GONVILLE AND CAIUS COLLEGE (fn. 1)
Hall of The Annunciation of The Blessed Virgin (Gonville Hall)
Edmund Gonville, (fn. 2) the founder of Gonville Hall,
was the younger son of William Gonville, a Frenchman domiciled in England, who was returned in
1295 (fn. 3) as holding the manor of Lerling and other
property in Norfolk. William's first son, Sir Nicholas
Gonville, married an heiress of the Lerling family,
and it was probably as a result of this marriage that
part at least of the money was
found for his brother's benefactions. Edmund himself was a
priest, being successively Rector
of Thelnetham (Suff.) in 1320,
Rushworth (Norf.) in 1326, and
Terrington (Norf.) in 1342, and
at various times holding the
offices of steward to Earl Warenne
and the Earl of Lancaster, and
acting as commissioner for the
marshlands of Norfolk and commissary to the Bishop of Ely. In
1342 he founded a college of
secular priests at Rushworth;
after his removal to Terrington
he founded, or richly endowed,
the Hospital of St. John at Lynn;
and in 1347 he founded Gonville
Hall at Cambridge.
Gonville and Caius College. Argent on a chevron and two cotises dancetty with three scallops or on the chevron (for Gonville) impaling or sown with gentil flowers in chief a sengreen with two serpents their tails bound together resting on a square of green marble between them a book sable garnished gules buckled gold (for Caius) all within a border gobony argent and sable. [Granted 1575]
Nothing is known of Gonville's motives in planning the
erection of a College at Cambridge, but the fact that Pembroke
College, Gonville Hall, Trinity
Hall, and Corpus Christi College all came into existence within
a decade of one another proves
that the idea of this type of benefaction was generally
current at the time. His friendship with William
Bateman, Bishop of Norwich, who had been educated at the University and who was perhaps already
planning his own foundation of Trinity Hall, may
likewise have had some influence on his action. On
5 March 1347 he purchased three pieces of land on
Lurteburghe, now Free School, Lane, at the back of
St. Botolph's churchyard, and on 28 January 1348
he obtained licence from the Crown to establish and
endow a Hall, consisting of a Master and 20 fellows,
on this site. The assent of Thomas Norys and of the
Prior and Convent of Barnwell, of whom he held the
land in chief, was procured on 6 December 1348,
and six months later, on 4 June 1349, in the deed
of foundation, John Colton of Terrington was appointed Master of the new Hall. (fn. 4)
Two years later, in the summer of 1351, (fn. 5) Edmund
Gonville died. It is probable that he had appointed
several fellows to the Hall, to which he had given his
own name; he had certainly drawn up draft statutes
for its governance, (fn. 6) but as these were never sealed,
they never became operative. His will has not survived, but Bishop Bateman was his principal executor, and he left in his hands a considerable sum of
money for the enlargement and endowment of the
Bateman is justly regarded as the second founder
of Gonville Hall; (fn. 7) without his aid it is scarcely likely
that it would have survived. On 21 December 1351
he drew up a stabilitio of the foundation, and obtained official confirmation of it from the Bishop of
Ely and the Chancellor of the University; as he
omitted to secure a royal charter of incorporation,
however, he left it in a somewhat precarious legal
position, from which it was not rescued till the time
of Dr. Caius. He changed its name from Gonville
Hall to the Hall of the Annunciation of the Blessed
Virgin Mary. He issued a series of statutes, (fn. 8) dated
7 September 1353, which, after 1573 in conjunction
with those of Dr. Caius, governed the College until
1860. In some respects they are narrower than the
draft statutes drawn up by Gonville, for they mark
the beginning of the territorial preferences and
limitations which were in the future to bring about
the close connexion between the College and the
eastern counties; in other respects they are broader,
permitting, and even encouraging, the fellows to
proceed from arts to civil or canon law or to medicine as alternatives to theology, though the study of
the latter, as a preparation for parish work, seems to
have been Gonville's main intention for his scholars. (fn. 9)
Bateman also drew up a 'Treaty of Amity', dated
17 September 1353, between Gonville Hall and his
own foundation of Trinity Hall. Finally, and most
important, he altered the site of the College and
made proper provision for its endowment.
