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definition - Balliol_College,_Oxford

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Balliol College, Oxford

                   
Colleges and halls of the University of Oxford

Balliol College

Balliol front quad.jpg
                                 
College name The Master and Scholars of Balliol College
Named after John I de Balliol
Established 1263
Sister college St John's College, Cambridge
Master Sir Drummond Bone
Undergraduates 403
Graduates 228
Balliol College, Oxford is located in Oxford (central)

Location of Balliol College within central OxfordCoordinates: 51°45′17″N 1°15′28″W / 51.7547°N 1.2578°W / 51.7547; -1.2578
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Balliol College Oxford Coat Of Arms.svg
Blazon Azure a lion rampant argent, crowned or, per pale gules, an orle argent.

Balliol College (play /ˈbliəl/), founded in 1263,[1] is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England.

Traditionally, the undergraduates are amongst the most politically active in the university, and the college's alumni include three former prime ministers. H. H. Asquith (a Balliol undergraduate and British Prime Minister) once wryly described Balliol men as possessing "the tranquil consciousness of an effortless superiority." Adam Smith, a graduate student of the college, is perhaps its best known alumnus. As of 2009, Balliol had an endowment of £64 m.[2]

Contents

  History

The College was founded in about 1263 (leading some to argue that it is the University's oldest college, a claim contested by University College and Merton College) by John I de Balliol under the guidance of the Bishop of Durham. After his death in 1268, his widow, Dervorguilla of Galloway (their son and grandson both became Kings of Scotland) made arrangements to ensure the permanence of the college in that she provided capital and in 1282 formulated the college statutes, documents that survive to this day.

  Traditions and customs

  The front of the college in Broad Street.
  The whole of the front of Balliol College as seen from Broad Street, looking west.

Along with many of the ancient colleges, Balliol has evolved its own traditions and customs over the centuries, many of which occupy a regular calendar slot.

  • The patron saint of the College is Saint Catherine of Alexandria. On her feast day (25 November), a formal dinner is held for all final year students within Balliol. This festival was well established by 1550.
  • Another important feast in the College calendar is the Snell Dinner. This dinner is held in memory of John Snell, whose benefaction established exhibitions for students from the University of Glasgow to study at Balliol (the first exhibitioners were matriculated in 1699) one of whom was Adam Smith. The feast is attended by fellows of Balliol College, the current Snell Exhibitioners, and representatives from Glasgow University and St John's College, Cambridge.
  • By far the most eccentric is The Nepotists carol-singing event organised by the College's Arnold and Brackenbury society. This event happens on the last Friday of Michaelmas term each year. On this occasion Balliol students congregate in the college hall to enjoy mulled wine and the singing of hymns. The evening historically ended with a rendition of "The Gordouli" (see Balliol-Trinity Rivalry below) on Broad Street, outside the gates of Trinity College, although in recent years the song has been sung from within the college walls.

  The Masque of Balliol

In 1880, seven mischievous undergraduates at Balliol College, Oxford, published The Masque of B-ll--l, a broadsheet of forty quatrains making light of their superiors – the Master and selected Fellows, Scholars, and Commoners – and themselves. The outraged authorities immediately suppressed the collection, and only a few copies survived, three of which found their way into the College Library over the years, and one into the Bodleian Library. Verses of this form are now known as Balliol rhymes.

The best known of these rhymes is the one on Benjamin Jowett. This has been widely quoted and reprinted in virtually every book about Jowett and about Balliol ever since.

"First come I.
My name is J-W-TT.
There's no knowledge but I know it.
I am Master of this College,
What I don't know isn't knowledge."

This and 18 others are attributed to Henry Charles Beeching. The other quatrains are much less well known.

William Tuckwell included 18 of these quatrains in his Reminiscences in 1900, but they all came out only in 1939, thanks to Walter George Hiscock, an Oxford librarian, who issued them personally then and in a second edition in 1955.[3]

  Balliol-Trinity rivalry

For many years, there has been a traditional and fierce rivalry shown between the students of Balliol and those of its immediate neighbour to the east, Trinity College.[4] It has manifested itself on the sports field and the river; in the form of songs (of greater or less offensiveness) sung over the dividing walls; and in the form of "raids" on the other college. The rivalry poetically reflects that which also exists between Trinity College, Cambridge and Balliol's Sister College, St John's College, Cambridge.

