kids encyclopedia robot

Oriel College, Oxford facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Oriel College
East range of First Quad
Oriel College Oxford Coat Of Arms.svg
Blazon: Gules, three lions passant guardant in pale or, a bordure engrailed argent
University University of Oxford
Location Oriel Square
Coordinates 51°45′07″N 1°15′14″W / 51.7519°N 1.2538°W / 51.7519; -1.2538
Full name The Provost and Scholars of the House of the Blessed Mary the Virgin in Oxford, commonly called Oriel College, of the Foundation of Edward the Second of famous memory, sometime King of England
Latin name Collegium Orielense
Established 1324
Founded 1326; 696 years ago (1326)
Named for Blessed Virgin Mary; oriel window
Sister colleges
Provost The Lord Mendoza
Undergraduates 327 (2019–20)
Postgraduates 198 (2019–20)
Boat club Oriel College Boat Club
Oriel College, Oxford is located in Oxford city centre
Oriel College, Oxford
Location in Oxford city centre

Oriel College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in Oxford, England. Located in Oriel Square, the college has the distinction of being the oldest royal foundation in Oxford (a title formerly claimed by University College, whose claim of being founded by King Alfred is no longer promoted). In recognition of this royal connection, the college has also been historically known as King's College and King's Hall. The reigning monarch of the United Kingdom (since 1952, Elizabeth II) is the official visitor of the college.

The original medieval foundation established in 1324 by Adam de Brome, under the patronage of King Edward II of England, was the House of the Blessed Mary at Oxford, and the college received a royal charter in 1326. In 1329, an additional royal grant of a manor house, La Oriole, eventually gave rise to its common name. The first design allowed for a provost and ten fellows, called "scholars", and the college remained a small body of graduate fellows until the 16th century, when it started to admit undergraduates. During the English Civil War, Oriel played host to high-ranking members of the king's Oxford Parliament.

The main site of the college incorporates four medieval halls: Bedel Hall, St Mary Hall, St Martin Hall, and Tackley's Inn, the last being the oldest standing medieval hall in Oxford. The college has nearly 40 fellows, about 300 undergraduates and some 250 graduates. Oriel was the last of Oxford's men's colleges to admit women in 1985, after more than six centuries as an all-male institution. Today, however, the student body has almost equal numbers of men and women. Oriel's notable alumni include two Nobel laureates; prominent fellows have included founders of the Oxford Movement. Among Oriel's more notable possessions are a painting by Bernard van Orley and three pieces of medieval silver plate. As of 2018–19, the college is ranked eighth in academic performance out of thirty colleges in the Norrington Table.

Notable possessions

Oriel has three notable pieces of medieval plate. The first is a French beaker and cover in silver gilt; past estimates on its dating from 1460 to 1470 are thought mistaken, and circa 1350, with later decoration, was later expounded. It was bought in 1493 for £4.18s.1d., under the mistaken belief that it had belonged to Edward II. In a college inventory of plate dated 21 December 1596, it is named as the Founder's Cup.

The second notable piece of plate is a mazer of maplewood with silver gilt mounts, dating from 1470 to 1485. On the edge of the rim is a row of grouped beads; below is an inscription in black letters:

Vir racione vivas non quod petit atra voluptas sic caro casta datur lis lingue suppeditatur
So honest nourishment will be supplied, and strife of tongue be trampled in the dust

This type of shallow drinking vessel was quite common in the Middle Ages, but the only other mazers in Oxford are three dating from the 15th century, and one standing mazer from 1529 to 1530, all belonging to All Souls. Third is a coconut cup, one of six in Oxford; the Oriel cup has silver gilt mounts and dates from the first quarter of the 16th century.

Among the later plate are two flagons, two patens and a chalice which date from 1640 to 1641. The larger pieces of Buttery Plate include the Sanford and Heywood grace cups, dated 1654–1655 and 1669–1670, a rosewater ewer gifted in 1669, a punchbowl dating from 1735 to 1736, and the great Wenman tankard presented in 1679, which holds a gallon and is the largest in Oxford. Many of the 17th- and 18th-century tankards were given by commensales and commoners as a form of an admission fee.

Oriel also possesses an engrossment of the Magna Carta.

Images for kids

kids search engine
Oriel College, Oxford Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.