Oxford comprises the following parishes:
- Oxford All Saints, Oxfordshire
- Oxford Cathedral, Oxfordshire
- Oxford Holy Trinity, Oxfordshire
- Oxford St Aldate, Oxfordshire
- Oxford St Bartholomew Hospital, Oxfordshire
- Oxford St Clement, Oxfordshire
- Oxford St Cross, Oxfordshire
- Oxford St Ebbe, Oxfordshire
- Oxford St Giles, Oxfordshire
- Oxford St John the Baptist, Oxfordshire
- Oxford St Martin, Oxfordshire
- Oxford St Mary Magdalene, Oxfordshire
- Oxford St Mary the Virgin, Oxfordshire
- Oxford St Michael, Oxfordshire
- Oxford St Paul, Oxfordshire
- Oxford St Peter in the East, Oxfordshire
- Oxford St Peter le Bailey, Oxfordshire
- Oxford St Thomas the Martyr, Oxfordshire
The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870
OXFORD, a city and a university in Oxfordshire, partly also in Berks, and a diocese comprehending nearly all Oxfordshire and Berks, all Bucks, and a small part of Wilts. The city stands on the Roman road to Alcester, on branches of the Great Western and the Northwestern railways, and on the Oxford canal, at the confluence of the rivers Thames or Isis and Cherwell, and contiguous to Berks, 52 miles by road, and 63 by railway, WNW of London.
History.—Oxford is alleged to have been called, in the ancient British times, successively Caer-Memphric, Bellositum, Ridohen, and Caer-Pen-Halgoit or Caer-Pen-Halgoed; and was called, in the Saxon times, either Oxenford or Ousenford. The name Caer-Memphric signifies “the fort of Memphric,” and is coupled with a fable that the city was founded by Memphric, a king of the Britons, 1009 years before the Christian era. The name Ridohen signifies “a ford of oxen,” and assumes that a passage for oxen over the Isis, the Cherwell, or the Thames, at or near the city’s site, was in use in the ancient British times. The name Caer-Pen-Halgoit or Caer-Pen-Halgoed is associated with legendary accounts of the city in ancient British times, as situated on an eminence between two rivers, and adorned with woods. The name Oxenford has the same import as the Celtic Ridohen, the Greek Bosphorus, and the German Ochsen-fort, and assumes that, in the Saxon times, some adjacentor neighbouring ford in one of the rivers was much used for the passage of oxen. The name Ousenford signifies either”the ford of Ouseney” or “the ford of the Ouse,” and either indicates that Osney or Oseney, now a suburbanlocality on the Isis, was the site of the original nucleus of the city, or assumes that the Ouse was the ancient name of the Isis, an assumption rendered easy by the fact, that Ouse and Isis are merely different corruptions of one Celtic word signifying “water.” The modern name Oxford, of course, is simply an abbreviation of Oxenford or Ousenford.
Appian mentions Oxford, along with London and Canterbury, as an eminent city of the ancient Britons; Leland, Wood, and others represent it as having enjoyed great prosperity under the Romans; and Leland says that, at the Saxon invasion, “it was reduced, by hard usage, to a village, having little more to boast of than its ancient name.” But the earliest authentic fact really occurred so late as 727. A nunnery was founded in that year by the Saxon Didan, then governor of Oxford; was placed by him under the care of his daughter Frideswide, as abbess; and took the name of St. Frideswide’s priory. Ordinary dwellings are supposed to have been built in the vicinity of the priory, and to have formed the nucleus of the future city; and in process of time, under sanction of the king of Mercia, certain “inns” also were built, of a kind mixedly monastic and educational, and acted as precursors to the university. Alfred the Great frequently resided at Oxford; established a mint at it, probably on the site of New Inn Hall; and coined money there, called Ocsnafordia. The town was burned by the Danes in 979 and 1002; and it was again fired by them in 1009, but then suffered comparatively little damage. The townsmen, in 1012, unsheathed the sword against all Danes within their reach, pursued them to the churches, hewed them down at the very altars, and even inflicted death upon Gunilda, the sister of the Danish king, and the hostage of a treaty of peace. Saxon councils or parliaments were held at Oxford in 1013 and 1015. Edmund Ironside was murdered at it in 1016. The Danes and the English were reconciled at it in 1018. Canute held his court at it for several years. A councilor parliament was held at it in 1022, for translating the laws of England into Latin, and for enjoining them alike on the Danes and the English; and another was held at it in 1026, for confirming the edicts of Edgar. Harold Hare-foot was elected to the throne by a council held at it in 1036, on the death of Canute; and he made Oxford the scene of his coronation and the place of his residence, and died at it in 1040.
William the Conqueror was resisted by Oxford; laid siege to it in person, and took it by storm: made such devastation in it that 478 out of a total of 721 houses were either destroyed or greatly injured; and imposed taxes on it to thrice the amount which it previously had paid. Robert D’Oyley was made governor of it by the Conqueror; got ample powers to restrain and overawe the population; renovated or rebuilt walls around it; and built a strong castle on the site of a previous Saxon fortalice. A parliament was held at Oxford, by William Rufus, in 1088; another was held at it, by Stephen, in 1136, and abolished “danegelt; ” and another was held at it, by Stephen, in 1139, and imprisoned the bishops of Lincoln and Salisbury. The Empress Maud, when at war with Stephen, took post in Oxford Castle, then in possession of Robert D’Oyley, nephew of the first Robert D’Oyley; she sustained a siege of three months in the castle, by the troops of Stephen, in 1142: and, when ruin impended, she dressed herself and three trusty knights in white, made a stealthy escape during a snow storm, and travelled on foot to Abingdon and thence on horseback to Wallingford. The castle surrendered on the following day. Henry I. built the palace of Beaumont in 1132, and gave a charter to the city. Edith, the wife of the second Robert D’Oyley, founded the abbey of Osney; which soon rose to magnificence, and became eventually the seat of a bishopric, afterwards transferred to St. Frideswide’s in the city. Vacarius taught Roman lawat Oxford in 1149-50. Henry II. spent most part of his reign in the palace of Beaumont; received the Welsh chiefs there in 1160; condemned there the disciples of the Waldenses in 1160 and 1166; and held there a great parliament in 1185. Richard I. was born there in 1157. John was there made Lord of Ireland in 1177; and he there held many of those luxurious feasts in which hevainly courted oblivion of his crimes. A great fire broke out in the city in 1190; destroyed most of the houses, in consequence of their having been constructed of wood; and gave occasion for new ones being erected, for the first time, of stone. John held parliaments in the city in 1203 and 1207.
The university the history of which will be sketched in a subsequent section of this article had risen to such importance in 1209 as then to have about 3,000 students; and it sustained a tremendous shock in that year, in consequence of a furious quarrel between the gownsmen and the townsmen. A woman was accidentally killed by one of the gownsmen; three students were summarily executed by the citizens, in revenge for the woman’s death; the entire university suddenly migrated to Cambridge, Northampton, Maidstone, Reading, and other places; and the Pope laid the city under an interdict, and discharged all professors from teaching in it. The citizens then saw that a terrible blow had been given to their own prosperity; they expressed earnest desire that the university should return; and they agreed, by way of penance and inducement, “to go to all the city churches, with whips in their hands, barefooted, and in their shirts, and there pray for the benefit of absolution from every parish priest, repeating the penitential psalms, and to pay a mark of silver per annum to the students of each hall which had been injured.” The university returned; and it soon rose to much higher prosperity than before. But the hostilities between town and gown broke out again, were aggravated by factions amongst both students and citizens, occurred so often before the close of the reign of Henry III. as to be almost perpetual, and reached a fearful climax in the time of Edward III.” All the licence of those violent times was shared fully by the city. North against South, Scotch against Irish, both against Welsh, town against gown, academics against monks, nomenclist against rulist, juniors against seniors, the whole university against the bishop of its diocese, against the archbishop of its province, against the chancellor of its own election, were constantly in array one against another. The citizens were formed into a species of line or national guard, to repress the excesses of the academic mob. When the council of the nation assembled in the city, orders were issued to the students to absent themselves during its continuance. Carfax, or the tower of St. Martin’s church, the point of junction between the two hostile parties, was turned into a fortress; and thither, at the blowing of horns, the towns-men collected, either as a rendezvous for attack, or as a stronghold whence to annoy the enemy with vollies of arrows or stones. Thence, too, the tocsin was sounded by the town, as from St. Mary’s by the university, when the two parties met in hostile array. Pitched battles were fought with war standards unfurled, sometimes in the streets, sometimes in the adjacent fields; and the memory of one of these bloody contests was long preserved in the name ‘ Slaying lane.” At the culminating contest, in the time of Edward III., the city gates were barricaded, a savage mob of 2,000 countrymen burst in, the city was given up for two days to pillage, the chancellor interposed in person, and the great tower of St. Michael’s church, which the insurgents had used as a sort of fortress, was demolished. The fights between town and gown afterwards abated; yet, in a small degree, on 5 Nov. and several succeeding days, are still continued.
Louis the Dauphin occupied the city in 1217. Several church councils met in it between the years 1222 and 1250, and in subsequent years. The parliament which passed the statutes known as the ” Provisions of Oxford, “met in it in 1258; and other parliaments, in 1263 and 1264. Edward II. alienated Beaumont palace, and irreparably damaged the city as a resort of royalty. Isabel, the wife of Edward II., aided by the Mortimers, took the city in 1326. Edward III. was educated at the university, and conferred great benefits upon the city. A pestilence occurred in 1349, so great as to sweep away upwards of one-fourth of the students. Richard II. held in the city several councils and parliaments. Henry IV.attempted to mediate in discussions which agitated the city on the subject of Lollardism, or the doctrines taught by Wycliffe. Henry V. was partly educated at the university. Henry VI. professed great regard for Oxford; Edward IV. and Richard III. visited it as benefactors; and Prince Arthur visited it in 1496 and 1501. A plague ravaged the city and the colleges during six weeks, in the early part of the reign of Henry VII., destroying or chasing away nearly all their inhabitants; and other plagues appeared during the remainder of that reign and in the reign of Henry VIII., producing great disaster and dismay. Erasmus visited the city in 1498, and read Greek, which had there become unknown. Henry VIII.visited the city in 1510 and 1523; and he powerfully affected it, throughout his reign, by the great ecclesiastical and political changes which he introduced. Queen Catherine visited it in 1518. Cardinal Wolsey also visited it, and made some additions to its institutions. Edward VI.’s commissioners visited it in 1550, spoliated the college libraries, upset the university’s statutes, and menaced the city’s academical importance with much abridgment and degradation. Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer were burnt in it, at Canditch, before Balliol college, in 1555-6. Elizabeth visited it in 1566 and 1592; and, at least in the former of these years, was received and entertained with great magnificence. Pestilence frequently devastated the city during Elizabeth’s reign; a dire malady, fatal to judge, sheriff, several justices, and upwards of 300 persons, within 40 hours, occurred at an assize in 1577; and the shock of an earthquake was felt in 1580. James I. retreated for sometime to Oxford, in 1605, from the plague at London. Charles I. was here in 1625, 1629, and 1636; he came hither, in the first of these years, on account of plague at London; he held a parliament here in the same year; and, at the commencement of the civil war in 1642, when compelled by the parliament’s ascendency to retire from London, he adopted Oxford as his residence, the seat of his court, and the head-quarters of his army. He had apartments at Christ church, his queen at Merton; and his fragmentary parliament held its sittings, the lords in the upper schools, the commons in the convocation-house. The city supported him with great zeal, and underwent a strengthening of its fortifications; but was obliged, after the battle of Naseby, to surrender to the parliamentarians under Fairfax. Cromwell visited it in 1649, and became chancellor of the university. Charles II. held a parliament in it in 1665, during the prevalence of a plague at London; and held another in it in 1681, remarkable for tumultuousness. James II. visited it in 1687, and he made a great sensation, tending much to his dethronement, by attempting to force a president upon Magdalen college. General Pepper, in 1715, at the head of a body of dragoons, took possession of the city, shut up the students in their colleges, apprehended some persons, seized the property of others, and then retired to Abingdon. The allied Sovereigns visited Oxford in 1814; the Royal Agricultural Society, in 1839; Queen Victoria, in 1841; the British Association, in 1847 and 1860; the Archæological Institute, in 1850:and the Prince and Princess of Wales, in 1863.
Among distinguished natives of Oxford have been Edmund Ironside; Harold Harefoot; Richard Cœur-de-Lion; King John; Bishop John of Oxford, who died in 1200; Robert of Oxford, who flourished in the 13th century; Bishop Herbert de Losinga, who founded the see of Norwich, and died in 1199; Bishop Cowper, who lived from 1517 till 1594; Bishop Underhill, who died in 1592; Bishop Piers, who died in 1670; Bishop Parsons, who was born in 1761; Bishop Turner, who died in 1831; Principal Woodrooffe, who died in 1711; Sir T. Pope, who lived from 1508 till 1559, and founded Trinity College; Sir M. Wright, the lawyer; J. Free and Wells, the theologians, the latter of whom was born in 1614; William Chillingworth, who lived from 1602 till 1644, and whose father was mayor; Sir W. Davenant who lived from 1605 till 1688, and whose father kept the Crown Inn, where Shakespeare used to put up; Anthony Wood, who lived from 1632 till 1695, and wrote “Athenæ” and “Historia Oxoniensis;” Prince, the antiquary, who died in 1711; Pococke, the traveller, who lived from1604 till 1691; J. Sibthorpe, the traveller, who lived from 1758 till 1796; E. Wotton, who lived from 1492 till 1555; Hariot, the mathematician, who lived from 1560 till 1621; Holy day, the poet, who was born in 1593; Joyner, who was born in 1622; Martin, the regicide, who was born in 1602; Coley, the astrologer, who was born in 1633; and Triplett, the scholar, who died in 1670. Oxford gives the title of Earl to the family of Harley.
Site and Structure.—A cordon of hills, cut through on the SE by the Thames, sweeps round three-fourths of the compass; forms a beautiful and softly-featured amphitheatre; and opens, on the N, upon a rich champaign country, extending away to the horizon in a sheet of the highest cultivation. The Cherwell and the Isis, the former on the E of the city, the latter on the W and the S, flow along the skirts of the hills, or along contiguous plains; and they move slowly and meanderingly amid luxuriant meadows, and amid masses of foliage; while the Isis pursues such a variety and intricacy of course, as to have an ever-changing number of channels, and to form a prolonged series of islands and islets. A gentle elevation rises on all sides from the banks of the streams; swells into fine vantage-ground over the convergent vales, within the cordon of encircling hills; and forms, over its ascents and its summit, the site of the greater part of Oxford. The city has the form of an ellipse; extends about 1¼ mile from E to W, and nearly as far from N to S; measures at least 3 miles in circuit; and lifts into view, from multitudes of stand-points around it, a most imposing assemblage of domes, towers, turrets, pinnacles, and spires, surmounting a compact mass of more common edifices. The views of it, in all directions, are picturesque and striking; they charm the spectator by at once the number, the grandeur, and the diversity of the public buildings; they acquire many new characters, through changes in the groupings, as seen from shiftings of the stand-points; and those from Cumnor-hill, Bagley-wood, Headington-hill, Iffley, and Nuneham, are particularly interesting.
Ye spires of Oxford, domes and towers,
Gardens and groves, your presence overpowers
The soberness of reason.”
“Ye fretted pinnacles, ye fanes sublime,
Ye towers that wear the mossy vest of time,
Ye massy piles of old munificence,
At once the pride of learning and defence;
Ye cloisters pale, that, lengthening to the sight,
To contemplation, step by step, invite;
Ye temples dim, where pious duty pays
Her holy hymns of everlasting praise,
Hail, Oxford, hail !