In college folklore, the rivalry goes back to the late 17th century, when Ralph Bathurst, President of Trinity, was supposedly observed throwing stones at Balliol's windows.[5] In fact, in its modern form, the rivalry appears to date from the late 1890s, when the chant or song known as a "Gordouli" began to be sung from the Balliol side.[6] The traditional words run:

"Gordouli
Face like a ham,
Bobby Johnson says so
And he should know."[7]

Although these words are now rarely heard, the singing of songs over the wall are still known as "a Gordouli". The traditional Gordouli is said to have been sung by Balliol and Trinity men in the trenches of Mesopotamia during the First World War.[8]

The rivalry was given an extra edge in the early 20th century by the contrast between the radical tendencies of many Balliol students and Trinity's traditional conservatism and social exclusivity. The fact that Balliol (in contrast to Trinity) had admitted a number of Indian and Asiatic students also gave many of the taunts from the Trinity side a distinctly racist tone: Balliol students, for example, were sometime referred to as "Basutos".[9]

In Five Red Herrings (1931), a Lord Peter Wimsey novel by Dorothy L. Sayers, Lord Peter (a Balliol man) is asked whether he remembers a certain contemporary from Trinity. "'I never knew any Trinity men,' said Wimsey. 'The Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.'"[10] Sayers also alludes to the rivalry in Murder Must Advertise (1933).

One of the wittier raids from Balliol, in 1962 or 1963, involved the turfing of the whole of Trinity JCR (complete with daffodils).[11] The last incident suspected to relate to the feud was the vandalisation of Trinity's SCR pond, which led to the death of all but one of the fish.[12]

  Buildings

  William Butterfield's chapel, seen from the Fellows' Garden
  Hall and the Senior Common Room, seen from the Fellows' Garden

  Front quadrangle

The college has been on its present site since its inception by Balliol's scholars as their residence. A lease dating to 1263 to them is the traditional "foundation" date. The oldest parts of the college are the north and west ranges of the front quadrangle, dated to 1431, respectively the medieval hall, west side, now the "new library" and the "old library" first floor north side. The ground floor is the "Old" (i.e. Senior) Common Room. This means that Balliol's second library predates the publication of printed books in Europe. There is a possibility that the original Master's Chamber, south west side, adorned with a fine oriel window is earlier than these; it is now the Master's Dining Room. The Chapel is the third (perhaps fourth) on the site (William Butterfield) 1857. Alfred Waterhouse designed the main Broad Street frontage of the college, with gateway and tower, known as the Brackenbury Buildings, in 1867-68 Staircases ('Stc') I-VII, the first Stc next to the Chapel is the Organ Scholars lodgings. These replaced earlier structures.

  Garden Quadrangle

South-side is the front part of the Master's Lodgings on Broad Street from the Waterhouse improvements of the 1860s of the front quad. The neighbour to this is the Fisher Building of 1759 (Stc X) The undistinguished looking Stc XI, south west side, is in fact the oldest structure in this quadrangle, 1720, originally intended as accommodation for scholars from Bristol, hence its name. Continuing the west-side Stc XII-XIV dates from 1826, by George Basevi, and marks the beginnings of the college's academic renaissance being required for the increasing number of Commoners applying for places. Stc XV by Warren of 1912 filled in the last gap of the quadrangle; the ground floor and basement is the principal Junior Common Room. This unfortunately obscures the lines of the Salvin designed Stc XVI-XIX with Tower of 1853. As does the 1968 building by Beard Stc XX, replacing a Victorian structure. This completely hides a formal gateway similar to that at the Broad Street main entrance, this can be viewed outside from Little Magdalen Street, through the gap marked XIX one finds the small function room 'Massey Room'. At north side, of Stc XX is the 'Back Gate' which is part of the 1906 Warren building, west and north side, Stc XXI. At 1 St Giles Street is its neighbour which is part of the college and houses the Oxford Internet Institute. Beard's Stc XXII, replacing Victorian rooms, these were provided from the Vivian Bulkeley-Johnson benefaction. Beard's Stc XX and XXII are connected by the Snell Bridge accommodation at third floor level, which was provided from Glasgow University's Snell Benefaction.

