Like many of Oxford's colleges, Pembroke admitted its first mixed-sex cohort in 1979, having previously accepted men only.
As of 2019, Pembroke had an estimated financial endowment
of £63 million.
Pembroke offers the study of almost all the courses offered by the university.
Sir Ernest Ryder
, a former Lord Justice of Appeal, has been Master of the College since July 2020.
In the early seventeenth century, the endowment of Thomas Tesdale
, a merchant from nearby Abingdon
, and Richard Wightwick
, the parish priest of Donnington, Shropshire
, enabled the conversion of Broadgates Hall, which had been an academic hall
for law students since its construction in the fifteenth century, to form the basis of a fully-fledged college. The letters patent
to found the college were signed by King James I
in 1624, with the college being named after William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke
, Lord Chamberlain
, Chancellor of the University,
and rumoured patron of William Shakespeare
Coat of arms
The arms of Pembroke College were granted by the College of Heralds
on 14 February 1625, the formal blazon
describing it as:
“Per pale azure and gules three Lyons rampant, two and one, Argent, in a Cheife party per pale Argent and Or, in the first a Rose Gules, seeded or, barbed vert in second a Thistle of Scotland proper”.
Both James I
, as founder of the college, and the Earl of Pembroke are commemorated in the arms. The former, representing the union of the crowns as James I of England and James VI
of Scotland, is symbolised by the rose (of England) and the thistle (of Scotland). The three lions rampant are taken from the Earl’s personal coat arms.
The entrance to Pembroke College in Pembroke Square
. Samuel Johnson
had rooms on the second floor above the entrance, as an undergraduate in 1728.
Following its foundation, the college proceeded to expand around Broadgates, building what is now known as "Old Quad" in the 1600s. Built in stages through the seventeenth century out of the local Cotswold limestone
, space restrictions saw the south-side of the Quad built directly on top of the old City Wall.
A Chapel was built in 1732, and the introduction of further accommodation in 1846, and the Hall in 1848 to designs by Exeter-based architect John Hayward
created "Chapel Quad"—widely considered one of the most beautiful Quads in the University.
The Chapel was designed and built by William Townsend, although the interior was dramatically redesigned by Charles Kempe
—a Pembroke graduate—in 1884. Pembroke alumnus Dr. Damon Wells is a significant benefactor of the college over many years: he enabled the restoration of the Chapel in 1972 and continues to support the Chaplaincy and History Fellowship. The Chapel which is still used for regular worship bears his name.
Further expansion of the college came in the 1960s, after the closure of Beef Lane to the north of Chapel Quad. The private houses north of the closed road were acquired by the college in a piecemeal fashion and reversed so that access was only possible from the rear. The area is now known as "North Quad" and was formally opened in 1962.
The bridge connecting Pembroke's new quad with the Chapel quadrangle
In April 2013 the Duke of Kent
officially opened a new quadrangle named for the lead donor Chris Rokos
The new buildings include a 170-seat multi-purpose auditorium, a new cafe, art gallery, and teaching and function rooms. The development is physically joined to the college's existing city-centre site via a new bridge crossing Brewer Street
and the original medieval city wall, and 'landing' in the old fellows' garden adjacent to Chapel Quad. Having historically been one of the university's physically smaller colleges, following the opening of the new building, undergraduates are now able to live in college premises for all years of study; postgraduates benefit from more rooms, and six flats for those with partners.
Geoffrey Arthur Building
A modern annexe, built near to college on the banks of the Isis
, provides accommodation for thirty-six graduates and around forty undergraduates. Named the Geoffrey Arthur Building (commonly referred to as "The GAB"), the building was named for the diplomat Sir Geoffrey Arthur
—a former master of the college (1975–1985).
In March 2002 two Pembroke fellows resigned after allegations that they had offered a place to the fictional child of an undercover reporter in return for a donation to the college library. The journalist had taped a conversation where he posed as the father of a fictitious son.
Pembroke runs its own access schemes entitled 'Pem-Brooke' and 'Pembroke North' which work with disadvantaged students from London and areas of the North. These schemes provide students with long-term academically intensive programmes, which will give students important skills that will support them with both Oxbridge applications but also Russell Group
Pembroke College boathouse on the Isis (left, adjoined to St Edmund Hall
Junior and Middle Common Rooms
Pembroke is home to a Junior Common Room
(undergraduate community) notable for its artistic wealth and sporting prowess. The JCR is the wealthiest in Oxford due to the purchase and sale of a Francis Bacon
painting in the early 20th century; it was bought in 1953 for £150 and sold for £400,000 in 1997.