The approach to the city by road, on the W, is by abroad causeway, with several stone bridges, the chief of which has three substantial arches. The stations of the Great Western railway and the Bletchley branch of the North Western adjoin each other in this road; and they lead to the city through an ugly suburb, and narrow streets, giving a very unfavourable introduction to the beauty which lies beyond. The approach from the N crosses no water, opens directly into a magnificent city vista, and leads straight on to a splendid line of thoroughfare through the city’s entire length. The approach on the E crosses the Cherwell by the handsome structure of Magdalen bridge, 526 feet in length, erected in 1779, at a cost of £8,000; it commands a charming view of the vale of Cherwell, the church of St. Clement’s, Magdalen college, and Christ church meadows: and it leads curvingly into High-street, with the immediate disclosure of great groups of the grandest buildings. The approach on the S formerly crossed branches of the Isis by a bridge of upwards of 40 stone arches; crosses now by a splendid bridge of 3 arches, built in 1825-7, at a cost of £11,000, and called Folly or Grand-pont bridge; and leads into St. Aldate’s street, on a line with the great thoroughfare from the N approach. An ancient house on the old Folly bridge was used by the abbots of Abingdon for keeping their court:and a gateway tower on it, called Friar Bacon’s study, was used by Roger Bacon of the 12th century as a sort of observatory, for taking the altitude and distance of the stars. A new approach on the S W was formed in 1866, from Port-Meadow and the Botley turnpike; serves for foot-passengers only; and has, over the navigable portion of the Isis, a wrought-iron lattice girder bridge of one span, 69 feet long and 5 feet wide.
High-street is the principal street of the city; curve from a north-north-westerly direction, in the line of Magdalen bridge, to a due westerly direction at the junction of the main thoroughfare from N to S; measures 2,038 feet in length, and in parts 85 feet in width; is so superbly edificed as to be generally esteemed one of the most strikingly beautiful streets in Europe; and acquires enhancement in its effects from its majestic curvature, which entirely conceals one end of it from the other, and makes gradual disclosure of its imposing beauties. Its sides are adorned with Magdalen college, Magdalen college school, University college, Queen’s college, All Souls college, a large Gothic edifice, the London County bank, erected in 1867-8, St. Mary’s church, and All Saints church; and its extremities are overlooked by the lofty pinnacles of Magdalen college and the em battled tower of Carfax church. A stranger traversing it from E to W obtains, at almost every step, a new display of architectural grandeur, and sees colleges, churches, and other public edifices, in diversified combination with antique and modern private houses, presented in gradual and picturesque succession. The great thoroughfare from N to S bears, in different parts, the names of St. Giles-street, Corn-Market-street, and St. Aldate’s-street, the last commonly called St. Olds; measures upwards of 2,000 feet in length, and in the N part 246 feet in width; contains St. Giles’ church, the Taylor Institute, the Randolph hotel, the Martyrs memorial, St. Mary Magdalen’s church, St. Michael’s church, Carfax church, St. Aldate’s church, the Town-Hall, and Christ church; has a row of stately elms along the E side of its N or St. Giles portion; is mainly edificed with private houses, many of them large and detached, and nearly all modelled by individual taste; and, though necessarily irregular, and far from rivalling the magnificence of High-street, presents some striking features and a prevailingly pleasing appearance. The other streets, for the most part, run parallel to the two principal thoroughfares, or in lines not much divergent; but, with some partial exceptions, they are comparatively crowded, narrow, and unimposing. An entirely new NW suburb, several new streets of houses, in rows and detached, and several hundreds of smaller tenements, were constructed, during ten years preceding the close of 1831; and four important suburbs, respectively in the N, in the S, in the E, and in the W, arose in subsequent years and prior to 1868. The University New Printing-office and St. Paul’s church are in the N W suburb; many buildings in the Gothic and mediæval styles, and the highly ornamental church of St. Philip and St. James, are in the N suburb; and numerous new ornate buildings, of various kinds, both public and private, as well as extensive renovations, are within the city; so that multitudes of features have emerged to increase the fame of Oxford as a city of grand and tasteful edifices.
The city, in a general view, or apart from the university, has been greatly modernized; or, at least, exhibits now a modern character in intimate companionship with ancient features; and is thought, by many persons, to have lost not a little of its former venerableness. The substitution of lofty and elegant modern structures for the boldly-featured buildings of the Tudor period, certainly, has damaged the entire series of urban views along the High-street, and taken away a variety and contrast which greatly heightened the general impressiveness of the effect: while, in all parts of the city, where modern reconstruction or renovation is rare, the picturesqueness of a street view is usually superior. Yet in what characteristically constitutes Oxford in the assemblage of great, noble, ancient buildings connected immediately or remotely with its university scarcely any recent change, at all affecting architectural character, has been made. The entire city, in this view, is full of the noblest and most astonishing monuments of old times, and shows nothing modern except in the way of insignificant accessory. The buildings, nevertheless, though in some instances affording fine specimens of early Norman work, pertain in no case to the highest class of either columnar or pointed architecture; yet they furnish examples of almost all styles, ecclesiastical, collegiate, and secular, classic and picturesque, and display them on so limited an arena, and in such exquisite grouping, as to afford rich facilities for architectural study.” Any one who enters himself here as a freshman may, under his own diligence as a tutor, in a short time proceed bachelor of arts architectural, if not master.” Yet the details of Mouldings, tracery, sculpture, and general ornamentation, in many instances, have severely suffered from the abrasion of time, and must now be discovered more by the imagination than by the eye. A shelly oolite, employed in the more ancient parts of the cathedral, in Merton college chapel, and in plinths, string-courses, and exposed portions of other edifices, indeed, is generally in a good state of preservation; but a calcareous stone employed in nearly all the colleges, and in the majority of the churches and other public buildings, exhibits such a deplorable amount of decay, that all traces of architectural decoration have disappeared, and even the ashlar itself has, in many instances, suffered deep disintegration.
Other things than the buildings, partly by themselves, partly in combination with the buildings, give a peculiar aspect to the city. Trees, luxuriant gardens, and rich meadows form a great feature, and look fully more characteristic than even the edifices. The Isis or the Thames, the same river which shows a forest of masts and a swarm of ships in the metropolis, passes here with scarcely a sail upon it, and strikes the eye curiously by its quiet course through groves and meadows. The movement of population also presents here an air of repose and gravity, in strong contrast to the stir of business in most other considerable towns; the hourly sound of bells, calling men to study or to prayer, contrasts here strongly to the roar of carts or carriages in other cities; and even the dress of the inhabitants, especially the academical dress of the students, contrasts not a little to the dresses worn in almost all other places. and the combination of these things with the mass of towers, pinnacles, and spires soaring to the sky, and with the many massive forms of palatial college, Gothic hall, or picturesque church rising from verdant meadows or amid tufted groves, makes impressions on the mind of strangers at once unique, strong, and charming.
The ancient wall of the city enclosed an oblong space of about 2 miles in circuit; it was restored by Henry III., Richard II., and Charles I.; it had five gates, some of which were standing so late as 1771; it still survives in some parts of its course, and can be traced in other parts; and it gives the name of Long Wall-street to a thorough-fare immediately within part of its line. The S gate crossed St. Aldate’s-street, between the Alms-houses and Christchurch. The wall went thence eastward behind the great quadrangle of Christchurch; it still forms the boundary of the Canons’ gardens, and of the gardens of Merton college; it crossed the High-street above the Magdalen school, and had there a gate; it ran thence to the back of New College garden; it still exists there in full preservation, and has there a small gateway; it went thence to the back of Broad-street, and has still there the Martyrs’ Tower; it ran thence, by George-street, ina direct line, to its W gate, near St. Peter-le-Bailey; it went thence, in a southerly direction, to the spot where remains still exist of the Dominican friary; it proceeded thence, along Brewer-street and beneath Pembroke college, toward the S gate at St. Aldate’s; and it has left remains at Pembroke college. The ancient castle stood in the W, on the ground now occupied by the County jail; but is now represented by only a single tower, a high mound, and a few fragments of wall. Beaumont palace De Bello Monte stood in the W, beyond the city wall, at what is now the entrance of Beaumont-street; had grounds extending to the square now occupied by the City jail, and formerly a bowling-green; was built by Henry I., in order that he might watch over the interests of the university; was approached by a path formed round the walls, with superstitions avoidance of St. Frideswide; was given by Edward II. to the Carmelite friars, in fulfilment of a vow made at the disastrous battle of Bannockburn; continued to be used as a refectory till 1596; and was then taken down to furnish materials for the building of Arch-bishop Land’s library at St. John’s. Frewen Hall stands at the end of a narrow court off the W side of Corn Market-street, and immediately E of New Inn Hall; occupies the site of an ancient monastic building; is itself an old sombre-looking mansion, approached through a low pointed gateway; and was the residence of the Prince of Wales while a student at the university in 1859-60. A house at the corner of Brewer-street, below Pembroke college, is said to have been the residence of Cardinal Wolsey during the erection of Christchurch; and it is now divided, but contains the old staircase. A many-gabled house, with picturesque pargeting-work on its exterior, stands in the vicinity of Wolsey’s house; formed originally one mansion with another old house about four doors lower down; and, together with that house and with erections which stood between them, was built in 1528, by Robert King, the last abbot of Osney and first bishop of Oxford. Gloucester hall had previously been King’s residence, and has left some remains at Worcester college. A house on the right of the thoroughfare from the r. station to Carfax church is exteriorly decorated with remarkable medallions, of a kind very rare in England, and similar to those on old houses at Caen in Normandy.
Public Buildings.—The Town Hall occupies the site of an ancient institution, called “Domus Conversorum,” for the reception of Jews converted to Christianity; was rebuilt in 1754, chiefly at the expense of Thomas Rowney, Esq.; has a statue of Mr. Rowney in the centre niche of its façade, placed there in 1844; and measures 135 feet by 32. The Post-Office, the Town Clerk’s Office, and the City of Oxford Free Public Library and Reading-Room occupy the ground floor of the Town Hall. The Post-Office underwent great improvement in 1865, under the direction of the Government Board of Works. The Free Public Library was opened in 1854, and contains about 6,000 volumes. The Council Chamber adjoins the Town Hall, and contains portraits of William III., Queen Anne, the first and third Dukes of Marlborough, and other notabilities. The County Hall and Court stand in the New-road; were erected in 1840 at a cost of about £15,000; and have all the accommodation usual in buildings of their class. The City Jail was built in 1789; superseded an ancient dreary prison called Bocardo, situated over the N gate of the city, and notable for the incarceration in it of Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer; retains, as a relic, the ponderous key of that prison; is a substantial and well-arranged structure; and has capacity for 42 male and 22 female prisoners. The County Jail comprises several separate buildings and yards; has frequently been altered and enlarged; underwent recent enlargement by converting the governor’s house into award for female prisoners, and by erecting a new house for the governor; is arranged in imitation of Gothic castellated towers, and entered by a gateway between two low embattled turrets; and has capacity for 237 male and 24 female prisoners. The Probate Office stands in the New road, opposite the County Hall; was built in 1863; and is in the pointed style. The Corn Exchange stands at the back of the Town Hall; was erected in 1862, at a cost of about £3,000; and has a lofty and commodious central hall. The City Markets present a frontage to the N side of High-street; were constructed in 1774, after designs by Gwynn; show an arcade, with ranges of shops, along all their front; have a series of entrances, each secured by an iron gate; and are arranged in three divisions, for butcher-meat, poultry, and vegetables. The Public Baths stand at the top of Castle-street; were erected chiefly through the liberality of the late P. B. Duncan, Esq.; present a neat appearance; and include warm and cold baths for all classes, and wash-houses for the poor. The Martyrs’ Memorial stands in St. Giles’-street, at the N extremity of St. Mary Magdalen’s church yard, toward St. John’s college; was erected in 1841, from designs by Scott, after the model of Queen Eleanor’s crosses; rises to the height of 73 feet, inclusive of its basement of steps; commemorates the sufferings of Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer; and has statues of these martyrs, by Weekes. Other public buildings, including churches, institutions, university buildings, and colleges, will be noticed in subsequent paragraphs.
The Cathedral.—A church stood connected with the nunnery of St. Frideswide, founded in 727; was rebuilt in 1004, and at subsequent dates; became the chapel of Cardinal Wolsey’s college of Christchurch; and was made a cathedral in 1545. The edifice is neither large nor ornate enough to suit its character, either as a chief architectural feature of the city, or as the cathedral of an important diocese; yet it presents instructive specimens of architecture, in a long series from early Norman to late pointed, and exhibits numerous details of considerable interest. It comprises a nave of four bays, with aisles; a central tower, with broach spire; a transept of two bays; a N wing of three bays, with a W aisle, and with three E chapels, each of four bays; a S wing of two bays, with an E aisle; a choir of five bays; a cloister; and a chapter-house. The nave is 74 feet long, 54 wide, and 41 high; the tower and spire are 144 feet high; the transept is 102 feet long, 53 feet wide exclusive of the aisles, 116 feet wide inclusive of the aisles, and 37½ feet high; the choir is 80 feet long; the cloister is 54 feet long; the chapter-house is 54 feet long and 24 feet wide; and the entire edifice is 152 feet long. The original W front, four bays of the nave, and the W alley of the cloister, were destroyed by Cardinal Wolsey; and they, when standing, made the total length of the pile 202feet. An entirely new minster, in room of the present edifice, was designed to be built by Wolsey, in a style to correspond with the grand structure of the contiguous Christchurch college; but, in consequence of his down-fall, was never undertaken.
The nave has pillars alternately cylindrical and polygonal, arches semicircular and double, a lower one springing from corbels attached to the piers, and capitals of composite architecture; its triforium is simple; its clerestory is of alternately round and pointed lights, between two round arches on short columns; and its roof is of panelled wood, and was restored in 1816. The lower story of the tower was built between 1004 and 1172, is Norman, and has circular turrets at the angles; the upper story of the tower was built about 1220, and has arcaded turrets, terminating in cylindrical pinnacles, with conical spirelets; and the broach spire is pierced, on each side, with two belfry windows. The chapels of St. Frideswide and St. Mary are on the E of the N transept; and the former was built about 1289, and is now called the Dean’s chapel. The base story of the lower S transept was built about 1004, is of rubble, and has small windows without columns. The choir is surmounted, on the E end, by two square Norman turrets; and has later English vaulting built by Cardinal Wolsey, and richly adorned with carved pendants of stone from Osney abbey. The choir arch is filled with canopied niches and statuary. The screen is late perpendicular, of three tiers, richly decorated with tabernacle work, and the upper arches with fine canopies. The Lady chapel was built in the 14th century; is now called sometimes the Latin chapel, from the college prayers being daily read there in Latin, and sometimes the Divinity chapel, from the lectures of the Regins Professor being delivered in it; and contains very fine stalls and desks, chiefly of the time of Wolsey. The cloister is of the same date as the Lady chapel; the N alley of it is now the muniment chamber; and the refectory over the E alley was subdivided into rooms in 1775. The chapter-house was built about 1220; has five beautiful lancet lights, divided interiorly by shafts of Purbeck marble; and was used by Charles I., in 1642, as a council-chamber. The vestry was formerly St. Lucy’s chapel, and has a remarkably fine window of flamboyant character.
The chief monuments within the cathedral are a plain high tomb and canopy, with an effigies of a prior, of the time of Edward III.; an effigies of Sir John Noers, of the time of Henry IV.; an altar-tomb and effigies of Lady Elizabeth Montacute, who died in 1353; a monument of Bishop King, who died in 1557; a high tomb of James Zouch, who died in 1503; a bust of Burton, author of the ” Anatomy of Melancholy, ” who died in 1639; and a statue, by Chantrey, of Dean Cyril Jackson, who died in 1819. Among persons buried in the cathedral were Bishop Gaskell, Bishop T. Tanner of St. Asaph, Bishop Berkeley of Cloyne, P. Elmsley the critic, and Pococke the traveller.
