University of Oxford

Developing from the schools which in Saxon times were grouped around the monastic foundation of Saint Frideswide, it became famous as a home of learning in the 13th century. It was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1571, under Elizabeth, becoming an Anglican institution until 1920, when the theological degrees of Doctor of Divinity required merely “a serious contribution to learning.” Lay Catholics may become members of any college, and attend their own chapel. All but five of the 21 colleges were of Catholic origin.

COLLEGES

  • All Souls, founded in 1437, by Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury, in memory of those who fell in the French War
  • Baliol, founded c.1263 by Devorgilla, widow of John de Baliol; Cardinal Manning was one of its scholars
  • Brasenose (commonly written and called B.N.C.), founded in 1509 by William Smyth, Bishop of Lincoln, and Sir Richard Sutton
  • Christ Church, the largest and wealthiest college, founded in 1525 as Cardinal College by Cardinal Wolsey on the site of the suppressed priory of Saint Frideswide (8th century), and reestablished by King Henry VIII as Christ Church in 1546; the monastic church of 1120 serves both as the college chapel and the cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Oxford; includes the extinct Canterbury College (or Hall), founded by Archbishop Islip in 1353
  • Corpus Christi, founded in 1516, by Richard Foxe, Bishop of Winchester, and dedicated to Saint Peter, Saint Andrew, Saint Cuthbert, and Saint Swithin; angels bearing the Sacred Host are depicted in an oriel window over the great gateway
  • Exeter, founded in 1314 as Stapeldon Hall by Walter Stapeldon, Bishop of Exeter; now much frequented by Catholic students
  • Green Templeton, founded in 2008
  • Harris Manchester, founded in 1786, given college status in 1996
  • Hertford, established as Hart Hall in 1312 by Elias of Hertford, sold to Bishop Stapeldon, who made it dependent on Exeter College; established as Hertford College by Richard Newton in 1740; refounded in 1874
  • Jesus, founded in 1571 by Queen Elizabeth, through an endowment of Hugh ap Rice; frequented by Welsh students
  • Keble, founded in 1870, by subscription, as a memorial to John Keble, famous Tractarian
  • Kellogg, founded in 1990, given college status in 1994
  • Lady Margaret Hall, founded in 1878
  • Linacre, founded in 1962
  • Lincoln, founded in 1427 by Richard Fleming and Thomas Rotherham, Bishops of Lincoln, in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and All Saints, to educate divines to preach against the Wycliffian heresy
  • Magdalen (Maudlin), founded in 1458 by William of Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester, on the site of the ancient hospital of Saint John the Baptist; from the summit of its tower a Latin hymn has been sung at 5 A.M. on the first of May from time immemorial
  • Mansfield, founded in 1886, given college status in 1995
  • Merton, founded in 1264 by Walter de Merton at Malden (Surrey) and transferred to Oxford in 1274
  • New College (always so named), founded in 1379, by William de Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, as the College of Saint Mary of Winchester, but called “New” as there was already a Saint Mary’s College (Oriel)
  • Nuffield, founded in 1937
  • Oriel, founded in 1326, by King Edward II, dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin, and so called until 1439; center of the Oxford Movement
  • Pembroke, founded in 1624, by James I through endowments of Thomas Tesdale and Richard Wightwick
  • Queens, founded in 1340 by Robert de Eglesfield, chaplain to Philippa, queen of Edward III
  • Saint Anne’s, founded in 1878
  • Saint Antony’s, founded in 1950, given college status in 1963
  • Saint Catherine’s, founded in 1963
  • Saint Cross, founded in 1965
  • Saint Edmund Hall, founded in 1226, given college status in 1957
  • Saint Hilda’s, founded in 1893
  • Saint Hugh’s, founded in 1886
  • Saint John’s, on the site of a house of studies for Cistercian monks, founded by Archbishop Chichele in 1437, and dedicated to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux; refounded in 1555, by Sir Thomas White, in honor of Saint John the Baptist
  • Saint Peter’s, founded in 1929
  • Somerville, founded in 1879
  • Trinity, founded by Sir Thomas Pope in 1554, on the site of the 13th century Durham College, for the Benedictines of Durham Abbey; Cardinal Newman was a scholar here in 1819
  • University, formerly claiming to have been founded in 872, by King Alfred; actually by William, archdeacon of Durham, in 1249
  • Wadham, founded in 1612, by Nicholas and Dorothy Wadham
  • Wolfson, founded in 1966, given college status in 1981
  • Worcester, founded in 1283, as Gloucester Hall, for Benedictine novices from Gloucester Abbey; refounded and endowed by Sir Thomas Cookes in 1714

HALLS