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Oxford University History from 1096 AD

As the University at Oxford is known Worldwide and is such a symbol of England and its education system I thought I would write about its famous alumni and history. The University of Oxford does not have a clear date of foundation. Teaching at Oxford existed in some form in 1096. Paul hussey
March 19, 2011
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As the University at Oxford is known Worldwide and is such a symbol of England and its education system I thought I would write about its famous alumni and history. The University of Oxford does not have a clear date of foundation. Teaching at Oxford existed in some form in 1096.

The expulsion of foreigners from the University of Paris in 1167 caused many English scholars to return from France and settle in Oxford. The historian Gerald of Wales lectured to the scholars in 1188, and the first known foreign scholar, Emo of Friesland, arrived in 1190. The head of the University was named a chancellor from 1201, and the masters were recognised as a universitas or corporation in 1231.

The students associated together, on the basis of geographical origins, into two "nations", representing the North (including the Scots) and the South (including the Irish and the Welsh). In later centuries, geographical origins continued to influence many students' affiliations when membership of a college or hall became customary in Oxford. Members of many religious orders, including Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, and Augustinians, settled in Oxford in the mid-13th century, gained influence, and maintained houses for students. At about the same time, private benefactors established colleges to serve as self-contained scholarly communities.

Among the earliest were William of Durham, who in 1249 endowed University College, and John I de Balliol, father of the future King of Scots: Balliol College bears his name. Another founder, Walter de Merton, a chancellor of England and afterwards Bishop of Rochester, devised a series of regulations for college life; Merton College thereby became the model for such establishments at Oxford as well as at the University of Cambridge. Thereafter, an increasing number of students forsook living in halls and religious houses in favour of living at colleges.

The new learning of the Renaissance greatly influenced Oxford from the late 15th century onward. Among University scholars of the period were William Grocyn, who contributed to the revival of the Greek language, and John Colet, the noted biblical scholar. With the Reformation and the breaking of ties with the Roman Catholic Church, Catholic Recusant scholars from Oxford fled to continental Europe, settling especially at the university of Douai.

The method of teaching at the university was transformed from the medieval Scholastic method to Renaissance education, although institutions associated with the university suffered loss of land and revenues. In 1636, Chancellor William Laud, archbishop of Canterbury, codified the university statutes; these to a large extent remained the university's governing regulations until the mid-19th century. Laud was also responsible for the granting of a charter securing privileges for Oxford University Press, and he made significant contributions to the Bodleian Library, the main library of the university.

The university was a centre of the Royalist Party during the English Civil War (1642–1649), while the town favoured the opposing Parliamentarian cause. From the mid-18th century onward, however, the University of Oxford took little part in political conflicts.

The mid nineteenth century saw the impact of the Oxford Movement (1833–1845), led among others by the future Cardinal Newman. The influence of the reformed model of German university reached Oxford via key scholars such as Benjamin Jowett and Max Müller.

Administrative reforms during the 19th century included the replacement of oral examinations with written entrance tests, greater tolerance for religious dissent, and the establishment of four women's colleges. Twentieth century Privy Council decisions (such as the abolition of compulsory daily worship, dissociation of the Regius professorship of Hebrew from clerical status, diversion of theological bequests to colleges to other purposes) loosened the link with traditional belief and practice. Although the University's emphasis traditionally had been on classical knowledge, its curriculum expanded in the course of the 19th century to encompass scientific and medical studies.

The mid twentieth century saw many distinguished continental scholars, displaced by Nazism and Communism, relocating to Oxford.

The list of distinguished scholars at the University of Oxford is long and includes many who have made major contributions to British politics, the sciences, medicine, and literature. More than forty Nobel laureates and more than fifty world leaders have been affiliated with the University of Oxford.

Famous Alumni of Oxford University:

Balliol College (1263)

John Wycliffe, Adam Smith, William Beveridge, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Hilaire Belloc, Aldous Huxley, King Olav V of Norway, King Harald of Norway, Edward Heath, Harold Macmillan, Grahame Greene, Siegfried Sassoon, Denis Healey, Roy Jenkins, Cosmo Lang, Frederick Temple, William Temple, Herbert Asquith, Joe Grimond, Nevil Shute, Chris Patten, Lionel Blue, Boris Johnson, Lord Peter Wimsey

Brasenose College (1509)

William Webb Ellis, Colin Cowdrey, William Golding, Robert Runcie, Michael Palin, John Buchan, Field Marshal Haig, Stephen Dorrell, John Gorton, David Cameron

Christ Church College (1546)

Philip Sidney, John Locke, Robert Hooke, Christopher Wren, John Ruskin, Zulfikar Bhutto, John Taverner, Adrian Boult, William Walton, Lewis Carroll, WH Auden, Auberon Waugh, Edward VII, Ludovic Kennedy, Lord Fawsley, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, William Penn, Albert Einstein, David Dimbleby, Robert Peel, William Gladstone, Marquess of Salisbury, Anthony Eden, Alec Douglas Home, Nigel Lawson, Trevor Huddleston, Alan Clarke.