Parishes.—the city comprises the parishes of All Saints, Binsey, St. Clement, St. Cross or Holywell, St. Ebbe, St. John, St. Martin, St. Mary-Magdalen, St. Mary-the-Virgin, St. Michael, St. Peter-le-Bailey, St. Peter-in-the-East, and St. Thomas, and parts of the parishes of Cowley, Headington, Marston, St. Giles, and Woolvercot, in Oxfordshire, the parish of St. Aldate, partly in Oxfordshire and partly in Berks, and part of the parish of North Hinksey, in Berks. The parish of All Saints contains Lincoln college; the parish of St. Cross or Holywell contains Wadham college; the parish of St. John contains Merton college, Corpus Christi college, and St. Alban hall; the parish of St. Mary-Magdalen contains Trinity college, Baliol college, and St. John’s college; the parish of St. Mary-the-Virgin contains All-Souls college, Oriel college, Brasenose college, and St. Mary hall; the parish of St. Michael contains Jesus college and Exeter college; the parish of St. Peter-le-Bailey contains New Inn hall; the parish of St. Peter-in-the-East contains Magdalen college, Queen’s college, University college, New college, St. Edmund hall, and Magdalen hall; the parish of St. Thomas contains Worcester college; and the parish of St. Aldate contains Christchurch and Pembroke college. Real property, in 1860, of All Saints, exclusive of Lincoln college, £6,033, inclusive of the college, £6, 851; of Binsey, £1,002; of St. Clement, £2, 185; of St. Cross or Holywell, exclusive of Wadham college, £5, 465, inclusive of the college, £6, 404; of St. Ebbe, £13, 884, of which £1, 921 were in gas-works; of St. John, exclusive of its colleges, £568, inclusive of the colleges, £9,012; of St. Martin, £5, 239; of St. Mary Magdalen, exclusive of its three colleges, £12, 876, inclusive of its colleges, £19, 618; of St. Mary-the-Virgin, exclusive of its four colleges, £4,035, inclusive of its colleges, £12, 152; of St. Michael, exclusive of its two colleges, £7, 724, inclusive of its colleges, £9, 881; of St. Peter-le-Bailey, exclusive of New Inn hall, £19, 141, of which £15, 567 were in the canal, inclusive of New Inn hall, £19, 247; of St. Peter-in-the-East, exclusive of its six colleges, £6, 346, inclusive of its colleges, £22, 232; of St. Thomas, exclusive of Worcester college, £17, 363, inclusive of Worcester college, £18, 298; of all Cowley, £4, 227; of all Headington, £7, 163; of all Marston, £3, 301; of all St. Giles, £22, 204; of all St. Aldate, exclusive of its two colleges, £5, 637, inclusive of its colleges, £18, 995: of all Woolvercot, £3, 856; of all North Hinksey, £2, 520 Pop.in 1861, of All Saints, 478, of whom 10 were in Lincoln college; of Binsey, 67; of St. Clement, 2, 286; of St. Cross or Holywell, 943, of whom 27 were in Wadham college, and 35 in Holywell penitentiary; of St. Ebbe, 4, 909; of St. John, 187, of whom 28 were in Merton college, 22 in Corpus Christi college, and 15 in St. Alban hall; of St. Martin, 377; of St. Mary-Magdalen, 2, 680, of whom 11 were in Trinity college, 23 in Baliol college, 30 in St. John’s college, and 24 in the City jail; of St. Mary-the-Virgin, 382, of whom 17 were in All Souls college, 22 in Oriel college, 14 in Brasenose college, and 15 in St. Mary hall; of St. Michael, 971, of whom 18 were in Jesus college, and 77 in Exeter college; of St. Peter-le-Bailey, 1, 153, of whom 4 were in New Inn hall; of St. Peter-in-the-East, 1, 174, of whom98 were in Magdalen college, 42 in Queen’s college, 14in University college, 22 in New college, 6 in St. Edmund hall, and 16 in Magdalen hall; of St. Thomas, 5,059, of whom 17 were in Worcester college, and 125in the County jail; of the part of Cowley, 725; of the whole of Cowley, 1, 404, of whom 114 were in Oxford Industrial school; of the part of Headington, 26; of the whole of Headington, 2, 110, of whom 96 were in Headington workhouse, and 82 in Warneford lunatic asylum; of the part of Marston,0; of the whole of Marston, 452; of the part of Wolvercott, 13; of the whole of Wolvercott, 617; of the part of St. Giles, 3, 984; of the whole of St. Giles, 5,025, of whom 192 were in Oxford workhouse, and 163 in Radcliffe infirmary; of the Oxfordshire part of St. Aldate, 1, 424, of whom 77were in Christchurch, and 24 in Pembroke college; of the part of St. Aldate in Berks, 487; of the part of North Hinksey, 235: of the whole of North Hinksey, 438. But when the Census was taken, about 1,000 or1, 200 members of the University were absent.
The ecclesiastical arrangement recognises also the quondam parish of St. George-the-Martyr, and annexes it to St. Mary Magdalen; and it cuts sections of the parishes of St. Giles, St. Thomas, and St. Ebbe into the chapelries of St. John-Summertown, St. Paul, St. Philip and St. James, and Trinity. Pop. of St. John-Summertown, 1,088; of St. Paul, 2, 915; of St. Philip and St. James, 1, 520; of Trinity, 2, 609. The livings of St. Aldate, St. Ebbe, St. Clement, St. Martin, and St. Peter-le-Bailey are rectories; those of St. Giles, St. Mary-Magdalen-with, St. George-the-Martyr, St. Mary-the-Virgin, and St. Peter-in-the-East are vicarages; those of St. Cross, St. John, St. Michael, St. Thomas, St. John-Summertown, St. Philip and St. James, St. Paul, and Trinity are p. curacies; and all are in the diocese of Oxford. Value of St. Aldate, £206; of St. Ebbe, £192; of St. Clement, £210; of St. Martin, £62; of St. Peter-le-Bailey, £258; of St. Giles, £160; of St. Mary-Magdalen-with, St. George-the-Martyr, £170; of St. Mary-the-Virgin, £38; of St. Peter-in-the-East, £203; of All Saints, £93; of St. Cross, £142; of St. John, £30; of St. Michael, £128; of St. Thomas, £186; of St. John-Summertown, £137; of St. Philip and St. James, £164; of St. Paul and Trinity, each £150. Patrons of St. Aldate, Simeon’s Trustees; of St. Ebbe, St. Clement, and St. Peter-le-Bailey, Trustees; of St. Martin, the Lord Chancellor; of St. Giles, St. John-Summertown, and St. Philip and St. James, St. John’s College; of St. Mary-Magdalen-with, St. George-the-Martyr, and St. Thomas, Christchurch College; of St. Mary-the-Virgin, Oriel College; of St. Peter-in-the-East, St. Cross, and St. John, Merton College; of St. Michael, Lincoln College; of St. Paul, the Bishop of Oxford; of Trinity, alternately the Crown and the Bishop. The other livings are noticed in the articles on their respective parishes.
Churches.—The places of worship within the city, at the census of 1851, were 19 of the Church of England, with 11, 296 sittings; 2 of Independents, with 944 s.; 3of Particular Baptists, with 1, 525 s.; 1 of Quakers, with550 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 702 s.; 2 of Primitive Methodists, with 246 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 95 s.; 1 of the New Church, with 50 s.; 1 of Roman Catholics, with 80 s.; and 1 of Jews, with30 s. The places of worship in 1868, exclusive of those in colleges and public institutions, were at least 20 of the Church of England, 1 of Independents, 1 of Baptists, 2 of Wesleyans, 1 of Primitive Methodists, 1 of United Free Methodists, and 1 of Roman Catholics.
St. Aldate’s church, in St. Aldate’s-street, is said to have been founded about 1004; was rebuilt in 1336, by Sir John de Docklington; was restored in 1862, at a cost of about £2, 600; is a fine specimen of decorated English architecture; and has a W tower with octangular spire. St. Ebbe’s church stands considerably W of St. Aldate’s; was dedicated to St. Ebbe, daughter of Ethelfrid, King of Northumbria; belonged formerly to the abbey of Eynsham; was originally a Saxon structure; had afterwards doorways and a tower of later date; was rebuilt in 1817, in the pointed style; and retains a Norman door-way and the tower of the previous edifice. St. Clement’s church stands in an eastern suburb of its own name; is a modern re-construction in the Norman style, with massive pillars and low arches; and has a plain low tower. St Martin’s church is commonly called Carfax, from being situated at the meeting-point off our chief thorough-fares of the city, the “quatre vois; ” was rebuilt, with exception of its ancient tower, in 1822; suffered reduction of the height of that tower in the time of Edward III., in consequence of its having been used as a fortress in the conflicts between the citizens and the students; contains a monument to John Davenant, father of Sir William; has a memorial window to James Morrell, Esq., put up in 1865; and, in addition to its rector, is served by four lecturers, appointed and paid by the city corporation. A beautiful conduit, constructed by Otho Nicholson, stood on a spot called the Bull Ring, in front of St. Martin’s church; was presented, in 1771, to the Earl of Harcourt; and was re-constructed by the Earl, in Nuneham Park. St. Peter-le-Bailey church stands near the site of the ancient castle, and was rebuilt in 1740. St. Giles’ church was originally built in the 12th century, on the site, as some writers suppose, of an ancient British temple; is a fine specimen of early English architecture; was recently repaired and decorated at a considerable expense; and consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with W embattled tower. St. Philip and St. James’ church was built in 1862, at a cost of about £7,000, with prospective further cost of nearly £3,000 in order to completion; is in the early English style, and cruciform; has a nave with aisles, a chancel with apsidal termination, a central tower and lofty spire, a vividly painted timber waggon roof on the nave, and a stone roof starting from columns of Devonshire marble on the choir; and contains a pulpit and a font of stone, coloured marbles, and alabaster.
St. Mary Magdalen’s church stands near Baliol college, at the S end of St. Giles’-street; comprises a N aisle of 1841, a central aisle of the 13th century, a S aisle originally built in 1194 as a chapel to Beaumont palace, and rebuilt in 1337, and a nave and tower rebuilt in the time of Henry VIII.; was recently repaired and re-fitted in the interior; has, on the W side of the tower, a curious window of flamboyant character; has also, near its N entrance, the Bocardo prison door of the cell in which Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley were confined, together with rudely carved portraits of these martyrs; and contains a highly enriched font. St. Mary-the-Virgin’s church stands conspicuously on the N side of High-street, and is one of the principal ornaments of that grand thoroughfare; was originally built, on the traditional site of a church of Alfred, by Adam de Brom, almoner to Edward II.; had certain old chapels, all of which have been swept away, except the monumental chantry of Adam de Brom; comprises now a nave with aisles, 94 feet by 54, built in 1488 under direction of Sir Reginald Bray, the architect of Windsor and Great Malvern, a chancel without aisles, 64 feet by 24, built in 1472, by Lyhert, bishop of Norwich, and a square tower, with beautiful carvings, sculptures, and pinnacles, surmounted by a very fine octagonal spire 180 feet high; includes, at the N E end, an edifice of 1320, used first as a library, next as the upper house of convocation, and now as the common law school; underwent restoration in 1861-3, at great cost, when its external walls were entirely replaced with Tainton stone, its tower, pinnacles, and battlements were entirely renewed, many of its other features also were renovated or improved, and an unsightly dead wall contiguous to it was replaced by an ornamental wall and pallisading; is, for the most part, a very interesting specimen of later English architecture; has, on the S side, an Italian porch with heavy twisted columns, erected in 1637 by a chaplain of Archbishop Land, and showing over the entablature a statue of the Virgin and child, the placing of which there formed one of the principal articles of impeachment against Land; contains the grave of Amy Robsart, wife of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who figures tragically in Sir Walter Scott’s novel of ” Kenilworth, “the grave of Dr. Radcliffe, one of the last persons honoured with a public funeral attended by the whole university, and a monumental tablet to Sir William Jones, by Flaxman; gave the title of Dean to John of Oxford, the partisan of Henry II. in his contest with Becket; was the church to which Cranmer was forcibly brought, immediately before his death, to hear a Popish sermon; was also the church in which the Rev. J. H. Newman ministered, as vicar, in 1834-43; and is the church of the University, where sermons are delivered on Sundays and holidays, during term, by preachers appointed in a prescribed cycle.
St. Peter-in-the-East church stands in the E vicinity of Queen’s college; was originally the University church;is said, by Wood, to have been “the first church built of stone that appeared in these parts, ” is alleged to have been erected in the 9th century, by St. Grimbald, but has undergone many dilapidations, renovations, and enlargements; includes a beautiful Norman chancel, with two rich windows, with very curious ceiling ribs, and with corner turrets rounded toward the top, and capped conically with stone; measures, exclusive of the chancel, about 76 feet in length and 42 feet in width; has, beneath the chancel, a very fine Norman crypt, 36 feet by nearly 21, divided into centre and aisles by eight massive pillars, and alleged to communicate by a subterranean passage with Godstow, by which Fair Rosamond is traditionally said to have come hither to worship; includes on the N of the choir, a Lady chapel, built about 1240, by St. Edmund, founder of St. Edmund hall, and containing a fine tomb and brasses of Mayor Atkinson of1574; and has, at the W end, a heavy square tower. Many persons of local celebrity and of literary eminence were buried in this church; and Dillenins the botanist and Hearne the antiquary were buried in the churchyard. All Saints church stands on the N side of High-street, nearly midway between St. Mary-the-Virgin’s and Corn Market-street; occupies the site of the old church of Allhallows, which fell in 1699; was built in 1708, after designs by Dean Aldrich; is in the Corinthian style, with coupled pilasters, a bold entablature carried completely round the building, and a surmounting attic and balustrade; has a W steeple of three stages, first a rustic square tower, next a Corinthian peristyle turret, next an obeliskal spire; was restored in 1865; and contains a fine monument of 1843 to Dr. Tatham. St. Cross or Holy-well church stands in Holywell-street, at the N E extremity of the city; took its name of Holywell from a notable ancient spring in its vicinity; is of earlier date than 1464, but has an embattled tower of about that date; includes an ancient chapel dedicated to the Virgin, and two new aisles built in 1838 and 1843; and stands picturesquely grouped with cemetery, school, and manor-house, surrounded by tall elm-trees. The cemetery resembles the peculiarly ornate cemeteries of Switzerland and Germany; and contains the grave of T. Holt, the architect of the Bodleian library.
St. John’s church is used also as the chapel of Merton college; was built in 1424, on the ruins of a previous and very ancient church; underwent changes and decorations, giving it a fine sculptural and architectural character, partly decorated English and partly perpendicular; comprises choir and transept, with a pinnacled tower at the intersection, but without a nave; was repaired interiorly in 1823; has a magnificent E window, in six compartments; and contains tapestry hangings representing the history of Ahasuerus and Esther, an altar-piece of the crucifixion by Tintoretto, and monuments of Sir T. Bodley, founder of the Bodleian library, Bishop Earle, author of “Microcosmography, ” and A. Wood, the Oxford antiquary. St. Michael’s church stands on the E side of Corn Market-street, near its mergence into St. Giles-street; is remarkable for a tower of either Saxon or early Norman date, from which Cranmer witnessed the execution of Latimer and Ridley; and was repaired, at much cost, in 1850. St. Thomas’ church stands a little S of the Witney-road, at the W extremity of the city; succeeded a temporary ancient church, without the city walls; dates from about the year 1210, but retains very little of its original fabric; was repaired and much improved in the early part of the present century; and acquired a new aisle in 1847. Summertown church stands in a suburb within St. Giles’ parish, about 1½mile from St. Giles’ church; and was built in 1833, at a cost of £1, 600. St. Paul’s church serves for a con-joint section of the parish of St. Giles and the parish of St. Thomas; was erected in 1836; and is in the Ionic style, with a handsome portico. Trinity church stands within St. Ebbe’s parish; was built in 1845, at a cost of about £3, 400; and is a neat edifice in the pointed style. The churches of St. Andrew, St. Benedict, St. Budoc, St. Catherine, St. Edward, St. George, and St. Mildred, were anciently parish churches of the city; but all were long ago demolished.
Ancient Monasteries.—The nunnery of St. Frideswide, founded in 727, was eventually converted into an Augustinian priory; and, as indicated by the grandeur of its church, afterwards the cathedral, was a great establishment. An Augustinian priory, known as Osney abbey, was founded in the islet of Osney, in 1074, by Robert D’ Oyley; had buildings as extensive as those of Christ-church, including a magnificent minster, with numerous chapels, 24 altars, and two lofty towers; was visited by Henry III., who spent a Christmas at it, and by numerous pilgrims; became the seat of the newly-constituted bishopric of Oxford from 1542 till 1545; and has left very scanty vestiges. A Cistertian monastery, known as Rewley abbey, was founded at the N end of Osney islet, in 1280, by Edmund Earl of Cornwall; and has left the archway of what was its watergate. A Franciscan friary stood in a street branching from St. Ebbe-street; and has left a Gothic archway and some ancient windows. A Black friary was founded in 1231; a Crutched friary, in the time of Edward I.; a De Sacco friary, in the time of Henry III.; a White friary, in 1254; a Trinitarian friary, by Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, in 1291; an hospital of St. John, in the time of King John; and an hospital of St. Bartholomew, at Cowley Marsh, in the time of Henry III.; but all these have completely disappeared. A friary was begun in 1202, by W. Longsword; and was moved to Hinton. A monastic institution, called St. Mary’s college, for student Augustinian canons, was erected near St. Peter-le-Bailey, in 1435; was the scene for two years of the studies of Erasmus; and has left a gateway. Other monastic institutions of educational character, existed under the names of St. Bernard’s college, Durham college, Gloucester hall, St. George’s college, Canterbury college, and London college; and several of these, as also some of the other monastic institutions, became merged in the academical establishments; while three of them, St. Bernards, Durham, and Gloucester, have left some remains.
