaite, sometime fellow of Queen's and headmaster of Lancing. (fn. 178) When in 1862 Liddon took up residence again in Christ Church, his place at the hall was taken by Charles Eddy, fellow of Queen's.

In 1864 Edward Moore, fellow of Queen's, aged 29, was appointed Principal to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Branthwaite, who was drowned while bathing in Morecambe Bay. During the course of his long principalship of forty-nine years Moore made a world-wide reputation for himself as a Dante scholar. (fn. 179) At first Moore managed without a Vice-Principal: (fn. 180) from 1864 to 1869 Thomas Kelly Cheyne, subsequently Oriel Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, acted as chaplain and Divinity Lecturer and was succeeded by Andrew Wallace Milroy, subsequently Professor of Latin at Queen's College, London, as lecturer. In 1871 George Francis Lovell was appointed Vice-Principal, and thereafter Dr. Moore was aided in his administration of the hall by a succession of able Vice-Principals: the Rev. Robert Garland Plumptre from 1889 to 1893, Mr., subsequently Sir, Ernest Nathaniel Bennett from 1893 to 1895, the Rev. Herbert Louis Wild, subsequently Bishop of Newcastle, from 1895 to 1903, and the Rev. Sidney Leslie Ollard, subsequently Canon of Windsor, from 1903 to 1913.

When in 1874 the University was once again subjected to a Royal Commission, Dr. Moore took a pessimistic view of the future of the halls, as he considered that the 'unattached students' system introduced in 1870 would supplant the halls in the important service that they had hitherto rendered to 'those who desire to live as quietly and economically as possible'. (fn. 181) The Statutory Commissioners of 1877 were of the same opinion and legislated for the extinction of all the halls except St. Edmund Hall. With the approval of The Queen's College a special scheme was provided for the hall whereby at the next vacancy in the principalship it was to become a dependency of the college and its membership limited to twentyfour exhibitioners. (fn. 182)

In 1903, when Dr. Moore was appointed to a residentiary canonry in Canterbury Cathedral and expressed his intention of resigning the principalship, The Queen's College attempted to secure the passage through Congregation of an amending statute under which the partial union of the hall with the college proposed by the Commissioners in 1877 was to become a total union. (fn. 183) Opinion in the University was roused in defence of the last of the medieval halls and the statute was rejected by a decisive majority. A deadlock ensued, until Lord Curzon after his appointment in 1907 as Chancellor, and, by virtue of that office, Visitor of the Hall, exerted his influence on behalf of the hall. Eventually, in 1912, as has been already noted, a statute was made by the University, and approved in the following year by an Order of the King in Council, by which the preservation of the identity of the hall, as a separate academical society, was secured.

In 1913, with the fear of the extinction of the hall removed, and with more than forty undergraduates in residence, Dr. Moore felt free to bring his long tenure of the office of Principal to an end. At the same time Canon Ollard, who as Vice-Principal had worked indefatigably in defence of the hall during the ten years that its fate was in the balance, also resigned. With the appointment of the Rev. H. H. Williams, Fellow of Hertford, subsequently Bishop of Carlisle, as Principal, there opened for the hall a new chapter of progress and development.


St. Edmund Hall owes the start of its library to Dr. Tullie, who on becoming Principal instituted the good custom whereby gentlemencommoners, on going out of residence, made the hall a present of the value of £5 at least, to be expended either in plate or in books. (fn. 184) It was in this way that during the reign of Charles II a beginning of the collection of books was made. It is not known where these books were kept before the library over the antechapel was erected, but there is preserved among the papers of White-Kennett, Bishop of Peterborough, a register kept during his Vice-Principalship with notes of books borrowed. (fn. 185) In 1920 all modern books likely to be required for general use were taken from the Old Library and placed in another room, and in 1927 found their home in the New Library. The remaining books in the Old Library were rearranged, so far as possible, in their original order as catalogued by Thomas Hearne. (fn. 186)

Dr. Mill was careful that the gifts made for the new chapel and library were duly recorded in a book of Benefactors: after his death, in 1717, this good practice lapsed for a while, but was subsequently resumed. From the second catalogue compiled about 1776 it appears that the library then contained about a thousand volumes. In 1704 Dr. Mill had a bookplate engraved for the use of the library. It has been pointed out by Dr. Streeter that this library was probably 'the first college library to be built on the Wall System', and also has the further distinction of being 'the last library on the Wall System built with the idea of being chained'. (fn. 187) The chains were removed from the books about the year 1760. The library, containing over 200 volumes, belonged to Dr. Thomas Tullie, Dean of Carlisle, a former member of the hall and nephew of the former Principal, and to Dr. John Waugh, Bishop of Carlisle (1655–1734).


