St Edmund Hall, Oxford

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St Edmund Hall

St Edmund Hall is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Better known within the University by its nickname, "Teddy Hall", the college has a claim to being "the oldest academical society for the education of undergraduates in any university".[2] As of 2007 St Edmund Hall had an estimated financial endowment of £39m.[3]



Like the University of Oxford itself, the precise date of establishment of St Edmund Hall is unknown; it is usually estimated at 1278.[1] The college is named after St Edmund of Abingdon, Oxfordshire, the first known Oxford Master of Arts and the first Oxford-educated Archbishop of Canterbury, who lived and taught on the college site. The name St Edmund Hall (Aula Sancti Edmundi) first appears in a 1317 rental agreement.[4]

St Edmund Hall began life as one of Oxford's ancient Aularian houses, the mediaeval halls that laid the foundation of the University, preceding the creation of the first colleges. As the only surviving mediaeval hall, its members are known as "Aularians". St Edmund Hall took on the status of a college in 1957, though retaining the historical moniker of "Hall".

The college has a history of independent thought, which has brought it into regular conflict with both church and state. During the late 14th century and early 15th century, it was a bastion of the Wycliffe heresy, for which college principal William Taylor was ultimately burnt at the stake, and principal Peter Payne fled the country. In the 17th century, it incurred the wrath of the crown for fostering nonjurors, men who remained loyal to the Scottish House of Stuart and who refused to take the oath to the German House of Hanover, whom they regarded as having usurped the British throne.

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