The "new" hall (replacing that in the front quadrangle) is built on land given by Benjamin Jowett, a Victorian master of the college. Also by Alfred Waterhouse of 1877, it contains a Willis organ for concerts, again instituted by Jowett. The ground floor contains the college bar and shop i.e. 'The Buttery' (west side) and the Senior Common Room lunch room (east side). The 1966 new Senior Common Room range (Stc XXIII)(northern and eastern sides) was a benefaction of the Bernard Sunley Foundation and contains some smaller rooms and the principal SCR lounge, replacing Victorian facilities. Below this is a Lecture Room {'LR XXIII'}. The east side of the quad is a neighbouring wall with Trinity College, at the southern end is the Master's Garden, in front of the Chapel, and the Fellow's Garden in front of the 'Old' (Senior) Common Room. The Tower forming the corner between the 'Old Hall' and 'Old Library' is also by Salvin, of 1853 and balances that at Stc XVI-XIX.

  Manor Road and Jowett Walk

The 20th century saw several further additions to the college's accommodation, the Martin of 1966 ('Hollywell Minor') and Dellal (1986) buildings for graduates on Manor Road. Many undergraduates and some graduates live in buildings on Jowett Walk a phased development from the turn of the Millennium, containing a small theatre facility, five minutes' walking distance from the main College site; these two developments are on the curtilages of the Master's Field, the sports ground and pavilion facilities of the College. The majority of research and post-graduate students are housed in the Holywell Manor complex, on Manor Road a little further south of this. In 2008 it was announced that St Cross Church, next to the Manor, was to become the College's Historic Collections Centre, an extension to the Library's services. The church dates to the 15th Century. Jowett Walk has also provided accommodation for some non-Balliol undergraduates, as part of an arrangement with Wadham College.

The quad at Balliol is the scene of the well-known limerick that parodies the immaterialist philosophy of Bishop Berkeley:

There was a young man who said, God
Must think it exceedingly odd
If he finds that this tree
Continues to be
When there's no one about in the Quad

and also of the response, by the Balliol-educated Catholic theologian and Bible translator Ronald Knox, which more accurately reflects Berkeley's own beliefs:

Dear Sir, your astonishment's odd:
I am always about in the Quad.
And that's why the tree
Will continue to be,
Since observed by, Yours faithfully, GOD.

  Notable people

In common with many Oxford colleges, Balliol has produced a wide range of graduates in the fields of economics, history, law, physiology, medicine, management, humanities, mathematics, science, technology, media, philosophy, poetry, politics, and religion. They have also contributed significantly to public life. Balliol people were, for example, prominent in establishing the International Baccalaureate, the National Trust, the Workers Educational Association, the Welfare State, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Amnesty International.

Balliol has produced numerous Nobel Laureates. The number is either 5 or 12 depending on whether only alumni are counted or whether faculty who later went on to get the Nobel Prize are included. Five Nobel Laureates were students at Balliol (the most of any college at Oxford): Sir Cyril Norman Hinshelwood (Chemistry, 1956), Sir John Hicks (Economics, 1972), Baruch S. Blumberg (Physiology or Medicine, 1976), Anthony J. Leggett (Physics, 2003) and Oliver Smithies (Physiology or Medicine, 2007). Seven more have been Fellows of the College (this too is the largest number of any college at Oxford ): George Beadle (Physiology or Medicine), Norman Ramsey (Physics), Robert Solow (Economics), John Van Vleck (Physics), Gunnar Myrdal (Economics), Linus Pauling (both Peace and Chemistry) and William D. Phillips (Physics).

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins was a student there from 1959 to 1962. Adam Smith attended this college between 1740 and 1746 as a Snell Exhibitioner.

