About Jesus College/History/
Notable Old Members

During its 450-year history, Jesus College has seen many former students, Fellows and Principals go on to excel in their chosen  field.  Amongst our Old Members are heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, internationally renowned authors and ground-breaking scientists.  

A number of our better-known alumni and old members are listed here, arranged according to the area in which they excelled, or for which they are best known today.

Henry Vaughan (1621-95), poet and theologian (possibly at Jesus in the 1640s).

Thomas Jones (1742-1803), Welsh landscape painter (matr. 1759).

An Italian landscape painting

Thomas Jones, View of the Campi Flegrei from the Camaldolese Convent near Naples (Yale Center for British Art)


Daniel Evans (“Daniel Ddu”; 1792-1846), Welsh poet (matr. 1810; Fellow 1819-46).

John Jones (“Tegid”; 1792-1852), Welsh poet and antiquary (matr. 1814).

David Frangcon-Davies (1855-1918), singer and musician (matr. 1876).

John Wood (1930-2011), actor (matr. 1950).

Dom Moraes (1938-2004), writer and poet (matr. 1956).

Arthur Nortje (1942-1970), South African poet (matr. 1965).

Dom Sylvester Houédard (1924-92), Benedictine monk and concrete poet (matr. 1941).

William Boyd (b. 1952), novelist (matr. 1975).

Francesca Simon (b. 1955), author of the Horrid Henry books (matr. 1977).


Francesca Simon, alumna and author


Carole Souter, née Teague (b. 1957), former Chief Executive of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and Master of St. Cross College, Oxford, 2016- (matr. 1975).

Dame Ffion Hague, née Jenkins (b. 1968), author and broadcaster (matr. 1986).

Gwyneth Glyn (b. 1979), Welsh-language poet and singer (matr. 1999)


Edward Lhuyd, (1660-1709), botanist, geologist, antiquary, philologist and Keeper of the Ashmolean (matr. 1682).

Sir William Boyd Dawkins (1837-1929), geologist and palaeontologist (matr. 1857).

Sir Edward Poulton (1856-1943), zoologist (matr. 1873; Fellow 1898-1943).

Sir Cyril Burt (1883-1971), psychometric psychologist and eugenicist (matr. 1902).

James Bronte Gatenby (1892-1960), zoologist, and recipient of the first Oxford D. Phil. (matr. 1912).

Edwin Stevens (1905-95), inventor of the first wearable electronic hearing aid (matr. 1927).

Sir John Houghton (1931-2020), climate scientist (matr. 1948; Fellow 1960-83).

Sir John Houghton

Sir John Houghton (1931-2020), Climate scientist


Sir Peter Ratcliffe (b. 1954), joint winner of Nobel Prize for Medicine, 2019 (Fellow 1992-2004).

Gavin Schmidt (b. 1965), climate scientist and Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (matr. 1985).

(Below) Joy Buolamwini (born 1990), computer scientist, filmmaker and poet (matr. 2013).


John Richard Green (1837-83), historian (matr. 1855).

Sir John Rhys (1840-1915), first Oxford University Professor of Celtic 1877-1915 (Fellow 1881-95; Principal 1895-1915).

Alfred Frederick Pollard (1869-1948), historian (matr. 1887).

Sir Goronwy Edwards (1891-1976), Director of the Institute of Historical Research 1948-60 (matr. 1909 and Fellow 1919-48)

Sir John Habakkuk (1915-2002), economic historian (Principal 1967-84).

Sir John Habakkuk (1915-2002) by Michael Noakes


Robert Skidelsky, Lord Skidelsky (b. 1939), economic historian (matr. 1958).

Patricia Crone (1945-2015), Islamic scholar, and first women to be elected a Fellow of Jesus College (Fellow 1977-90).

John Gray (b. 1948), philosopher (Fellow 1976-97).

Niall Ferguson (b. 1964), historian and broadcaster (Fellow 1992-2013).

Yuval Noah Harari (b. 1976), historian, author of Sapiens and Homo Deus (matr. 1999).


