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1910 New Catholic Dictionary

Oxford, University of

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


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


  • Campion Hall, house of studies for students belonging to the Jesuit Order.
  • Grosseteste House, house of studies for the Franciscan Capuchins.
  • Saint Benet's Hall, house of studies for students belonging to the Benedictine Abbey of Ampleforth.
  • Saint Edmund's Hall, founded c.1269, in honor of Saint Edmund Rich, who taught at Oxford; closely connected with Queen's College since 1557.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Entry for 'Oxford, University of'. 1910 New Catholic Dictionary. 1910.

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