In politics, Balliol has produced three British Prime Ministers: H. H. Asquith, Harold Macmillan, and Edward Heath. At the mid point of the twentieth century members of the College held senior leadership positions in the three major political parties, those previously mentioned were supplemented by Jo Grimond (Liberal Leader), Denis Healey and Roy Jenkins both of whom had been Chancellor and both expected to serve as PM, the last named also led the Social Democratic Party and became President of the European Commission. The Mayor of London and former MP, Boris Johnson, attended Balliol.

Three kings, Olav V and Harald V of Norway, and Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Malaysia have studied at Balliol. Richard von Weizsäcker, President of Germany from 1984 to 1994, also studied at Balliol.

Shoghi Effendi, one of the appointed leaders of the Baha'i Faith from 1921 until his death in 1957, studied Economics and Social Sciences.

Balliol lawyers have also been prominent. Lord Bingham, who read History and has been the College's Visitor for many years, was the Senior Law Lord of the United Kingdom, while Sir Brian Hutton and Lord Rodger have held equivalent positions in Northern Ireland and Scotland, at one point, all three simultaneously. The famous Barrister George Carman QC studied Jurisprudence at Balliol.

Literary figures include Robert Southey, Matthew Arnold, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Arthur Hugh Clough, Hilaire Belloc, Ronald Knox, Graham Greene, Joseph Macleod, Anthony Powell, Aldous Huxley, Christopher Hollis, Robertson Davies, Nevil Shute and Chris Cleave. Perhaps its most famous literary characters, however, are fictional: author Dorothy Sayers' made her well-known detective Lord Peter Wimsey a graduate of, and noted cricketer for, Balliol. In a speech entitled "Captain Hook at Eton" in 1927, James M. Barrie indicated that Captain Hook attended Balliol. Among other fictional detectives from Balliol is Dr Gideon Fell, the creation of John Dickson Carr. Balliol's many crime writers include W. J. Burley, Robert Barnard, Tim Heald and Martin Edwards.

Notable Balliol philosophers and thinkers include T.H. Green, J. L. Austin, Charles Taylor, Bernard Williams, R.M. Hare, Michael Sandel, Joseph Raz among others.

Balliol members have had a predominance as holders of the office of Chancellor of the University from the 20th Century to the present; George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon, Harold Macmillan, Roy Jenkins and Chris Patten, the last two being opposed in their election by Edward Heath and Lord Bingham of Cornhill respectively.

The College has also produced TV presenters Peter Snow and his son Dan Snow, as well as the journalist Christopher Hitchens.

Adam von Trott zu Solz the German diplomat and anti-Hitler plotter was a Rhodes Scholar at the College.

Howard Marks, a convicted drug dealer and later author, attended Balliol between 1964 and 1967 to study physics and then again between 1968 and 1969 to study History and Philosophy of Science.

Near-complete lists of Fellows and students can be found in the published Balliol College Register; the 1st edition (1914, covering matriculations 1832-1914), 2nd edition (1934, covering matriculations 1833-1933) and 3rd edition (1953, covering matriculations 1900-1950) are available online.

  Academics and visiting academics

As with all Colleges, Balliol has a more or less permanent set of teaching staff, known as Fellows. These include both Tutorial Fellows and Professorial Fellows. These are supplemented by academics on short term contracts. In addition, there are visiting international academics who come to Oxford for periods of up to a year. This is effected through the George Eastman Visiting Professorial Fellowship. The official list of current senior members of the College can be found here. There is an incomplete list of Balliol College academics past and present.

  Student life

The college provides its students with a broad range of facilities, including accommodation, the great hall (refectory), a library, two bars, and separate common rooms for the fellows, the graduates and undergraduates. There are also garden quadrangles and a nearby sportsground and boat-house. The sportsground is mainly used for cricket, tennis, hockey and football. The majority of undergraduates are housed within the main college or in the modern annexes around the sportsground. Croquet may be played in the Master's Field, or garden quadrangles in the summer. The graduates are housed mainly within Holywell Manor which has its own bar, gardens, common room, gym and computing facilities. Balliol is proud to have a long standing Music Society which organises four free Sunday evening concerts in the College Hall each term. Balliol is the only Oxford college to have its own bridge club.

