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Hertford College ( ), previously known as Magdalen Hall, is a
constituent college A collegiate university is a university in which functions are divided between a central administration and a number of constituent colleges. Historically, the first collegiate university was the University of Paris and its first college was the C ...
of the
University of Oxford The University of Oxford is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the List of oldest universit ...
in England. It is located on Catte Street in the centre of Oxford, directly opposite the main gate to the
Bodleian Library The Bodleian Library () is the main research library of the University of Oxford, and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great ph ...
. The college is known for its iconic bridge, the Bridge of Sighs. There are around 600 students at the college at any one time, comprising undergraduates, graduates and visiting students from overseas. The first foundation on the Hertford site began in the 1280s as Hart Hall and became a college in 1740 but was dissolved in 1816. In 1820, the site was taken over by Magdalen Hall, which had emerged around 1490 on a site adjacent to Magdalen College. In 1874, Magdalen Hall was incorporated as a college, reviving the name Hertford College. In 1974, Hertford was part of the first group of all-male Oxford colleges to admit women. Alumni of the college's predecessor institutions include
William Tyndale William Tyndale (; sometimes spelled ''Tynsdale'', ''Tindall'', ''Tindill'', ''Tyndall''; – ) was an English biblical scholar and linguist who became a leading figure in the Protestantism, Protestant Reformation in the years leading up ...
,
John Donne John Donne ( ; 22 January 1572 – 31 March 1631) was an English poet, scholar, soldier and secretary born into a recusant family, who later became a clergy, cleric in the Church of England. Under royal patronage, he was made Dean of St Paul's ...
,
Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; 5/15 April 1588 – 4/14 December 1679) was an English people, English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book ''Leviathan (Hobbes book), Levi ...
, and
Jonathan Swift Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745) was an Anglo-Irish Satire, satirist, author, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for the Whig (British political party), Whigs, then for the Tories (British political party), Tories), poe ...
. More recently, former students have included author
Evelyn Waugh Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh (; 28 October 1903 – 10 April 1966) was an English writer of novels, biographies, and travel books; he was also a prolific journalist and book reviewer. His most famous works include the early satires ''Decli ...
, the first female
Home Secretary The secretary of state for the Home Department, otherwise known as the home secretary, is a senior minister of the Crown in the Government of the United Kingdom. The home secretary leads the Home Office, and is responsible for all national s ...
Jacqui Smith Jacqueline Jill Smith (born 3 November 1962) is a British broadcaster, political commentator and former Labour Party (UK), Labour Party politician. She was Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) for Redditch (UK Parli ...
, the
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s
Jeremy Heywood Jeremy John Heywood, Baron Heywood of Whitehall, (31 December 1961 – 4 November 2018) was a British Her Majesty's Civil Service, civil servant who served as Cabinet Secretary (United Kingdom), Cabinet Secretary to David Cameron and Theresa Ma ...
and
Olly Robbins Sir Oliver Robbins (born 20 April 1975) is a former senior British civil servant who served as the Prime Minister's Office (United Kingdom), Prime Minister's Europe Adviser and the Brexit negotiations, chief Brexit negotiator from 2017 to 2019. ...
, and the newsreaders and reporters
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,
Carrie Gracie Carrie Gracie (born 1962)Ben Dowel"Carrie Gracie profile: Award-winning journalist with years at World Service" theguardian.com, 12 May 2009 is a Scottish journalist and newsreader best known as having been China Editor for BBC News. She resign ...
,
Krishnan Guru-Murthy Krishnan Guru-Murthy (born 5 April 1970) is a British journalist. He is the lead presenter of ''Channel 4 News''. He also presents ''Unreported World'', a foreign-affairs documentary series. Early life Guru-Murthy's father, an Indian consult ...
, and
Natasha Kaplinsky Natasha Margaret Kaplinsky (born 9 September 1972)The Donor, News and information for blood donors, Winter 2009, National Blood Service, England, page 55 is an English News presenter, newsreader, TV presenter and journalist, best known for he ...
. U.S. justice
Byron White Byron "Whizzer" Raymond White (June 8, 1917 April 15, 2002) was an American professional American football, football player and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court fr ...
attended the college on a Rhodes scholarship but left to serve in World War II.