The last of these steps seems to have been an
afterthought, since in 1352 part of the money left by
Gonville was used for the purchase of land from the
University and the Hospital of St. John, contiguous
to the original site, but on 1 June 1353 the whole of
the land owned by Gonville Hall in Free School
Lane (fn. 10) was exchanged with the Guild of Corpus
Christi for a new site on St. Michael's, now Trinity,
Lane and Milne Street, now Trinity Hall Lane,
comprising approximately one-half of the modern
extent of the College. (fn. 11) The exchange was to the
advantage of both foundations, giving each of them
room for expansion, and it brought Gonville Hall
into close proximity with Trinity Hall. The endowments, which were presumably purchased with the
money left by Gonville, consisted of the advowsons
and the rectorial tithes of Mutford (Suff.) and
Foulden and Wilton (Norf.); to these Bateman contemplated the addition of the manor of Thriplow,
but the transfer, for some unknown reason, never
took effect. Before his death, on 6 January 1355,
Bateman had completed the foundation of the Hall
and made what provision he could for its future
Two hundred years passed between the death of
Bateman and the election of Dr. Caius as Master of
Gonville Hall. During the first century there were no
important changes in endowments or constitution.
The normal number of fellows seems to have been
four, (fn. 12) but actually varied with the income of the
College, once, in 1426, rising as high as nine, and
again, in 1465, sinking to two. Three advowsons,
Great Mattishall (Norf.) in 1370, (fn. 13) St. Michael
Coslany, Norwich, in 1442, (fn. 14) and Barnby (Suff.) in
1454, (fn. 15) were conveyed to the College during the
period. (fn. 16) During the following century no further
advowsons were acquired, but the number of fellowships was considerably augmented, additional ones,
with the necessary endowments, being founded in
1478 (Smith), 1480 (Clere), 1501 (Willowes), 1503
(Scroop), and 1535 (Bayly). A Latin lectureship was
founded by Geoffrey Knight in 1538, a Greek lectureship having been established by the Crown two
years before. In spite of the additions made to its
endowments (fn. 17) since the time of Gonville the College
remained one of the poorest in the University. A
report drawn up in February 1546 shows that its
income was £120, only three other colleges, Trinity
Hall, St. Catharine's, and Magdalene, having less,
and that its expenditure exceeded income by £35. (fn. 18)
During the first quarter of the 16th century there
were normally between 30 and 40 residents in the
College: the Master, about 9 fellows, 4 or 5 scholars,
from 10 to 20 pensioners, and perhaps 6 servants.
The pensioners, from whom the modern undergraduates are descended, were not of the foundation,
and paid the College for their board and lodging and
for what instruction they might receive.
No specifically collegiate buildings were erected
for some time after the foundation of the College;
the existing houses, which occupied the north side
of what is now Gonville Court, were utilized and
adapted as far as was necessary, providing rooms for
the Master and fellows and for such communal
necessities as kitchen, dining-hall, and treasury. In
1393 William Physwick left to the College a house
on the north side of St. Michael's, now Trinity,
Lane, facing Gonville Hall up a small passage. This
provided additional accommodation for pensioners
until 1546 when it was taken by Henry VIII and
demolished in the course of clearing the site for the
Great Court of Trinity College. The erection of the
chapel belongs to the same period as the acquisition
of Physwick Hostel. A licence to construct a chapel
had already been obtained from the Bishop of Ely
on 1 April 1353, before the site of the College had
been moved from Free School Lane; the actual
building on the new site was due to William Rougham,
the second Master, c. 1360–93. A licence to hold
divine service in it was granted for a period of three
years by the Bishop of Ely on 22 November 1389,
and was made permanent by a Bull of Boniface IX,
dated 13 November 1393. This chapel, however, was
little more than a private oratory, and those resident
in the College must normally have attended the
parish church of St. Michael, where it seems that the
north aisle was reserved for their use. It was not
until 5 September 1476 that the bishop's licence for
mass to be sung in the chapel was obtained, and the
building was not formally consecrated until 25 February 1494. Licence to bury the dead in its precincts
was granted by a bull of Pope Alexander VI, dated
25 May 1500.
No changes were made in the College buildings
after the completion of the chapel for nearly 50 years.
In 1441–4 the sixth Master, Thomas Attwood,
erected the buildings to the west side of Gonville
Court, joining up the old block of houses on the
north with the chapel on the south. These additions
consisted of a hall, a new Master's Lodge, a library,
and some supplementary rooms. The court was completed in about 1490 by the erection of further sets
of rooms on its east side as a result of the benefaction
of Elizabeth Clere. No further changes were made
before the metamorphosis of Gonville Hall into
Gonville and Caius College.