The earliest inventory of silver plate belonging to the hall was made in 1679, when all the plate was sold to help provide funds for the building of the chapel. Subsequent to this date a few pieces of silver plate were given to the hall in the early years of the 18th century, and then followed a long period when no gifts were made owing to the good valedictory practice instituted by Dr. Tullie falling into neglect.


Since the full description of the portraits in the possession of the hall was made by Mrs. R. L. Poole, (fn. 188) there have been given or bequeathed to the hall the following portraits of interest; all three are in oils:

Dr. George Dixon (Principal 1760–87) by an unknown painter; Dr. H. P. Liddon, Vice-Principal 1859–62, by H. M. Paget; and Alexander Pope, ascribed to William Hoare.


(Where the date of appointment is not known, the earliest date is given at which a Principal is known to have been in office.)
William Boys, c. 1315.
John de Cornubia or Eglosfeyl, M.A., 1317.
Robert Luc de Cornubia, M.A., 1319.
John de Bere, M.A., 1325.
… Throp, 1351.
William Hamsterley, 1381.
Edward Upton, M.A., 1384.
Henry Cirencester or Rumworth, B.D., 1395.
William Taylor, M.A., 1405.
Robert Berughdon, M.A., 1408.
Peter Clerk or Payne, M.A., 1411.
John Darley, D.D., 1414.
William Bryton, M.A., 1435.
John Thamys, B.D., 1438.
Thomas Lee, B.D., 1460.
Richard Broke, B.D., 1478.
Humphrey Wystowe, D.D., 1500.
Thomas Cawse, B.D. Admitted 7 Nov. 1501; resigned 13 Feb. 1502–3.
William Patenson, D.D., 1502–3.
John Pyttes, M.A. Admitted 11 Feb. 1507–8.
John Cuthbertson, B.D., 1527: resigned 19 Sept. 1528.
Miles Braithwaite, M.A. Admitted 29 Sept. 1528; resigned 24 Sept. c. 1533.
William Robertson, M.A. Admitted 24 Sept. c. 1533.
Ottwell Toppyng, M.A. Admitted 12 Jan. 1537–8.
Thomas Peyrson, M.A. Admitted 21 Sept. 1540.
Ralph Rudde, M.A., 1547: died June 1557.
Thomas Lancaster. Admitted 26 Feb. 1564–5; resigned.
Nicholas Cooke, M.A. Admitted 23 May 1569; resigned.
Nicholas Pullen, M.A. Admitted 7 Mar. 1569–70; resigned.
Philip Johnson, M.A. Admitted 24 Sept. 1572; resigned.
Henry Robinson, M.A. Admitted 9 May 1576; resigned.
Thomas Bowsfield, M.A. Admitted 22 July 1581; resigned.
John Aglionby, D.D. Admitted 4 Apr. 1601; died 6 Feb. 1609–10.
Barnabas Potter. Elected 7 Feb. 1609–10; resigned before admission.
John Rawlinson, D.D. Admitted 1 May 1610; died Feb. 1630–1.
Adam Airay, B.D. Admitted 9 Mar. 1630–1; died 16 Dec. 1658.
Thomas Tullie, D.D. Admitted 22 Dec. 1658; died 14 Jan. 1675–6.
Stephen Penton, B.D. Admitted 17 Feb. 1675–6; resigned 7 Mar. 1683–4.
Thomas Crosthwaite, D.D. Admitted 4 Apr. 1684; but appointment subsequently disallowed by the Vice-Chancellor.
