The Queen's College, Oxford
The Queen's College, founded 1341, is one of the constituent colleges
Colleges of the University of Oxford
The University of Oxford comprises 38 Colleges and 6 Permanent Private Halls of religious foundation. Colleges and PPHs are autonomous self-governing corporations within the university, and all teaching staff and students studying for a degree of the university must belong to one of the colleges...

 of the University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. Queen's is centrally situated on the High Street, and is renowned for its 18th-century architecture. The college had an estimated financial endowment
Financial endowment
A financial endowment is a transfer of money or property donated to an institution. The total value of an institution's investments is often referred to as the institution's endowment and is typically organized as a public charity, private foundation, or trust....

 of £131m as of 2006.


The college was founded during the 14th century by Robert de Eglesfield
Robert de Eglesfield
Robert de Eglesfield , founder, 1341, of The Queen's College, Oxford, and a chaplain of Queen Philippa of Hainault in whose honour he named the college....

 (d'Eglesfield), chaplain to Queen Philippa of Hainault
Philippa of Hainault
Philippa of Hainault, or, Philippe de Hainaut was the Queen consort of King Edward III of England. Edward, Duke of Guyenne, her future husband, promised in 1326 to marry her within the following two years...

 (the wife of King Edward III of England
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

); hence its name. Whilst the name of Queens' College, Cambridge
Queens' College, Cambridge
Queens' College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.The college was founded in 1448 by Margaret of Anjou , and refounded in 1465 by Elizabeth Woodville...

 is plural, the Oxford college is singular, and is written with the definite article. The college's coat of arms is that of the founder; it differs slightly from his family's coat of arms, which did not include the gold star on the breast of the first eagle. The current coat of arms was adopted by d'Eglesfield because he was unable to use his family's arms, being the younger son. The frontage was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor
Nicholas Hawksmoor
Nicholas Hawksmoor was a British architect born in Nottinghamshire, probably in East Drayton.-Life:Hawksmoor was born in Nottinghamshire in 1661, into a yeoman farming family, almost certainly in East Drayton, Nottinghamshire. On his death he was to leave property at nearby Ragnall, Dunham and a...

, part of a substantial rebuilding in the 18th century during which the library was built. The medieval foundations, however, remain beneath the current 18th-century structure. Queen's is notable for the beautifully clean, classical lines of its buildings, unique among the largely gothic constructions that predominate amongst Oxford colleges.

The college has had a long association with the north of England, in part because of its founder; Eglesfield is a village in Cumberland
Cumberland is a historic county of North West England, on the border with Scotland, from the 12th century until 1974. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974 and now forms part of Cumbria....

. This connection was reinforced for many years until relatively recently by the large number of Hastings
Lady Elizabeth Hastings
Lady Elizabeth Hastings , known as Lady Betty, was a benefactor and the daughter of the 7th Earl of Huntingdon. Her brother George became the 8th Earl. On her father's death in 1701 her brother passed on to her the estate of Ledston or Ledstone Hall, near Castleford, West Yorkshire, and she lived...

 Scholarships given to men from 20 schools in Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

, Westmorland
Westmorland is an area of North West England and one of the 39 historic counties of England. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974, after which the entirety of the county was absorbed into the new county of Cumbria.-Early history:...

 and Cumberland
Cumberland is a historic county of North West England, on the border with Scotland, from the 12th century until 1974. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974 and now forms part of Cumbria....

. Graduate students from the universities of Bradford, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield, or York are still able to apply for Hastings Senior Scholarships. One of the most famous feasts of the College is the Boar's Head Gaudy, which originally was the Christmas Dinner for members of the College who were unable to return home to the north of England over the Christmas break between terms, but is now a feast for old members of the College on the Saturday before Christmas.