Schools and Institutions.—The schools within the city in 1833, according to a census then taken of them, were 52 daily schools, with 1,887 scholars; 3 infant schools, with 150 s.; 13 Sunday schools, with 799 s.; and 2boarding schools, and 1 or 2 dissenters’ schools, the attendance at which was not ascertained. The public schools in 1868 were chiefly Nixon’s freemen’s school.the Blue Coat boys’ school, the Blue Gown girls’ school, the London-place free school, the Magdalen College school, the Oxford Choir school, three Church schools.eleven National schools, a British school, a Raged school, a Wesleyan school, and a Roman Catholic school. Nixon’s school was founded in 1658, by John Nixon; educates and apprentices 30 boys, sons of freemen; and has an endowed income of £83. The Blue Coat school educates, clothes, and apprentices 35 boys. The Blue Gown school educates and clothes 40 girls. Many of the public school-houses are neat buildings; and those connected with St. Aldate’s were erected in 1865, at a cost of £1, 590, exclusive of furnishings. A school of art was formed in 1857, but did not succeed; and another was formed in 1865, is held in the Randolph galleries of sculpture and painting, and in 1868 was one of the most successful in England.
The. Free Public library, as already noted, is in the Town Hall. The Oxford Union society was formed in 1825 for the maintenance of a library, reading-rooms, and writing-rooms, and for debates on all subjects not theological; and it held its meetings, for some years, in a large building near University college; but it now has premises of its own. These are situated in Frewen-court; were greatly enlarged in 1856, and in 1863; are in the modern Venetian Gothic style; rise to the height of. about 55 feet, to the apex of the roof; and include a large reading and debating room, a writing-room of 45½feet by 21 on the ground-floor, and a library-room of the same size on the floor above. The Churchmen’s Union reading-room is in Broad-street. The Oxfordshire Agricultural society maintains exhibitions of stock and implements, and holds its meetings alternately at Oxford and at Banbury. The office of the Oxfordshire Horticultural society is in St. Giles’-street. The Alfred Masonic Hall is in Alfred-street; and the University Masonic Hall, built in 1865, is at the back of the Clarendon hotel. The Temperance society meets in St. Peter-le-Bailey school-room. The Botanic Garden is on the banks of the Cherwell, nearly opposite Magdalen college; occupies the site of the ancient Jews’ burial-place; was formed in 1632, in result of a bequest by Earl Danby; is entered through a gateway designed by Inigo Jones, and ornamented with statues of Charles I. and Charles II.; comprises about 5 acres, well laid out; exhibits its plants according to both the Linnæan and the Jussienan systems; has a professorship of botany, established in 1728by De Sherard, and in the gift of the College of Physicians; and contains, in its lecture-room, the herbaria of Sherard and Dillenins. A previous botanic garden was commenced by Linacre, but went into extinction.
The Radcliffe infirmary stands in the Woodstock-road, beyond St. Giles’ church; occupies a plot of about 5acres; was built and completely furnished, in 1770, by the trustees of Dr. Radcliffe; was then a spacious and substantial edifice; was enlarged in 1862 by the construction of two wings E and W of the S end of the old building, the W wing being 80 feet long, 26½ feet wide, and 20 feet high, and the E wing comprising a large lofty handsome waiting-hall for out-patients; presents, on the whole, a good appearance; and is supported by annual subscription. The chapel of the infirmary was built in 1865, at a cost of about £2,000, all defrayed by Mr. T. Combe. The Warneford lunatic asylum stands on Headington hill; and the Oxfordshire and Berks pauper lunatic asylum is at Littlemore. Boulter’s alms-houses were founded in 1736, by bequest of Edmund Boulter; are for 7 poor men; and have an endowed income of £333. Stone’s hospital was founded in 1699, by bequest of the Rev. W. Stone; is for 8 poor women; and has an endowed income of £220. Tawney’s alms-houses were founded in 1800, by E. Tawney; are for 3 poor men and 3 poor women; and have an endowed income of £146. Parson’s alms-houses were founded in 1816, by Alderman Parson; are for 4 poor men and 4 poor women; and have an endowed income of £297. Alms-houses, founded by Cardinal Wolsey, stand close to Pembroke college, and have a picturesque appearance. There are a medical dispensary, an anti-mendicity society, two permanent benefit building societies, and various other institutions. The total of endowed charities is about £3, 651.
Poor Law District.—Headington district includes, in its St. Clement sub-district, the parishes of St. Clement, St. John, and St. Giles; and has two workhouses respectively in Headington parish and in St. Giles’ parish. Oxford district contains the parishes of St. Peter-in-the-East, St. Cross or Holywell, All Saints, St. Martin, St. Aldate, St. Ebbe, St. Thomas, St. Peter-le-Bailey, St.Michael, and St. Mary Magdalen, and part of the parish of St. Mary-the-Virgin; and is administered under a local act. Acres, 2, 930. Poor-rates in 1863, £8,043. Pop. in 1851, 20, 172; in 1861, 20,037. Houses, 3, 775. Marriages in 1863, 187; births, 652, of which 43 were illegitimate; deaths, 449, of which 192 were at ages under 5 years, and 7 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1, 927; births, 6, 272; deaths, 4, 161. The workhouse stands in the Cowley-road; was built in 1862; is a handsome structure of red and white bricks, with Bath-stone cornices and dressings; and comprises three parallel ranges or blocks. The front range has a central portion two stories high, with entrance-archway, surmounted by a bell-cot; the middle or main range stands 100 feet behind the front one, measures 258feet in length and 44 feet in width, and is surmounted by a tower 90 feet high; and the third range includes the infirmary, built in 1865, and placed on high ground, and the chapel, of cruciform shape, and standing detached.
Trade.—The city has a head post-office‡ in St. Aldate-street, receiving post-offices at St. Clements and St. Giles-road W, telegraph offices in High-street and Corn-Market-street, two banking offices in High-street, and one in St. Aldates; and publishes four weekly news-papers. The hotels are numerous and various; and the chief ones stand in High-street, Corn Market-street, and Broad-street. The Angel inn, opened in 1650 as the first coffee-house in Oxford, and long the posting-house of the city, became the property of the University, and was closed in 1866. The Crown inn, kept by the father of Sir William Davenant, and frequented by Shakspeare, still exists, but under another name, and is a fine old pargeted house now used principally by carriers. The Randolph hotel was erected in 1865; stands with one front opposite the Martyrs’ Memorial, and with another facing the Taylor Institute and Randolph Galleries; and is a spacious Gothic edifice, after designs by Mr. Wilkinson. The Clarendon hotel, formerly the Star, contains a large assembly room, also a spacious and elegant room of the Clarendon club, an association of about 150members, on the plan of the London clubs. The Mitre inn is for families and gentlemen, and is a great favourite with University men. The King’s Arms, corner of Holywell-street, is for families. The Roebuck, the Golden Cross, and the Shakespeare are principally for commercial men; and the last was built in 1865, and is a fine stone edifice. The city has no staple manufacture; but continues, as in every past age, to derive most of its support and importance from the university. Brawn is made in large quantities, both for local consumption and for the London market; and a large transit trade, chiefly in grain and coal, is carried on by railway communication, and by means of the Oxford canal and the river Thames; and is facilitated, as to the water conveyances, by convenient quays and wharves. Markets for meat, poultry, and vegetables, are held daily, but the chief ones on Wednesdays and Saturdays; a market for corn, at the Corn Exchange, is held every Saturday; a market for cattle, on Gloucester-green, is held every second Wednesday; and pleasure fairs are held on a Monday and Tuesday early in Sept., and on the Thursday before Michaelmas. Races are held annually on Port-Meadow.
The Borough.—The city was first chartered by Henry II.; was afterwards governed under a charter of 1605, by James I.; was divided by the new municipal act into 5 wards, instead of 4; is governed, under that act, by a mayor, 10 aldermen, and 30 councillors; and, since the time of Edward I., has regularly sent two members to parliament. The assizes for the county are. held twice a year; courts of session are held quarterly; petty sessions are held every Tuesday and Friday; and a county court is held every month. The police force, in 1867, comprised 13 men, at an annual cost of £873; and the crimes committed, in that year, were 69, the persons apprehended, 44, the depredators and suspected persons at large, 35, the houses of bad character, 18. The water-works are at St. Aldate-street: and the gas-works, at Friars. A scheme of drainage, with outfall at or near Sand ford, was projected in 1866, and was estimated to cost from £45,000 to £50,000. The corporation income in 1855 was £6, 335. The amount of property and income tax charged in 1863 was £4, 549 for the university, and £10, 633 for the city. The annual value of real property, in 1 860, was £57,052 in the university, and £129, 702 in the city. The borough boundaries were enlarged by the boundary and municipal reform acts, and are the same parliamentarily as municipally. Electors of the city, as distinguished from those of the university, in 1833, 2, 312; in 1863, 2, 980. Pop. in 1851, 27, 843; in 1861, 28, 261. Houses, 5, 234.
The University.—The origin of the university has been a topic of much dispute. Some writers ascribe it to certain Greek professors, who accompanied Brute to England: others, to Alfred the Great; others, to the time of Edward the Confessor; others, to a date not earlier than the beginning of the 13th century. The original schools of Oxford, whoever established them, appear to have been cloistral, and probably were coeval with monasteries; so that the earliest one may be presumed to have been that which was connected with the nunnery of St. Frideswide. Secular schools, or such as were held in private houses, seem to have speedily followed; and, on acquiring prosperity or enlargement, they took the name of halls or hostels, with distinctive prenomens, such as Physic, Beef, Pill, Ape, and Pittance halls. But both the cloistral schools and the secular ones fell before the deva stations of the Danes, and went into neglect or extinction. A college of secular canons was founded in the castle, by Robert D’ Oyley, soon after the Norman conquest; became annexed to Osney abbey; had a warden and students, who were called the warden and scholars of St. George-within-the-Castle; rose rapidly into celebrity under teachers connected with the abbey; and maybe regarded as the true root of all the subsequent colleges. Henry I. founded a house of congregation, and granted some important privileges to teachers and scholars. Vicarius, a native of Lombardy, established in the city, in the time of King Stephen, a school of Roman law, and drew to it a numerous and permanent attendance of pupils. Richard III. erected several new schools, and gave general encouragement to previously-existing literary institutions. The number of halls of schools is alleged to have risen to upwards of 200 before the close of the time of the early Norman kings; and the number of students is said to have been no less than about 3,000 in 1209, and about 15,000 in 1274; but these figures are manifestly gross exaggerations, and only indicate, in a general way, that the city had become a distinguished and crowded seat of learning. The disputes which arose between the students and the citizens, and which have been already noticed in our sketch of the history of the city, seriously interrupted the progress of the university, and terribly injured its peace, yet did not essentially hinder its prosperity. About 1,000 Parisian students, who had quarrelled with the citizens of Paris, complied with an invitation of Henry III. to settle in Oxford; and they brought with them so factions a spirit as seriously to increase the fends between town and gown. Walter de Merton, in 1274, at the removal of Merton college from Malden to Oxford, drew up a code of statutes which introduced regularity in the management of the schools, and served as a model of all the collegiate bodies in both Oxford and Cambridge.
The university was much agitated, in the time of Richard II., by the controversies relating to the doctrines of Wycliffe. Though seven endowed colleges were founded before the close of the 14th century, and most of the chief halls continued still to exist; yet many of these buildings. at the expiry of that century, were either thinly attended by students or temporarily alienated to non-academical uses; nor did they even partially recover their prosperity till the time of Henry VII. Even the revival of literature which began in the teaching of Greek.by Erasmus, was strongly opposed by a local party, called ” Trojans.” The university received rich accessions to its institutions from Cardinal Wolsey; it won favour from Henry VIII. by giving an opinion favourable to his divorcing Queen Catherine; and, though it afterwards took much alarm from Henry’s public measures against the papacy, it eventually derived, from these measures, and from changes which followed them, a revival of its best energies, and an inbreathing of new and noble powers; yet it suffered great damage, both to its property and to its influence, during the conflict of opinions and parties which followed Henry’s death; and, when quietude became restored under Elizabeth, it sustained agitation, and perhaps permanent injury, from the rigid enforcement of subscription to the articles of then ascent Established church, and the consequent exclusion of a large proportion of its members who were favourable to the doctrines of the Puritans. In the reign of James I. it acquired the right of sending two members to parliament; but, in spite of the enforcement of subscription, it continued to be agitated by the prevailing religions disputations. During the period of Charles I., it first obtained some important additions to its privileges, and afterwards, when the king was losing power, displayed extreme loyalty to his person, and made vigorous but unavailing sacrifices in his cause. The Puritans, in the time of the Commonwealth, got possession of it, but were all turned adrift at the Restoration. James II., toward the close of his infatuated public career, made a strong attack upon it; but he met such a resistance as effectually convinced him, when too late, that the men of Oxford could not be converted into tools of his papistic policy. No public event of much interest has occurred in the university’s history since the Revolution.
The university is a corporate body, styled the Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Oxford; and it consists of 19 colleges, which are incorporated bodies, endowed with estates and benefices, and 6 halls, which are not incorporated bodies, yet enjoy the same privileges as the colleges. The laws and government were long in a chaotic state, were reduced to order in 1629, and underwent important changes in 1854 and 1856. The executive now is the Heb-domadal Council, consisting of heads of houses, professors, and masters of arts, elected by the House of Congregation. The chief officers are the Chancellor, who is elected for life by the House of Convocation, but appears only at his installation and on royal visits; the-High Steward, who is appointed by the Chancellor and approved by the Convocation, and who holds a university court-leet, and may hear or determine capital causes according to the university’s privileges and the laws of the realm; the Vice-Chancellor, who is head of a college, is nominated by the Chancellor and approved by the Convocation, is the highest resident officer, and, though nominated annually, holds office usually for four years; and two Proctors, who are masters of arts of at least four years’ standing, are chosen annually out of the several colleges in rotation, attend to the discipline of all the students under the degree of master of arts, are. in all respects the acting magistrates, and nominate each, as their respective deputies, two masters of arts of any college or hall. The House of Congregation consists of all the functionaries of the university, and of all resident masters of arts; and has the right of discussing in English, and of adopting or rejecting, the measures proposed to it by the Heb-domadal Council. The House of Convocation consists of all doctors and masters, resident and non-resident; conducts its discussions in Latin, except when permission is given by the Vice-Chancellor to use English; reviews all decisions of the House of Congregation, so as finally to approve or reject them, except that its decisions may be vetoed by the Vice-Chancellor singly or by the Proctors jointly; and has the right of electing burgesses for the university, and some of the professors.
The statutes for the several colleges were framed at the times of their respective foundations; underwent material changes by the attrition of time, and at the Reformation; and were altered, by act of parliament in 1854, to suit the new circumstances which had arisen. Restrictions of kindred and locality, imposed in the choice to most of the scholarships and fellowships, were, with a few exceptions, removed; the imposition of oaths was prohibited; all tests, up to the passing of the degree of bachelor of arts, were annulled; and the proceeds of several fellowships were transferred to professorships. Each college has a resident head or governor, under the title of either dean, rector, master, warden, president, provost, or principal. The head of Christchurch is the dean of the Cathedral, and is nominated by the Crown. The head of Worcester college is called a provost, and is appointed by the Chancellor. The heads of Lincoln and Exeter are called rectors; of University, Baliol, and Pembroke, masters; of Merton, New college, All Souls, and Wadham, wardens; of Magdalen, Corpus Christi, Trinity, and St. John’s, presidents; of Oriel and Queen’s, provosts; of Brasenose, Jesus, and all the halls, principals; and all these are chosen by the fellows. The qualifications for fellowships vary in almost every college. The fellows, in conjunction with the head, direct the internal regulations, and manage all matters of property.