Hart Hall and the first Hertford College


Hart Hall

The first Hertford College began life as Hart Hall (''Aula Cervina'') in the 1280s, a small
tenement A tenement is a type of building shared by multiple dwellings, typically with flats or apartments on each floor and with shared entrance stairway access. They are common on the British Isles, particularly in Scotland. In the medieval Old Town, E ...
built roughly where the college's Old Hall is today, a few paces along
New College Lane New College Lane is a historic street in central Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of ...
on the southern side. In mediaeval Oxford, academic halls were primarily lodging houses for students and resident tutors. The original tenement, mentioned in the deed of 1283, which was bought by Elias de Hertford from Walter de Grendon, mercer, lay between a tenement of the university (Blackhall) on the west, and a tenement of the Prioress of Studley on the east. In the deed by which Elias de Hertford sells it to John de Dokelynton in 1301, this last tenement is called Micheldhall. The deed was made over to his son, also Elias, in 1301. The name of the hall was likely a humorous reduction of the name of its founder's home town, and allowed for the use of the symbol of a hart to be used for identification. At that time, New College Lane was known as Hammer Hall Lane (named after a hall to the east, as New College had not then been founded), and its northern side was the old town wall. The corner of Hammer Hall Lane and Catte Street (which had a
postern A postern is a secondary door or gate in a fortification such as a city wall or castle curtain wall (fortification), curtain wall. Posterns were often located in a concealed location which allowed the occupants to come and go inconspicuously. In th ...
in the wall called Smithgate) was taken by Black Hall, which was the place of
John Wycliffe John Wycliffe (; also spelled Wyclif, Wickliffe, and other variants; 1328 – 31 December 1384) was an English scholastic philosopher, theologian, biblical translator, reformer, Catholic Church, Catholic priest, and a seminary professor at th ...
's imprisonment by the Vice-Chancellor around 1378. On the other side of Hart Hall along the lane was Shield Hall. On Catte Street itself was the entrance to Arthur Hall, which lay down a narrow passage behind Hart Hall, and Cat Hall (''Aula Murilegorum''), which stood further south, roughly where the Principal's Lodgings now stand. The younger Elias sold on Hart Hall (named in this deed as 'le Herthalle') after a month to a wealthy local fishmonger John of Ducklington, who, seven years later, bought Arthur Hall and annexed it to Hart Hall. In 1312, John sold the two halls to Walter de Stapledon, Bishop of Exeter, who desired to found a college. After just over a year, Stapledon moved his scholars to a larger site that he had purchased on Turl Street, which became Stapledon Hall, later Exeter College. However, Exeter College retained certain rights over Hart Hall, with which it plagued the hall's development for centuries. In 1379, Hart Hall and Black Hall were rented by
William of Wykeham William of Wykeham (; 1320 or 1324 – 27 September 1404) was Bishop of Winchester The Bishop of Winchester is the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Winchester in the Church of England. The bishop's seat (''cathedra'') is at Winchester Cat ...
as a temporary home for his scholars as his New College, to the east along what became New College Lane, was being built. The first two Wardens of New College also appear as Principals of Hart Hall. Until the 17th century, there is evidence of scholars (including Thomas Ken) matriculating at Hart Hall while waiting for a vacancy at New College. By this time, it appears that Shield Hall had been partly taken over by Hart Hall and partly demolished to make way for New College's
cloister A cloister (from Latin ''claustrum'', "enclosure") is a covered walk, open gallery, or open Arcade (architecture), arcade running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle (architecture), quadrangle or garth. The attachment of a cloi ...
. Although Black Hall continued a separate existence, its principal was often the same as Hart Hall's. In 1490, Hart Hall is described as having a library, which was unusual for a hall. In 1530, Hart Hall annexed Black Hall also. For some time, Cat Hall was leased by All Souls College, and then by Exeter College, until it also was subsumed into the growing Hart Hall early in the 16th century, giving the hall most of the land around what is today its Old Quadrangle. In the latter half of the 16th century, Hart Hall became known as a refuge for Catholic
recusants Recusancy (from la, recusare, translation=to refuse) was the state of those who remained loyal to the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of m ...
, particularly under Philip Randell as principal (1548–1599). Because of its connection with Exeter College and that college's increasing
puritanism The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Catholic Church, Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become m ...
, a number of Exeter's tutors and scholars migrated to Hart Hall. The hall attracted an increasing number of Catholics from further afield, including the
Jesuit The Society of Jesus ( la, Societas Iesu; abbreviation: SJ), also known as the Jesuits (; la, Iesuitæ), is a religious order (Catholic), religious order of clerics regular of pontifical right for men in the Catholic Church headquartered in Rom ...
tutor Richard Holtby in 1574, who was instrumental in the conversion of his student, and later Jesuit martyr and saint, Alexander Briant to Catholicism. Coming from a Catholic family, the English poet
John Donne John Donne ( ; 22 January 1572 – 31 March 1631) was an English poet, scholar, soldier and secretary born into a recusant family, who later became a clergy, cleric in the Church of England. Under royal patronage, he was made Dean of St Paul's ...
came up to Hart Hall in 1584. Hart Hall expanded and new buildings were put up. In the early 17th century, the current Senior Common Room was built as lodgings for the principal. From this period also, the main entrance of the hall moved from being a narrow passage off New College Lane to a gate on Catte Street. By the late 17th century, Cat Hall is described as being used as 'the ball-court of Hart Hall'. In the latter part of the 17th century, the principal, Dr William Thornton, provided a proper gate for the Catte Street entrance of the hall, and decorated with a device of a drinking hart with the
motto A motto (derived from the Latin language, Latin , 'mutter', by way of Italian language, Italian , 'word' or 'sentence') is a Sentence (linguistics), sentence or phrase expressing a belief or purpose, or the general motivation or intention of a ...
('As the hart panteth after the water brooks', taken from Psalm 42, verse 1, but in a peculiar translation). Although the current gatehouse is not Thornton's original, it retains the design and motto, and houses the original decorated gates. It has been suggested that this frieze with its Latin motto is the real counterpart of the one translated for the waiting crowd by the title character of
Thomas Hardy Thomas Hardy (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Literary realism, Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, he was influenced both in his novels and in his poetry by Romanticism, including the poetr ...
's ''
Jude the Obscure ''Jude the Obscure'' is a novel by Thomas Hardy, which began as a magazine serial in December 1894 and was first published in book form in 1895 (though the title page says 1896). It is Hardy's last completed novel. The protagonist, Jude Fawley ...
''. In 1692, the political satirist
Jonathan Swift Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745) was an Anglo-Irish Satire, satirist, author, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for the Whig (British political party), Whigs, then for the Tories (British political party), Tories), poe ...
was incorporated from
Trinity College, Dublin , name_Latin = Collegium Sanctae et Individuae Trinitatis Reginae Elizabethae juxta Dublin , motto = ''Perpetuis futuris temporibus duraturam'' (Latin) , motto_lang = la , motto_English = It will last i ...
, on the books of Hart Hall to receive his MA.