The college has one of the best-stocked college libraries in Oxford. The current lending library consists of around 50,000 volumes. The Upper Library is considered one of the finest rooms in Oxford and has been a focal point for the College ever since its construction at the end of the 17th century. The Upper Library remains as a silent reading room for students and is virtually unique in this respect in the University. The open cloister below the Upper Library was enclosed in the 19th century to form the Lower Library, which now houses the bulk of the lending collection.

The college has one of the largest (around 100,000 volumes) and most diverse collections of rare books in Oxford.

College chapel

The chapel is noted for its Frobenius
Frobenius Orgelbyggeri
-History:Frobenius Orgelbyggeri was founded in Copenhagen by Theodor Frobenius in 1909. The firm moved to Lyngby in 1925. Theodor's sons Walther and Erik joined the company in 1944, at the same time that they began to build organs in the classical tradition, with mechanical actions and slider...

 organ in the west gallery. It was installed in 1965, replacing a Rushworth and Dreaper
Rushworth and Dreaper
Rushworth and Dreaper was a firm of organ builders based in Liverpool, England Upon its bankruptcy, its archives were mostly destroyed, and the Victorian clock in the works tower was removed...

 organ from 1931. The earliest mention of an organ is 1826. The Chapel Choir has been described as "Oxford's finest mixed-voice choir".

The chapel has stood virtually unchanged since it was consecrated by the Archbishop of York in 1719.

The chapel has a significant place in College life. Holy Communion is celebrated every Sunday morning and at other times and is open to all communicant members of any Christian church or denomination. The Sunday evening service takes the traditional form of Choral Evensong, which is also held on Wednesday and Friday evenings during term. Morning and evening prayer is said daily, and at other times some like to use the stillness for their own prayer. Baptisms, confirmations, and weddings are also conducted for members or former members of the College.

Recent recordings by the Chapel Choir

  • 2008 - Caeli Porta - 17th-century sacred music from Lisbon & Granada
  • 2005 - Paradisi Portas - Music from 17th-Century Portugal
  • 2004 - Come, Holy Spirit - Music for Ascension, Pentecost & Trinity
  • 2001 - Christ Rising - Music for Holy Week and Easter
  • 1993 - Howells & Leighton - Sacred Choral Music

College life

Queen's is an active community performing strongly in intercollegiate sport competitions, having a variety of societies and, as one of the larger colleges, hosting triennial Commemoration ball
Commemoration ball
A Commemoration ball is a formal ball held by one of the colleges of the University of Oxford in the 9th week of Trinity Term, the week after the end of the last Full Term of the academic year, which known as "Commemoration Week"...

s. The 2004 ball was notable for the presence of Chesney Hawkes
Chesney Hawkes
Chesney Lee Hawkes , is an English pop singer, songwriter, and occasional actor. He is best known for his 1991 single "The One and Only", which topped the charts in the UK and reached the Top 10 in the U.S.-Life and career:...

 and his rendition of "The One and Only", while the 2007 ball coincided with the 666th anniversary of the college. Queen's is host to a number of dining, drinking and sports societies as well as some which are more academically orientated such as a medical society.


The College playing field, less than a mile from the main buildings (as the crow flies), runs down to the banks of the Isis: It has a football and a hockey pitch, together with hard tennis courts, a netball court and a pavilion. Queen's College shares a rugby pitch nearby with University College. In the summer the goal posts go down and a cricket square appears in the middle.

On the opposite bank of the river is a boathouse, shared with two other colleges. The College's two squash courts, located at the College's Cardo Building, are amongst the best in Oxford .

The College has a designated table tennis room in College for which a new table was purchased 5 years ago. The University clubs, free to any member of any college of the university, supports sports from golf, fencing, and boxing, to karate and hillwalking.

In the summer, cricket is played at the sports ground, and the cricket team have flourished recently, reaching the Cuppers final, and narrowly losing the league title last year.

The Queen's College competes strongly in most of the intercollegiate Cuppers
Cuppers is a term for intercollegiate sporting competitions at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The term comes from the word "cup" and is an example of the Oxford "-er". Each sport holds only one cuppers competition each year, which is open to all colleges. Most cuppers competitions use...