Gonville And Caius College
The third founder and sixteenth
Master of the College, John Caius (Keys or Kees),
was a native of Norwich. Born in 1510, he entered
Gonville Hall in 1529 as a scholar, and was elected to
a fellowship in 1533, retaining it until 1545. From
1539 to 1544 or 1545 he studied in Italy, chiefly at
Padua, where he took his medical degree and lectured on the logical works of Aristotle in Greek. On
his return to England he took up his residence as a
practising physician in London and on 22 December
1547 was admitted a fellow of the College of Physicians, of which he was to be nine times president.
In 1557 he obtained from the Crown his charter of
foundation and confirmation of Gonville and Caius
College, of which he was elected Master two years
This union of the offices of founder and Master is
unique in the history of the University, and it cannot be said that the experiment proved a success. Dr.
Caius was conservative in his religious outlook, and
strongly opposed to the Puritanism which had captured the allegiance of the fellows. This, coupled
with his somewhat harsh and domineering temper,
made his tenure of the Mastership one of much
domestic turmoil. The fellows showed neither regard
for his eminence as a scholar nor appreciation of the
lifelong affection towards his College and the benefactions which he had showered upon it. Difficulties
came to a head in December 1572, when his rooms,
in which he had stored 'muchepopish trumpery', were
pillaged and sacked by the fellows, who were acting
under the supervision of the University authorities. (fn. 19)
He resigned his office the next year on 27 June 1573,
and died a month later in London. His body was
brought back to Cambridge for burial in the College
The foundation charter which was granted to Dr.
Caius is dated 4 September 1557. (fn. 20) It confirmed to
the new foundation all the previous possessions of
Gonville Hall, conceded it a licence in mortmain to
the annual value of £500, declared it to be a corporation with the legal right to sue and be sued, and
granted it a common seal. It declared that Dr. Caius
was about to add two (fn. 21) fellowships and twelve
scholarships to the foundation, and reserved to him
during his life the power to appoint or dismiss their
occupants; he was also given the right of drawing up
statutes for the College, the sole condition being that
they should not conflict with those of Bateman. The
new foundation was celebrated in College on Lady
The statutes, possibly the second series issued by
Caius, are dated 1 January 1573, (fn. 22) and in conjunction with those of Bateman governed the College
until 1860. They are much more detailed than those
of Bateman, and in their main provisions they probably represent a systematization of established practice rather than a serious attempt to revise the
constitution of the College. Apart from the extraordinary and not always judicious minuteness with
which they aspired to regulate the normal domestic
life of the community, their most important feature
was the series of rules they laid down to govern the
elections and prescribe the duties of Master and
fellows, rules whose general tendency was to accentuate the territorial limitations already in force in
favour of natives of the eastern counties, and to
provide for the needs of the new class of pensioners
which had come into existence since Bateman's time.
Endowments and Advowsons.
as his more material benefactions are concerned,
Dr. Caius practically doubled the endowments of
the College. By a deed dated 1 March 1558 he conveyed to the Master and Fellows the manors of
Croxley and Snellshall in Rickmansworth (Herts.),
and Runcton Holme and Burnham Wyndham
(Norf.); they were old monastic property which he
had purchased from the Crown, and brought in at that
time an annual income of £51. In 1570 the manor
and advowson of Bincombe (Dors.) and the manor
of Oborne (Dors.) were purchased, largely with his
money. The total sum spent on the five manors and
on the advowson of Bincombe was not far short of
£1,600. (fn. 23)
Since the days of Dr. Caius the following livings
have been acquired: Pattesley (Norf.) in 1576, united
to Mattishall in 1743; Weeting, All Saints, with St.