Richard Newton's Hertford College

On 28 July 1710, the Rev Dr Richard Newton was admitted principal of Hart Hall. Newton was a well-connected, energetic, educational reformer. He was appointed principal from 'a very peaceful retirement' as Rector of Sudborough, where he was personal tutor to two brothers, who were both destined to be prime minister — Thomas Pelham-Holles and
Henry Pelham Henry Pelham (25 September 1694 – 6 March 1754) was a British Whig statesman who served as 3rd Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1743 until his death in 1754. He was the younger brother of Thomas Pelh ...
— bringing the younger with him to Hart Hall. He dedicated himself to raising the hall from debt and securing a firmer financial endowment. Newton planned to redesign the hall around a proper quadrangle, with a tutor, or ''angler'', and students living in each angle, and common buildings along the sides. However, only two buildings in his design were ever built: one angle in the south-east corner of the Old Quadrangle (nowadays known as the Cottage), and his simple stone Chapel on the south side (consecrated 25 November 1716), which now serves as the college's Library. These buildings were financed entirely from Newton's pocket, to the sum of around £2000 (around £ adjusted for inflation). In 1720, Newton published his ''Scheme of Disciplines'' laying out his scheme of education with a view to obtaining a charter of incorporation, and, on 18 May 1723, he presented his petition for a charter. The proposal met immediate opposition, especially from Exeter College, exercising its old rights, and All Souls, desiring to expand northward onto the hall's land. In addition, the appointments of principals for the various halls had established itself in a game of promotion, and a few would-be principals opposed the plan. John Conybeare, then a Fellow of Exeter, and later Bishop of Bristol, was Newton's most ardent opponent, penning the book ''Calumny Refuted'' against Newton's reforms. After years of struggle, Richard Newton's statutes were accepted on 3 November 1739, and the charter incorporating 'the Principal and Fellows of Hertford College' (''Principalis et Socii Collegii Hertfordiensis'') was received on 8 September 1740. Newton's Hertford was a relatively spartan college, having received no real endowment. Meals were simple and cheap, and the principal insisted on eating the same as everyone else. Students were expected to work hard, and, where Newton found the university's education lacking, he supplemented it with disputations within the college. Newton allowed gentlemen-commoners to matriculate at the college, but they paid double fees for the same accommodation and food as the others. They were originally allowed to wear their coloured gowns and tufted caps, but Newton eventually made them wear the ordinary black gown. Thus, many a well-to-do family sent their sons to Hertford College to instil in them some disciplined education, unlike the privileged wining and dining had by gentlemen-commoners in other colleges.


Decline and dissolution

After Richard Newton's death in 1753, the principalship of the college fell to a succession of men mostly lacking the desire or energy to continue their predecessor's plan. One exception to this succession was David Durell, who built up the reputation and academic success of the college. Under Durell, the future statesman
Charles James Fox Charles James Fox (24 January 1749 – 13 September 1806), styled ''The Honourable ''The Honourable'' (British English) or ''The Honorable'' (American English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling d ...
matriculated in 1764 (Hertford, unusually for Oxford, was a Whig college). However, the scheme of four tutors in their respective angles was reduced to two, and cheaper junior fellows took over some of the burden of tutoring. It was at Hertford that the tutor
Benjamin Blayney Benjamin Blayney (1728 – 20 September 1801) was an English divine and Hebraist, best known for his revision of the King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an Bibl ...
prepared his 1769 ''Standard Edition'' of the
Authorized King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established L ...
of the Bible. Apart from Durell's principalship, the college went into decline due to the mismanagement of uninterested principals and the lack of decent endowments. In May 1805, Bernard Hodgson, last principal of Hertford College died, and no suitable successor could be found and agreed upon. By 1810, matriculation had ceased, and the last students were awarded their degrees. The last tutor and vice-principal, Richard Hewitt, continued to live in his rooms without students until May 1816, when a commission declared Hertford College dissolved.


Magdalen Hall and the second Hertford College


Magdalen Hall

Magdalen Hall was founded around 1490 on a site to the west of Magdalen College and next to Magdalen's
grammar school A grammar school is one of several different types of school in the history of education in the United Kingdom and other English-speaking countries, originally a school teaching Latin, but more recently an academically oriented secondary school, ...
. The site is now Magdalen's St Swithun's quadrangle. It took the name of an earlier Magdalen Hall in the High Street, which was founded by
William Waynflete William Waynflete (11 August 1486), born William Patten, was Provost of Eton, Provost of Eton College (1442–1447), Bishop of Winchester (1447–1486) and Lord Chancellor of England (1456–1460). He founded Magdalen College, Oxford and three ...
in 1448 and then closed on the opening of Magdalen College in 1458. The first master of the grammar school was appointed in 1480, and its original school building was erected in 1486. However, as the hall took independent students as well as those belonging to the college, it quickly became an independent institution under its own principal. The hall was known for its adherence to the teachings of
John Wycliffe John Wycliffe (; also spelled Wyclif, Wickliffe, and other variants; 1328 – 31 December 1384) was an English scholastic philosopher, theologian, biblical translator, reformer, Catholic Church, Catholic priest, and a seminary professor at th ...
, and
William Tyndale William Tyndale (; sometimes spelled ''Tynsdale'', ''Tindall'', ''Tindill'', ''Tyndall''; – ) was an English biblical scholar and linguist who became a leading figure in the Protestantism, Protestant Reformation in the years leading up ...
, translator of the English Bible and martyr, studied there. Another famous student of the hall was the political philosopher
Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; 5/15 April 1588 – 4/14 December 1679) was an English people, English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book ''Leviathan (Hobbes book), Levi ...
, who came up in either 1601 or 1602. At the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists led by Charles I ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of Kingdom of England, England's governanc ...
, Magdalen Hall was known as a
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Catholic Church, Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become m ...
hall under the principalship of Henry Wilkinson. Famous Puritan graduates include Philip Nye, key adviser to Oliver Cromwell on matters of religion and regulation of the Church. The hall rarely used a badge of arms, but, when it did, it used the same arms as the college. At the time of the demise of the first Hertford College, Magdalen College had long been searching for a way of expelling Magdalen Hall in order to expand into its buildings. Before the demise of Hertford, Magdalen College conspired to make its site ready to receive a transplanted Magdalen Hall. The current Lodge of Hertford College thus still bears the arms of Magdalen Hall (and so also of Magdalen College) beside those of Hertford College (and Hart Hall) and the university.