 (tournament style) and league sports with many first teams placed in the 1st division. In 2005 the 1st XI football team won the league competition and netball has been especially strong . The football team have in recent years struggled, although signs from this season show that they are well on their way to making a recovery towards the upper echelons of college football once again.

The College is notable for having one of the oldest boat clubs in the world, along with many other colleges. In 1837, The Queen's College Boat Club
The Queen's College Boat Club
The Queen's College Boat Club is the rowing club for members of The Queen's College, Oxford. It is one of the oldest boat clubs in the world, being foundered in 1827. In 1837, the Club represented Oxford in the third Boat Race against Lady Margaret Boat Club, representing Cambridge, and won...

 represented Oxford in the third Boat Race
The Boat Race
The event generally known as "The Boat Race" is a rowing race in England between the Oxford University Boat Club and the Cambridge University Boat Club, rowed between competing eights each spring on the River Thames in London. It takes place generally on the last Saturday of March or the first...

 against Lady Margaret Boat Club
Lady Margaret Boat Club
The Lady Margaret Boat Club , is the rowing club for members of St John's College, Cambridge, England. The club is named after Lady Margaret Beaufort, foundress of the College.- History :...

, representing Cambridge, and won. This event, held on the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 at Henley-on-Thames
Henley-on-Thames is a town and civil parish on the River Thames in South Oxfordshire, England, about 10 miles downstream and north-east from Reading, 10 miles upstream and west from Maidenhead...

, is credited with leading to support from the town for the establishment of the Henley Royal Regatta
Henley Royal Regatta
Henley Royal Regatta is a rowing event held every year on the River Thames by the town of Henley-on-Thames, England. The Royal Regatta is sometimes referred to as Henley Regatta, its original name pre-dating Royal patronage...

, one of the most famous rowing events in the world, in 1839 . The college's colors were changed thereafter from red and white to navy blue and white, the colors of the university. Rowing
Sport rowing
Rowing is a sport in which athletes race against each other on rivers, on lakes or on the ocean, depending upon the type of race and the discipline. The boats are propelled by the reaction forces on the oar blades as they are pushed against the water...

 is still a major sport in the College, with the men placed 12th in Torpids
Torpids is one of two series of bumping races held yearly at Oxford University, the other being Eights. Over 130 men's and women's crews race for their colleges in six men's divisions and five women's; almost 1200 participants in total...

 and 14th in Eights
Eights Week
Eights Week, also known as Summer Eights, is a four-day regatta of bumps races which constitutes the University of Oxford's main intercollegiate rowing event of the year. The regatta takes place in May of each year, from the Wednesday to the Saturday of the fifth week of Trinity term...

 and the women 4th in Torpids and 20th in Eights.


The Queen's College is well known in and beyond Oxford for the quality and quantity of its musical activities. The mixed-voice Chapel Choir is conducted by the Organist and Praelector in Music, Dr. Owen Rees, a noted scholar of Iberian polyphony, and occasional services are conducted by the Organ Scholars, Benedict Lewis-Smith and Matthew Burgess. The singers include Choral Scholars (up to eighteen at any one time) and volunteers, all of whom are auditioned. The Choir sings Evensong three times a week during term, and performs one major concert each term, often with a noted orchestral ensemble; most recently, the choir performed Bach's B Minor Mass with the London Handel Orchestra. The choir also undertakes regular tours and short visits both within this country and abroad. The Eglesfield Musical Society, named after the Founder (and the oldest musical society in Oxford), organizes a substantial series of concerts each year, ranging from chamber music to orchestral works. These concerts provide performing and conducting opportunities for the College's many musicians, as well as featuring visiting artists. There are weekly lunchtime organ recitals in College, including, during 2000, a series featuring the complete organ works of Bach, to mark the 250th anniversary of the composer's death.