The professorships, with the dates of their foundation, are Margaret Divinity, 1497; Regins Divinity, 1532; Regins Medicine, 1535; Regins Hebrew, 1541; Regins Civil Law, 1546; Regins Greek, 1546; Natural Philosophy, 1618; Savilian Astronomy, 1620; Moral Philosophy, 1621; Savilian Geometry, 1619; Camden History, 1622; Tomlin’s Anatomy, 1626; Music, 1626; Choragus Music, 1626; Land’s Arabic, 1636; Linacre Anatomy, 1636; Lord Almoner’s Arabic, 1750; Poetry, 1708; Regins Modern History, 1724; Vinerian Law, 1758; Lord Lichfield’s Clinical, 1780; Regins Botany, 1793; Anglo-Saxon, 1795; Aldrich’s Anatomy, 1803; Aldrich’s Physic, 1803; Aldrich’s Chemistry, 1803; Drummond’s Political Economy, 1825; Boden’s Sanscrit, 1832; Regins Pastoral Theology, 1842; Regins Ecclesiastical History, 1842; Ireland Exegetical, 1847; Modern Languages, 1848; Latin Literature, 1854; and Zoology, 1861. There are also readerships in Experimental Philosophy, 1810; in Logic, 1839; in Geology, 1856; in Mineralogy, 1856; and a lectureship in the Septuagint, 1863. The instruction to students, previous to their attaining a degree, is given principally within their own colleges, is aided by tutors, and is controlled by the University little further than to ordain and direct the examinations. The first examination which a young man undergoes is imposed by the college into which he seeks admission, and simply qualifies him to be matriculated into the University. The next is termed “Responsions, ” or popularly the Little Go; “the next deals chiefly with scholarship and mathematics, and is called the First Public Examination, or popularly” Moderations; “and the next requires the passing of two out of four schools, the one being necessarily classics, the other either mathematics, modern history and law, or natural science, and is called” the Second Public Examination, “or popularly” the Great Go; “and these examinations are partly carried on orally, and with doors open to the public. by a change recently made, a class man is excused passing in a second school, if he has taken up certain compensating books at moderation. Honours are given in both the first and the second public examinations; the degree of bachelor of arts is obtained on passing the second; and the degree of master of arts is conferred upon a bachelor, without further examination, at a certain standing from his matriculation. The portions of the year during which the university is open are called terms, and are four in number, Lent, from 14 Jan. till the day before Palm Sunday; Easter, from Wednesday after Easter day till the Friday before Whitsunday; Trinity, from the day before Whitsunday till the Saturday after the first Tuesday in July; and Michaelmas, from 10 Oct. till 17 Dec. All students, prior to their obtaining a degree, are styled under-graduates; and a residence of twelve terms is necessary for the degree of bachelor of arts. Degrees are given also in law, divinity, medicine, and music.
The total of under-graduates on the books of the university, in 1861, was 72 in University college, 102 in Baliol, 45 in Merton, 170 in Exeter, 82 in Oriel, 63 in Queen’s, 34 in New college, 40 in Lincoln, 4 in All Souls’, 52 in Magdalen, 99 in Brasenose, 47 in Corpus Christi, 219 in Christchurch, 81 in Trinity, 49 in St. John’s, 44in Jesus, 77 in Wadham, 66 in Pembroke, 68 in Worcester, 22 in St. Edmund hall, 18 in St. Mary hall, 9 in St. Alban hall, 6 in New Inn hall, 73 in Magdalen hall, and 5 in Litton s hall. The total number of members, including all classes of graduates, on the books in 1861, was 291 in University college, 344 in Baliol, 182 in Merton, 544 in Exeter, 389 in Oriel, 254 in Queen’s, 190 in New college, 201 in Lincoln, 118 in All Souls’, 244 in Magdalen, 420 in Brasenose, 175 in Corpus Christi, 835 in Christchurch, 308 in Trinity, 331 in St. John’s, 152 in Jesus, 300 in Wadham, 239 in Pembroke, 321 in Worcester, 70 in St. Edmund hall, 70 in St. Maryhall, 21 in St. Alban hall, 29 in New Inn hall, 259 in Magdalen hall, and 9 in Litton’s hall. The registered electors of the university’s two representatives in parliament were 2, 496 in 1833, and 3, 744 in 1863. The gross annual value of real property and the net annual amount of profits, in 1860, were in Baliol college, £.879 and £2, 990; in Merton, £5, 564 and £1, 534; in Exeter, £1, 647 and £4, 638; in Oriel, £2, 477 and £2, 385; in Queen’s, £743 and £2, 682; in New college, £4, 966 and £1, 270; in Lincoln, £818 and £1, 197; in All Souls’, £1, 282 and £285; in Magdalen, £8.562 and £1, 226; in Brasenose, £3, 701 and £2, 155; in Corpus Christi, £2, 673and £1, 190; in Christchurch, £12, 611 and £5, 515; in Trinity, £1, 134 and £1, 509; in St. John’s, £4, 279 and £1, 853; in Jesus, £510 and £990; in Wadham, £939and £2, 372; in Pembroke, £747 and £2, 772; in Worcester, £935 and £2, 561; in St. Edmund hall, £309 and £252: in St. Mary hall, £677 and £1, 220; in St. Albanhall, £207 and £107; in New Inn hall, £106 and £606; in Magdalen hall, £550 and £2,036; and the annual amount of profits of the university, as apart from the colleges and the halls, was £11, 520.
University Buildings.—The Schools take their name from having formerly been used as lecture-rooms; are situated N of the Radcliffe Library, W of Magdalen hall, and SE of the Sheldonian Theatre; were originally built in the 15th century; were all, excepting the divinity school, rebuilt in the beginning of the 17th century; form an imposing quadrangle, three stories high, surmounted by embattled parapet and jagged pinnacles; and are chiefly in debased or late perpendicular pointed architectures. The tower of the gateway is a curious example of the Cinque-cento style; presents, on the inside, the five columnar orders of architecture, piled one above another, from the Tuscan to the Composite; displays, in the highest compartment, a fantastic group of statuary, representing James I. presenting copies of his works to Fame and to the university; and is the repository of the university’s public acts. The ground-floor contains the rooms in which the public examinations are held. The divinity school has a stone roof, consisting of bold four-centred arches, the spandrils of which are filled with tracery, while the spaces between the ribs are groined with two rows of pendants, finishing below in small niches; and it was used, in 1625, as the meeting-place of the House of Commons, was afterwards converted into a storehouse for corn, and was not restored till the beginning of last century. The Convocation House, where the degrees are conferred and the convocation meetings are held, is entered through a door at the W end of the divinity school. The moral philosophy school formerly contained a collection of statues, busts, and marbles, presented to the university in 1755, by the Countess of Pomfret; and an apartment on the N side of the divinity school contains the collections of Grecian monuments by Selden and Sir George Wheeler, and many curious relics presented or bequeathed by various benefactors.
The Bodleian library is partly an upper portion of the school’s quadrangle, partly a contiguous-building; consisted originally of three spacious rooms, disposed in the form of the letter H, but was afterwards extended; and, as completed in 1606, was described by Casaubon, who visited it in 1618, as “a work rather for a king than for a private man.” The institution was founded by Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, but was stripped of nearly all its illuminated manuscripts and valuable books by the commissioners of Edward VI.; it was magnificently restored and replenished, in 1597, by Sir Thomas Bodley, from whom it takes its name; it acquired great accessions from the Earl of Pembroke, Sir Kenelm Digby, John Selden, Lord Fairfax, Mr. Douce, and other benefactors; it has got regular augmentations by copies of all books entered at Stationers’ Hall, and by special purchases; and it has, for a long time, contained one of the most valuable collections in Europe. One room is appropriated to foreign periodical literature; another to domestic periodical literature; another to topographical books and manuscripts bequeathed, in 1799, by Mr. Gough; another, called the Auctarium, to choice manuscripts and rare or early printed books; and another, to a fine collection of oriental manuscripts, and to the private or unpublished writings of eminent public men. The apartments contain also busts of Charles I. and Sir Thomas Bodley, portraits of learned men, several remarkable works of Vandyke, a number of other interesting pictures, and numerous literary curiosities. The library is governed by regulations framed for it by its restorer. and is open to the studies and research of graduates of the university; but admits of no books being carried away for domestic perusal. The Picture Gallery occupies the third story of three sides of the Schools, quadrangle; measures 129½ feet by 24½ in one direction, and 158½ feet by 24 in another; has an oak ceiling, with a painting of the university arms in each of a number of small square compartments into which it is divided; and contains a fine bronze statue of the Earl of Pembroke, who was Chancellor from 1616 till 1630, some models of classic edifices, the lantern of Guy Fawkes, a curious picture of Duns Scotus, many copies of pictures from the Italian masters, and portraits of the founders of almost all the colleges, and of many persons eminent for literature or historically connected with the university.
The Sheldonian Theatre stands on the S side of Broad-street, between the Ashmolean museum and the Clarendon; was built in 1664-9, after designs by Wren, at a cost of £15,000, all defrayed by Archbishop Sheldon, who added £2,000 for keeping it in repair; has a S front of two stories, in the Corinthian style, with the arms of Archbishop Sheldon over the entrance, and with statues of him and of the Duke of Ormond, in niches at the extremities; got a cupola in 1858, to replace one which had been lost; is constructed interiorly on the ground-plan of various ancient theatres, particularly that of Marcellus at Rome, and so ingeniously that, in the small area of 80 feet by 90, accommodation is afforded for nearly4,000 persons; has a roof resting entirely on the sidewalls, with a ceiling elaborately painted to represent a canvas stretched over gilt cordage; contains portraits of Archbishop Sheldon, George IV., the Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia, the Duke of Ormond, Lord Crewe, and Sir Christopher Wren; is the place of public meetings of the university, for the recitation of prize compositions, the annual commemorations of benefactors, and the occasional conferring of degrees on distinguished personages; was the scene, in 1814, of arraying the Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia, Blucher, and Platoff in the red robe of doctors; and was the scene, in 1863, of a very grand commemoration, for receiving the Prince and Princess of Wales. Colossal heads, of prominent appearance, but of unknown import, diversified an iron railing in front of this edifice; but, toward 1866, declined much out of the perpendicular. so as to become unsafe; and, in the autumn of that year, were taken down; but whether to be replaced by other ornaments, or to be restored, was not then determined.
The Radcliffe Library stands in the centre of an oblong area, the sides of which are edificed by St. Mary-the-Virgin’s Church, All Souls’ college, the Schools, and Brasenose college; was built in 1739-47, after designs by Gibbs, from a bequest of £40,000 by Dr. Radcliffe, physician of William III. and Queen Anne; is a handsome edifice, of polygonal basement, circular superstructure, and surmounting cupola and lantern, rising altogether to the height of 140 feet; and underwent some changes in 1864. The basement is sixteen-sided, 100 feet in diameter, and rusticated; and the alternate sides project, and are each pierced by a gateway, and surmounted by a pediment. The circular superstructure is divided into sixteen compartments by pairs of three-quarter Corinthian columns; has alternately two windows and two niches in the compartments, the higher one of the former pedimented and otherwise adorned, the latter over hung by festoons of fruit and flowers; and terminates in successively a broad entablature, a balustrade, and vases. The cupola rises from an upper circular story, within the circular superstructure, and visible only at a marked distance from the edifice; figures far and near in almost every scenic combination of the city’s structures; commands, from its roof, a magnificent panoramic view; and is wrought interiorly into compartments of beautiful stucco. The changes made in 1864 include a new entrance doorway, on the N side of the building, and a handsome flight of steps, flanked by balustrades, and leading to the level of the first landing of the staircase. A noble domed hall is in the interior; measures 46 feet in height from the pavement; and was the scene of a great dinner, in 1814, to the Prince Regent and the allied sovereigns. A portrait of Sir Godfrey Kneller is over the door of the entrance from the staircase; a statue of Dr. Radcliffe, by Rysbrach, is in the interior; and marble busts of Greek and Roman physicians, and casts of the most celebrated of the antique statues, are in the area. The library is used as an appendage to the Bodleian; is appropriated to new books and periodicals, during four years after their publication; and is open from 9 in the morning till 10 in the evening, so that readers at the Bodleian, which closes at 3 or 4, may have books they are studying there transferred to this library for use till the following morning.
The Ashmolean Museum stands on the S side of Broad-street, immediately W of the Sheldonian Theatre; was built after designs by Wren, at the expense of the university, for the reception of a rich assemblage of rarities in nature and art, presented in 1682 by Elias Ashmole, author of the “History of the Garter; ” is adorned, in the E end, with a fine Corinthian portico, bearing various emblematical devices; rises, throughout the body, into exquisite proportions, with profuse and tasteful embellishments; underwent many alterations in 1862-4, to fit it for new uses; and contains the Arundel marbles, formerly in an apartment of the Schools, a collection of Mediæval antiquities, the books of Lilly the astrologer, and some curious old portraits. The alterations made in 1862-4 included the removal of structures and steps in the front area, the insertion of windows on that side to light the basement chamber, the restoring and cleaning of the walls, the formation of a separate entrance to the upper room, and the conversion of that room into an examination chamber.
The University Museum stands on flat ground, in the Parks, on the N side of the city; was built in 1855-60, after designs by Deane and Woodward, at the expense of the university; is in the Venetian pointed style, sufficiently peculiar to have provoked much criticism both laudatory and condemnatory; presents a grand and symmetrical appearance, without extravagance, except in the roofs; has a frontage of 346 feet, and a flankage of 178½ feet; and serves as an educational institution, bringing under one roof astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, mineralogy, geology, zoology, anatomy, physiology, and medicine. The W or principal front presents a general flatness, without any distinctive feature or outline, and with a long array of uniform pointed windows; yet is richly ornamented in detail, and pierced with a finely-carved doorway. The E front is left perfectly plain, in order to admit of extension of the edifice on that side, as occasion may require. On the N and the S are outstanding buildings for anatomical and chemical purposes; and at the SE angle is the residence of the curator. A quadrangle or court occupies the centre of the edifice; measures 112 feet each way; has a glass roof, supported on cast iron columns, ornamented with coloured leafage; and is surrounded by two galleries, with open arcades, giving communication, on either story, to all the apartments. The lower gallery has, in each of the arcades, seven piers forming eight openings, and carrying eight discharging arches, and, within these, two lesser arches resting exteriorly on the piers, and interiorly on a column of their own; and the upper gallery has a similar arrangement, except that, the piers and columns being of less height, four arches supported by three columns are in the horizontal space between each two piers. The corbels in front of the piers are occupied by statues of savans, famous in the several sciences to which the edifice is devoted; the shafts of the columns are formed of distinctive kinds of British rocks, severally granite, metamorphic, calcareous, and marbles; and the bases and capitals represent groups of plants and animals belonging to different climates and to various epochs. The lecture rooms, the museums, and the work-rooms of the several departments of science are in the main building, around the central court; and some of them contain large and valuable collections brought hither from the Radcliffe Library and the Ashmolean museum. The library and reading-rooms, 200 feet long, are on the W side of the upper floor; and the theatre or lecture-room, capable of accommodating 600 persons, is on the same floor. The University, in 1862-7, extended the plot around the Museum to the river Cherwell, formed-a park of about 100 acres, and expended a large sum in ornamenting it with planting, and in forming broad walks.
The Taylor Institution and University Galleries stand at the corner of St. Giles’-street and Beaumont-street, nearly opposite St. John’s college; were erected in 1841, after designs by Cockerell; are in a rich Italian style, with a centre 150 feet long, and wings of 70 feet; and sprang from a bequest of Sir Robert Taylor for a foundation to teach modern European languages, and from a bequest of Dr. Randolph for a building to contain the Pomfret marbles and other works of art. The Taylor Institute is the portion fronting St. Giles’-street; and is surmounted by statues representing France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. The University Galleries face Beaumont-street; and contain the Pomfret marbles, brought hither from the moral philosophy school, the models of all Chantrey’s busts and statues, bequeathed by his widow, 190 of Michael Angelo and Raphael’s drawings, which belonged to Sir Thomas Lawrence, copies of the Cartoons by Cooke, a collection of mediæval and other paintings, and a considerable number of drawings by J. M. W. Turner and others. The Observatory stands in the northern outskirts, adjacent to the Radcliffe infirmary; was built in 1786, after designs by Wyatt, at a cost of nearly £30,000, defrayed by the trustees of Dr. Radcliffe; h as a central elevation upwards of 100 feet high; consists in the third story, of an octangular tower, with sculptures of the eight winds on the entablature; and contains a lecture-room, a library-room, apartments for observation, an unrivalled heliometer, and a complete set of astronomical instruments.