Move to Catte Street

John Macbride became both principal of Magdalen Hall and Lord Almoner's Professor of Arabic in 1813, and plans to move the hall to the site of Hertford College were already afoot. On 15 March 1815, Magdalen College submitted a proposal for the move to
Convocation A convocation (from the Latin ''wikt:convocare, convocare'' meaning "to call/come together", a translation of the Ancient Greek, Greek wikt:ἐκκλησία, ἐκκλησία ''ekklēsia'') is a group of people formally assembled for a speci ...
. Magdalen College proposed to repair the Hertford buildings and defray the expense of Magdalen Hall's move to the site, while the hall were to relinquish claim to their own buildings to Magdalen College. An Act of Parliament was passed supporting the plan, but no move was made until a fire accidentally started by an undergraduate on 9 January 1820 destroyed almost half of Magdalen Hall's buildings. Not long after this, one of Hertford College's buildings on Catte Street, so flimsy that it was known as the 'paper building', collapsed. With this motivation, the new foundation stone of Magdalen Hall was laid at the new site on 3 May 1820, and the hall's migration was complete by 1822. The Catte Street frontage was pulled down and rebuilt, and several buildings had an extra storey added to them. Magdalen Hall expanded to fill the space, and became the largest hall by far, numbering 214 members in 1846. Macbride and his vice-principals were active in building up the refounded Magdalen Hall. To distance the hall from its namesake college, Macbride attempted to change the name to 'Magdalene Hall', but this change was never accepted. Macbride served as principal for 54 years, until his death in 1868. The Macbride Sermon, one of the University Sermons, is preached each
Hilary term Hilary term is the second academic term of the University of Oxford During John Macbride's principalship it became clear that the growing, energetic Magdalen Hall should be incorporated as a college to match its academic standing in the university. Since the name 'Magdalen College' was already taken, the favoured option was the revival of 'Hertford College'. Macbride was succeeded as principal by his vice-principal, Richard Michell, in 1868. He brought a bill before Parliament in 1873 for the incorporation of Magdalen Hall as Hertford College. The bill received significant financial support from Thomas Baring, then newly elected MP for South Essex. Baring had been a Fellow of
Brasenose College Brasenose College (BNC) is one of the Colleges of the University of Oxford, constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. It began as Brasenose Hall in the 13th century, before being founded as a college in 1509. The l ...
, and had offered a substantial endowment of fellowships and scholarships to that college, but it had been refused, as Brasenose rejected his conditions of restricting the funds to members of the Church of England. However, to ease the passage of the bill, Baring removed his condition to the first instalment of the endowment (subsequent instalments were restricted), and Magdalen Hall was incorporated as 'the Principal, Fellows, and Scholars of Hertford College' (''Principalis, Socii, et Scholastici Collegii Hertfordiensis'') on 7 August 1874. Thus, Michell became the last principal of Magdalen Hall and the first principal of the refounded Hertford College. Baring bought a house across New College Lane from the college to serve as fellows' lodgings (at some point this house was named Clarendon House), which was the first move of the college onto the northern side of New College Lane. This was soon followed by the purchase of other houses on that side of the road, which were collectively known as ''Ædes'', and the old Chapel of Our Lady at Smithgate (which is now the Octagon, housing the Middle Common Room). Also during this period, a gatehouse was built on the Catte Street frontage and the old doors were reinstalled there. A new dining hall was built above the gatehouse, and much of the northern side of the Old Quadrangle, apart from Old Hall, was rebuilt. In 1877, Henry Boyd succeeded Michell, becoming the second principal of the refounded Hertford College. His energy, good connections and longevity created the modern college as it is today. Boyd's name appears carved on the landmark Bridge of Sighs, and he is commemorated by a memorial in the Chapel (to the left of the
chancel In church architecture, the chancel is the space around the altar, including the choir and the sanctuary A sanctuary, in its original meaning, is a sacred space, sacred place, such as a shrine. By the use of such places as a haven, by ext ...
) and a portrait in the Hall (at the west end of
High Table The high table is a table for the use of fellows (members of the Senior Common Room) and their guests in large university dining halls in anglo-saxon countries, where the students eat in the main space of the hall at the same time. They remain ...