Mary (Norf.) in 1632; Hockwold (Norf.) in 1665,
united with Wilton since 1666; Bratton Fleming
(Devon) in 1667; Broadway (Dors.) in 1692, consolidated with Bincombe in 1738; Hethersett (Norf.)
in 1705; St. Clement's, Norwich, in 1705, consolidated with St. Edmund's in 1882 and with
St. George's in 1922, the College presenting three
times out of seven; Ashdon (Essex) in 1708, exchanged for Chatteris (Cambs.) in 1909; Melton,
All Saints with St. Mary (Norf.), in 1713, exchanged
in 1896 for Swanton Morley with Worthing (Norf.);
Lavenham (Suff.) in 1713; Denver (Norf.) in 1716;
Oxborough (Norf.) in 1733, consolidated with Foulden in 1761; Long Stratton (Norf.) in 1725; Wheatacre (Norf.) in 1736, united to Mutford-cum-Barnby
between 1789 and 1856, and united in 1922 to
Aldeby, the College presenting alternately with
another patron; Blofield (Norf.) in 1736, united with
Hemblington in 1926; Kirstead with Langhale
(Norf.) in 1811; Beachampton (Bucks.) in 1818,
united to Thornton with Nash in 1922, the College
presenting alternately with another patron; Kittis-
ford (Som.) in 1900, united with Bathealton in 1923
and Stawley in 1930, the College presenting twice
out of five times; and Stockport (Ches.) in 1910.
Site and Buildings.
Since Gonville Hall had
been moved from Free School Lane to Trinity Lane,
only one addition had been made to its site; in 1498
a garden on part of the ground which is now Caius
Court was purchased from Anglesey Priory. It was
due to Dr. Caius that the area of the College was
increased to almost its present dimensions. In 1563
he purchased from Trinity the northern two-thirds
of the site of Tree Court; (fn. 24) this site consisted of
several gardens and houses facing Trinity Lane and
Trinity Street, together with the old rectory of St.
Michael's Church, which had been leased to Michaelhouse since 1337. In 1565 he acquired from Robert
Lane an orchard on the site of part of the buildings
on the east side of Caius Court and what was formerly
the president's garden. Finally in 1566 he purchased
from Corpus Christi College a narrow strip of land
to the south of Caius Court to enable him to build
the boundary wall in a straight line between the
two wings of his new buildings.
These buildings were designed by Dr. Caius to
form a new court to the south of the existing one. In
their design he introduced a novel principle, that the
court should be left open on one side, in this case the
south, and not be completely surrounded by buildings; his example was generally followed in the plans
of subsequent additions to their structure made by
other colleges in the University. (fn. 25) The buildings on
the west side of the court were begun on 5 May 1565,
the materials having been collected beforehand, and
completed on 1 September; the digging of the
foundations on the east side was begun a fortnight
later, and the sets of rooms were probably finished
fairly quickly, though the 'Gate of Virtue' bears the
date 1567 and was not actually completed until 1569.
A passage connecting the two courts was made
through part of the Master's Lodge. In addition to
these buildings, Dr. Caius erected the 'Gate of
Humility' opening on Trinity Street, a wide passage
between high walls leading from it to the 'Gate of
Virtue'. Part of the site north of this passage was
walled off to form the fellows' garden, the smaller
president's garden being established to the south of
it. The 'Gate of Honour', in the wall which formed
the southern boundary of Caius Court, was erected
in 1575 after his death in accordance with his designs.
The arrangement of these gates is an illustration of
Dr. Caius's love of symbolism; the student entered
the College through the Gate of Humility, proceeded by the Gate of Virtue, and finally left the
College by the Gate of Honour on his way to the
schools. Besides these quite new constructions Dr.
Caius repaired and made various additions to the
older buildings, spending altogether during his lifetime upwards of £2,000 on architectural changes in
In 1594, owing to the increase in the number of
students, the houses on Trinity Lane and Trinity
Street acquired in 1564 were adapted for use as
College rooms. In 1617 and 1619 they were demolished and replaced by two buildings, known
respectively as the Perse and Legge Buildings,
which formed a new court, known as Brick, later
Tree, Court. In the succeeding century various
changes were made in the buildings around the
kitchens to allow for further accommodation; in
1637 the chapel was lengthened eastwards and repaired, and between 1718 and 1726 was encased in
freestone, partly rebuilt, and entirely redecorated.
In 1751–5 much the same operations were carried
out in Gonville Court.
The middle of the 19th century saw the greatest
changes to the external appearance of the College.
In 1853–4 the block of buildings to the west of Gonville Court was entirely reconstructed by Salvin;
a new hall and library were built, and the Master's
Lodge, already enlarged in 1795, was extended backwards to Trinity Hall Lane. The library dates from
the earliest days of the College; the first gift of books
was made to it by Bishop Bateman. The greater part
of the medieval collection is still intact, and the library
is particularly rich in incunabula and 16th-century
books and bindings, many of them being Cambridge
The front of the College was next to be changed.
