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ORIEL College is situated between St. Mary's Church on the north, Corpus Christi College on the south, and Christ Church on the west: the entrance is on the west. It chiefly consists of one regular, uniform, and well-built quadrangle: on the north side whereof are the Provost's Lodgings; on the east the Hall, and the entrance into the Chapel, which runs eastward from thence; and on the south and west sides are the chambers of the Fellows and other Students.
Opposite to the great gate we ascend by a large flight of steps, having a portico over them, to the Hall; which is a well-proportioned room, handsomely wainscotted, with a Doric entablature, and adorned with three whole-length portraits, viz. in the middle, at the upper end, a very fine one of King Edward II. enthroned with his regalia, by Hudson; on his right hand, that of Queen Anne, by Dahl; and on his left, one of the late Duke of Beaufort, in his Parliament robes, having a Negro servant bearing his coronet, by Soldi.
The Chapel, built in 1642, has that beauty which is derived from a decent simplicity. The large east window, the Wise Men's Offering, which was placed here in 1767, the donation of the Duke of Beaufort, Lord Wenman, and Lord Leigh, was painted by Mr. Peckitt, from a design by the late Dr. Wall.
Through a passage on the north side we enter the Garden Court, at the end of which is the College Library, an elegant modern building, designed by Wyat, in which are placed the late Lord Leigh's Library, given to the Society. On either hand is a wing of a new building, in a style conformable to the quadrangle. That on the right was built in 1719, at the expence of Dr. Robinson, Bishop of London; and that on the left in 1729, by Dr. Carter, late Provost.
This College was founded by King Edward II. on petition of Adam de Brome, his almoner, anno 1324, who was the first Provost. King Edward III. gave the large messuage of Le Oriel, situate in St. John's parish, by which name the College was afterwards called, and from whence it has been frequently held to be a royal foundation. He likewise gave the Hospital of St. Bartholomew, near Oxford, with the lands thereunto belonging.
Other benefactors were, John Frank, Master of the Rolls in the reign of Henry VI. who gave 10001. to this College to purchase lands for the maintenance of four Fellows; John Carpenter, formerly Provost, and afterwards Bishop of Worcester; William Smith, Bishop of Lincoln; and Dr. Richard Dudley, some time Fellow, and afterwards Chancellor of the Church of Sarum, who gave the College the manor of Swainswick in Somersetshire, for the maintenance of tw» Fellows and six Exhibitioners. Dr. John Tolson, who was Provost in 1640, gave 11501. toward the buildings of the quadrangle, besides other considerable donations. Queen Anne annexed a prebend of Rochester to the Provostship for ever. Dr. Robinson, Bishop of London, besides the new building, gave 25001. to augment the Fellowships, and to found three Exhibitions. Dr. Carter not only left money for the erection of the opposite wing, but also for the purchase of livings for the benefit of the Provost and Fellows. And the Duke of Beaufort, who died in 1745, gave 1001. per annum for four Exhibitioners.
The present members are a Provost, eighteen Fellows, and thirteen Exhibitioners; the whole number of Students about 140. Visitor. The Lord Chancellor.
CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE.
CORPUS CHRISTI College stands between Christ Church on the west, Merton College on the east, and Oriel College on the north. It consists of one quadrangle, built in the Founder's time, but not embattled within till about the latter end of the reign of James I. In length it is 101 feet, by 80 wide. Towards Christ Church walk, an elegant mo
dern building, 119 feet in front, with an arcade adjoining, was erected in 17Q6 at the sole expence of Dr. Turner, President; who also added to the lodgings, and bequeathed his collection of books to the Library. Its simplicity and beauty are very striking. The pediment is supported by four plain Ionic pilasters; the windows are u nor nam cnted, and the base judiciously not rustic.
On the east side towards Merton Grove a handsome structure was built in 1737, for the residence of Gentlemen Commoners, whose number the Founder has confined to six. And soon after the north and west fronts of the first court were rebuilt, chiefly at the expence of some members of the Society.
By similar means the Hall was embellished with a handsome oak wainscot in 1700: it is 50 feet long, and 25 broad, and of a proportionable height, with beautiful Gothic rafters.
The Cylindrical Dial in the quadrangle is set at right angles with the horizon, the common sections whereof, with the hour circles, except the meridian circle that divides it by the axis, as also the equinoctial, are all ellipses. On the column is a perpetual Calendar. This curious old piece of Gnomonics was constructed in 1605, by Charles Turnbull, A. M. and Fellow: of which a MS. account is preserved in the Archives.
The Chapel is 70 feet in length, and 25 in breadth. In 1676 it was adorned with a floor of black and white marble, new stalls, a screen of cedar wood, and a roof wainscotted and gilt. The Altar-piece is a very capital picture by Rubens, consisting of five figures as large as life, and an infant Saviour. It came from the collection of the Prince of Conde at Chantilly, who gave 3000 louis d'ors for it. The late Sir Richard Worsley, Bart, formerly a member of this Society, presented it in 1804, when the former Altar-piece, a copy of.Guido's Annunciation, was removed to Balden church, near Nuneham.
The Library is well furnished with books, particularly a large collection of Tracts from the Reformation to the Revolution; about 300 MSS. a curious one of Suidas, which seems to have once belonged to William Grocyn, that celebrated scholar and teacher of the Greek language in this University towards the close of the 15th century, as his name is written on the cover of both volumes; the MS. collections of the antiquarians, Brian Twyne and Fulman; an English Bible, supposed to be older than Wickliffe's; a Parchment Roll containing the pedigree of the Royal Family, and the several branches of it, from King Alfred to King Edward VI. with their arms blazoned, signed by the King at Arms; and several other curiosities, particularly an ancient MS. History of the Bible in French, finely decorated with curious painting, given by Ge