Page images

and the Common Room, with other handsome apartments, on the east, adorned with two beautiful Gothic towers. This court is in length, from north to south, about 172 feet, and in breadth 155. The Chapel of this College is about 70 feet long, and 30 broad; the Ante-chapel of the same dimensions. The Altar-piece is of a beautiful clouded marble, and over it a fine Assumption-piece of the Founder, painted by Sir James Thornhill. Here are also two elegant Vases, one on each side of the altar, by the same hand; the bas-relief of which represents the institution of the Two Sacraments. The compartment over the communion-table is filled with a picture painted at Rome in the year 1771, by the celebrated Mr. Mengs. The subject of this piece is our Saviour's first appearance to Mary Magdalene after his resurrection; which is called by the painters a Noli me tangere, in allusion to the first words of Christ's speech to her, " Touch "me not." The colouring is exquisite, especially in the body of our Saviour. There is something very amiable, mixed with dignity, in the countenance and character of this figure; while the mild composure of it is finely contrasted by that ecstasy of joy and astonishment, which appears on the face of Mary.

The roof of the Chapel is divided into compartments, carved and gilded. The screen, which divides the Chapel from the Ante-chapel, was the design of Sir Christopher Wren.

The new Library is a magnificent Gallery, 198 feet long, and 325 broad, and about 40 feet high, finished at a great expence. The outside is Gothic, in conformity with the rest of the quadrangle. The inside consists of two grand ranges of book-cases, one above the other, supported by pilasters of the Doric and Ionic orders. Over the book-cases are placed interchangeably vases and bustos, by Sir Henry Cheere, of many eminent persons, formerly Fellows of this Society, of which the following is a list; viz.

1. Sir Anthony Shirley, Knight, A. B. Count of the Empire, and Ambassador from Schach Abbas, Emperor of Persia, to the Christian Princes, in the reign of James I. admitted Fellow 1582.

2. Sir William Petre, Knight, LL. D. Secretary of State to Henry VIII. and Edward VI. and Privy Counsellor to Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, 1523.

3. George Clarke, LL. D. Secretary of War, and afterwards, in the reign of Queen Anne, one of the Lords of the Admiralty, Secretary to Prince George of Denmark, and in five Parliaments Burgess for the University, 1680.

4. Sir Daniel Dunn, Knight, LL. D. Dean of the Arches, and one of the first Burgesses in Parliament for the University, 1567.

5. Henry Coventry, Esq. LL.B. Ambassador at Paris, and Secretary of State in the reign of Charles II. 1634.

6. Sir Robert Weston, Knight, LL. D. Dean of the Arches, and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, 1536.

7. Sir William Trumbull, Knight, LL D. Ambassador to the French and Turkish Courts, in the reign of James II. Secretary of State to King William III. and Burgess for the University, 1657.

8. Charles Talbot, LL.D. Baron of Hensol, and Lord High Chancellor of England, 1704.

9. Sir Christopher Wren, Knight, the famous Architect, LL. D. and Savilian Professor of Astronomy, 1653.

10. Richard Steward, LL.D. Dean of St. Paul's, Provost of Eton, Clerk of the Closet to Charles I. and Commissioner for Ecclesiastical Affairs at the Treaty of Uxbridge, 1613.

11. Thomas Tanner, D. D. Bishop of St. Asaph, 1696.

12. James Goldwell, LL.D. Bishop of Norwich, and Secretary of State to Edward IV. 1441.

13. Gilbert Sheldon, D. D. Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chancellor of the University, 1672.

14. Brian Duppa, D. D. Bishop of Winchester, Preceptor to Charles II. when Prince of Wales, and Lord Almoner, 1612.

15. David Pole, LL.D. Dean of the Arches, and Bishop of Peterborough, 1520.

16. Jeremy Taylor, D. D. Bishop of Down and Connor, 1635.

17. John Norris, A.M. Rector of Bemerton,Wilts, 1680. 18. Thomas Sydenham, M. D. 1648.

19. Thomas Linacre, M. D. Founder of the College of Physicians, London, 1484.

20. Sir Clement Edmonds, Knight, A. M. Secretary of the Council in the reign of James I. and Burgess for the University, 1590.

21. Sir William Byrde, Knight, LL.D. Dean of the Arches, and Burgess for the University, 1578.

22. Sir Nathaniel Lloyd, Knight, LL. D. Judge-Advocate, and Master of Trinity Hall in Cambridge, 1689.

23. Robert Hovenden, D. D. Warden of All Souls, 1565.

24. Sir John Mason, Knight, M. B. Privy Counsellor to Henry VIII. Edward VI. Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, and the first Lay-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, 1521.

Over the great door is a very fine bust of the Founder, Archbishop Chichele, in white marble, done by Mr. Roubilliac. The elegance of the room and the choiceness of the collection, conr sisting greatly of scarce and foreign books, make this esteemed one of the best libraries in Oxford.

The statue of that generous benefactor, Colonel Codrington, who was the founder of the Library, by Sir Henry Cheere, is erected in the middle, on a pedestal of veined marble; this part of the building being twice the breadth of the rest. The Colonel died in 1710, and the statue was erected in 1730.

The Hall is an elegant room, in which are the portraits of Archbishop Chichele, Founder; Colonel Codrington, and Sir Nathaniel Lloyd. Over the chimney, which is a very neat one of dove-coloured marble, under the Founder's picture, is a piece of Sir James Thornhill's, representing the finding of the Law, and Josiah renting his clothes, from 2 Kings xxii. 11. On the opposite side of the Hall is a bust of the Founder; on one side of him Linacre, and on the other John Leland, the famous antiquary, and author of the Itinerary, both members of this Society. In the Hall is also a statue of that ornament to this Society and the University, the late Mr. Justice Blackstone, executed by Bacon in 1784. This room is ornamented with many other busts, which are chiefly copies from the antique.

The College Buttery, which was built with the Hall, is divided by a passage; it is of an oval form, with an arched stone roof of very curious work.

The Warden's lodgings, which front the High-street, and are contiguous to the rest of the College, form a handsome house.

The Founder of this College, Dr. Henry Chichele, was born at Higham Ferrars in Northamptonshire; and, having had his school learning in that town, was, in the year 1387, made by William of Wykeham one of his first set of Fellows at New College in Oxford, where he took the degree of Doctor of Civil Law. He was Archdeacon of Sarum, and afterwards Chancellor of the same church; and becoming known to Henry IV. was sent on several embassies by that Monarch, and advanced first to the bishopric of St. David's, in which having continued five years, he was translated on July 29, 1414, to the see of Canterbury, of which he remained Archbishop twenty-nine years. He laid the foundation of All Souls College in 1437; the charter of incorporation is dated May 20, 16 Henry VI. in which it is called Collegium Animarum omnium Fidelium defunctorum de Oxon. that is, The College of the Souls of all Faithful People deceased of Oxford.

By the statutes he gave this College he appointed forty Fellows, whereof twenty-four were directed to study divinity and philosophy, and the other sixteen the civil and canon law. He procured from King Henry VI. a grant of the lands and revenues of several dissolved priorie*

« PreviousContinue »