All Souls College, Oxford
|Colleges and halls of the University of Oxford|
|All Souls College, Oxford|
|College name||The Warden and the College of the Souls of all Faithful People deceased in the University of Oxford|
|Latin name||Collegium Omnium Animarum|
|Named after||Feast of All Souls|
|Sister college||Trinity Hall, Cambridge|
|Location||High Street, Oxford|
|Blazon||Or, a chevron between three cinquefoils gules.|
Unique to All Souls, all of its members automatically become Fellows (i.e., full members of the College's governing body). It has no undergraduate members, but each year recent graduates of the university and graduates of other universities now registered as postgraduate students at Oxford are eligible to apply for Examination Fellowships through a competitive examination (once described as "the hardest exam in the world") and, for the several shortlisted after the examinations, an interview.
All Souls is one of the wealthiest colleges in Oxford, with a financial endowment of £286.4m (2014). However, since the College's principal source of revenue is its endowment, it only ranks nineteenth among Oxford colleges with respect to total income.
The College was founded by Henry VI of England and Henry Chichele (fellow of New College and Archbishop of Canterbury), in 1438. The Statutes provided for the Warden and forty fellows – all to take Holy Orders; twenty-four to study arts, philosophy and theology; and sixteen to study civil or canon law. The College's Codrington Library, completed in 1751, was completed through the bequest of Christopher Codrington in 1710, a wealthy plantation owner from Barbados, who attended Oxford and later became colonial governor of the Leeward Islands. Today the College is primarily a graduate research institution.
The College now has no undergraduate members. All Souls did once have them, especially in the early 17th century on the instigation of Robert Hovenden (Warden of the college from 1571 to 1614), in order to provide the fellows with servientes (household servants). The admission of undergraduates for this purpose was abandoned in the 19th century, although four Bible Clerks remained on the foundation until 1924.
Buildings and architecture
The All Souls Library (formally known as the Codrington Library) was founded through a bequest from Christopher Codrington (1668–1710), a Fellow of the College. Christopher Codrington bequeathed books worth £6,000, in addition to £10,000 in currency. This bequest allowed the library to be built and endowed. Christopher Codrington was born in Barbados, and amassed his fortune from his sugar planation in the West Indies. The library was completed in 1751, and has been in continuous use since then. The modern library comprises some 185,000 items, about a third of which were published before 1800. The collections are particularly strong in Law and History (especially Military History).
Built between 1438 and 1442, the chapel remained largely unchanged until the Commonwealth. Oxford, having been a largely Royalist stronghold, suffered under the Puritans' wrath. The 42 misericords date from the Chapel's building, and show a resemblance to the misericords at Higham Ferrers. Both may have been carved by Richard Tyllock.
Christopher Wren was a Fellow from 1653, and in 1658 produced a sundial for the College. This was originally placed on the South wall of the Chapel, until it was moved to the quadrangle (above the central entrance to the Codrington Library) in 1877. During the 1660s a screen was installed in the Chapel, which was based on a design by Wren. However, this screen needed to be rebuilt by 1713. By the mid-19th century the Chapel was in great need of renovation, and so the current structure is heavily influenced by Victorian design ideals.
In the three years following the award of their bachelor's degrees, students graduating from Oxford and current Oxford postgraduate students having graduated elsewhere are eligible to apply for Examination Fellowships (sometimes informally referred to as "Prize Fellowships") of seven years each. Each year several dozen typically do so. Two examination fellows are usually elected each year, although the college has awarded a single place in previous years, and made no award on rare occasions.
Two are on a single subject of the candidate's choice, the options comprising Classics, English Literature, Economics, History, Law, Philosophy, and Politics. Candidates who choose Classics as their subject have an additional translation examination on a third day. Two are on general subjects. For each general examination candidates choose from a list of three questions. Past questions have included:
- "'If a man could say nothing against a character but what he could prove, history could not be written' (Samuel Johnson). Discuss."
- "Should the Orange Prize for Fiction be open to both men and women?"
- "Does the moral character of an orgy change when the participants wear Nazi uniforms?"
Four to six finalists are invited to a viva voce or oral examination. Previously, viva candidates were then invited to dinner with about 75 members of the college. The dinner did not form part of the assessment, but was intended as a reward for those candidates who had reached the latter stages of the selection process. However, the dinner has been discontinued as the college felt candidates worried too often that it was part of the assessment process.
About a dozen Examination Fellows are at the college at any one time. There are no compulsory teaching or research requirements; they can study anything for free at Oxford with room and board. As "Londoners" they can pursue approved non-academic careers if desired, with a reduced stipend, as long as they pursue academia on a part-time basis and attend weekend dinners at the college during their first academic year. As of 2011 each Examination Fellow receives a stipend of £14,842 annually for the first two years; the stipend then varies depending on whether the Fellow pursues an academic career.
