Oxford Royale Summer Schools’s Centres Through the Ages
Oxford Royale Academy’s centres have a history that spans centuries. Enjoy this timeline of the most notable events.
1263: John I de Balliol founds Balliol College
Alongside University College and Merton, Balliol College has a claim to being the oldest Oxford college. John I de Balliol’s wife, the Scottish princess Dervorguilla of Galloway, sees to it after his death that the temporary institution he had founded becomes permanent.
1360: John Wycliffe is Master of Balliol
Wycliffe is an influential and controversial religious reformer, the head of the Lollard movement, and the co-author of a translation of the Bible into English. He is declared a heretic in 1415, after his death, though many of his ideas help spur on the English Reformation a century later.
1611: Yarnton Manor is built
The aristocratic Spencer family build the grand manor house in a visual demonstration of their growing political influence. Though the manor has been altered and restored in a variety of ways, the building today still looks remarkably like it would have done when the Spencers built it. Their coat of arms can still be seen over the fireplace in the Long Gallery.
1642: The English Civil War breaks out
King Charles I’s court is expelled from London by parliamentary forces and settles at the Royalist stronghold of Oxford. Balliol is nearly bankrupted by the conflict, as it is called upon to make a significant loan to Charles I – which, to this day, has never been repaid. Yarnton Manor is used as a hospital for Royalist troops. The Spencers suffer under the Commonwealth when the Royalist side loses, but when the monarchy is restored with Charles II, so too are their fortunes.
1871: The University Tests Act is passed
One of Balliol’s most important and influential Masters, Benjamin Jowett, finally achieves his aim: that access to university not be restricted on the basis of religion, when the University Tests Act is passed. The Balliol Annexe, Jowett Walk, is named after him. He is also honoured somewhat more irreverently in this well-known Balliol rhyme:
Here come I, my name is Jowett.
All there is to know I know it.
I am Master of this College,
What I don’t know isn’t knowledge!
1878: Lady Margaret Hall is founded
Lady Margaret Hall is the very first women’s college in the otherwise all-male university, though women would not be permitted to receive degrees until 1920. It is named after Lady Margaret Beaufort, Henry VII’s mother, who had founded Christ’s College and St John’s College in Cambridge.
1886: St Hugh’s College is founded
St Hugh’s adds to the growing number of Colleges and Halls that admit women in Oxford. It is founded by Elizabeth Wordsworth – the great-niece of the poet William Wordsworth – in order to provide an Oxford education to women who might find the other existing colleges too expensive to afford, thereby contributing to a growing movement to make Oxford accessible to anyone with sufficient academic ability.
1929: St Peter’s College is founded, as St Peter’s Hall
St Peter’s is on the site of two of the University’s oldest Inns, dating back to the 13th century, and so has a connection to the very earliest appearance of university education in Oxford. Many of its buildings are much older than its foundation. It, too, is founded with the intent of making an Oxford education affordable to all. It gains full college status in 1961.
1962: St Catherine’s College is founded by the historian Alan Bullock
Its buildings, designed by architect Arne Jacobsen, follow the usual Oxford layout around a quadrangle, but are built in striking glass and concrete. In 1974, St Catherine’s College becomes one of the first male colleges to admit female students.
1996: Jowett Walk is built
Named after one of Balliol’s best-known Masters, Jowett Walk helps accommodate the College’s growing student population.
2004: Oxford Royale Summer Schools is founded
2014: Yarnton Manor is acquired by Oxford Royale Summer Schools
On our 10th anniversary, we can offer the students the chance to live and work in Yarnton Manor, a fascinating and beautiful building with a rich and varied history.
These historic buildings will be the campuses of Oxford Royale’s Summer School 2015 — browse the course options and secure your place today ➙
Image credits: Balliol 1; Balliol 2; Balliol 3; LMH; St Catz.