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WORCESTER COLLEGE. WORCESTER College is pleasantly situated on an eminence, just above the river Isis and the meadows, at the extremity of the western suburb. At entering the College we have the Chapel and Hall on each side, both of which are 29 feet in breadth, and 50 in length. The Library, which is a magnificent Ionic edifice, on the west of the Chapel and Hall, is 100 feet in length, supported by a spacious cloister. It is furnished with a valuable collection of books, chiefly the library of Dr. Clarke, late Fellow of All Souls College; in which is Inigo Jones's Palladio, with his own manuscript notes in Italian. According to the plan proposed, this College is to consist of the chambers of the Fellows and Scholars on the north and south, and the Gardens, which are to lie on a descent to the river, on the west. The lodgings of the Provost are at the north-west angle of the new buildings on the north side, completed in 1759; and, besides rebuilding the south side in the same form, it is the design of the Society to open an avenue from the College to Magdalen Parish Church.
The College was founded anno 1714, by Sir Thomas Cookes, for a Provost, six Fellows, and six Scholars.
Dr. James Fynney, a Fellow of St. John's, farther endowed it with two Fellowships and
two Scholarships for students from Staffordshire or Darham. Dr. Clarke founded six Fellowships and three Scholarships, with a preference to Clergymen's sons. And Mrs. Eaton, daughter to Dr. Eaton, Principal of Gloucester Hall, founded six Fellowships. Lady Holford gave two Exhibitions of 201. a year each, for Charter-house scholars, to be enjoyed eight years; and Mr. Kay 301. a year, as an Exhibition for a native of Yorkshire.
This house was formerly called Gloucester Hall, being a seminary for educating the novices of Gloucester Monastery. It was founded A. D. 1283, by John Giffard, Baron of Brimsfield. When suppressed at the Reformation, it was converted into a palace for the Bishop of Oxford; but in 1559 was erected into an academical Hall, by Sir Thomas White, the Founder of St. John's College; in which state it continued till it received a charter of incorporation, and an endowment from Sir Thomas Cookes.
Here are a Provost, twenty-one Fellows, sixteen Scholars, &c. The whole number about 70.
Visitor. The Chancellor of the University.
This College is situated opposite Jesus College, the front whereof is 220 feet long; in the
centre of which is a magnificent Gate and Tower. The composition of each front (viz. that towards the street and that towards the quadrangle) is a rustic basement, which forms the gateway; a plinth, whereupon are placed four pilasters of the Ionic order, supporting a semicircular pediment, in the area of which are the Founder's arms, on a shield adorned with festoons, finishing with a balustrade above all. This, with the beautiful arched roof of the gateway, is justly esteemed an elegant.piece of workmanship. The building within chiefly consists of a large quadrangle, formed by the Hall, the Chapel, the Rector's Lodgings, and the Chambers of the Fellows and Scholars, and is regular and uniform.
The Gardens are neatly disposed ; and, though within the town, have an airy and pleasant opening to the east, and a terrace, from whence we have a view of some of the finest buildings in the University.
The Chapel, which consists of two ailes, was built in 1624, principally at the expence of Dr. George Hakewill, Rector.
The Library is well furnished with books in the several arts and sciences; and a very valuable collection of Classics, given by Thomas Richards, Esq. and Joseph Sanford, B. D. The building was erected in 1778, from a plan given by the present Public Orator.
Walter Stapledon, Bishop of Exeter, Lord Treasurer of England, and Secretary of State to King Edward II. 1316, obtained a charter for founding a College where Hertford College now stands: but wanting room for the buildings he designed, he removed his Scholars to the present House, and gave it the name of Stapledon Hall, after his own name. He founded a Society consisting of thirteen, i. e. a Rector and twelve Fellows; one of whom, the Chaplain, to be appointed by the Dean and Chapter of Exeter; eight to be elected out of the Archdeaconries of Exeter, Totnes, and Barnstaple, in Devonshire, and four from the Archdeaconry of Cornwall.
Among the subsequent benefactors was Ed. mond Stafford, Bishop of Exeter, who in 1404 obtained leave to alter the name of this House, and settled two Fellowships for the diocese of Sarum. Sir William Petre in Queen Elizabeth's time obtained a new charter and statutes, founded eight Fellowships for such counties wherever he then had, or 'his heirs at any time after should have, estates; which by this time comprehends most of the counties in England. King Charles I. added one Fellowship for the islands of Jersey and Guernsey. And by Mrs. Shiers's benefaction, as completed and settled by Dr. Hugh Shortridge, two other Fellowships were added, confined to the counties of Hertford and Surrey; besides considerable augmentations to the revenues of the Society.
The present members are a Rector, twentyfive Fellows, one Scholar, who is Bible-Clerk, and two Exhibitioners. The whole number of members about 70.
Visitor. The Bishop of Exeter.
The front of this College is beautified and improved by a very handsome rustic Gateway, and other additions.
In the first court, built in 1625, the Chapel on the north side, and Hall on the west, are neat well-proportioned rooms, the latter having been much improved by the addition of a ceiling and other ornaments, by the late Mr. Roberts.
The inner court, begun in 1640, and completed in 1676, has three sides uniformly and neatly built, (the Hall before mentioned making the fourth side of this quadrangle,) and on the west side of it, over the Common Room, &c. is a spacious well-furnished Library, built by Sir Leoline Jenkyns in 1677.
In the Hall is a fine picture of King Charles I. at full length, by Vandyke; and portraits of Queen Elizabeth, Charles II. Sir Eubule Thel