The Clarendon Building stands in the N side of an open square, in the N E vicinity of the Sheldonian theatre, opposite the thoroughfare to the Parks; was erected in 1711, after designs by Vanbrugh, from the profits of the sale of Lord Clarendon’s “History of the Rebellion,” given to the university by the author’s son; is a two-story edifice, in the Doric style, 115 feet long; is ornamented with a portico in the main front, with a range of three-quarter columns on the opposite front, and with an entablature all round; has, over the main entrance, a good statue of Lord Clarendon; was, till 1830, the printing-office of the university; became afterwards the place of the geological museum; and is now disposed in various offices for university purposes. The New University Printing-office stands at the extremity of the N suburb, northward of Worcester college: was erected in 1826-30; is a fine building in the Corinthian style, with a front 252 feet long; and contains, on the ground-floor, a press-room 200 feet by 28.
The Colleges.—University College affects to have been founded in 872, by Alfred the Great; was restored, or rather instituted, in 1249, by William of Durham; stood originally opposite the gate of its present edifice, afterwards on the site of the present Brasenose College; and was removed, about 13 43, to its present site on the S side of High-street. Its front is about 260 feet long and three stories high, regular, substantial, weather-beaten, in the late pointed style of the time of Charles, topped by a serrated outline and gables; and is pierced, at equal distances from the extremities, by two gateways, and surmounted, over these, by two low, broad, massive, battlemented towers. The W gateway has, respectively on its inner and on its outer side, statues of Queen Anne and James II.; and the tower over the E gateway has statues of Queen Mary and Dr. Radcliffe. Two distinct courts are entered through the two gateways, and constitute all the interior. The W court is a regular quadrangle of 100 feet each way; and was built at various periods between 1634 and 1675. The E court is edificed on only three sides, each about 80 feet long; opens, on the S, to the master’s garden; and was built chiefly at the expense of Dr. Radcliffe. The hall is on the S side of the W court; was much improved and embellished during the early years of the present century; and contains portraits of remarkable members, including Mr. Wyndham, Lord Eldon, Lord Stowell, Sir Roger Newdegate, and Sir William Jones. The chapel also is on the S side of the W court; was built in 1665, and reconstructed in 1861; has a fine groined Gothic ceiling, and some curious windows; and contains a screen by Gibbons, and an altar-piece after Carlo Dolce, burned in wood by Dr. Griffith. The ante-chapel contains an elaborate monument of Sir William Jones by Flaxman. New buildings, at the W end of the college, were erected after designs by Sir Charles Barry. A new library was built in 1861, after designs by G. G. Scott; is an elegant edifice 70 feet long and 27 feet wide, with high-pitched roof; has very lofty windows in the decorated English style, and a neat broach spire; and contains some excellent wood-carvings by Chapman, and statues of Lords Eldon and Stowell. Dr. Johnson was a constant visitor in the common room; and the poet Shelley inhabited rooms on the first floor of the staircase to the right of the hall, and was expelled. Among distinguished members, additional to those already named, have been Archbishops Potter and Abbot, Bishops Skirlaw and Ridley, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, Carte the historian, Digges the mathematician, Dr. Radcliffe, Sir R. Chambers, Elstob the Saxon scholar, Bingham the ecclesiastical historian, and Gen. Oglethorpe the founder of Georgia.
Baliol College was founded in 1262, by John Baliol of Barnard-Castle; and stands on the N side of Broad-street, at the corner of St. Giles’-street. The old front buildings in Broad-street were all taken down in 1867, and were being replaced in 1868 by a magnificent erection in the Gothic style, under the direction of Mr. Waterhouse, from a bequest by a lady of £18,000. A rectangle, enclosing a court 120 feet by 80, forms the chief interior division of the old buildings; and has, in the master’s lodgings, a very fine florid bay window. The hall is on the W side of the quadrangle, and presents a simply beautiful front of the time of Henry VI. The chapel is on the N side; has been three times rebuilt; was last rebuilt in 1858, after designs by Butterfield; is in questionable taste, of alternate layers of red and white stone; and has a very gorgeous interior. A new master’s house was about to be built in 1866. Some detached apartments for students stand NW of the main buildings; and were erected, in the time of Charles I., by Archbishop Abbot. Wycliffe was master of Baliol; and Archbishops Morton and Abbot, Bishops Tunstal and Douglas, Dean Colet, Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, Tiptoft Earl of Worcester, John Evelyn, Parsons the Jesuit, Lord-Keeper Coventry, Kyrle the Man of Ross, Hutchins the antiquary, Atkyns the antiquary, Rouse the antiquary, Adam Smith, Bradley, Southey, Lockhart, Dr. Baillie, Sir William Hamilton, and Lord Moncrief were members.
Merton College was founded at Malden in Surrey, in 1264, and removed to Oxford in 1274, by Walter de Merton, Bishop of Rochester and Lord Chancellor of England; stands in Merton-street, in the SE part of the city; and is arranged into three quadrangles, erected at different periods. The principal front is an irregular pile, rebuilt in 1589; has a chief entrance, adorned with statues of the founder and Henry III., and surmounted by a tower; and includes the E end of St. John’s church, which is the college chapel. The first quadrangle is small and uninteresting; and has, on its S side, the hall, built in the early part of the 15th century, and containing a portrait of Walter de Merton, and other portraits. The second quadrangle is entered from the first through a handsome arch; measures 110 feet by 100; was formed in 1610; shows, on its S side, a central elevation in the columnar style, successively Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian; and makes, everywhere else, a regular and pleasing exhibition of later pointed architecture. The third quadrangle is partly of the time of Richard II., very little altered; and includes, behind the chapel, on the E side of a grove, 16 new sets of rooms erected in 1864. The library, erected by Bishop Rede in 1343, is one of the most ancient in England; and its book-shelves and narrow wooden seats present an interesting contrast to the convenient and luxurious furnishings of a modern library. A terrace extends behind the college; is formed on part of the ancient city wall; and commands a very pleasant prospect over the meadows on the banks of the Cherwell. The Emperor of Russia and his sister resided in the warden’s lodgings, during their visit to Oxford in 1814. Among distinguished members of Merton college have been Wycliffe, Duns Scotus, Archbishop Bradwardine, W. Ockham, William of Waynflete, Hooper, Jewell, H. Briggs, S. Clarke the oriental scholar, Sir Henry Saville, Dr. Harvey, the Earl of Essex, Sir T. Bodley, Antony Wood, Sir Richard Steele, Tyrwhitt the editor of Chancer, and Ruding the medallist.
Exeter College was founded in 1314, by Walter de Stapledon, Bishop of Exeter and Lord-Treasurer of England; was originally called Stapledon Hall; stands in Turl-street; includes a new N front of 1840, facing Broad-street; and consists of a quadrangle, with spacious interior court. The street-front is 220 feet long; an arched gateway pierces the centre, and is adorned with armorial bearings of benefactors; a fine tower, with rusticated basement and Ionic superstructure, surmounts the gateway; and the rest of the front is Gothic and battlemented. The interior court is simple, uniform, and pleasing. The hall was built in 1620, by Sir John Acland; is exceeded in size by no other college hall in Oxford except that of Christchurch; and contains portraits of Walter de Stapledon, Charles I., Sir John Acland, Sir William Petre, Mrs. Shiers, and other benefactors. The chapel was rebuilt in 1858-61, after designs by G. G. Scott, at a cost of £15,000; is a splendid edifice, resembling the Sainte Chapelle at Paris; occupies the entire N side of the court; measures 95 feet in length, 30 feet in width, and 84 feet in height to the ridge of the roof; and is surmounted by a thin spire, rising to the height of 150 feet, and conspicuous at a great distance. A new library from designs by G. G. Scott, and a Rector’s house, were erected shortly before 1868. A pretty garden is connected with the college; and, though in a central part of the city, is open to the E, and has there a terrace commanding a view of some of the city’s principal buildings. Among members of Exeter college have been Trevisa, Grocyn, Fontescue the lawyer, Baskerville the physician, Tindal the historian, Sir J. Doddridge the antiquary, Weare the first Camden professor, Borlase and Lewis the topographers, Walker the author of the “Sufferings of the Clergy,” Kennicott, Glanville, Maundrell, Lord Shaftesbury, Carey Earl of Monmouth, the Marquis of Winchester, Judge Coleridge, and Bishops Bull, Prideaux, and Secker.
Oriel College was founded in 1326, by Edward II., on the suggestion of Adam de Brome his almoner: was originally Tackley’s Hall, some remains of which still exist behind a shop at the back of High-street; was removed, by Edward III., to a mansion called Le Oriole, on the site of its present buildings, in St. Mary’s Hall-lane, nearly opposite the Canterbury gate of Christchurch; and consists now chiefly of a quadrangle, built between 1620 and 1640. The street-front is simple and uniform; and has, above the gateway in its centre, a square tower with a conspicuous oriel window. The interior court is eminently pleasing; and is occupied, on the side fronting the gateway, by the hall and the entrance to the chapel. The hall was built in 1637, and repaired in 1826 and 1838; has a capacious portico, surmounted by statues of the Virgin Mary, Edward II., and Edward III., in canopied niches; measures interiorly 50 feet by nearly 20; and contains a very curious cup given by Edward II., another curious cocoanut cup given by Bishop Carpenter, and portraits of Edward II., Queen Anne, the Duke of Beaufort, and Bishop Butler. Two ranges of students’ buildings, erected early in the 18th century, stand N of the quadrangle, on the E and W sides of the garden; and the library, built by Wyatt in 1788, stands between these, and is a chaste edifice in the Ionic style. Another building, erected in 1818, and containing 15 sets of rooms for students, stands at the S end. Among the members of Oriel college have been Archbishop Arundel, Bishop Lloyd, Cardinal Allen, Bishop Pecock, Bishop Butler, Sir Walter Raleigh, Prynne, Joseph Warton, Chief-Justice Holt, Anstis the herald, Longland author of “Piers Plowman,” Barclay author of the “Ship of Fools,” Braithwaite author of “Drunken Barnaby, ” Dr. Arnold, Bishop Wilberforce, Archbishop Whateley, J. H. Newman, John Keble, and Bishop Hampden.
Queen’s College was founded in 1340, by Robert de Eglesfield, chaplain to Philippa, queen of Edward III.; and stands on the N side of High-street, opposite University college. Its buildings were erected in 1710-59, after designs by Wren, and by his pupil Hawksmoor; are in the Grecian style, with a considerable resemblance to the Luxembourg palace at Paris; and form two quadrangles, measuring jointly 300 feet by 220. The entire street-front was renovated in 1845-6. A richly embellished entrance-gate pierces the centre; an open cupola, supported by columns, and containing a statue of Caroline, queen of George II., rises over the entrance-gate; terminations of a lofty cloister worked into many niches, are lateral to the gateway; and the extremities of the side ranges of the first quadrangle, ornamented with pediments and surmounted by statues, complete the front. The first quadrangle measures 140 feet by 130; has the lofty cloister round three of its sides; and presents, on the N side, a fine elevation, containing the chapel and the hall, and adorned at the centre with a tetra style Doric portico, the tympanum of which contains emblematic sculptures. The chapel is Corinthian; has a painted ceiling, representing the Ascension; and contains an altar-piece copied by Mengs from Correggio’s La Notte, and a splendid organ extensively improved in 1865. The hall measures 60 feet by 30; has a beautifully arched roof; and contains portraits of Queen Philippa, the Black Prince, Henry V., Charles II., a number of queens, Addison, Tickell, and other celebrities. All the S side of the chapel and the hall was recently restored with Bath stone. The second quadrangle measures 130 feet by 90; and is occupied, on the W, by the library, on the other three sides, by chambers. The library measures 123 feet by 30; shows abundant embellishment on its front; has a tastefully stuccoed ceiling, and finely carved book-cases; and contains a large orrery, several good portraits and busts, and two ancient portraits on glass of Henry V. and Cardinal Beaufort. The buttery contains the brass of Robert de Eglesfield, a magnificent drinking-horn, said to have been presented by Queen Philippa, and a curious cocoa-nut cup, given by Provost Bost. Among members of Queen’s college have been Cardinal Beaufort, Bishop Tanner, Bishop Gibson, the Black Prince, Addison, Tickell, Wycherley, Collins, Halley the astronomer, Shaw the traveller, Burton editor of “Antoninus,” Mill the Greek scholar, Burn the author of “Justice of Peace,” Hyde the orientalist, Rawlinson and Thwaites the Saxonists, Horneck, B. and W. Gilpin, and Sir T. Overbury.
New College was founded in 1386, by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor of England; fills-all its vacancies from Wykeham’s college at Winchester, founded in the following year; and stands in New College-lane, immediately N of Queen’s college, and a little E of All Souls. Its buildings consist of a chief quadrangle, a small cloistered quadrangle, and a series called the garden-court. A tower rises over the gateway; has been tastelessly remodelled, yet retains admirable proportions; and has, in one of its ornamented niches, a sculptured effigies of Wykeham. The chief quadrangle measures 168 feet by 129; has the library on the E, the chapel and the hall on the N, the warden’s lodgings and the fellows’ apartments on the W and the S; and, on three of its sides, consisted originally of two battlemented stories, with arched transom windows, but prior to 1675, had a third and plain story, superimposed, and the ancient windows altered into modern squares. The hall is spacious; was re-roofed in 1865; and has, at its SE corner, a tower of four stories, each roofed with stone. The chapel is a splendid edifice, in early perpendicular English; was thoroughly repaired in 1789; has an ante-chapel, 80 feet by 36, and a detached bell-tower; measures, in the choir, 100 feet in length, 35 feet in width, and 65 feet in height; and contains marble bas-reliefs by Westmacott, a large collection of brasses, and the crozier of William of Wykeham. The quadrangle of cloisters was a collegiate appendage introduced by Wykeham; is arched with oak; and, both in its open area and in its avenues, is used as a cemetery. The garden-court was built in 1684; is said to have been modelled after the palace of Versailles; consists of three lofty stories, surmounted by a battlement; widens, by triple breaks, towards the gardens: and is terminated by an iron palisade and gates, said to have been brought from Canons, the once magnificent seat of the Duke of Chandos. The gardens are beautifully laid out; command striking views of the venerable buildings in their vicinity; and are enclosed, on three sides, by the ancient city wall, which here is kept in repair, and presents an interesting specimen of old civic fortification. A spacious lawn is in the SE part of the gardens; and an Ionic temple is at the end of the lawn. Among the members of New college have been Henry V., Archbishops Chichele and Warham, Fox, Kenn, Huntingford, Louth, Grocyn, Harpsfield, Ayliffe, Sir Henry Sidney, Sir Henry Wotton, Somerville the poet, Spence, Dean Holmes, Dr. Zouch, Philpot the martyr, Talbot the antiquary, Oldys, Lydiat, and Pitt the poet.
Lincoln College was founded in 1427, by Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln; was greatly extended in 1479 by Thomas Rotherham, Bishop of Lincoln, and afterwards Archbishop of York; and stands in Lincoln College-lane, between All Saints church and Exeter college. Its buildings consist chiefly of two quadrangles, respectively 80 and 70 feet square; and retain their original character more than most of the other collegiate edifices. The street-front is low and irregular; was improved in 1818, by the introduction of appropriate pointed windows; and has the chief entrance at a corner, surmounted by a plain square tower. The larger quadrangle was constructed mainly by Bishop Rotherham; and contains the hall, the library, the rector’s lodgings, and the common room. The hall contains several busts and portraits; the library contains a manuscript of Wycliffe’s Bible; and the common room was re-fitted in 1816. The smaller quadrangle was constructed in the early part of the 17th century; and six additional sets of rooms were erected in 1759. The chapel is in the smaller quadrangle; was built in 1631, by Dr. Williams, Bishop of Lincoln, and afterwards Archbishop of York; has a cedar ceiling, embellished with the arms of Bishops Fleming and Rotherham and the principal benefactors; and contains the pulpit from which John Wesley preached, and a richly-carved cedar screen. Among the members of Lincoln college have been Archbishop Potter, Bishops Sanderson and Hickes, Sir W. Davenant, Dr. Radcliffe, John Wesley, Kettlewell, Sir George Wheeler, Hervey the author of the ” Meditations, ” and Grey the author of ” Memoria Technica.”