Jazz and popular music also have regular adherents. Facilities for individual and group rehearsal are available in the Music Practice Room. In addition to the organ, the chapel contains a concert grand piano and harpsichord, and is acoustically one of the best chapels in Oxford for musical performance.

Academic issues

The college has been strong academically for many years. In 2005, 21 members of the college were awarded First Class B.A. degrees, 6 were awarded University Prizes and 17 were awarded D. Phil. degrees.

The college was ranked number seven in the 2008 Norrington Table
Norrington Table
The Norrington Table is an annual ranking that lists the colleges of the University of Oxford that have undergraduate students in order of the performance of their undergraduate students on that year's final examinations.- Overview :...


The Neda Agha-Soltan Graduate Scholarship
Neda Agha-Soltan Graduate Scholarship
The Neda Agha-Soltan Graduate Scholarship is a scholarship for post-graduate philosophy students at The Queen's College, Oxford, with preference given to students of Iranian citizenship or heritage...

, named after an Iranian student who died in the 2009 Iranian election protests
2009 Iranian election protests
Protests following the 2009 Iranian presidential election against the disputed victory of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and in support of opposition candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi occurred in major cities in Iran and around the world starting June 13, 2009...

, was established at Queen's in 2009.

Notable former students

Notable former students of the college include:
  • Tony Abbott
    Tony Abbott
    Anthony John "Tony" Abbott is the Leader of the Opposition in the Australian House of Representatives and federal leader of the centre-right Liberal Party of Australia. Abbott has represented the seat of Warringah since the 1994 by-election...

    , Leader of the Opposition
    Leader of the Opposition
    The Leader of the Opposition is a title traditionally held by the leader of the largest party not in government in a Westminster System of parliamentary government...

     in the Australian Parliament
  • Joseph Addison
    Joseph Addison
    Joseph Addison was an English essayist, poet, playwright and politician. He was a man of letters, eldest son of Lancelot Addison...

    , co-founder of The Spectator
    The Spectator (1711)
    The Spectator was a daily publication of 1711–12, founded by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele in England after they met at Charterhouse School. Eustace Budgell, a cousin of Addison's, also contributed to the publication. Each 'paper', or 'number', was approximately 2,500 words long, and the...

  • Rowan Atkinson
    Rowan Atkinson
    Rowan Sebastian Atkinson is a British actor, comedian, and screenwriter. He is most famous for his work on the satirical sketch comedy show Not The Nine O'Clock News, and the sitcoms Blackadder, Mr. Bean and The Thin Blue Line...

    , actor, known for Blackadder
    Blackadder is the name that encompassed four series of a BBC1 historical sitcom, along with several one-off instalments. All television programme episodes starred Rowan Atkinson as anti-hero Edmund Blackadder and Tony Robinson as Blackadder's dogsbody, Baldrick...

    and Mr. Bean
    Mr. Bean
    Mr. Bean is a British comedy television programme series of 14 half-hour episodes written by and starring Rowan Atkinson as the title character. Different episodes were also written by Robin Driscoll, Richard Curtis and one by Ben Elton. The pilot episode was broadcast on ITV on 1 January 1990,...

  • Jeremy Bentham
    Jeremy Bentham
    Jeremy Bentham was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfarism...

    , English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer
  • Tim Berners-Lee
    Tim Berners-Lee
    Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee, , also known as "TimBL", is a British computer scientist, MIT professor and the inventor of the World Wide Web...

    , inventor of the World Wide Web
    World Wide Web
    The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

     and director of the World Wide Web Consortium
    World Wide Web Consortium
    The World Wide Web Consortium is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web .Founded and headed by Tim Berners-Lee, the consortium is made up of member organizations which maintain full-time staff for the purpose of working together in the development of standards for the...

  • Cory Booker
    Cory Booker
    Cory Anthony Booker is the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Booker is a former Newark City Councilman...