John Mill, D.D. Admitted 5 May 1685; died 23 June 1707.
Thomas Pearson, D.D. Admitted 9 Aug. 1707; died 15 Feb. 1721–2.
Henry Felton, D.D. Admitted 23 Apr. 1722; died 1 Mar. 1739–40.
Thomas Shaw, D.D. Admitted 27 Nov. 1740; died 15 Aug. 1751.
George Fothergill, D.D. Admitted 23 Oct. 1751; died 3 Oct. 1760.
George Dixon, D.D. Admitted 30 Dec. 1760; died 8 Mar. 1787.
William Dowson, D.D. Admitted 13 Oct. 1787; died 10 Jan. 1800.
George Thompson, D.D. Admitted 15 Apr. 1800; died 16 May 1823.
Henry Wheatley, M.A. Elected 19 June 1823; died before admission.
Anthony Grayson, D.D. Admitted 3 Feb. 1824; died 6 Sept. 1843.
William Thompson, D.D. Admitted 6 Nov. 1843; died 15 Sept. 1854.
John Barrow, D.D. Admitted 19 Oct. 1854; resigned.
John Branthwaite, M.A. Admitted 1 May 1861; died 5 July 1864.
Edward Moore, D.D. Admitted 15 Oct. 1864; resigned.
Henry Herbert Williams, D.D. Admitted 29 Sept. 1913; resigned.
Gerald Burton Allen, D.D. Admitted 7 Dec. 1920; resigned.
George Bernard Cronshaw, M.A. Admitted 10 Oct. 1928; died 20 Dec. 1928.
Alfred Brotherston Emden, M.A. Admitted 17 Jan. 1929.
John Norman Davidson Kelly, admitted 11 Oct. 1951.


  • 1. On the residence of St. Edmund in Oxford see A. B. Emden, An Oxford Hall in Medieval Times, pp. 81–95.
  • 2. Ibid., pp. 267–8.
  • 3. Ibid., p. 60; Cartul. Oseney Abbey, ed. H. E. Salter (O.H.S.), iii, 139. Anthony Wood erroneously derived the name of St. Edmund Hall from Edmund a hatter, who owned property in the parish of St. Peter's-in-the-East, but not on the site of the hall, as Wood conjectured. See An Oxford Hall, pp. 71–7.
  • 4. Ibid., pp. 19–33.
  • 5. Ibid., pp. 56–7, 62–71.
  • 6. Ibid., pp. 60–2.
  • 7. For fuller particulars concerning the early history of the site see ibid., pp. 60–9.
  • 8. Ibid., pp. 69–71. On the family of de Bermingham at this period, see also the article by S. C. Kaines Smith, 'The Arms of Birmingham', Trans. Worcs. Archaeol. Soc. (1935), pp. 61–71.
  • 9. An Oxford Hall, pp. 60–4; Cartul. Oseney Abbey, i, 281–4.
  • 10. An Oxford Hall, pp. 67, 110–12; Cartul, Oseney Abbey, i, 284–6.
  • 11. An Oxford Hall, pp. 170, 181; Cartul. Oseney Abbey, i, 286–7.
  • 12. An Oxford Hall, pp. 169–70.
  • 13. Ibid., passim, see index. White Hall stood on the site now occupied by Nos. 46 & 47 High St., and St. Hugh Hall (also known as Chapel, Black, or Grammar Hall) on that now occupied by Nos. 42 & 43 High St. During the course of excavations at the back of No. 47 High St. in 1932 a section of window tracery, probably belonging to the refectory of White Hall, was recovered. See St. Edm. Hall Magazine, 1932, pp. 21–4.
  • 14. Oxf. Univ. Archives, Visitationes Aularum, Pyx D.
  • 15. Cartul. Hosp, St. John Bapt., ed. H. E. Salter (O.H.S.), i, 323–5, iii, 318.
  • 16. St. Edm. Hall Book of Benefactors, 1659–1861, fol. 18.
  • 17. A copy of the proceedings before the Prerogative Court in Ireland is preserved in Trinity College, Dublin, MS. 553.