All Souls’ College was founded in 1437, by Henry Chichele, successively fellow of New college, Bishop of St. David’s, and Archbishop of Canterbury; was framed on the model of New college, and as a chantry for the souls of all those who fell in the French war; consists chiefly of two large quadrangles, of separate dates and widely different character; and presents one front to High-street, between Queen’s college and St. Mary the Virgin’s church, and another front to Radcliffe-square. The High-street front is 194 feet long; has two gateways; lifts a Gothic tower over the chief entrance; shows there two good statues, in niches, of Henry VI. and Chichcle; and originally had three very fine bay windows, which have been modernized. The older quadrangle includes the High-street range; was erected by Chichcle; presents interior elevations low, solid, embattled, regular, and imposing; and contains a curious dial, designed by SirWren. The newer quadrangle presents its front to Radcliffe-square; was built at various periods of the last century, after designs by Hawksmoor; is in mixed pointed style, with rich and tasteful features; measures interiorly 172 feet by 155; and has the hall and the chapel on the S, the library on the N, a cloister with entrance-gate on the W, and a series of handsome apartments, surmounted by two lofty towers, on the E. The hall contains Thornhill’s large picture of the ” Finding of the Law, ” a bust of Heber by Chantrey, and portraits of Henry VI., Archbishops Chichcle, Sheldon, and Vernon, Jeremy Taylor, Col. Codrington, Sir W. Blackstone, SirWren, the poet Young, and others. The buttery adjoins the hall, and contains busts of Hawksmoor and G. Bennett, and a very curious ancient salt-cellar, said to have been given by a descendant of Archbishop Chichele. The chapel measures about 70 feet by 30; is separated from the ante-chapel of the same dimensions, by a screen of SirWren; and contains a fresco by Thornhill, an altar-piece by Mengs, and a marble statue of Sir W. Blackstone by Bacon. The library was built from a bequest of £10,000 by Col. Codrington, who also left books for it of the value of £6,000; measures 198 feetin length, 32½ feet in width, and 40 feet in height; shows two ranges of bookcases, supported by Doric and Ionic pilasters; is adorned, over the cases, by 24 bronze busts of the most eminent fellows of the college; and contains upwards of 60,000 volumes, 300 original designs of wren, a statue of Col. Codrington, and a planetarium, kept in motion by machinery. Among the members of All Souls’ college have been Archbishop Sheldon, Bishops Tanner, Jer. Taylor, and Heber, SirWren, Linacre, Leland, Tindal, Herrick, Sydenham, Sir W. Petre, Sir W. Blackstone, Lord Chancellor Talbot, John Norris, and the traveller Shirley.
Magdalen College was founded in 1456, by William of Waynflete, successively head-master of Winchester and Eton colleges, provost of Eton, and Bishop of Winchester; and stands at the E extremity of the city, contiguous to a branch of the river Cherwell, and adjacent to Magdalen-bridge. Its original buildings were the hospital of St. John, situated outside the city wall, and serving both as a guard of the ferry over the river and as a hospice to pilgrims visiting St. Frideswide’s; and portions of them, including the “pilgrims’ wicket” in the city wall, and low embattled structures toward the street, still remain. The pr sent buildings were begun in 1474; comprise three quadrangles; and extend 570 feet from N to S, and 330 feet from E to W. A later English tower rises near the extremity of the S front, in High-street; was built in 1492-1505; consists of four stories, surmounted by an open parapet and eight crocketted pinnacles; has a height of 145 feet; and is remarkable for fine proportions, beautiful simplicity, and picturesque effect. A modern portal, on the W side, now forms the principal entrance; was erected from designs by A. W. Pugin; and is in highly enriched Gothic style. The ancient entrance stands opposite the portal. and near the president’s lodging; and is a noble pointed gate-way, surmounted by a structure of two stories, with a lofty three-light oriel window, and with four exquisite canopied niches, containing statues of Waynflete, Henry III., St. Mary-Magdalen, and St. John the Baptist. The first quadrangle was completed in 1481, and is small and unimportant. The second quadrangle is mainly coeval with the first; presents, all round, an aspect of venerable grandeur; has a fine cloister, roofed with ribbed oak, along its sides; and contains the chapel, the hall, and the library. The chapel has an outline similar to that of the letter T; was interiorly fitted, in 1635, in the mixed style which prevailed at that period; was restored to its pristine magnificence, in 1833, at a cost of about £18,000; has a chief painted window, bySchwartz, representing the Last Judgment; and contains an altar-piece by Ribalta, a fine sculptured subject by Chantrey, and an alabaster altar-tomb of the father of the founder of the college, recently brought hither from the church of Waynflete. The ante-chapel is a transverse building of considerable dimensions; has a roof supported by two fine Gothic columns; and contains numerous monuments. The hall measures 73 feet in length, and 30½ feet in width; is roofed in modern Gothic, and curiously carved in its wainscotting; has an oriel window on the N side; and contains a picture of St. Mary Magdalen by Guercino, and portraits of Bishop Waynflete, Archbishop Boulter, Prince Rupert, Henry Prince of Wales, Dr. Sacheverell, Addison, and numerous others. The third quadrangle was erected in 1733 and subsequent years, after designs by E. Holdsworth; consists of one side, 300 feet long, and 3 lofty stories high; and has, from end to end, an arcade roofed with ornamented stucco work. The walks or grounds connected with the college extend along the Cherwell; include avenues of trees, along raised dykes; command a variety of interesting views; and are kept in excellent order. One of the avenues is called Addison’s walk. Among the members of Magdalen have been Cardinals Wolsey and Pole, Archbishop Boulter, Bishops Hough, Horne, and Latimer, John and George Earls of Bristol, Arthur and Henry Princes of Wales, Deans Colet and Field, Sir T. Bodley, John Hampden, Heylin, Lilly, Withers, Addison, Linacre, Chandler, Collins, Gibbon, Sacheverell, Hardis, and Foxe the martyrologist.
Brasenose College was founded in 1509 by William Smyth, bishop of Lincoln, and Sir Richard Sutton of Prestbury; took its name from being erected on the site of a hall which had a knocker in the form of a ring fastened in a brasen nose; and stands on the W side of Radcliffe-square. Its buildings comprise a large quadrangle, erected by the two founders; a smaller quadrangle, built in the 17th century; a small house, called the new buildings, for students; and a handsome modern residence, facing the High-street, for the principal. The grand front presents a massive and imposing appearance; is surmounted, over the chief entrance, by a finely decorated pure Gothic tower; and extends, on each side, in a long range, three stories high, surmounted by a parapet. The tower was entirely restored in 1865; was then ornamented with three hagiological statues, in niches previously vacant; and was afterwards embellished also with the armorial bearings of the college. The large quadrangle contains, in the centre of its court, a sculptured representation of the murder of Abel; and has, over the outer door of the hall, two very ancient busts of King Alfred and Joannes Scotus. The hall is spacious and lofty; has, at the upper end, a very fine bay window; and contains portraits of the founders, King Alfred, Sarah duchess of Somerset, Lord Chancellor Ellesmere, Burton, author of “the Anatomy of Melancholy, ” and others. The smaller quadrangle presents an incongruous mixture of architectural styles; and is occupied chiefly by the library and the chapel. The library was rebuilt in 1780; and contains a fine bust of Lord Grenville, and some interesting manuscripts. The chapel was recently repaired; is roofed with fan-vaulting, and with a kind of hammer-beam work, brought from a chapel founded by Henry VI. in Corn Market-street: and has a beautiful E window. The ante-chapel contains monuments of Bishop Cleaver, by Bacon, Dean Cholmondeley, by Chantrey, and Dr. Hodson by Manning. Among the members of Brasenose have been R. Burton, John Fox, Stradling, Savile, Spelman, Lloyd, Dean Nowell, Sir W. Petty, James Earl of Marlborough, Lord Chancellor Egerton, Erdeswicke the antiquary, Watson the Halifax topographer, Burton the Leicester topographer, Prince the Devon topographer, Ashmole the Berks topographer, Whittaker the Manchester topographer, Gwillim, Heber, and Milman.
Corpus Christi College was founded in 1516, by Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester; is supposed to have got its name from a wish of the founder to perpetuate the Romish doctrine of transubstantiation, which he foresaw to be in danger; and stands S of Oriel college, W of Merton, and E of Christchurch. A quadrangle was erected by the founder; remains almost exactly as he left it; presents a simple and beautiful front, surmounted at the centre by a lofty square tower; measures interiorly 101feet by 80; has, in the centre of its court, a curious cylindrical dial, constructed in 1605 by Sir Turnbull; shows, on the S side, opposite the entrance, a statue of Bishop Fox; and contains the library, the chapel, and the hall. The library contains a remarkably fine collection of curious books and manuscripts. The chapel contains a carved cedar screen, an altar-piece by Rubens, and several monuments to distinguished members of the college. The hall measures 50 feet by 25, and contains portraits of Lord Tenterden, Bishop Burgess, and others The fellows’ building stands opposite Christchurch walk; was erected, on the site of the old cloisters, in 1706; presents a frontage 119 feet long; and is in the Ionic style. The king of Prussia, during his visit to Oxford resided in the president’s lodgings. Among the members of Corpus have been Cardinal Pole, Jewell, Hooker, John H ales, Pococke, Fiddes, Basil Kennet, Anstis, T. Day, author of ” Sandford and Merton, ” Lord Tenterden, and Bishop Burgess.
Christchurch was founded, as Cardinals’ College, in 1525, by Cardinal Wolsey; was suspended on Wolsey’s disgrace; was re-established, as King’s College, in 1532, by Henry VIII.; was suppressed in 1 545; was.finally established, as Christchurch, in 1546, by Henry VIII : and was re-modelled, in 1561, by Queen Elizabeth. The buildings are much the most extensive collegiate ones in Oxford; include the cathedral, as the society’s chapel; comprise four quadrangles; and occupy a large space on the E of St. Aldate-street. The main front extends along that street; measures 382 feet in length; is pierced in the centre by a noble gateway, surmounted by a tower; and presents, on each side of the gateway and tower, a uniform range of buildings, with double turrets at the extremities, and with intermediate elevated bay. The tower is capped by a sort of dome, in the Tudor style; was completed by Wren in 1681; and contains the Great Tom of Oxford, a bell of 17,000 lbs. in weight, brought originally from Osney abbey, re-cast in 1680, and tolled every evening at 9·5 to summon all the scholars of the university to their respective colleges. The first or great quadrangle is entered from the main front; measures interiorly 264 feet by 261; was built mainly under Wolsey’s superintendence, or according to his plans; suffered severe injury, during the civil wars of Charles I.; was restored and completed, in 1660-8, by Dr. John Fell; underwent then a substitution of a balustrade for an open battlement with pinnacles; displays, in its elevations, much justness of proportion, and a fine blending of simplicity with Gothic grandeur; is surrounded interiorly by a raised terrace, in result of excavation made in 1665 to add apparent height to its elevations; has, in the centre, a fountain supplied from a spring at Hinksey, in the NE corner, a statue of Bishop Fell, and, over the entrance to the hall, a statue of Wolsey by F. Bird; and contains the houses of the Dean and Canons, some sets of rooms for the students, the hall, the treasury, and the common room. The kitchen is on he S side; was the earliest constructed part of the edifice; retains its original appearance.:is one of the most splendid structures of its kind in Europe; and contains a gridiron 4½ feet by fully 4feet, supported on four wheels. The hall is approached by a beautiful fan-roofed staircase, built in 1640 by Dean Fell; measures 115 feet in length, 40 feet in width, and 50 feet in height; was finished in 1539, under Wolsey’s own superintendence; is late perpendicular, beautifully proportioned and richly ornamented; has a highly enriched timber roof and a very fine oriel window; contains a bust of George IV. by Chantrey, portraits of Henry VIII. and Wolsey by Holbein, Queen Elizabeth by Zucchero, Dr. Aldrich by Kneller, Lord Grenville by Owen, George Canning by Lawrence, and numerous other portraits; and is the place where the Sovereign is received on visiting Oxford. The common room is beneath the hall, and contains portraits of Archbishop Markham, Dean Aldrich, and Drs. Busby, Friend, Nicholl, and Frewen. The second quadrangle is commonly called Peckwater court; took that name from an ancient hall on the S W corner of its site, the property of Richard Peckwater; contains, on its S side, the library, erected in 1761; was, in all its other parts, rebuilt in 1795, after designs by Dr. Aldrich; and displays a superb Corinthian front on the S side, and beautiful Ionic elevations on the other three sides. The library measures 141 feet in length, 30 feet in width, and 37 feet in height; contains a very rich collection of books; is adorned, in the entrance-passage and the stairway, with numerous pieces of statuary and sculpture; and, throughout its lower story, was originally designed to be an open arcade, but is now a picture gallery, furnished chiefly by a bequest of Gen. Guise. The S or Canterbury quadrangle occupies the site of Canterbury hall, granted to the college by Henry VIII.; was rebuilt, on the N and the E sides, in 1775, by Wyatt, on the S side, in 1783; displays a similar style to that of Peck-water court, with which it communicates; and has a graceful gateway, in the Doric style, built by Archbishop Robinson, and leading toward Oriel and Merton colleges. The fourth quadrangle occupies the site of previous structures, called the Chaplain’s court and Dean Fell’s buildings, and ex ends into the adjoining garden; was erected, to the extent of only one side of a quadrangle, in 1862-6, at a cost of £24,000; was designed to have another range, at some future time, so as to form two sides of a quadrangle; presents an imposing façade, 330 feet long, in the Venetian Gothic style; has a central tower, 90 feet high; and contains 57 sets of rooms. Christchurch meadow, belonging to the college, measures 1½ mile in circuit; is bounded on one side by the Cherwell, on another by the Thames or Isis; is disposed in fine walks, and adorned with trees; and commands delightful and extensive views. Among the members of this college have been Sir Thomas More, Archbishop Wake, Bishop Fell, Bp. Atterbury, Bp. Trelawney, Bp. Tanner, Bp. Compton, Bp. Sanderson, Bp. Smabridge, Bp. Potter, Bp. Coney-beare, Aldrich, South, Sackville Earl of Dorset, Carleton, Lord Dorchester, Sir W. Godolphin, Heneage and Daniel Earls of Nottingham, Bennet Earl of Arlington, Carteret Earl Granville, St. John Lord Bolingbroke, Lord Lyttleton, Sir W. Wyndham, Murray Earl of Mansfield, John Locke, E. Pococke, Casaubon, Camden, Boyle Earl of Orrery, R. Friend, Busby, Adam Lyttelton, Brown Willis, Sir Andrew Fountaine, Drake the topographer, Carew the antiquary, Sir Philip Sydney, Ben. Jonson, Otway, Budgell, Bonnell Thorn ton, G. West, G. Colman, Philips, Hackluyt, W. Penn, W and Wesley, Ruskin, Canning, Peel, Gladstone, Charles I., the King of Bohemia, the Prince of Orange, and the present Prince of Wales.