). Boyd's partnership with the architect Thomas Graham Jackson brought about the expansion of the college and its endowment with its iconic 'Anglo-Jackson' buildings. In 1887, Jackson began work on the Gatehouse, the Hall and its spiral staircase, and the north range of the Old Quad. In 1901, Jackson started building the college's site on the northern side of New College Lane. By 1908, he had completed a new Chapel, which he declared to be his favourite work. Eventually, after much opposition, he built the Bridge of Sighs, linking the Old and New Quads across New College Lane, in 1913. In the two
world war A world war is an international conflict which involves all or most of the world's major powers. Conventionally, the term is reserved for two major international conflicts that occurred during the first half of the 20th century, World WarI (1914 ...
s, a total of 171 members of Hertford College died (those of
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
are commemorated by a memorial on the south wall of the chancel in the Chapel, while those of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
are remembered in a memorial in the portico, to the right of the Chapel door). Notable among them is Major Percy Nugent FitzPatrick, son of James Percy FitzPatrick, who was killed near
Cambrai Cambrai (, ; pcd, Kimbré; nl, Kamerijk), formerly Cambray and historically in English Camerick or Camericke, is a city in the Nord (French department), Nord Departments of France, department and in the Hauts-de-France Regions of France, regio ...
on 14 December 1917. It was with the death of his son that James Percy FitzPatrick made the suggestion after the war's end to keep a two-minute silence each year on
Armistice Day Armistice Day, later known as Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth and Veterans Day in the United States, is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark Armistice of 11 November 1918, the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I a ...
. In 1922, the novelist
Evelyn Waugh Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh (; 28 October 1903 – 10 April 1966) was an English writer of novels, biographies, and travel books; he was also a prolific journalist and book reviewer. His most famous works include the early satires ''Decli ...
came up to Hertford, famously feuding with his history tutor C. R. M. F. Cruttwell (who was to become the fourth principal of the refounded college, 1930–1939), and later naming a number of odious characters after him. Waugh wrote of his time at Hertford, 'I do no work here and never go to Chapel'. He novelised his time at Oxford in '' Brideshead Revisited'', having his protagonist Charles Ryder at Hertford. Starting from 1965, Hertford made a special effort to encourage applicants from state schools through the ''Hertford Scheme'' established by Physics Fellow Neil Tanner, in which candidates were interviewed early, outside the standard application process, and could be offered a place at the college without having to sit the university entrance exam. This had the effect of dramatically raising academic standards within the college, and other colleges introduced similar initiatives. Today, around 70% of undergraduate students at the college come from UK state schools. This percentage of individuals from state schools (out of all UK applicants/students) is higher than at most Oxford colleges. This commitment to diversity is in keeping with Hertford's earlier history of openness: in 1907 Hertford admitted the first African-American
Rhodes Scholar The Rhodes Scholarship is an international Postgraduate education, postgraduate award for students to study at the University of Oxford, in the United Kingdom. Established in 1902, it is the oldest graduate scholarship in the world. It is con ...
,
Alain Leroy Locke Alain LeRoy Locke (September 13, 1885 – June 9, 1954) was an American writer, philosopher A philosopher is a person who practices or investigates philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundament ...
, after he had been refused by several other colleges. Geoffrey Warnock served as the 9th Principal of the refounded college from 1971 until 1988, and presided over the latest period of growth, and established the college's leftist credentials. In 1974, Hertford became one of the first five
co-educational Mixed-sex education, also known as mixed-gender education, co-education, or coeducation (abbreviated to co-ed or coed), is a system of education where males and females are educated together. Whereas single-sex education was more common up to t ...
colleges in the university (the others being Brasenose, Jesus College, St Catherine's, and Wadham). The college now has an almost equal gender balance, with slight variations from year to year. In memory of Warnock, the college has a student-accommodation building near
Folly Bridge Folly Bridge is a stone bridge over the River Thames carrying the Abingdon Road south from the centre of Oxford, England. It was erected in 1825–27, to designs of a little-known architect, Ebenezer Perry (died 1850), who practised in London. ...
named after him. He also has a memorial in the Chapel, and a portrait behind High Table in the Hall.


