Durham College (17th century)

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New College, Durham was a university institution set up by Oliver Cromwell, to provide an alternative to (and break the effective monopoly of) the older University of Oxford and University of Cambridge. It also had the aim of bringing university education to Northern England.

On paper

Such a project had been discussed at least since the 1640s. In 1641 a petition had asked for a university in Manchester or York.[1] Later a scheme was promoted by Samuel Hartlib amongst others. The statutes drawn up in 1656 were worked over by Ralph Cudworth, John Crew, 1st Baron Crew, Sir William Ellis and others appointed from March 1655,[2][3][4] and Sir Charles Wolseley and George Griffith in 1656.[5][6]

The idea met with opponents, including John Conant.[7]

The institution

It had an effective life of 1656 (when Cromwell and his Privy Council issued an order for the founding of the College) to 1659, being dissolved officially in 1660.[8] The Chapter of Durham Cathedral had been dissolved in April 1649, leaving space in the cathedral close for the new institution. Cromwell signed letters patent setting it up formally in May 1657;[9] and around this time Paul Hobson acted as visitor.[10] Parliament allowed it to grant degrees in 1659.[11]

The personnel included Philip Hunton appointed in 1657 as Master or Provost,[12] and Israel Tonge as Fellow. The initial establishment was the Provost, two Senior Fellows, two Junior Fellows, and some other junior positions.[13] Richard Gilpin was appointed the Visitor.[14] Joseph Hill was an active supporter, and sought money to bring Hungarian students to Durham. Tonge looked to recruit both Hill and John Peachell.[15] Hill's pupil William Pell was appointed a tutor in 1656.[16] Georg Ritschel, then teaching in Newcastle, who was a Comenian reformer in contact with the Hartlib Circle, may have acted as a tutor in 1657.[17]

The letters patent had mentioned besides Hunton and Hill as a Senior Fellow or Preacher:

The College never scaled up to these intentions.[19][20]

Notes

  1. C. H. Firth, Oliver Cromwell and the Rule of the Puritans in England, p. 355.
  2.  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1888). [https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikisource.org%2Fwiki%2FCudworth%2C_Ralph_%28DNB00%29 "Cudworth, Ralph" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Dictionary of National Biography. 13. London: Smith, Elder & Co.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3.  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1888). [https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikisource.org%2Fwiki%2FCrew%2C_John_%28DNB00%29 "Crew, John" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Dictionary of National Biography. 13. London: Smith, Elder & Co.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4.  [https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikisource.org%2Fwiki%2FEllis%2C_William_%281609-1680%29_%28DNB00%29 "Ellis, William (1609-1680)" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Venning, Timothy. "Wolseley, Sir Charles". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/29849.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  6. Greaves, Richard L. "Griffith, George". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/39673.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7.  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1887). [https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikisource.org%2Fwiki%2FConant%2C_John_%28DNB00%29 "Conant, John" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Dictionary of National Biography. 11. London: Smith, Elder & Co.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=719&chapter=77053&layout=html&Itemid=27
  9. Richard Brickstock, Durham Castle (2007), p. 55.
  10. Greaves, Richard L. "Hobson, Paul". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/37554.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  11. John Seiler Brubacher, Willis Rudy, Higher Education in Transition (1997), p. 21.
  12. David Wootton, Divine Right and Democracy (2003), p. 167.
  13. Richard Goodings, Frank Coffield, Sacred Cows in Education (1983), p. viii.
  14.  [https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikisource.org%2Fwiki%2FGilpin%2C_Richard_%28DNB00%29 "Gilpin, Richard" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. http://epa.oszk.hu/01400/01462/00001/pdf/1985_031-050.pdf, p. 42.
  16. Wright, Stephen. "Pell, William". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/21804.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  17. Young, John T. "Ritschel, Georg". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/23682.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  18. Appleby, John H. "Kuffeler, Johannes Sibertus". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/53673.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  19. Joseph Thomas Fowler, Durham University; earlier foundations and present colleges (1904), p. 18; William Corker (d. 1702) was not Master of Trinity as the reference says.
  20. Cromwell's speech as founder.

Further reading

  • G. H. Turnbull, Oliver Cromwell's college at Durham. Research Review [Durham], 3 (1952), 1-7.