Trinity College was founded in 155 4, by Sir Thomas Pope; stands off the N side of Broad-street, between Baliol and St. John’s; and is approached through an iron palisade and a large avenue. The original buildings were erected in the 14th century, by Thomas Hatfield, Bishop of Durham, for a society of Benedictines, and bore the name of Durham college; were purchased by Sir T. Pope, with the view of aiding a restoration of Roman Catholicity; were enlarged and improved in the early part of the 17th century; consist now of a quadrangle, containing the hall, the chapel, the library, the president’s house, and some lodgings; present a good front, surmounted by a tower; and, in the inner elevations, display great irregularities of style and feature. The hall was fitted up in 1772; and contains portraits of Sir T. Pope, Archbishop Sheldon, Lord North, the Earl of Chatham, and Thomas Warton. The chapel was rebuilt by Dr. Bathurst; has a highly embellished interior; and contains the tomb of Sir T. Pope, and some fine carvings by Gibbons. The library was a favourite retreat of Dr Johnson, and has some curious ancient painted glass. A second quadrangle was built in 1667-1728, after designs by Wren; consists of three sides, looking out upon the gardens; and is in the Palladian style ‘ The gardens are extensive, and have a famous trellised lime-walk. Among members of Trinity college have been Archbishop Sheldon, Chillingworth, Selden, Lord Somers, Lord North, Sir James Harrington, Whitby, Aubrey, Ducarel, Sir J Denham, Crashawe, Settle, T. Warton, w. L. Bowles, Evelyn, Derham the theologian, Merrick the poet, J. Bampton the founder of the ” B. Lecture, ” Gen. Ludlow, Gen. Ireton, Anthony Earl of Shaftesbury, Pitt Earl of Chatham, and Montague Earl of Halifax.
St. John’s College was founded in 1555, by Sir Thomas White, alderman of London: occupies the site of a Cistertian monastery, founded by Archbishop Chichele; stands on the E side of St. Giles’-street, near the northern entrance of the city; and has, in front, a wide terrace and a row of lofty elms. The buildings embody a portion of Chichele’s monastery; were speedily improved, and greatly enlarged; and now comprise two pleasing quadrangles. The front is regular and beautiful; retains the original gateway, with a statue of St. Bernard, of date 1437; and has, in the centre, a square embattled tower, with a bay-window flanked by canopied niches. The first quadrangle was partly built in 1597, but mainly consists of the original structure, altered by the substitution of sashed windows f r the old mullioned and transomed ones; and contains the chapel, the hall, and the president’s lodgings. The chapel is on the N side; was erected in 1530, repaired by Sir T. White, and admirably restored by Blore; and contains the heart of Dr. Rawlinson, and a fine piece of tapestry. The hall has wainscotted sides, and an arched and embellished roof; and contains portraits of George III., Sir T. White, Archbishops Land and Juxon, and others. The second quadrangle was built chiefly at the expense of Archbishop Land, after designs by Inigo Jones; has cloisters along two sides, resting on pillars of Bletchingdon marble; is pierced, in the centre of the E and the W sides, with splendid gateways, in the cinque-cento style, surmounted by bronze statues of Charles I. and his queen Henrietta Maria; and presents, to the gardens, a very fine exterior elevation. The library is on the S side of the second quadrangle; is a very curious apartment; has, over the entrance of the first room, a bust of Charles I.; and contains curious portraits of Archbishop Land and Charles I. The gardens comprise about 5 acres; were laid out by Brown and Repton; and are rich in trees, and admirably kept. Among the members of St. John’s college have been Archbishops Land and Juxon, Wheatley, Shirley the poet, Lord Northington, Sir John Marsham, Dean Tucker, H. Briggs, Whitelocke, Trumbull, Campion the Jesuit, Monro the physician, and R. Rawlinson the antiquary.
Jesus College was founded in 1571, by Dr. Hugh Price, exclusively for Welshmen; and stands in Turl-street, opposite Exeter and Lincoln colleges. The buildings consist of two quadrangles. The front toward the street was rebuilt in 1756; and is heavy, and without character. The first quadrangle measures interiorly 90 feet by 70; and contains the chapel on the N side, and the hall on the E. The chapel was built in 1621, enlarged a few years later, and spiritedly restored and improved in 1864; is a low but neat structure, surmounted by a small turret; has a double chancel; and contains a fine copy of Guido’s painting of St. Michael, the tomb of Sir Leoline Jenkins, the monument of Eubulus The lwalland the grave of Robert Dormer Earl of Carnarvon. The hall was built about the same time as the chapel, and repaired and improved in 1818; is a well-proportioned and handsome room; and contains a curious portrait and bust of Queen Elizabeth. The second quadrangle measures interiorly 100 feet by 90; was built at two periods of the 17th century, and completed in 1676; is loftier and more interesting than the first quadrangle; presents on all sides, except the E, a uniformity of small W Gothic windows, and of a surmounting range of pinnacles; and contains, on the w side, the library and the common room. The library is a spacious apartment; and contains the manuscripts of Lord Herbert of Cherbury, and the curious Celtic book of legends called ” Y Liyfr Coch.” Among members of Jesus college have been Archbishop Usher, Bishop Lloyd, Bishop Wynne, E. Llwyd, Bean Nash, Herbert the traveller, Davies the welsh lexicographer, and Powell and Prichard the antiquaries.
Wadham College was founded in 1613, by Nicholas Wadham; occupies the site of an Augustinian monastery; and stands on the E side of the thoroughfare to the Parks. The buildings comprise a quadrangle, with interior court of nearly 130 feet each way; and, excepting a structure of three stories, erected in 1694 on the S of the front, they were completed by Dorothy Wadham, the widow of the founder, at a cost of £10, 816. The front looks toward Trinity gardens; is pierced, in the centre, with the entrance gateway, surmounted by a tower; and has, at each end, a bay-projection, surmounted by a pediment. The quadrangle is decorated, in the middle of the E side, with a Grecian portico, and with statues of the founder, his wife, and James I.; shows, on the other sides, good specimens of modern Gothic; and is occupied, on the E side, with the hall, the chapel, and the library, the latter two of which are extended eastward, so as to form ornamental sides of an inner and garden-court. The hall is 82 feet long and handsome; has an open timber roof, and two great ornamented windows; and contains a remarkable picture of Admiral Blake, and several very fine portraits. The chapel measures 70 feet by 30, exclusive of a still larger ante-chapel; and has a fine E window by Van Linge. The library also has a very fine window; and is rich in valuable and rare books. The Royal Society originated in meetings held in a room over the gateway. The gardens are tastefully arranged, and contain some fine cedar-trees. Among the members of Wadham college have been Bishops Wilkins and Sprat, Hody, Kennicott, SirWren, Admiral Blake, Harrisauthor of ” Hermes, ” Creech, Bentley, Richardson the Persian lexicographer, W. Earl of Rochester, Sir Charles Sedley, and Walsh the friend of Pope.
Pembroke College was founded in 1624, by Thomas Teesdale, Esq., and the Rev. Dr. Wightwick; took its name from the Earl of Pembroke, who was then chancellor of the university; occupies the site of Broadgate hall, a very ancient seminary belonging to the priory of St. Frideswide; and stands W of St. Aldate-street, and S of St. Aldate’s church. The buildings, to the extent of two small quadrangles, were mainly built in the 17th century, and rebuilt or restored at an advanced period of the present century; and, to the extent of a W wing about 150 feet long, were enlarged in 1846-8. The hall is part of the new extension; measures 74 feet in length, 27 feet in width, and 42 feet in height; has a timber roof, and a screen; and contains a portrait of Charles I., a fine portrait of Dr. Johnson by Reynolds, and other portraits. The library contains also a bust of Dr. Johnson, by Bacon; and the books were formerly kept in a room over the S aisle of St. Aldate’s church. Johnson occupied the rooms over the original gateway; and Whitfield was a servitor. Among the other members have been Camden, Beaumont, Pym, Blackstone, Sir T. Browne, Morant the antiquary, Durell, Shenstone, Graves, Carew, Southerne, and Archbishops Moore and Newcome.
Worcester College was founded in 1714, by Sir Thomas Cookes; occupies the site, and includes remains of the buildings, of Gloucester hall; and stands at the N W extremity of the city, near the canal and the river. Gloucester hall was founded in 1283, for the use of the Benedictines of the monastery of St. Peter in Gloucester; became, for some time, a royal residence; was, at the founding of the see of Oxford, converted into the episcopal palace; passed, by purchase in 1559, to Sir Thomas White, who made it a seminary in connexion with St. John’s college, and called it St. John Baptist hall; did not acquire importance as a seminary, but went rapidly into decline: and, in 1678, was inhabited only by the principal, and by a few poor families who occupied by sufferance and without payment of rent. The present buildings of the college form a quadrangle; and, excepting the remains of Gloucester hall, a low irregular range on the S side, they present a chaste and noble appearance; and have the library in front, with the hall projecting on one side, and the chapel on the other. The library is in the Ionic style; measures 100 feet in length; has galleries along both its sides and its ends; and contains Inigo Jones’ copy of Palladio’s works, with notes and sketches by his own hand. The hall measures 60 feet by 30; and is adorned, at its W end, with two Corinthian columns. The chapel was transformed in 1864, under direction by Mr. Burges; is now an example of renaissance decoration, studied from the loggie of the Vatican and from other buildings in Italy; takes character especially from Raphaellesques at the sides of its windows; has walls and ceiling entirely coloured or gilt; and contains a picture of the Entombment, and a very fine alabaster candelabrum-shaped lectern. The gardens are extensive; contain a fine piece of water, and are prettily laid out. The members have included Dr. Nash, Sir Kenelm Digby, Thomas Allen, T. Coryat, Lovelace, Principal Wheare, and Foote the actor.
St. Edmund Hall dates from 1269; was purchased in that year by the canons of Osney, and made an academical hall; is said to have got its name from Edmund Archbishop of Canterbury, who lived in the time of Henry III.; was given, at the dissolution of monasteries, to two citizens of Oxford; went by purchase to William Denyse, provost of Queen’s college, who bequeathed it to that college; and, in 1559, was re-established as an academical institution. The building stands in New College-street, adjacent to the N W side of New College; and, during the last two centuries, has been much enlarged. The chapel contains a memorial E window, inserted in 1865, to the late principal, the Rev. J. Branthwaite. The members have included Bishop Kennet, J. Mill the Greek scholar, Bate the physician, Oldham the poet, Kettlewell, Hearne, Sir R. Blackmore, Speaker Littleton, and Speaker Onslow. St. Mary Hall was originally, in 1239, the parsonage of St. Mary’s church; passed, with the church, in 1325, into the possession of Oriel college:and, in 1333, was converted into an academical hall. The buildings stand in Oriel-street, to the N of Oriel college; form a quadrangle; and were all either rebuilt or improved during last century. The members have included Cardinal Allen, Dr. W. King, Sandys the poet, Harriot the mathematician, Sir T. More, SirHatton, and Needham. New Inn Hall was originally a tenement, called Trilleck Inn, belonging to John Trilleck, Bishop of Hereford; occupied the site of an ancient Bernardine monastery; descended to William of Wykeham; was given by him, in 1392, to New college; seems to have been made an academical hall, under its present name, in 1438; was celebrated, for a time, as a seat of study for the law; fell into decay in the 16th century; was used by Charles I. for minting the plate presented to him by the colleges; underwent revival, as a place of study, after the Restoration; sank again into decay, insomuch as to become almost entirely dilapidated; and, as to both its buildings and its uses, was restored in the present century. The buildings stand on the W side of the North Bailey, at the place called the ” Seven Deadly Sins.” The members have included Sir W. Blackstone, Sir R. Chambers, and Twyne the antiquary.
St. Alban Hall was founded in 1230, by Robert St Alban; was conveyed by him to the nunnery of Little-more; passed, at the dissolution of monasteries, first to one proprietor, then to another; was transferred, in 1547, to Merton college; and, some time after, became a regular academical hall. The building’s stand adjacent to the N E side of Merton college; they formed, till recently, a very plain quadrangle; and, in 1863-6, they were re-modelled by a new facing of the entire quadrangle, and by the restoration of the quaint lofty bell-turret, and extended by the erection of a chapel and of additional chambers. The members have included Bishop Hooper, Archbishop Marsh, Speaker Lenthal, Philip Massinger, and P. Elmsley. Magdalen Hall originally adjoined Magdalen college; was built about 1353; is supposed to have been purchased for the residence of the first principal and fellows of Magdalen college; was enlarged in 1480, by Bishop Waynflete, and then converted into a dwelling for students preparatory to their admission to the college; was further enlarged about 1518, and then made an independent academical hall; was extended in 1656, by the addition of a chapel and a library; and, becoming inadequate for the accommodation of its members, was superseded, in 1822, by new buildings, on the site of Hertford college, N of All Souls college and E of the Schools. Hertford college dated from 1281; was originally called Elias de Hertford’s Inn; took afterwards the name of Hert Hall; was made a college in 1740, by Dr. Newton, who built the chapel and part of the quadrangle; became extinct in 1818; and passed, by act of parliament, into possession of Magdalen hall. The members of Hertford college and Magdalen hall have included Lord Buckhurst, Sir Harry Vane, Sir M. Hale, R. Plot, Hobbes, Tyndal, Lord Clarendon, Dr. Sydenham, Sir Julius Cæsar, John Selden, Sir W. Waller, Sir T. Baker,J. Fox, Bishop Kenn, Lye the Saxon scholar, Hickes the nonjurer, Sackville Earl of Dorset, and Archbishop Newcome.
The Diocese.—The diocese of Oxford was established in 1542, and previously formed part of the diocese of Lincoln. The seat of it was first fixed at Osney abbey; and was transferred in 1546, to St. Frideswide’s. The first bishop was the contemporary abbot of Osney, Dr. King. Among other bishops have been Curwen, Arch-bishop of Dublin; Corbet, the wit and poet; Skinner, the only prelate who ordained during the Common-wealth; Lord Crewe; Compton, the partisan of the Prince of Orange; Fell, the learned linguist and cavalier-trooper; Parker, the pervert; Timothy Hall, so despised that no graduate would accept orders from him; Hough, the highly esteemed; Potter and Lowth, the learned; and Secker, the earnest. The dignitaries have included Wilkes of Osney; Samuel Fell, the subject ofan unmerited parody; Aldrich, the accomplished; Cyril Jackson and Gaisford, the learned; Lawrence, Arch-bishop of Cashel; Peter Martyr, H. Hammond, Robert South, E. Burton, E. Pococke, W. Buckland, Kennicott, and Goodwyn. The cathedral establishment comprises the bishop, the dean, seven canons, two honorary canons, three archdeacons, and a chancellor. The income of the bishop is £5,000; that of the archdeacon of Berks is £200; and that of the archdeacon of Buckingham is £300. The dean is always the head or governor of Christchurch; one of the canons is always sub-dean of the cathedral and archdeacon of Oxford; another, Regins professor of Hebrew; another, Regins professor of Divinity; another, Margaret professor of Divinity; another, Regins professor of Pastoral Theology; another, Regins professor of Ecclesiastical History ‘ The Bishop’s palace is at Cuddesden, near Wheatley. The diocese comprehends all Oxfordshire, except Shenington parish, all Berks, except part of Chilton-Foliatt parish, all Bucks, and a pendicle of Wilts, forming part of Hungerford parish; and is divided into the archdeaconries of Oxford, Berks, and Buckingham. Acres, 1, 385, 779 Pop. in 1861, 515,083. Houses, 106, 673.
The archdeaconry of Oxford comprises the deanery ofAston, containing 21 livings; the d. of Bicester, with30 livings; the d. of Chipping-Norton, with 24; the d.of Cuddesden, with 27; the d. of Deddington, with 21; the d. of Henley, partly in the other two archdeaconries, with 11 5, and 1; the d. of Islip, with 15; the d.of Nettlebed, with 15; the d. of Oxford, with 21; the d. of Witney, with 21; and the d. of Woodstock, with 23. The archdeaconry of Berks comprises the deanery of Abingdon, with 24 livings; the d. of Brad field, with18; the d. of Maidenhead, with 28; the d. of Newbury, with 34; the d. of Reading, with 18; the d. of Vale of White Horse, with 17; the d. of Wallingford, with 22; and the d. of Wantage, with 18. The archdeaconry of Buckingham comprises the deanery of Amersham, with17 livings; the d. of Aylesbury, with 22; the d. of Buckingham, in two portions, with 14 and 16; the d. of Burnham, with 19; the d. of Claydon, with 18; the d.of Marlow, with 11; the d. of Mursley, in two portions, with 14 and 14; the d. of Newport-Pagnell, in two portions, with 22 and 15; the d. of Waddesdon, with 14; and the d. of Wendover, with 12.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].
Below is a list of people that were declared bankrupt between 1820 and 1843 extracted from The Bankrupt Directory; George Elwick; London; Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; 1843.
Babb John George, Oxford, maltster, May 27, 1826.