Balliol also takes pride in its college tortoises. The original tortoise, who resided at the College for at least 43 years, was known as Rosa, named after the notable German Marxist Rosa Luxemburg. Each June, pet tortoises from various Oxford colleges are brought to Corpus Christi College where they participate in a very slow race; Balliol's own Rosa competed and won many times. Rosa disappeared in the Spring of 2004, and while numerous conspiracy theories have abounded, none is officially recognised by the College. However, on 29 April 2007, Chris Skidmore, a Graduate of Christ Church working at the House of Commons, donated a pair of tortoises - one to his own college, and one to Balliol, where he had attended an open day in 1999. The new tortoise, Matilda died in April 2009. Taking care of the resident tortoise is one of the many tasks assigned to Balliol students each year. This position, known as "Comrade Tortoise", has been filled by a student every year.

Balliol students are noted for their left-wing tendencies; the college ethos has been described as "conservatively left-wing". The JCR has had requests for the Sun and News of the World newspapers several times, but each time a majority of students voted against the idea. In 2008 it was voted by a GM that the JCR would receive a daily copy of the Sun. The Sun celebrated the decision by sending a bus full of Page Three girls to the college, describing the order as a lifted "ban".[15] Following this decision, at the next fortnightly GM the decision was reversed.

Balliol's JCR is noted for being particularly active, providing many services for its members. These range from laundry facilities, one of the few entirely student-run bars left in Oxford (the Manager, Lord/Lady Lindsay, is elected each year by students in the JCR) to a cafeteria (known as Pantry), the only student-run establishment of its type, which serves itemised cooked breakfast until 11.30am and Lunch every day, and dinner 6 nights a week. Members of the JCR are encouraged to get involved with the running of these facilities.

  Institute and centre

  • Balliol, especially the previous Master, Andrew Graham, played a major role in 2000 and 2001 in setting up the Oxford Internet Institute. This was the world's first multidisciplinary research and policy centre in a university devoted to examining the impact on society of the Internet. It is a department of Oxford University, but is located in Balliol, and its Director is a Professorial Fellow of Balliol.

  See also

  External links

  References

  1. ^ University of Oxford: Graduate Studies Prospectus - Last updated 17 Sep 08
  2. ^ Balliol College - The financial case for support[dead link]
  3. ^ "The Balliol rhymes" by Walter George Hiscock
  4. ^ Clare Hopkins and Bryan Ward-Perkins, "The Trinity/Balliol Feud", Trinity College Oxford Report (1989-90), pp. 45-66.
  5. ^ Hopkins and Ward-Perkins, "Trinity/Balliol Feud", p. 45.
  6. ^ For the Gordouli, see G. Norman Knight, "The Quest for Gordouli", Balliol College Record, 1969; reprinted in Trinity College Oxford Report, 1984-5.
  7. ^ "Gordoulis" was a popular brand of Egyptian cigarette. As "Gordouli", it became a nickname applied by Balliol men to a Trinity undergraduate, Arthur Galletti. Bobby Johnson, later Deputy Master and Controller of the Royal Mint, was an undergraduate at New College. See Knight, "Quest for Gordouli".
  8. ^ Knight, "Quest for Gordouli".
  9. ^ Hopkins and Ward-Perkins, "Trinity/Balliol Feud", pp. 54-60.
  10. ^ Dorothy L. Sayers, Five Red Herrings (NEL edition, 1968), p. 157. Wimsey's Biblical quotation is from John 4: 9.
  11. ^ Hopkins and Ward-Perkins, "Trinity/Balliol Feud", p. 51.
  12. ^ Segrove, Natalya. "Trinity fish murdered". Cherwell.org. http://www.cherwell.org/news/2010/02/25/trinity-fish-murdered. 
  13. ^ The Master of Balliol, Andrew Graham, announces that he will stand down on 30th September 2011, Balliol.ox.ac.uk
  14. ^ Election of New Master
  15. ^ "Sun uni ban is axed after 35yrs". The Sun. 22 February 2008. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article832238.ece. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
   
               

 

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