Corpus Christi College (1517)

William Waldegrave, John Keble, Vikram Seth, Robert Bridges, Isaiah Berlin

Exeter College (1314)

RD Blackmore, JRR Tolkien, Geoffrey Fisher, Hubert Parry, Edward Burne-Jones, Roger Bannister, Ned Sherrin, Robert Robinson, Richard Burton, Martin Amis, Russell Harty, Alan Bennett, William Morris, Imogen Stubbs, Will Self

Hertford College (1740)

John Donne, William Tyndale, Jonathan Swift, Henry Pelham, Evelyn Waugh, Thomas Hobbes, Charles James Fox, Natasha Kaplinsky, Fiona Bruce, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Jacqui Smith

Jesus College (1571)

Harold Wilson, Magnus Magnusson, Paul Jones, TE Lawrence

Keble College (1870)

Imran Khan, Chad Varah, Timmy Mallett

Lady Margaret Hall College (1878)

Benazir Bhutto, Antonia Fraser, Barbara Mills

Lincoln College (1427)

John Wesley, John Le Carre, Manfred von Richtofen, Dr Seuss

Magdalen College (1458)

John Betjeman, Edward VIII, Keith Joseph, Ivor Novello, Dudley Moore, Kenneth Baker, CS Lewis, Desmond Morris, John Redwood, Oscar Wilde, Cardinal Wolsey, William Hague, Malcolm Fraser, Bertie Wooster

Mansfield College (1886)

Adam Von Trott

Merton College (1264)

William Harvey, Max Beerbohm, TS Eliot, Sheridan Morley, Roger Bannister, Frank Bough, Kris Kristofferson, Prince Naruhito, John Wycliffe

New College (1379)

William Spooner, John Galsworthy, Hugh Gaitskell, Tony Benn, Dennis Potter, Gyles Brandreth, Douglas Jardine, Hugh Grant, Brian Johnston, John Fowles, Kate Beckinsale

Oriel College (1326)

Cardinal Newman, Cecil Rhodes, Beau Brummel, Sir Walter Raleigh

Pembroke College (1624)

Michael Heseltine, Samuel Johnson, Julian Critchley, Denzil Davies, George Whitefield, James Smithson

Queen's College (1341)

Edmund Halley, Brian Walden, David Jenkins, Jeremy Bentham, Rowan Atkinson, Henry V, Gerald Kaufman, Tim Berners-Lee

St Anne's College (1893)

Edwina Currie, Penelope Lively, Simon Rattle, Iris Murdoch, Sister Wendy Beckett, Baroness Young, Libby Purves, Jancis Robinson

St Catherine's College (1963)

John Birt, John Paul Getty, Joseph Heller, AA Milne, Matthew Pinsent, Peter Mandelson, Jeanette Winterson

St Edmund Hall College (1278)

Robin Day, Terry Jones

St Hilda's College (1893)

Gillian Shephard, Zeinab Badawi, Helen Jackson, Ros Miles, Susan Greenfield, Val McDermid

St Hugh's College (1886)

Barbara Castle, Ruth Lawrence, Kate Adie

St John's College (1555)

AE Housman, Jethro Tull, Kingsley Amis, Robert Graves, Philip Larkin, John Wain, Tony Blair, Inspector Morse

St Peter's College (1929)

Peter Wright, Rev W Awdry, Paul Condon, Ken Loach

Somerville College (1879)

Margaret Thatcher, Vera Brittain, Iris Murdoch, Dorothy L Sayers, Esther Rantzen, Indira Gandhi, Shirley Williams, Dorothy Hodgkin

Trinity College (1554)

Laurence Binyon, Terence Rattigan, Jeremy Thorpe, Cardinal Newman, Norris McWhirter, Miles Kingston, Robin Leigh-Pemberton

University College (1249)

Clement Atlee, Hugh Gaitskell, Harold Wilson, William Beveridge, Stephen Hawking, Paul Gambaccini, Peter Sissons, CS Lewis, Bill Clinton, Willie Rushton, Peter Snow, Bob Hawke, Richard Ingrams, VS Naipaul, Percy Shelley, Chelsea Clinton

Wadham College (1610)

Cecil Day Lewis, Thomas Beecham, Michael Foot, Melvyn Bragg, Christopher Wren

Worcester College (1714)

Alastair Burnett, Richard Adams, Rupert Murdoch, John Sainsbury, Thomas de Quincey.

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