Magnus Magnusson (1929-2007), writer and broadcaster (matr. 1948).

James Burke (b. 1936), science historian and broadcaster (matr. 1957).

Geraint Talfan Davies (b. 1943), Controller of BBC Wales, 1990-2000 (matr. 1963)

Francine Stock (b. 1958), broadcaster (matr. 1976).

James Goldston (b. 1968), President of ABC News, USA, 2014-21 (matr. 1986).

Kirsty McCabe (b. 1975), weather forecaster on Sky News (matr. 1997).

(Below) Hanna Hopwood Griffiths (b. 1988), presenter on BBC Radio Cymru (matr. 2011).

Hanna Hopwood Griffiths, BBC Wales presenter


Tatiana Schlossberg (b. 1990), climate change journalist (matr. 2013).


John Sankey, Viscount Sankey (1866-1948), Lord Chancellor 1929-35 (matr. 1885).

Dame Alison Foster (b. 1957), High Court Judge (matr. 1976).


(Below) Sir Leoline Jenkins (1625-85), diplomat and Secretary of State (matr. 1641; Fellow 1660-1; Principal 1661-73).

Leoline jenkins

Sir Leoline Jenkins (1623-1685) by Hubert Tuer (copy of)


Sir Watkin Williams Wynn (c. 1693-1749), politician and prominent Jacobite (matr. 1710).

Pixley ka Isaka Seme, (1882-1951), founder member of the African National Congress (matr. 1906).

Thomas Edward Lawrence (1888-1935), “Lawrence of Arabia”, soldier and writer (matr. 1907).

Norman Manley (1893-1969) Chief Minister of Jamaica, 1955-9, and Premier of Jamaica, 1959-62 (matr. 1914),

Norman Manley (1893-1969) by Barrington Watson


Sir Harold Wilson, Lord Wilson of Rievaulx (1916-95), Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, 1964-70 and 1974-76 (matr. 1934),

Neal Blewett (b. 1933), Minister for Social Security, Australia, 1991-3, and Australian High Commissioner to U.K. 1994-8 (matr. 1957).

(Below) Sir Ed Davey (b. 1965), Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, 2012-15, and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, 2020- (matr. 1985).

Manon Antoniazzi, née Jenkins (b. 1965), Chief Executive and Clerk of the Senedd, 2017- (matr. 1989).

Theresa Villiers (b. 1968), Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, 2012-16, and for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs, 2019-20 (matr. 1990).

Nat Wei, Baron Wei (born 1977), social entrepreneur and politician (matr. 1995).

John Davies (c. 1570-1644), leading figure in the 1620 Welsh translation of the Bible, and compiler of a Welsh-Latin Dictionary (BA from Jesus, 1594).

William Lloyd (1627-1717), Bishop of St. Asaph, 1680-1692, of Coventry and Lichfield 1692-9, and of Worcester, 1699-1717, one of the seven Bishops imprisoned by James II (Fellow 1641-8 and 1660).

Thomas Coke (1747-1814), Methodist preacher and missionary in America (matr. 1764).

Thomas Charles (1755-1814), Methodist preacher and missionary in Wales (matr. 1775).

Alfred George Edwards (1848-1937), first Archbishop of the Church in Wales 1920-34 (matr. 1870).

Walter Evans-Wentz (1878-1965), translator of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and other Tibetan Buddhist texts (matr. 1907).

Wesley Carr (1941-2017), Dean of Westminster Abbey, 1997-2006 (matr. 1960).

Vivian Jenkins (1911-2004), Welsh Rugby Union international 1933-39, and journalist (matr. 1930).

Hilary Lister, née Rudd (1972-2018), record-breaking quadriplegic sailor (matr. 1990).

Richard “Beau” Nash (1674-1762), Master of Ceremonies at Bath, and arbiter of fashion (matr. 1692).

Angus Buchanan (1894-1944), awarded V.C. in Mesopotamia 1916 (matr. 1913).

John Aspinall (1926-2000), gambler and zoo owner (matr. 1948).