Buildings

Hertford College's main site is situated on Catte Street,
New College Lane New College Lane is a historic street in central Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of ...
and Holywell Street. The site consists of three quadrangles: Old Quadrangle, New Quadrangle, and Holywell Quadrangle. The college also has three large groups of buildings for student accommodation near
Folly Bridge Folly Bridge is a stone bridge over the River Thames carrying the Abingdon Road south from the centre of Oxford, England. It was erected in 1825–27, to designs of a little-known architect, Ebenezer Perry (died 1850), who practised in London. ...
: Warnock House, the Graduate Centre and Abingdon House. In addition to these, the college owns a number of houses around Oxford.


Old Quadrangle

The Old Quadrangle (known as Old Quad or OB Quad, for Old Buildings) is, as the name suggests, the oldest and the original quadrangle. Its entrance is the through the Gatehouse on Catte Street, directly opposite the main gates of the
Bodleian Library The Bodleian Library () is the main research library of the University of Oxford, and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great ph ...
. The Gatehouse is a late 19th-century building by Thomas Graham Jackson, bearing the image of a drinking hart above the archway. However, the wooden doors with their colourful floral decoration are the gates of Hart Hall from the 17th century. The Gatehouse houses the Lodge. Through the Gatehouse, the quadrangle is laid out around a pleasant lawn with a few decorative trees. The lawn is off-limits during
Michaelmas Michaelmas ( ; also known as the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the Feast of the Archangels, or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels) is a Christian festival observed in some Western liturgical calendars on 29 September, ...
and
Hilary term Hilary term is the second academic term of the University of OxfordTrinity term for sitting on (at any time) and croquet (on Fridays and Sundays only). In the north-east corner of the quad is the Old Hall, the oldest remaining buildings of Hart Hall, dating from the 1570s. The Old Hall and its adjoining Buttery are now in regular use for dining, especially by the Fellows. Running southwards, along the eastern side of the quad, is a 17th-century building, with
oriel window An oriel window is a form of bay window which protrudes from the main wall of a building but does not reach to the ground. Supported by corbels, bracket (architecture), brackets, or similar cantilevers, an oriel window is most commonly found pro ...
s tucked away on its southern end. Originally, the portion closest to the Old Hall was student accommodation, and the southern portion was the principal's lodgings. Today the building is mostly taken over by the Senior Common Room, with the northern ground-floor room being the Old Library. In the south-east corner is the 18th-century Cottage, the only one of the planned four 'angles' of Dr Newton that was ever built. Originally, this occupied the entire corner, around to what was the chapel (and is now the library). Its southern side was demolished to make way for Jackson's Chapel. The southern side of the quad consists of the Chapel, built in 1908 by Jackson, which has a particularly good acoustic. Its ante-chapel houses a stained-glass window depicting
William Tyndale William Tyndale (; sometimes spelled ''Tynsdale'', ''Tindall'', ''Tindill'', ''Tyndall''; – ) was an English biblical scholar and linguist who became a leading figure in the Protestantism, Protestant Reformation in the years leading up ...
, made in 1911 for the
British and Foreign Bible Society The British and Foreign Bible Society, often known in England and Wales as simply the Bible Society, is a non-denominational Christian Bible society with Charitable organization, charity status whose purpose is to make the Bible available throu ...
, and installed at Hertford in 1994. West of the Chapel is the Library, which was the previous chapel built in the 18th century by Newton. The Library possesses many fine, antique books, most of which belonged to the library of Magdalen Hall. Among these are many rare 17th-century manuscripts and an original edition of
Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; 5/15 April 1588 – 4/14 December 1679) was an English people, English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book ''Leviathan (Hobbes book), Levi ...
's '' Leviathan'' given as a personal gift to the college: Hobbes prepared this work while at Magdalen Hall. The western side of the quad has the Gatehouse, with the Lodge, in its centre. On either side of this are slightly earlier buildings, the southern of which is the Principal's Lodgings, and the northern mostly houses the college's offices. In addition, the north-west building has access onto the Bridge of Sighs. Above the Gatehouse is the dining Hall, which is wood-panelled and hung with a number of college portraits. The hall is reached from the quad by a distinctive stone spiral staircase designed by Jackson, and inspired by the spiral staircase at the Château de Blois. The northern side of the quad consists of a building by Jackson, much of which now houses the
Bursary A bursary is a Money, monetary award made by any educational institution or funding authority to individuals or groups. It is usually awarded to enable a student to attend school, university or college when they might not be able to, otherwise. S ...
. The building is infamous as the site of the incident novelised in
Evelyn Waugh Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh (; 28 October 1903 – 10 April 1966) was an English writer of novels, biographies, and travel books; he was also a prolific journalist and book reviewer. His most famous works include the early satires ''Decli ...
's '' Brideshead Revisited'' in which Sebastian Flyte, returning from a
Bullingdon Club The Bullingdon Club is a private all-male dining club for University of Oxford, Oxford University students. It is known for its wealthy members, grand banquets, and bad behaviour, including vandalism of restaurants and students' rooms. The club ...
bender vomits through a window into a ground-floor room.


New Quadrangle

The New Quadrangle (known as New Quad or NB Quad, for New Buildings) is connected to the Old Quadrangle, across New College Lane, by the Bridge of Sighs, which was designed by Thomas Graham Jackson. The north-western corner of New Quad is taken up by the
Indian Institute The Indian Institute was an institute within the University of Oxford The University of Oxford is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest ...
building, which is not part of Hertford College. Most of the New Buildings are early 20th-century designs by Jackson, except the slightly later frontage onto Holywell Street by T.H. Hughes, on the northern side of the quad. The quad is entered through a gate onto Catte Street, just opposite the
Clarendon Building Clarendon Building is an early 18th-century Neoclassical architecture, neoclassical building of the University of Oxford. It is in Broad Street, Oxford, Broad Street, Oxford, England, next to the Bodleian Library and the Sheldonian Theatre and ne ...
. New Quad is mostly used for undergraduate accommodation. The most significant building in the quad is the Octagon, just north of the gate on Catte Street, which houses the Middle Common Room. It is the 16th-century Chapel of St Mary the Virgin at Smithgate, which formed a bastion in the town walls. An original carving of the scene of the
Annunciation The Annunciation (from Latin '), also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of Our Lady, or the Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian celebration of the biblical tale of the announcement by the arch ...
can be seen from Catte Street, just beside the gate.


Holywell Quadrangle

Holywell Quadrangle backs directly onto New Quad, and the two are connected by an arched corridor that also contains the steps down to Hertford's subterranean bar. Holywell Quad was built in 1975, and is almost exclusively for first-year undergraduate housing. Its main features are a gate onto Holywell Street, the Junior Common Room in the south-east corner, and the Baring Room (named after Thomas Baring, the college's major benefactor) which is a multi-purpose hall at the top of the southern staircase.


Student life

Undergraduate students are accommodated for the full three or four years of their study, either on the main site or on college-owned property primarily in North Oxford and the Folly Bridge area. A new Hertford Graduate Centre fronting the Isis was built near Folly Bridge and was opened in 2000. Hertford is home to a college cat named Simpkin, who lives in the College Lodge and is the fourth of his lineage, collectively Simpkins, the collective noun for Hertford College cats; the original was called Simpkin and was introduced by the former college principal Geoffrey Warnock, named after the cat in the Beatrix Potter novel The Tailor of Gloucester. He is provided with a bursary by
alumni Alumni (singular: alumnus (masculine) or alumna (feminine)) are former students of a school, college, or university who have either attended or graduated in some fashion from the institution. The feminine plural alumnae is sometimes used for grou ...
to cover his food and veterinary treatment.