- Leo Amery (1897), politician
- Isaiah Berlin (1932), philosopher
- George Earle Buckle (1877), journalist
- Lord Curzon (1883), Viceroy of India
- Geoffrey Dawson (1898), journalist
- Matthew d'Ancona (1989), journalist
- John Gardner (1986), legal philosopher
- Quintin Hogg, politician and philosopher
- Douglas Jay (1930), politician
- Keith Joseph, politician
- Cosmo Gordon Lang (1888), Archbishop of Canterbury
- Jeremy Morse, banker
- Lord Pannick (1978), barrister
- Derek Parfit (1974), philosopher
- John Redwood (1972), politician
- A. L. Rowse (1925), historian and poet
- Lord Chancellor Simon (1897), politician
- William Waldegrave (1971), politician
- Richard Wilberforce, jurist
- Bernard Williams (1951), philosopher
- T. E. Lawrence CB DSO FAS
- Hilaire Belloc (1895), author
- John Buchan (1899), author and Governor General of Canada
- Lord David Cecil, author
- H. L. A. Hart (1929, 1930), philosopher
- William Holdsworth (1897), academic
- Harry Mount (1994), journalist
- Ramsay Muir (1897), politician
- Alfred Denning (1923), jurist
- Hugh Trevor-Roper, historian
- Harold Wilson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Subjects of the "Essay"
- "conversion" (1979)
- "culture" (1914)
- "diversity" (2001)
- "error" (1993)
- "harmony" (2007)
- "innocence" (1964)
- "integrity" (2002)
- "miracles" (1994)
- "novelty" (2008)
- "possessions" (1925)
- "reproduction" (2009)
- "style" (2005)
- "water" (2006)
Other categories of fellowship include:
- Senior Research Fellows (a renewable seven year appointment)
- Extraordinary Research Fellows (elected to conduct research into the College's history)
- Visiting Fellows (academics from other universities, usually elected for a period of one term to one year)
- Post-Doctoral Research Fellows (a non-renewable five year post open to those who have recently completed doctoral study at a recognised university)
- Fifty-Pound Fellows (open only to former Fellows no longer holding posts in Oxford)
- Official Fellows (consisting of holders of College posts, such as the Domestic Bursar, Estates Bursar, Chaplain, and Fellow Librarian)
- Distinguished Fellows
There are also a number of Professorial Fellows who hold their fellowships by virtue of their University post.
Fellows of the College include the Chichele Professorships, which are statutory professorships at the University of Oxford named in honour of Henry Chichele (also spelt Chicheley or Checheley, although the spelling of the academic position is consistently "Chichele"), an Archbishop of Canterbury and founder of All Souls College, Oxford. Fellowship of that College has accompanied the award of a Chichele chair since 1870.
Following the work of the 1850 Commission to examine the organization of the University, All Souls College suppressed ten of its fellowships to create the funds to establish the first two Chichele professorships: The Chichele Professor of International Law and Diplomacy, established in 1859 and first held by Mountague Bernard, and the Chichele Professor of Modern History, first held by Montagu Burrows.
There are currently Chichele Professorships in five different subjects:
- Chichele Professor of Economic History: Kevin O'Rourke.
- Chichele Professor of the History of War: Hew Strachan appointed 1 January 2002.
- Chichele Professor of Public International Law: Vaughan Lowe appointed 1 October 1999.
- Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory: Jeremy Waldron appointed December 2009.
- Chichele Professor of Medieval History: Professor Julia Smith, appointed September 2016
The Chichele Lectures are a prestigious series of lectures formally established in 1912 and sponsored by All Souls College. The lectures were initially restricted to foreign history, but have since been expanded to include law, political theory, economic theory, as well as foreign and British history. Traditionally the lectures were delivered by a single speaker, but it is now common for several speakers to deliver lectures on a common theme.
Every hundred years, and generally on 14 January, there is a commemorative feast after which the fellows parade around the College with flaming torches, singing the Mallard Song and led by a "Lord Mallard" who is carried in a chair, in search of a legendary mallard that supposedly flew out of the foundations of the college when it was being built. During the hunt the Lord Mallard is preceded by a man bearing a pole to which a mallard is tied – originally a live bird, latterly either dead (1901) or carved from wood (2001). The last mallard ceremony was in 2001 and the next will be held in 2101. The precise origin of the custom is not known but it dates from at least 1632.