    , Mayor of Newark, New Jersey
  • Vere Gordon Childe
    Vere Gordon Childe
    Vere Gordon Childe , better known as V. Gordon Childe, was an Australian archaeologist and philologist who specialised in the study of European prehistory. A vocal socialist, Childe accepted the socio-economic theory of Marxism and was an early proponent of Marxist archaeology...

    , Australian archaeologist
  • John Crewdson, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The New York Times
  • Ernest Dowson
    Ernest Dowson
    Ernest Christopher Dowson , born in Lee, London, was an English poet, novelist and writer of short stories, associated with the Decadent movement.- Biography :...

    , English poet and prose writer
  • Edmund Halley, English astronomer
  • Fred Halliday
    Fred Halliday
    Frederick Halliday, FBA was an Irish writer and academic specialising in International Relations and the Middle East, with particular reference to the Cold War, Iran, and the Arabian peninsula.-Biography:Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1946 to an English father, businessman Arthur Halliday, and an...

    , Irish academic, Fellow of the British Academy
    British Academy
    The British Academy is the United Kingdom's national body for the humanities and the social sciences. Its purpose is to inspire, recognise and support excellence in the humanities and social sciences, throughout the UK and internationally, and to champion their role and value.It receives an annual...

    , Montague Burton Professor of International Relations
    Montague Burton Professor of International Relations
    The Montague Burton Professorship of International Relations at the University of Oxford is one of the two main professorships of International Relations created by the endowment of Montague Burton in UK universities. The Oxford chair was established in 1930 and is associated with a Fellowship of...

     at London School of Economics
    London School of Economics
    The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

  • King Henry V of England
    Henry V of England
    Henry V was King of England from 1413 until his death at the age of 35 in 1422. He was the second monarch belonging to the House of Lancaster....

  • Edwin Powell Hubble, American astronomer
  • The Rt Hon. Ruth Kelly
    Ruth Kelly
    Ruth Maria Kelly is a British Labour Party politician of Irish descent who was the Member of Parliament for Bolton West from 1997 until she stood down in 2010...

  • Mom Rajawongse Kukrit Pramoj, Thai prime minister
  • Kenneth Leighton
    Kenneth Leighton
    Kenneth Leighton was a British composer and pianist. His compositions include much Anglican church music, and many pieces for choir and for piano as well as concertos, symphonies, much chamber music and an opera. He wrote a well-known setting of the Coventry Carol...

     twentieth-century English composer
  • Thomas Middleton
    Thomas Middleton
    Thomas Middleton was an English Jacobean playwright and poet. Middleton stands with John Fletcher and Ben Jonson as among the most successful and prolific of playwrights who wrote their best plays during the Jacobean period. He was one of the few Renaissance dramatists to achieve equal success in...

    , English Jacobean playwright
    English Renaissance theatre
    English Renaissance theatre, also known as early modern English theatre, refers to the theatre of England, largely based in London, which occurred between the Reformation and the closure of the theatres in 1642...

     and poet
  • John Owen
    John Owen (theologian)
    John Owen was an English Nonconformist church leader, theologian, and academic administrator at the University of Oxford.-Early life:...

    , seventeenth-century English theologian
  • Walter Horatio Pater, English essayist
  • Oliver Sacks
    Oliver Sacks
    Oliver Wolf Sacks, CBE , is a British neurologist and psychologist residing in New York City. He is a professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University, where he also holds the position of Columbia Artist...

    , neurologist and writer
  • John Wycliffe
    John Wycliffe
    John Wycliffe was an English Scholastic philosopher, theologian, lay preacher, translator, reformer and university teacher who was known as an early dissident in the Roman Catholic Church during the 14th century. His followers were known as Lollards, a somewhat rebellious movement, which preached...

    , English theologian

See also

Fellows of The Queen's College, Oxford
Provosts of The Queen's College, Oxford
  • Queens' College, Cambridge
    Queens' College, Cambridge
    Queens' College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.The college was founded in 1448 by Margaret of Anjou , and refounded in 1465 by Elizabeth Woodville...

External links

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