Academic achievement

Hertford's exam results are slightly above average. In the Norrington Table of results over the period 2006–2012 it has come 17th, 9th, 18th, 6th, 12th, 5th and 23rd.


Sport

Hertford College Boat Club is among the leading Oxford college boat clubs: both its women's and men's first boats are in the first division of Torpids and Eights Week, with both M1 and W1 winning "blades" in the 2015 edition of Torpids. The boats and club room are in the Longbridges boathouse on the Isis. With the transition of Magdalen Hall to Hertford College in 1874, the old blue-black of the hall stopped racing in 1873, and the new red-white of the college took to the river in 1875. Within only seven years of its refoundation, the college came Head of the River in the annual college boat races, in 1881. On achieving that victory, the crew carried their boat all the way back to the college and burnt it just inside the gates. The college archives possess a letter detailing the club's celebrations from the sub-librarian of the
Bodleian Library The Bodleian Library () is the main research library of the University of Oxford, and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great ph ...
, who spent the night on the scaffolding surrounding the work on the Old Schools Tower, directly opposite the Hertford gate, in case the fire spread to the library. In 2005, the boathouse was gutted by an arson attack carried out by the
Animal Liberation Front The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) is an international, leaderless, decentralized political and social resistance movement that engages in and promotes non-violent direct action Direct action originated as a political activism, activist te ...
, in protest against animal testing at the university. The new boathouse was rebuilt on the same site. The college was endowed with a new gym in 2011 and has playing fields in New Marston, which include a pavilion with facilities for most major team sports. In August 2013 Hertford College Rugby Club became the first team from the UK to tour Mongolia in official partnership with the Mongolian Rugby Football Union. They played matches against The Mongolia Defense University and the Ulaan Baatar Warriors. Both matches were played in the national stadium and broadcast live on Mongolian national television. In 2017, the team returned to Mongolia, this time playing two matches against the Ulaanbaatar Warriors.


Music

Hertford College has the largest and most active music society of any Oxford college, drawing in musicians from around the university, with ensembles including the Hertford College Orchestra, the Hertford College Chapel Choir, the Hertford College Wind Band, the Hertford College Jazz Band and the Hertford College Bruckner Orchestra. There are two competitive
organ scholar An organ scholar is a young musician employed as a part-time assistant organist at a cathedral, church or institution where regular choral services are held. The idea of an organ (music), organ scholarship is to provide the holder with playing, di ...
ships. The Chapel's fine acoustic lends itself to concerts and recitals, and it is frequently used for recording.


People associated with the college


Principals

The current Principal of the college, from 2020, is former UK Ambassador to Lebanon and policy advisor Tom Fletcher.


Selected current Professorial and Tutorial Fellows

The college has over 30 Tutorial Fellows in the subjects it offers at undergraduate level. * Hagan Bayley, Professor of Chemical Biology * Charlotte Brewer, Professor of English Language and Literature, Tutor in English * Dame Kay Davies, FRS, Dr Lee's Professor of Anatomy * Martin C.J. Maiden, Professor of Molecular Epidemiology, Tutor in Biology * Ian McBride, Foster Professor of Irish History * Peter Millican, Gilbert Ryle Fellow, Professor and Tutor in Philosophy * Christopher J. Schofield, Professor of Organic Chemistry * Emma J. Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies, Tutor in English * David Ian Stuart, Professor of Structural Biology * David Thomas, Professor of Geography * Claire Vallance, Professor of Physical Chemistry, Tutor in Chemistry * Michael Wooldridge, Professor of Computer Science * Alison Woollard, Associate Professor in Genetics, Tutor in Biochemistry


Emeritus Fellows

The college has a number of
Emeritus ''Emeritus'' (; female: ''emerita'') is an adjective used to designate a retired chair, professor, pastor, bishop, pope, director, president, prime minister, rabbi, emperor, or other person who has been "permitted to retain as an honorary title ...
Fellows, including: * Toby Barnard, historian *
Martin Biddle Martin Biddle, (born 4 June 1937) is a British archaeologist and academic. He is an emeritus fellow of Hertford College, Oxford. His work was important in the development of medieval and post-medieval archaeology in Great Britain. Early life ...
, archaeologist * Robin Devenish, former professor and Tutor in Physics * Bill Macmillan * Tom Paulin, former G M Young Lecturer and Tutor in English *
Christopher Tyerman Christopher Tyerman (born 22 May 1953) is an academic historian focusing on the Crusades. In 2015, he was appointed Professor of History of the Crusades at the University of Oxford. Life and career He graduated from New College, Oxford, with a f ...
, former Professor of History of the Crusades and Tutor in History * Alison Young, former Professor of Public Law