  • 18. The exhibitions settled by the Lady Elizabeth Hastings on the Queen's College were originally intended for the state. See J. R. Magrath, The Queen's College, ii, 98. See also St. Edm. Hall Magazine, 1937, pp. 24–9.
  • 19. 3 & 4 Geo. V, cap. lxxviii.
  • 20. Stat. Antiq. Univ. Oxon., ed. S. Gibson, pp. 574–88.
  • 21. Ibid., pp. 371–2.
  • 22. Ibid., pp. 588–600.
  • 23. The 'Statuta Aularia' appeared for the last time in Statuta et Decreta Univ. Oxon. in 1937; see op. cit., pp. 425–31.
  • 24. Statuta et Decreta Univ. Oxon., 1913, pp. 597–602.
  • 25. Ibid., 1937, pp. 19–29.
  • 26. Oxford Univ. Gazette, 1936–7, lxvii, 683–94.
  • 27. A. B. Emden, An Oxford Hall, pp. 183–4.
  • 28. Ibid., pp. 171–2.
  • 29. Ibid., pp. 181–2.
  • 30. Wood, Hist. and Antiq. of the Colleges and Halls, p. 667.
  • 31. An Oxford Hall, p. 169.
  • 32. Wood, op. cit. iv, 668.
  • 33. Cartul. Hosp. St. John Bapt. (O.H.S.). i, 313.
  • 34. Wood, op. cit., p. 668.
  • 35. Cartul. Hosp. St. John Bapt. (O.H.S.), i, 313.
  • 36. See A. B. Emden, An Account of the Chapel & Library Building of St. Edmund Hall, privately printed, 1932.
  • 37. B. H. Streeter, The Chained Library, pp. 75–6.
  • 38. St. Edm. Hall Library, Papers from Principal's Ledger Book.
  • 39. Magrath, The Queen's College, ii, 150.
  • 40. An Oxford Hall, pp. 105–10.
  • 41. Ibid., p. 115; Bodl. Lib. Misc. MS. 2593, fol. 38–49.
  • 42. An Oxford Hall, pp. 116–24.
  • 43. St. Edm. Hall Magazine, 1931, pp. 56–9.
  • 44. An Oxford Hall, pp. 125–33.
  • 45. Reg. Henry Chichele, ed. E. F. Jacob, iii, 67–9, 157–73.
  • 46. An Oxford Hall, pp. 133–54.
  • 47. Ibid., pp. 154–61.
  • 48. a Ibid., pp. 162–4: an illustration of the brass faces p. 164.
  • 49. Ibid., pp. 165–80.
  • 50. Ibid., pp. 180–90.
  • 51. Ibid., pp. 190–2.
  • 52. Ibid., pp. 222–9.
  • 53. An Oxford Hall, pp. 228–9.
  • 54. Ibid., pp. 229–35.
  • 55. Ibid., pp. 235–9.
  • 56. Ibid., pp. 239–43.
  • 57. Ibid., pp. 249–52.
  • 58. Ibid., pp. 253–7, 292–6.
  • 59. Ibid., pp. 257–63, 296–300.
  • 60. The Queen's College Long Rolls, 1558–60, 1562–4, 1567–8. A grant of 20s. towards repairs at the hall ex benevolentia sociorum is entered in the Long Roll for 1572–3.
  • 61. Thomas Ruckwood, who was resident in the hall in Rudde's time, continued to have rooms in the hall until his death in 1581. An interesting inventory of his effects is preserved among the Inventories in the University Archives.
  • 62. Magrath, i, 179–80.
  • 63. See Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 64. Acts of the Privy Council, 1558–70, p. 243; Hist. MSS. Com., Pepys MSS., pp. 86–7; Cal, State Papery Ireland, 1509–73, see index to calendars.
  • 65. Cal. State Papers, Ireland, 1574–85, pp. 260, 302, 308.
  • 66. Supra, p. 320.
  • 67. See Magrath, i, 179,190. He became vicar of Sparsholt in 1571, and rector of Pusey in 1579.
