The parade continued until the English Reformation , when the Master, William Sowode, put a stop to it in The newly constructed court could house 22 fellows and students. The statutes laid down the rules governing the behaviour of fellows only. Students were not part of the foundation at this stage and would not come within the scope of the statutes for another years.
Medieval Period[ edit ] In its early centuries, the college was relatively poor  and so could not construct new buildings; thus Old Court has survived to the present day. It had no chapel , so the members worshipped in St Bene't's Church next door. By it possessed 55 books, and many more would be donated or bequeathed over the succeeding centuries, including, most significantly, those donated in the 16th century by Archbishop Matthew Parker , who is celebrated by the college as its greatest benefactor.
During the Peasants' Revolt in , the college was sacked by a mob of townspeople and apparently some students  led by the mayor  which, according to the college, carried away its plate as well as its charter to be burned while gutting the rest of the college buildings. Although spared the worst of the religious tumult that the Reformation brought to England,  the college produced adherents and indeed martyrs to both traditions.
He donated his unrivalled library to the college, much silver plate and its symbol, the pelican. In order to ensure the safety of his collection Parker inserted into the terms of his endowment one which stated that if any more than a certain number of books were lost, the rest of the collection would pass first to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and then in the event of any more losses to Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Every few years, representatives from both of those colleges ceremonially inspect the collection for any losses.
So assiduous was Archbishop Parker in his acquisition of books and manuscripts he earned himself the epithet of "Nosey Parker", bringing about a phrase still used today. The playwright Christopher Marlowe is perhaps the college's most-celebrated son, having matriculated to Corpus in Although little is known about his time there, it is often believed that it was during his study for his MA that he began his work as a spy, a claim based on only a single cryptic statement by the Privy Council.
As the painting is dated , the year Marlowe was 21, it has been claimed as a portrait of the playwright himself. As the number of students rose a bigger chapel became necessary. The college sold all of its silver, apart from the gifts from Parker, and the building work was not completed until Although not the college's choice, Jegon extricated the college from its financial difficulties by instituting fellow commoners, who would stay for one or two years and were never technically members of the University.
Their parents were required to pay with a silver cup or tankard , which would then be melted down. When the plague returned to the city and the rest of the University had fled, Butts stayed at his post and tried to limit the pestilence while staying alone in the college. He was unrewarded for his bravery and this experience seems to have had a terrible effect on him. In , when Butts failed to turn up to deliver the University Sermon on Easter Day, he was found to have hanged himself.
This is a moot point, since these assets cannot be sold and the majority of them cannot be valued. According to college legend, the silver plate was distributed to the fellows to keep it from being requisitioned by the warring factions. Twelve college heads were removed from their posts, but Love and three others were retained.
The college also escaped the worst excesses of the puritan Commonwealth. When William Dowsing inspected the college he found "nothing to amend". They made for the rooms of the bursar , Clement Scott, whom they suspected of popery. He hid himself from the mob so they destroyed his books and papers. William Wilkins , who had recently completed major works at Downing , King's , and Trinity , was appointed architect and the New Court was completed in in a neo-gothic style.
The chapel currently standing in New Court is part of the 19th Century construction. Completion of a new, larger court allowed for many more students and numbers increased from 48 to Victorian Period[ edit ] The corner of Old Court.
In the background is the Old Cavendish Lab. During the 19th Century the college became associated with the Evangelical religious movement. Corpus was always strongly clerical as, at the time, all the fellows had to be in Holy Orders of the Church of England. For many years the majority of the college's graduates went on to be clergymen. The syllabus also broadened and the fellow commoners faded away.
In , fellows were allowed to marry for the first time. Consequently, the demographics of the college fellowship changed significantly during this time.
The first married fellow was Edward Byles Cowell who was the first professor of Sanskrit. Despite their impeccant name they became notorious for hard drinking and partying. They were outlawed in the s for their activities and there has been a blanket ban on all "drinking societies" since.
Edwardian Period[ edit ] Colonel Robert Caldwell was made Master in and was the first ever layman to be appointed to the post. The college was no longer chiefly training men for the clergy. The college also began construction of its sports grounds in west Cambridge in This has led to a persistent rumour of a network of tunnels under the college excavated for this purpose.
While there are extensive wine cellars, there is no evidence of such tunnels. Due to the increase in student numbers in the s, Corpus is one of the few British institutions to have lost more members in the Second World War than in the First. Their names are inscribed in the Chapel. Watson and Crick are said to have refreshed themselves in this pub while studying the structure of DNA in the nearby Cavendish Laboratory. Upon making the discovery in , they are said to have walked into the pub and declared, "We have found the secret of life".