The houses on the south-east portion of Tree Court
had been acquired in 1782, and in 1854 were partly
converted into rooms and incorporated in the College. In 1868–70 all the buildings in Tree Court were
demolished and rebuilt by Waterhouse in French
Renaissance style; the east side of Gonville Court,
facing Tree Court, was also rebuilt, and an apse was
added to the chapel. At the same time the walls
separating the fellows' and president's gardens from
Tree Court were removed. A new fellows' garden
was laid out near Newnham in 1885–6, but the old
gardens were not fully incorporated in the court
until after 1918. The completion of the buildings in
Tree Court left the College no more room for expansion on its old site, and for further development it
was necessary to acquire land on the east side of
Trinity Street, facing the front of the College. The
houses along the south side of Rose Crescent were
purchased in 1887, and rebuilt as St. Michael's
Court in 1901–3. In more recent years a number of
houses between this court and the Market Square
have been acquired, and in 1934–6 a considerable
block of these was demolished and rebuilt as a continuation of the existing court.
The fortunes of the
College during the last four centuries have followed
fairly closely those of the University. In the early
part of the 16th century Gonville Hall was one of the
poorest foundations in Cambridge. The Dissolution
of the monasteries, and the consequent removal of
the monastic element amongst its students, brought
about a serious decline in numbers, a decline which
was accompanied (1546) by the loss of Physwick
Hostel, which had accommodated perhaps half of
those in residence. In the early period of the Reformation the College was a stronghold of advanced
religious views; as early as 1530 Bishop Nix declared
that 'no clerk that hath ought lately of that College
but saverith of the frying panne, tho he spek never
so holely', (fn. 26) and John Skipp, Master 1536–40, re-
peatedly suffered imprisonment on charges of heresy.
With the disappearance of the monastic element the
reformers were left in possession of the field, and the
life of Dr. Caius during his mastership was made
a burden to him by their ill-timed fanaticism.
Caius had been granted the right of nominating his
successor, and the next Master, Thomas Legge
1573–1607, who had been a fellow and a very successful tutor at Jesus College, was no more a friend
to the Puritan movement than his predecessor. In
consequence the quarrels between Master and fellows continued, but Legge had established a reputation for energy and ability at Jesus, and it followed
him to his new College, where the numbers rapidly
increased and the views of those in residence as
rapidly changed. Whatever might be the opinions of
the fellows, those of the students were plain enough.
Of those who were at the College during the first
fifteen years of Legge's rule, four were afterwards
executed by the government for their religious
views, and a fifth for complicity in Babington's Plot;
seven became members of the Society of Jesus, seven
others, besides those executed, seminary priests; and
over 20 of the remainder suffered by way of fine or
imprisonment for their religion. It was only in about
1590 that the Catholic element in the College disappeared as a result of increased activity on the part
of the government and the University authorities.
The College, as a result of the benefactions of its
third founder, from being one of the poorest had
taken a secure place amongst the first half dozen of
the University, and the years 1590–1640 mark the
highest point of its prosperity under the old dispensation. The number of residents was increasing
rapidly, and many of them attained high distinction
in different branches of learning. The reputation
which the College has always enjoyed in the field of
medical studies dates from this period. The existing
12 fellowships, 9 dating from the days of Gonville
and 3 more founded by Caius, gradually separated
off as senior fellowships, whose holders alone were
entitled to take any part in the government of the
College, while further fellowships of a rather lower
standing were being founded. In 1587 Mrs. Frankland left by her will endowments for 6 fellowships, a
chaplaincy, and 12 scholarships; in 1615 Dr. Perse
founded 6 fellowships and 6 scholarships; the Wendy
and Stokys fellowships date respectively from 1610
and 1635. The number of scholarships was also very
greatly augmented, an important consideration in
view of the fact that there were now no monasteries
to support students at the University.
The general feeling in the College at the outbreak
of the Civil War was moderately royalist but by no
means Laudian in character, and the changes which
occurred in the College during the period of the
Civil War and the Commonwealth were less considerable and less drastic than might be supposed.