  • 68. Magrath, i, 180. On being appointed rector of Buscot, Berks., in 1573, he resigned the living of Aldermaston. See Archaeol. Journal, lv, 396, article by C. E. Keyser on Aldermaston Church. See also Cal. State Papers, Dom., Addenda, 1580–1625, p. 106.
  • 69. Magrath, i, 180: see The Genealogist, xxxiii (new series), 72, note by J. Challenor C. Smith.
  • 70. Magrath, i, 209–10.
  • 71. See Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 72. Magrath, i, 210–24; Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 73. The Queen's Coll. Archives, Pyx 2V, Articles between Archbp. Grindal and Henry Robinson touching the resignation of Provost Bowsfield.
  • 74. Magrath, i, 197.
  • 75. C. H. Fielding, The Records of Rochester Diocese, p. 289.
  • 76. Foster in Alumn. Oxon. incorrectly states that Bowsfield was rector of Windermere.
  • 77. Hearne, Collections (O.H.S.), xi, 19.
  • 78. Oxf. Univ. Archives, Visitationes Aularum, D. 26. 3, fol. 1–22.
  • 79. Vacant.
  • 80. Magrath, i, 228–9; Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1601–3, pp. 20–2.
  • 81. B.N.C. Quatercentenary Monographs (O.H.S.), xi, 8. Later James I pressed on the fellows of Brasenose the claims of Henry Walmesley to be their next Principal, but with no success.
  • 82. Magrath, i, 216, 229.
  • 83. Wood, Athen. Oxon. ii, 60–1.
  • 84. Cal. State Papers, Dom., Addenda, 1580–1625, p. 676.
  • 85. Athen. Oxon. ii, 61.
  • 86. Wood's Life & Times (O.H S.), iv, 150–1.
  • 87. Magrath, i, 230–1, 242–3.
  • 88. Laud's Works, ed. Scott and Bliss, v, 34–5.
  • 89. According to Anthony Wood, Rawlinson was also vicar of Asheldham, Essex. See Athen. Oxon. ii, 505.
  • 90. Athen. Oxon. ii, 505–6; Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 91. Supra, p. 321.
  • 92. Oxf. Univ. Archives, Visitationes Aularum. The Articles of Inquiry for the visitation of 1613 and the replies are printed in full in St. Edm. Hall Magazine, 1929, pp. 59–66.
  • 93. See Dict. Nat. Biog. under Sir Edw. Nicholas.
  • 94. Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1619–23, pp. 250, 256, 268, 277, 281, 284, 306, 326, 411, 421, 425; ibid., 1623–5, pp. 1, 11, 16, 112, 168, 175, 279, 359, 374, 379, 396; ibid., 1625–6, pp. 10, 430.
  • 95. Magrath, i, 253.
  • 96. Laud's Works, v, 35–6, vi, 294–6.
  • 97. Register of the Visitation of the Univ. of Oxford, 1647–1658 (Camd. Soc.), pp. cxxviii-cxxx.
  • 98. The accounts relating to his funeral expenses and the settling of his affairs are preserved among the Airay MSS. in St. Edm. Hall Library.
  • 99. Magrath, ii, 39–40; Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 100. The Queen's Coll. Archives, Pyx 2V, 'Copy of a Memorandum from Provost Langbaine to Mr. John Milles at Dr. Welles Lodgings in Ch. Ch.'
  • 101. Supra, p. 324.
  • 102. For Dr. Tullie's regulations for the use of the Hall plate see Bodl. Lib., Rawlinson MS. D. 912, fol. 538.
  • 103. A. B. Emden, An Account of the Chapel & Library Bldg., St. Edm. Hall, pp. 6–8.
  • 104. Athen. Oxon. iv, 373–5; Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 105. Bodl. Libr., Tanner MS. 454, fol. 142.
  • 106. A larger number than the returns show for University, Balliol, Oriel, Corpus, Pembroke, St. Mary Hall, New Inn Hall or Hart Hall. See Surveys and Tokens (O.H.S.), pp. 216, 335–6.
  • 107. Bodl. Libr., MS. Top. Oxon. fol. 31. Most of John Friend's letters to his father were written in Latin, but in 'The Memorialls & Remaines' his father adds an English translation.