Past and current fellows of the College have included:
- Leo Amery
- William Reynell Anson
- Andrew Ashworth
- F. W. Bain
- Max Beloff
- Isaiah Berlin
- Margaret Bent
- Tim Besley
- Peter Birks
- Susanne Bobzien
- William Blackstone
- Malcolm Bowie
- Peter Brown
- Julian Bullard
- Myles Burnyeat
- Lionel Butler
- Raymond Carr
- David Caute
- Alasdair Clayre
- Christopher Codrington
- Gerald Cohen
- Peter Conrad
- George Nathaniel Curzon
- Matthew d'Ancona
- David Daube
- David Dilks
- Michael Dummett
- Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
- Cécile Fabre
- Sheppard Frere
- John Gardner
- Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
- Robert Gentilis
- Gabriel Gorodetsky
- Andrew Harvey
- Reginald Heber
- Hensley Henson
- Cecilia Heyes
- Rosemary Hill
- Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone
- Christopher Hood
- John Hood (university administrator)
- Michael Howard
- E. F. Jacob
- Keith Joseph
- Colin Kidd
- Leszek Kołakowski
- Cosmo Gordon Lang
- T. E. Lawrence
- Edward Chandos Leigh
- Thomas Linacre
- Vaughan Lowe
- Stephen Lushington
- Robert Gwyn Macfarlane
- James Rochfort Maguire
- Noel Malcolm
- John Mason
- Angela McLean
- Edward Mortimer
- Max Müller
- Patrick Neill, Baron Neill of Bladen
- Brownlow North
- Avner Offer
- David Pannick
- Derek Parfit
- Anthony Quinton
- Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
- Robert Recorde
- John Redwood
- A. L. Rowse
- Peter Salway
- Graeme Segal
- Amartya Sen
- Patrick Shaw-Stewart
- Gilbert Sheldon
- John Simon, 1st Viscount Simon
- Boudewijn Sirks
- Margareta Steinby
- Alfred C. Stepan
- Joseph E. Stiglitz
- Charles Taylor
- Adam Thirlwell
- Guenter Treitel
- John Vickers
- William Waldegrave, Baron Waldegrave of North Hill
- Kate Warner
- Marina Warner
- Martin Litchfield West
- Charles Algernon Whitmore
- Richard Wilberforce
- Bernard Williams
- E. F. L. Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax
- Llewellyn Woodward
- Patrick Wormald
- Christopher Wren
- Crispin Wright
- Edward Young
- R. C. Zaehner
- William Emmanuel Abraham
The gates on Radcliffe Square
A view of All Souls College quadrangle from the Radcliffe Square gate
The south eastern corner of All Souls College, abutting Radcliffe Square
All Souls Quad abutting High Street
All Souls College as viewed from New College Lane
The spires of All Souls
All Souls College at twilight
View from St Mary the Virgin's tower (with All Souls on the right)
All Souls College Chapel
All Souls College
All Souls College
All Souls College
- "The modern college".
- "Student Numbers 2012" (PDF). Oxford University Gazette. 6 March 2013. p. 409. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
- Shepherd, Jessica. "The word on Oxford University's All Souls fellows exam is: axed" The Guardian, 14 May 2010.
- Mount, Harry. "All Souls, Oxford should continue to put genius to the test" The Daily Telegraph, 19 May 2010.
- "Is the All Souls College entrance exam easy now?" The Guardian, 17 May 2010.
- "All Souls College: Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2014", page 34
- Finance, All Souls College, Oxford. Archived 30 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- History page 3, All Souls College, Oxford (accessed 11 March 2008).
- James Walvin, Slavery and the Building of Britain, BBC.
- "Codrington Library". www.all-souls.ac.uk.
- "Examination Fellowships 2010" All Souls College, Oxford
- Wainwright, Tom. "The most glittering prize" The Daily Telegraph, 8 January 2005.
- "The Soul of All Souls" TIME, 19 May 1961.
- Lyall, Sarah. "Oxford Tradition Comes to This: ‘Death’ (Expound)" The New York Times, 27 May 2010.
- "Sample Fellowship Exam, Oxford University's All Souls College" The New York Times, 27 May 2010.
- Mount, Harry. "A few things pointy-heads should know" New Statesman, 4 October 1999.
- "Sir William Anson"
- "John Gardner at Home". users.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
- "B: Appeasement and public opinion". The Churchill Era. Churchill College, Cambridge. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
- Lacey, Nicola (2006). A life of H.L.A. Hart: the nightmare and the noble dream. Oxford University Press. pp. 41, 43. ISBN 0-19-920277-X.
- "Lord Pannick QC - Blackstone Chambers". www.blackstonechambers.com. Archived from the original on 21 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
- "Derek Parfit". All Souls College. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Bernard Williams (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)". Plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- Godine, David R. and Andrew Lownie. John Buchan: the Presbyterian cavalier (1995), pp. 60–61.
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- Pimlott, Ben (1992). Harold Wilson. HarperCollins. p. 61. ISBN 0002151898.
- Hensher, Philip. "'Comedy' was the word for my exam" The Independent, 24 May 2010.
- Little, Reg. "One-word exam ending" The Oxford Times, 20 May 2010.
- Howard Colvin and J.S.C. Simmons, All Souls: An Oxford College and its Buildings (Oxford: OUP, 1989), p. 91.
- British Folk Customs http://www.information-britain.co.uk/customdetail.php?id=59
- Daily Telegraph 15 January 2001: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1314859/Mallard-leads-Oxford-fellows-a-merry-dance.html
- HOLE, Christina, English Custom and Usage, London, Batsford, 1941, p.28: "...we know that the custom existed at least as early as 1632, for in that year Archbishop Abbot censured the College for a riot "in pretence of a foolish Mallard". "Mallard" has since become a colloquialism at the college, generally meaning "rubbish".
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