Skip Navigation1 Home3 Site map4 Search6 Help0 Access keys
Jesus College, Oxford

Turl Street, Oxford OX1 3DW
Telephone (01865) 279700
Email enquiries@jesus.ox.ac.uk

The Founders

Hugh Aprice (or Price), a reputedly wealthy churchman who was created Diocesan Treasurer of St David's in his seventies in 1571, is often credited with having been the College's 'real' founder. He is named in the 1571 charter as one of eight commissioners who were empowered to make statutes for the College, and as a benefactor who had promised it an endowment worth £60 a year after his death. On the strength of purported conveyances to the College of property in his home town of Brecon, Aprice demanded, and exercised, the right to choose future principals, fellows and scholars. As a resident member, he seems to have financed building work which began in the present Front Quadrangle between 1571 and his death in 1574. On Aprice's death, however, the Brecon properties were found to be mortgaged to him, not owned by him; and his estate yielded only a £600 lump sum for the College.

More powerful figures behind the creation of the College can be found among the eight 'founding fellows', named in the first charter as a kind of non-resident governing body. William Awbery from Brecon and Robert Lougher from Tenby had both combined the Principalship of New Inn Hall (at that time a strongly Welsh institution) with the Regius Professorship of Civil Law. Awbery was a leading London lawyer and Chancellor to the Archbishop of Canterbury; while another co-founder, John Lloyd, was a recent Principal of White Hall and a High Court of Admiralty judge. Thomas Huyck, a canon of St David's, was also an advocate and Chancellor of the Diocese of London. John Cotterell, an earlier Principal of White Hall, was archdeacon of Wells and (like Lougher) the rector of several Devon livings. All three Cambridge-educated founders were clergymen: Robert Johnson and John Higginson with livings in the East Midlands, and Thomas Huit, who had translated the Book of Revelation into Welsh, as a prebendary of St David's. The elderly and obscure Aprice may have been rewarded with the Treasurership of St David's, at the instigation of this group, in return for a promised benefaction which only partly materialized after his death.