The JCR has used those funds to support a student support scheme and an artistic acquisition programme.
The Middle Common Room, for postgraduates, is housed in a suite of historic mahogany-panelled rooms.
In 2018, Pembroke became the first college to win two rugby honours in one year, with the women's team winning Cuppers, and the men's team winning the Cuppers Bowl. 2018 also saw Pembroke win Cuppers in mixed netball and futsal.
Pembroke College Boat Club
in 2013 held both the Torpids
and Summer Eights
men's headship, with the women's 1st boat sitting at 4th and 7th places respectively.
In 2016, the men held Head of the River in Torpids and 4th in Summer Eights, and the women held 3rd and 2nd for Torpids and Summer Eights respectively.
Pembroke Men's 2nd Torpids also bumped five places up to 11th in Division 1—the first time there have been two men's boats from a single college in over 40 years.
Pembroke was the top club in aggregate points across all boats for three years running.
In 2003, Pembroke became the first college to win the "Double Headship Trophy" for having both men's and women's Eights head the river. In 2018, the Pembroke Women's 1st boat again achieved the Summer Eights headship.
People associated with Pembroke
was one of the college's more famous alumni, though he did not complete his degree (he was later awarded an honorary degree by the University); lack of funds forced him to leave Oxford after about a year and a half. Two of his desks and various other possessions are displayed around the college. He spoke fondly of Pembroke to his death, recalling especially the college's many poets, telling friends that ‘we were a nest of singing birds.'James Smithson
, whose bequest founded the Smithsonian Institution
in Washington, D.C.
(despite him never having visited the United States
) was an undergraduate at Pembroke, under the name "James Lewis Macie"—he changed his name to that of his natural father after the death of his mother. In addition, Senator J. William Fulbright
, who established the Fulbright Program
, was a Rhodes Scholar
at Pembroke in the 1920s.
, principal of Pembroke's precursor mediaeval hall, Broadgates, served as ambassador for Elizabeth I
in Scotland from 1559, where he acquired the friendship of Mary, Queen of Scots
, until he was accused of supporting the rebellion of James Stuart
In 1568 he was sent to Russia to secure trading rights from Ivan IV
, better known as Ivan the terrible, and succeeded in winning valuable access to Russia for English merchants.
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- ^ a b c "History". www.pmb.ox.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
- ^ "Annual Report and Financial Statements"(PDF). www.pmb.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
- ^ https://www.pmb.ox.ac.uk/news/sir-ernest-ryder-elected-next-master
- ^ https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/portrait-of-william-herbert-3rd-earl-of-pembroke-1617
- ^ Oxford: an architectural guide, Geoffrey Tyack. ISBN 0-19-817423-3, ISBN 978-0-19-817423-3
- ^ a b "Buildings - Pembroke College, University of Oxford". Archived from the original on 1 May 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2007.
- ^ "Chapel History - Pembroke College, University of Oxford". Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2007.
- ^ "Pembroke Undergraduates Support Cutting-Edge Research Through Inaugural Rokos Awards Internships". pmb.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
- ^ "Brewer Street Project". bgsarchitects.co.uk. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- ^ "Geoffrey Arthur Building - Pembroke College, Oxford". Archived from the original on 24 May 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2007.
- ^ "Pembroke College Course Guide: Economics & Management". Archived from the original on 22 October 2013.
- ^ Graves, David (25 March 2002). "2002 Admissions Scandal". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- ^ "Access Programme 2012-2016" (PDF). Pembroke College. Oxford. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- ^ "Pembroke College JCR Art: A Bit of History". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
- ^ See  for points tables.
- ^ https://www.gutenberg.org/files/42960/42960-h/42960-h.htm
- ^ "Thomas Randolph (poet) Facts, information, pictures | Encyclopedia.com articles about Thomas Randolph (poet)". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
- ^ Lugar, Richard (2003). The next American century: essays in honor of Richard G. Lugar - Google Books. ISBN 9780742527881. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
- ^ "Haitham bin Tariq appointed new ruler of Oman". Arab News. 11 January 2020.
- ^ Tolkien Lecture Series, Pembroke College, Oxford. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
- ^ https://www.pmb.ox.ac.uk/news/sir-ernest-ryder-elected-next-master
Last edited on 12 April 2021, at 20:39
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