History

Lincoln College was founded in 1427, almost 600 years ago. During that time, the College has educated thousands of students, refurbished and developed its historic buildings, and established itself as a place of cutting-edge research. You can explore the College's rich history using the timeline below.

History of Lincoln College

1427

Lincoln College is founded by Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln, and named after his cathedral as 'The College of the Blessed Mary and All Saints, Lincoln, in the University of Oxford, commonly called Lincoln College'.

1436

Emily Carr and her husband give the College property on the High Street.

1437

Generous bequests from benefactors allow for the construction of the Chapel, Library, Hall, Kitchen and a set of rooms in the following decades.

1465

A bequest from the Will of Thomas Beckington, Bishop of Bath and Wells, allows the College to build the first Lodgings for the Rector.

1478

The Visitor, Thomas Rotherham, Bishop of Lincoln, obtains a Charter from Edward IV, which effectively makes him the second founder of the College.

1489

The Mitre Inn is first leased to the College (pictured now).

1574

The grant of the College coat of arms is confirmed.

King James Bible

1611

The Authorized Version of the Bible is published; the latter part of which was translated by Rector Richard Kilby and Fellow Richard Brett.

Chapel

1629-31

The College Chapel is built in the Jacobean Gothic style. It is consecrated on 15 September 1631.

1717

Former Rector, Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham, leaves a benefaction to Lincoln, founding 12 new exhibitions as well as improving the College buildings.

Portrait of John Wesley

1726

John Wesley is elected to a Fellowship. During his time here, he was involved with the Holy Club, which laid the foundations for the Methodist Church.

Portrait of Mark Pattison

1861

Mark Pattison, reputed to have inspired the character of Edward Casaubon in George Eliot’s novel Middlemarch, is elected Rector.

Old photo of the Lincoln College Boat Club

1880

The Lincoln College Boat Club is established. Today, there are male and female crews for all abilities.

Samuel Alexander

1882

The philosopher Samuel Alexander is elected a Fellow of Lincoln, and becomes the first Jewish Fellow of an Oxford college.

1919

The Lincoln College Debating Society, founded in 1854, is renamed and becomes the Junior Common Room (JCR) for undergraduate students (pictured today).

Theodor Seuss Geisel

1925

Theodor Seuss Geisel matriculates at Lincoln. He went on to write over 60 children’s books as ‘Dr Seuss’.

1938

Egon Wellesz, composer and musicologist, is elected Fellow after fleeing Nazi persecution in Vienna.

Portrait of Howard Florey

1945

Fellow Howard Florey shares the Nobel Prize with Ernst Boris Chain and Alexander Fleming for the development of penicillin.

1925

The author, David Cornwell, better known as John Le Carré, matriculates at Lincoln.

MCR

1959

The Middle Common Room (MCR) for graduate students is founded, the first common room of its kind in Oxford (pictured today).

Library

1975

All Saints Church is converted into the College Library. It is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful libraries in Oxford.

1979 matriculation photograph

1979

The College admits female students for the first time.

Susan Brigden

1980

The College appoints its first female Tutorial Fellow, Dr Susan Brigden, a historian.

The EPA Centre on Museum Road

2006

The Lincoln-EPA Graduate Centre is opened in Museum Road, providing additional accommodation for 52 graduate students.

The Berrow Foundation Building

2014

The Berrow Foundation Building, designed by architects Stanton Williams, is completed and wins the 2017 RIBA South Building of the Year Award.

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Where next?

  • Discover our historic buildingsRead more
  • Find out when you can visit and how to get hereRead more
  • Explore Lincoln with our virtual tourRead more