The chapel services had over many years been conducted with great laxity and irregularity, and it did
not prove difficult to make them conform to the
standards of dogmatic Puritanism. Dr. Batchcroft,
the Master, retained his post until 1649, when he
was expelled. His successor, William Dell, an extreme Puritan, educated at Emmanuel College, was
an unamiable and unpopular character who held
strong views as to the unchristian character of universities. He was intruded into Batchcroft's place by
the Parliamentary authorities, and resigned on 11
May 1660, three days after the proclamation of
Charles II as king. At least twelve of the fellows
were expelled at different times, but those who replaced them were for the most part men of learning
and ability, and with three exceptions retained
their posts after the Restoration; five of the expelled
fellows were later restored. Taking the period as a
whole, there was but little falling-off in the numbers
of the students, and, despite the occasionally vexatious interference of the Parliamentary committee
for regulating the universities, life in the College
went on much the same as usual. It is possible that
the close connexion between the College and the
eastern counties, which were one of the strongholds
of the Parliamentary party, secured it from any
serious molestation during the period.
The century following the Restoration, in the
College as in the University as a whole, was marked
by a short epoch of quick recovery followed by one
of steady decline, which set in just before the close
of the century. The exclusion of the nonconformists
impoverished the whole University; the decline in
importance of the East Anglian counties, whose
natives more and more came to monopolize every
position on the foundation, served to accentuate the
depression in the College. During the 18th century,
over seven-eighths of the students came from the
two counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, and any fresh
endowments went towards the purchase of livings,
whose acquisition was the goal of every scholar and
fellow during that period.
After 1750 a few signs of improvement began to
appear. A Mickleburgh scholarship in chemistry was
founded in 1756, the four Tancred studentships in
1762, and three new fellowships by Benjamin Wortley in 1771. From 1780 onwards progress was steady,
though still very slow, and it cannot be said that conditions during the first half of the 19th century were
radically dissimilar from those of the 18th. Tuition
and teaching, the latter still a college rather than a
university function, were much improved, the East
Anglian element was no longer in a position of unchallenged dominance, the students were beginning
to look outside the Church for a career and their
numbers were undergoing a marked increase; but
in general the old régime continued to operate.
There was growing dissatisfaction, however, with
such of the more restrictive provisions of the
statutes as were still observed, and the appointment
of the University Commission of 1850 was regarded
with less hostility than was exhibited in some other
colleges. The commission reported in 1852, but it
was not until 30 June 1860 that the new statutes for
the college, completely superseding those of Bateman and Caius, were sanctioned by the Crown.
By one sweeping provision in the preamble to the
new statutes all restrictions on candidates for College
offices, mastership, fellowships, and scholarships, 'in
respect of such person's place of birth or of his being
of any particular name, lineage, kindred or consanguinity, or of his being or having been a scholar
in any particular school', were abolished, and all the
advantages previously enjoyed by the natives of
East Anglia were swept away. The prohibition on
the marriage of fellows was removed, but a timelimit on the tenure of fellowships, unless held with a
lectureship or with certain specified College offices,
was introduced as a compensatory measure. The
obligation on fellows to take holy orders, though
this had never been universally compulsory in the
College, was also repealed. The offices of tutor and
lecturer were placed on a more permanent footing,
the former office being no longer conferred on each
fellow in turn regardless of his personal competence.
The whole financial administration was revised, and
special reserve, building, and endowment funds,
separate from the general College account, were
created, so that the College should in future live in
a less hand-to-mouth fashion than in the past.
Related to this reform was another still more sweeping. The value of the junior fellowships and the
scholarships was very variable, depending on the
size of the endowment from which they derived
their name. Under the new statutes the whole of the
College income, except the Davy Trust, was consolidated, and payments of fixed proportions were
paid to the holders of fellowships and scholarships
quite irrespective of the value of the original endowment. The separate titles of the benefactions were
also abolished, but this change aroused a good deal
of criticism, and subsequent benefactors have been
generally careful to preserve the individuality of their
The statutes of 1860 have been frequently
amended and revised. The most important change
has been the abolition of religious tests for fellowships by Act of Parliament in 1871, which threw
open all College offices save that of dean to persons
who were not members of the Church of England;
this change, though immediately operative, was first
officially incorporated in the new statutes issued in
1882. These same statutes revised the composition
of the governing body by introducing the elective
element, reduced the tenure of unofficial fellowships
(i.e. fellowships not held in conjunction with a
College office) from ten to six years, and arranged
for a regular contribution from the College to the
University chest. The next change of importance in
the statutes was made in 1890, when as a result of
Dr. Drosier's bequest, Drosier Fellows became
members of the foundation.