Honorary Fellows

* John Baring, 7th Baron Ashburton * Walter Bodmer, former principal * Martin Bridson, mathematician * Nancee Oku Bright, documentary filmmaker, director and producer * Sherard Cowper-Coles * John Dewar, former Tutor in Law * Richard W. Fisher, ambassador * Roy Foster, historian * Andrew Goudie, Master of St Cross College * Charlotte Hogg, economist *
Will Hutton William Nicolas Hutton (born 21 May 1950) is a British journalist. As of 2022, he writes a regular column for ''The Observer'', co-chairs the Purposeful Company, and is the president-designate of the Academy of Social Sciences. He is the chair ...
, economist and former Principal * The Very Reverend
Jeffrey John Jeffrey Philip Hywel John (born 10 February 1953) is a Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the internati ...
, Dean of St Albans * Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC, barrister * Sowetto Kinch, jazz musician and rapper * John Landers, former principal * Paul Manduca, chairman of
Prudential plc Prudential plc is a British Multinational corporation, multinational insurance company headquartered in London, England. It was founded in London in May 1848 to provide loans to professional and working people. Prudential has dual primary list ...
(2012-2020) * The Rt. Rev. Thomas McMahon, Catholic Bishop of Brentwood * Paul Muldoon, President of the Poetry Society * David Pannick, Baron Pannick *
Mary Robinson Mary Therese Winifred Robinson ( ga, Máire Mhic Róibín; ; born 21 May 1944) is an Irish politician who was the 7th president of Ireland The president of Ireland ( ga, Uachtarán na hÉireann) is the head of state of Republic of Irela ...
, former
President of Ireland The president of Ireland ( ga, Uachtarán na hÉireann) is the head of state of Republic of Ireland, Ireland and the supreme commander of the Defence Forces (Ireland), Irish Defence Forces. The president holds office for seven years, and can ...
*
Jacqui Smith Jacqueline Jill Smith (born 3 November 1962) is a British broadcaster, political commentator and former Labour Party (UK), Labour Party politician. She was Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) for Redditch (UK Parli ...
, former
Home Secretary The secretary of state for the Home Department, otherwise known as the home secretary, is a senior minister of the Crown in the Government of the United Kingdom. The home secretary leads the Home Office, and is responsible for all national s ...
* Stephanie West, classical scholar * General Roger Wheeler, former Chief of the General Staff *
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, author


Notable former students


Hart Hall and the first Hertford College (1282–1816)

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John Donne John Donne ( ; 22 January 1572 – 31 March 1631) was an English poet, scholar, soldier and secretary born into a recusant family, who later became a clergy, cleric in the Church of England. Under royal patronage, he was made Dean of St Paul's ...
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Charles James Fox Charles James Fox (24 January 1749 – 13 September 1806), styled ''The Honourable ''The Honourable'' (British English) or ''The Honorable'' (American English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling d ...
File:Henry Pelham by William Hoare.jpg,
Henry Pelham Henry Pelham (25 September 1694 – 6 March 1754) was a British Whig statesman who served as 3rd Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1743 until his death in 1754. He was the younger brother of Thomas Pelh ...
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John Selden John Selden (16 December 1584 – 30 November 1654) was an English jurist, a scholar of England's ancient laws and constitution and scholar of Jewish law. He was known as a polymath; John Milton hailed Selden in 1644 as "the chief of learned ...
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Jonathan Swift Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745) was an Anglo-Irish Satire, satirist, author, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for the Whig (British political party), Whigs, then for the Tories (British political party), Tories), poe ...


Magdalen Hall (1480–1874)

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Samuel Daniel Samuel Daniel (1562–1619) was an England, English poet, playwright and historian in the late-Elizabethan era, Elizabethan and early-Jacobean era, Jacobean eras. He was an innovator in a wide range of literary genres. His best-known works are ...
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Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; 5/15 April 1588 – 4/14 December 1679) was an English people, English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book ''Leviathan (Hobbes book), Levi ...
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Robert Plot Robert Plot (13 December 1640 – 30 April 1696) was an English naturalist, first Professor of Chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements tha ...
File:William Tyndale.jpg,
William Tyndale William Tyndale (; sometimes spelled ''Tynsdale'', ''Tindall'', ''Tindill'', ''Tyndall''; – ) was an English biblical scholar and linguist who became a leading figure in the Protestantism, Protestant Reformation in the years leading up ...
File:Henry Vane the Younger by Sir Peter Lely.jpg,
Henry Vane the Younger Sir Henry Vane (baptised 26 March 161314 June 1662), often referred to as Harry Vane and Henry Vane the Younger to distinguish him from his father, Henry Vane the Elder, was an English politician, statesman, and colonial governor. He was br ...
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William Waller Sir William Waller Justice of the peace, JP (c. 159719 September 1668) was an English soldier and politician, who commanded Roundhead, Parliamentarian armies during the First English Civil War, before relinquishing his commission under the ...


The second Hertford College (1874–present)

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Daniel Dennett Daniel Clement Dennett III (born March 28, 1942) is an American philosopher, writer, and Cognitive science, cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and philosophy of biology, particularly as t ...
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Jeremy Heywood Jeremy John Heywood, Baron Heywood of Whitehall, (31 December 1961 – 4 November 2018) was a British Her Majesty's Civil Service, civil servant who served as Cabinet Secretary (United Kingdom), Cabinet Secretary to David Cameron and Theresa Ma ...
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File:Evelynwaugh.jpeg,
Evelyn Waugh Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh (; 28 October 1903 – 10 April 1966) was an English writer of novels, biographies, and travel books; he was also a prolific journalist and book reviewer. His most famous works include the early satires ''Decli ...
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Byron White Byron "Whizzer" Raymond White (June 8, 1917 April 15, 2002) was an American professional American football, football player and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court fr ...
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Tobias Wolff Tobias is the transliteration Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one writing system, script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt:littera#Latin, liter- ...


References


Sources

* * also a
''Internet archive''
* * * 'Hertford history'
Hertford history


External links


Hertford College website

Hertford College Boat Club

Hertford College MCR

Hertford College International Programmes
{{Authority control Colleges of the University of Oxford Educational institutions established in the 13th century 1282 establishments in England Buildings and structures of the University of Oxford