  • 108. Ibid., fol. 19.
  • 109. Ibid., fol. 21.
  • 110. Ibid., fol. 260.
  • 111. Ibid., fol. 277–8.
  • 112. Ibid., fol. 349–56.
  • 113. Memoirs of the Life of Mr. John Kettlewell, pp. 20–30. The anonymous author of these memoirs was Francis Lee.
  • 114. a Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1673–5, pp. 526, 532; ibid., 1675–6, pp. 75, 409, 412, 511.
  • 115. Magrath, ii, 40; Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 116. Supra, p. 324.
  • 117. A. B. Emden, An Account of the Chapel & Library Bldg., St. Edm. Hall, pp. 9–18.
  • 118. Hearne's Collections (O.H.S.), i, 298. In 1693, on his appointment as rector of Wath and Prebendary of Ripon, Penton resigned the living of Glympton.
  • 119. Bodl. Libr., Tanner MS. 454, fol. 142.
  • 120. Magrath, ii, 114; Bodl. Libr., Tanner MS. 454, fol. 22. The trouble over the election of Crosthwaite was aggravated by strained relations between Provost Halton and some of the fellows. The Provost's papers concerning the dispute marked 'Negotium Appellationis Dris Halton contra Socios' are preserved in The Queen's College Archives.
  • 121. Brit. Mus., Lansdowne MS. 987, fol. 187, 187v, a biographical note by Bishop Kennett.
  • 122. Bodl. Libr., Tanner MS. 338, fol. 203–204v, printed by Gutch in Collectanea Curiosa, i, 191–5. This valuation is undated, but it would seem from the watermark of the paper and from internal evidence that it was drawn up between 1685 and 1695. The principalship of Magdalen Hall is said to be worth £60 a year, those of Hart Hall, New Inn Hall, and St. Mary Hall £30 each, Gloucester Hall £20, and St. Alban Hall £10.
  • 123. Hearne's Collections (O.H.S.), i, 117.
  • 124. Ibid. i, 141.
  • 125. Buttery Books of the Hall.
  • 126. Bodl. Libr., Rawlinson MS. D 316, fol. 6v.
  • 127. 'Customes of Edmond Hall', c. 1631, in Oxf. Univ. Archives, Visitationes Aularum.
  • 128. The Flemings in Oxford, ed. J. R. Magrath (O.H.S.), ii, 281, iii, 191; Hearne's Collections (O.H.S.), ii, 54.
  • 129. The Flemings in Oxford, ii, 212.
  • 130. Ibid. ii, 217.
  • 131. Ibid. iii, 39.
  • 132. Hearne's Collections (O.H.S.), ii, 22.
  • 133. Ibid. i, 10, 34.
  • 134. Bodl. Libr., Rawlinson MS. D 316, fol. 6v.
  • 135. Hearne's Collections (O.H.S.), ii, 32.
  • 136. Ibid. vii, 331.
  • 137. Magrath, ii, 115; Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 138. Hearne's Collections (O.H.S.), ix, 63.
  • 139. Ibid. vii, 352.
  • 140. Ibid. viii, 35, 320; ix, 69.
  • 141. Ibid. viii, 41.
  • 142. Ibid., viii, 48.
  • 143. Ibid. viii, 69.
  • 144. Ibid., viii, 50.
  • 145. Ibid. viii, 94.
  • 146. Ibid. viii, 67; x, 104; xi, 356.
  • 147. Ibid. ix, 373.
  • 148. Ibid. ix, 373; xi, 254; for another opinion critical of Felton, see a letter from Bishop Warburton to Dr. Birch printed in Nichols's Illustrations of Lit. Hist. in 18th cent. ii, 84–5.
  • 149. Magrath, ii, 115, 117; Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 150. Supra, p. 324.
  • 151. Book of Benefactors, 1659–1861, fol. 53–6.
  • 152. See J. Challenor C. Smith, Vicars of Bramley, Hants, 1316–1916, pp. 18–27.
  • 153. See J. H. Mee, The Oldest Music Room in Europe, p. 7.
