Lincoln College, Oxford

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Lincoln College

The College crest incorporates (1) the arms of Bishop Richard Fleming, the founder; (2) the arms of the See of Lincoln; (3) the arms of Bishop Thomas Rotherham, the second founder.

Lincoln College (in full: The College of the Blessed Mary and All Saints, Lincoln) is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. It is situated in the centre of Oxford, backing onto Brasenose and, lying on Turl Street as it is, is the second oldest of the three Turl Street Colleges (Lincoln, Exeter, and Jesus). As of 2006, Lincoln had an estimated financial endowment of £69m.[1]



The College was founded on October 13, 1427 by Richard Fleming, then Bishop of Lincoln, (cadaver tomb in Lincoln Cathedral) to combat the Lollard teachings of John Wyclif. He intended it to be "a little college of true students of theology who would defend the mysteries of Scripture against those ignorant laymen who profaned with swinish snouts its most holy pearls". To this effect, he obtained a charter for the College from King Henry VI, which combined the parishes of All Saints, St Michael's at the North Gate and St Mildred's within the College under a rector. The College now uses All Saints Church as its library and has strong ties with St Michael's Church at the North Gate, having used it as a stand-in for the College chapel when necessary and has appointed its minister since 1427.[2]

Encountering both insufficient endowment and trouble from the Wars of the Roses (for their charter was from the deposed Lancastrian), the College seems only to have survived thanks to tireless efforts by its fellows in gaining recognition of the college's validity and the munificence of a second Bishop of Lincoln, Thomas Rotherham. Richard Fleming died in 1431, and the first rector, William Chamberleyn, in 1434, leaving the College with few buildings and little money. The second rector, John Beke, saw the College's safety secured by attracting donors; the College had seven fellows by 1436. John Forest, Dean of Wells and a close friend of Beke's, donated such an amount that the College promised to recognise him as a co-founder; it did not keep this promise. His gifts saw the construction of a chapel, a library, hall and kitchen.[3] After a pointed sermon from the incumbent rector, Thomas Rotherham was compelled to give his support and effectively re-founded it in the 1478, with a new charter from King Edward IV.[4]

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