Quincentenary of the Opening of St John's College, Cambridge to Students

Created: 2016-07-29 15:18
Institution: St John's College
Description: St John's College was founded through the will of Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, the mother of King Henry VII on 9 April 1511. Lady Margaret had died in 1509 and it was her loyal counsellor, John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester and Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, who brought her wishes for St John’s to fulfilment.
It was not until 1516, however, that the buildings of First Court – comprising the Great Gate, the Hall, the first Library, residential chambers and the much rebuilt Chapel of the suppressed Augustinian Hospital of St John – were ready for occupation.
On 29 July 1516, then, Bishop Fisher came to Cambridge to open the College formally. A lawyer named Thomas Stacy drew up an ‘Act or Instrument of Opening St John’s College’, detailing the events of that day. In “a certain high vaulted building within the College” (most likely the new Hall) Fisher, accompanied by another of Lady Margaret’s executors, Henry Hornby (Master of Peterhouse), opened and read out a licence sealed by King Henry VIII giving permission for the College to be built and opened.

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Quincentenary of the Opening of the College Address


Address given by Dr Frank Salmon, President of St John's College

Collection: Quincentenary of the Opening of St John's College, Cambridge to Students

Institution: St John's College

Created: Fri 29 Jul 2016