  • 154. Edwards had previously been Bursar of Magdalen Hall but left owing to a dispute with the Principal. See The Substance of two Actions and the Proceedings therein, in the Univ. Court of Oxford, a pamphlet which he issued in his own defence in 1749.
  • 155. See C. Thornton and F. Mc Laughlin, The Fothergills of Ravenstone Dale.
  • 156. Gentleman's Magazine, lvii, 287.
  • 157. Goliath Slain, p. 187.
  • 158. A full and interesting account of this affair is given by Canon S. L. Ollard in The Six Students of St. Edmund Hall expelled from the Univ. of Oxford in 1768. Higson's correspondence and papers relating to the case are preserved in the Library of the Hall.
  • 159. J. Boswell, Life of Johnson, ed. G. B. Hill, ii, 187.
  • 160. W. Tuckwell, Pre-Tractarian Oxford, pp. 7–8.
  • 161. S. L. Ollard, The Six Students, pp. 45–6; Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 162. Magrath, ii, 140, 381.
  • 163. Ibid. ii, 134.
  • 164. Ibid. ii, 50.
  • 165. Ibid. ii, 151.
  • 166. Ibid. ii, 156.
  • 167. W. Tuckwell, Pre-Tractarian Oxford, p. 8; J. and J. H. Pratt, Memoirs of the Rev. Josiah Pratt, B.D., p. 8.
  • 168. Bishop Wilson's life at the Hall as undergraduate and as Vice-Principal is described in some detail by his biographer. See J. Bateman, Life of Bishop Wilson, i. 49–70, 110–32.
  • 169. Hill's MS. diaries covering the period of his vice-principalship are preserved in the Library of the Hall. See also W. Tuckwell, Reminiscences of Oxford, p. 96; J. M. Crane, Records of the Life of Wm Hy Havergal, M.A., pp. 6–9; J. B. Marsden, Memoirs of the Rev. Hugh Stowell, M.A., pp. 14–30; and A. N. Malan, Life of Solomon Caesar Malan, pp. 32–42.
  • 170. Report of Her Majesty's Commissioners, 1852, p. 32.
  • 171. Ibid., pp. 383–6.
  • 172. G. C. Richards and C. L. Shadwell, The Provost & Fellows of Oriel College, p. 173.
  • 173. Magrath, ii, 165. Dr. Magrath incorrectly entitles George Hill VicePrincipal, confusing him with his namesake John Hill. George Hill who at this date was a curate, was subsequently vicar of St. Winnow, Cornwall.
  • 174. Magrath, ii, 157.
  • 175. B. W. T. Handford, Lancing, pp. 95–7.
  • 176. See the article on Dr. Liddon at the Hall in Henry Parry Liddon, 1829–1929: A Centenary Memoir, pp. 29–33.
  • 177. Magrath, ii, 168.
  • 178. B. W. T. Handford, Lancing, pp. 65–7.
  • 179. See the memoir contributed by E. Armstrong, Pro-Provost of Queen's, to Proceedings of the Brit. Academy, 1915–1916, pp. 575–84; and Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 180. The Rev. James Rumsey, M.A., Pembr. Coll., was Vice-Principal for the first term after Moore's appointment.
  • 181. Univ. Commissioners' Report, 1874, i, 128–9; ii, 885–6. His apologia for the halls iscontained in his pamphlet, Frugal Education attainable under the existing Collegiate System: with an Account of the Expenses of the System at St. Edmund Hall, published in 1867.
  • 182. Commissioners' Statutes, 1877, pp. 363–7.
  • 183. Oxford University Gazette, 1902–3, xxxiii, 338.
  • 184. For a fuller description of the contents of the library see A. B. Emden, An Account of the Chapel and Library Buildings, St. Edmund Hall.
  • 185. Brit. Mus. Lansdowne MS. 697.
  • 186. Bodl. Libr. Rawlinson MS. D 39, ff. 13–47.
  • 187. B. H. Streeter, The Chained Library, 75.
  • 188. Cat. of Oxf. Portraits (O.H.S.), iii, 279–82.