The statutes under which the College is now
governed came into force on 30 September 1926,
having been made by the Statutory Commission
appointed to give effect to the recommendations of
the Royal Commission of 1919 on the Universities of
Oxford and Cambridge. These statutes which made
fundamental changes in the relations between the
College and the University have been described
elsewhere. (fn. 27) Subsequent changes have either been
consequent on further alterations in the University
statutes, such as the increased use of stipendiary
fellowships, or have been of a minor character, such
as the reduction in the normal tenure of unofficial
fellowships and the creation of a number of byefellowships carrying with them no share in the
government of the College.
The College possesses paintings of all
the Masters since the time of Dr. Caius, with the
possible exception of William Dell, 1649–60. Two
of the portraits of Dr. Caius, one of them a remarkably fine work of art, are contemporary, and the
portrait of John Smith, 1764–95, is by Sir Joshua
Reynolds. Other notable portraits are those of Mrs.
Frankland, a benefactress, and her parents Robert
and Joan Trapps, which date from the 16th century,
and a very fine 17th-century portrait by an unknown
artist, given to the College in 1798 as being of
William Harvey, but this ascription is disputed.
Comparatively little of the early plate
which was once possessed by the College has survived. It escaped being melted down at the time of
the Civil War, but a large part of it was stolen in two
successive robberies in 1800, and still more was disposed of at different times and replaced as it became
old and worn. The most remarkable pieces are two
coconut cups, with silver-gilt mountings, dating from
the 15th century; the silver rod, or caduceus, presented by Dr. Caius; a chalice and cover, and a
flagon, all of silver-gilt, presented by Archbishop
Parker; and four silver cups, fitting into one another,
which formed part of the camp plate of Lord
Hopton during the Civil War.
Old Seal, granted by Gonville or Bateman. The Annunciation. In base a bishop with mitre
and pastoral staff, kneeling, between six other kneeling personages: s' coe' aule ān[n]unciacōis' b[eat]ē'
marie cantebri. New Seal, granted by Caius. The
Annunciation, different design. In base an oval
shield with carved work, between the letter b on the
left and a mitre on the right: sigill' colleg de
gonevil et caius fund ī' ho an b ma vir I'
Masters of Gonville Hall
John Colton, of Terrington: (fn. 28) 4 June 1349.
William Rougham: c. 1360.
Richard Pulham: 1393.
William Somersham: 1412.
John Rickinghale: 1416.
Thomas Attwood: 1426.
Thomas Boleyn: 1454.
Edmund Sheriffe: 1472.
Henry Costessey: 1475.
John Barly: 1483.
Edmund Stubb: 1504.
William Buckenham: 1513.
John Skipp: 1536.
John Styrmin: 1540.
Thomas Bacon: (fn. 29) 1552.
Masters of Gonville and Caius College
John Caius: 24 Jan. 1559.
Thomas Legge: (fn. 30) 27 June 1573.
William Branthwaite: 14 Dec. 1607. (fn. 31)
John Gostlin: 16 Feb. 1619.
Thomas Batchcroft: 22 Oct. 1626, expelled
15 Apr. 1649, returned 1660, resigned 1 Dec.
William Dell: 4 May 1649, resigned 11 May 1660.
Robert Brady: 1 Dec. 1660.
James Halman: 24 Aug. 1700.
John Ellys: 1 Jan. 1703.
Thomas Gooch: 29 Nov. 1716.
James Burrough: 27 Feb. 1754.
John Smith: 17 Aug. 1764.
Richard Fisher (Belward): 1 July 1795.
Martin Davy: 31 May 1803.
Benedict Chapman: 11 June 1839.
Edwin Guest: 4 Nov. 1852.
Norman Macleod Ferrers: 27 Oct. 1880.
Ernest Stewart Roberts: 16 Feb. 1903.
Hugh Kerr Anderson: 2 July 1912.
John Forbes Cameron: 23 Nov. 1928, retired
30 Sept. 1948, died 21 March 1953.
Sir James Chadwick: 1 Oct. 1948.