The Queen’s College was founded in 1341 by Robert de Eglesfield, chaplain to Queen Philippa of Hainault. He commended the patronage to her, thus calling the College Queen’s. The patron has always been the Queen Consort, never a Queen Regnant. Philippa was a true patroness, persuading her husband, Edward III, to make the College the perpetual warden of St. Julian’s Hospital, also known as Gods House, in Southampton. This gave the College extensive estates in and around that city. From the late seventeenth century the entire College was rebuilt, making it unique amongst the older Colleges as built entirely in one style. Famous members of the College have allegedly included Henry V, but certainly also John Wyclif, Jeremy Bentham, and Rowan Atkinson.
The archive only holds records created by, or illustrative of, the College. Any personal papers of College members held by the College are in the College Library. There is a great deal of records relating to the College estates, some dating back before the College was founded in 1341.
The Reading Room is open to the public (usually Tuesdays and Fridays) by appointment with the Archivist. Please give as much notice as possible as space is limited and not all times or days are possible. The Archivist aims to reply to all enquiries (preferably by letter or e-mail) as soon as possible, but it can take up to two weeks, depending on the complexity of the enquiry. The College charges no fees for access.
Archivist: Michael Riordan
Opening hours: Tuesdays and Fridays (by appointment only).
Address: The Queen's College, Oxford, OX1 4AW
Phone: 01865 279118
J R Magrath, The Queen's College (Oxford, 1921)
R H Hodgkin, Six Centuries of an Oxford College (Oxford, 1949)