The Eagle is also well known as a haunt for RAF officers in World War Two; renovations revealed hundreds of signatures, drawings and messages written, or even burnt, onto the walls and ceilings. Women were also allowed to join the college Chapel Choir and dine in hall. In , the college's first bar was opened in New Court.
In , the college approved the conversion of the Leckhampton site to allow for more accommodation for fellows and postgraduate students. In , women were first admitted as undergraduates.
In the same year, the college completed building work in Botolph Court, adding further undergraduate accommodation. Similar renovation work was completed in Bene't Court above the Eagle pub in the s along with the creation of the Robert Beldam building. In recent years, the College has spearheaded the Northern Ireland Initiative. He also chairs the 'Cambridge Intelligence Seminar' which convenes regularly in rooms. The items, which included chalices and patens , were taken from the college chapel while it was open to the public.
A local man was arrested and charged with the theft. To the right is the Old Court. Old Court[ edit ] Built in the s, Old Court contains some of Cambridge's oldest buildings, and retains many of its original features, such as sills and jambs used to hold oil-soaked linen in the days prior to the arrival of glass.
The court is the oldest continually inhabited courtyard in the country a claim disputed by Merton College, Oxford , which says the same of its Mob Quad. It is possibly built from the core of an even older building. Four sided, it typifies the model of construction of the colleges in Oxford or Cambridge. Due to its age the rooms are large and contain antique furniture but lack basic facilities and plumbing. In the ivy was removed from Old Court and a roughcast rendering was put in its place, followed by a major restoration in paid for by donations from old members.
During the summer months students are permitted to sit on the lawn in Old Court and garden parties may be held whereas, like other Oxbridge colleges, normally only fellows are allowed to walk on the lawns. Thomson and Ernest Rutherford. Benet's Church; the gallery is now part of an Old Court room set.
To the right, one can see the passage leading into Corpus. St Bene't's Church[ edit ] Main article: St Bene't's Church The adjacent St Bene't's Church served as the college's chapel until  when one was built specifically for the purpose.
The college remains the patron. Although he went on to design the curtain wall in front of King's College, Cambridge and the National Gallery in London , he considered Corpus to be his favourite work and requested to be buried in the Chapel.
A plaque commemorating him is in the entrance to the Parker Library within the court. Upon completion of the building works in , it relocated to the new Library Court and was renamed the Taylor Library after the project's main benefactor John Taylor. Many of the more precious volumes in the Parker Library are now protected in vaults in what used to be the Butler Library. It was also designed by William Wilkins, but includes some Medieval glass and features, including the fellows' stalls, several memorials and the floor of the older Elizabethan Chapel, which was demolished in the construction of New Court.
The first four stained glass windows date to around and are believed to come from the Abbey of Mariawald in Germany which had been dissolved by Napoleon. The depiction of the Christ Pantocrator was painted for the college by a Greek Orthodox monk and is used as a focus for meditation.
The ceiling, which had been a stone fan ribbed vault like the ceiling of the college gatehouse, was replaced by the painted wooden ceiling still in place today. Services are held daily and there are sung services three times a week: Evensong on a Wednesday evening, and on Sunday Holy Communion in the morning and Evensong in the evening. The Chapel choir is made up of students from both Corpus and other colleges in the University. Parker Library, Corpus Christi College The collection was begun in and much improved by a bequest from Matthew Parker , the college's Master between and , who as Archbishop of Canterbury formed a fine collection of manuscripts from the libraries of dissolved monasteries.
It is one of the finest and most important collections of medieval manuscripts in the world. The building was completed in in the construction of Wilkin's New Court. Currently the collection comprises over manuscripts, around of which were given by Parker, who also donated around printed volumes.
The Gospels are still used in the enthronement of the Archbishops of Canterbury today and are transported to and from Canterbury by the Master and college representatives. In a joint venture between the college, the University Library and Stanford University in the United States of America the entire collection was digitised  and is now available on the internet.
Library Court In , the lease of the bank adjacent to Corpus expired and the college reclaimed it to begin construction of Library Court. Due to be completed in , the project overran due to archaeological finds and issues removing the bank vault. Library Court was completed in January and houses the college's student centre which includes the college bar, JCR and the Taylor Library along with new college offices.
The Taylor Library was largely funded by and named after John Taylor , a former graduate of the college, inventor of the cordless kettle  and former Chairman of Strix Ltd, an electric kettle thermostat manufacturer.