Elton, Sir Geoffrey Rudolph

Elton, Sir Geoffrey Rudolph

Elton, Sir Geoffrey Rudolph, 1921-94, English historian, b. Germany as Geoffrey Rudolph Ehrenberg. He was educated at the Univ. of London and began teaching at Cambridge in 1949, holding the post of Regius Professor of Modern History there from 1983 to 1988. As a scholar of Tudor administrative history, Elton reassessed historical conceptions of the Tudor era. In The Tudor Revolution in Government (1953) he showed the Tudor monarchy and administration developing in response to new problems, notably those created by the English Reformation. Other works include England under the Tudors (1955), The Tudor Constitution (1960), Reformation Europe (1963), Reform and Renewal (1973), Reform and Reformation: England 1509-1558 (1977), The Parliament of England 1559-1581 (1986), and The English (1992).

Clare College is a college of the University of Cambridge, the second oldest surviving college after Peterhouse.

Clare is famous for its chapel choir and for its gardens, which form part of what is known as the Backs, the back of the colleges that overlook the River Cam. The current Master is Anthony (Tony) J Badger, Paul Mellon Professor of American History.


The college was founded in 1326 by the university's Chancellor, Richard de Badew, and named University Hall. Providing maintenance for only two fellows, it soon hit financial hardship. In 1338, the college was refounded as Clare Hall by an endowment from Elizabeth de Clare, a granddaughter of Edward I, which provided for twenty fellows and ten students.

The college was known as Clare Hall until 1856, when it changed its name to Clare College. A new Clare Hall was founded by Clare as a postgraduate institution in 1966.

Clare's Old Court, a Grade I listed building, which frames King's College Chapel as the left border of one of the most celebrated architectural vistas in England, was built between 1638 and 1715, with a long interruption for the English Civil War. The period spans the arrival of true classicism into the mainstream of British architecture. Its progress can be traced in the marked differences between the oldest wing to the north, which still has vaulting and other features in the unbroken tradition of English Gothic, and the final southern block, which shows a fully articulated classic style.

The college's chapel was built in 1763 and designed by James Burrough. Its altarpiece is Annunciation by Cipriani.

Clare has a much-photographed bridge over the river which has fourteen stone balls decorating it. One of the balls has a missing section. A number of apocryphal stories circulate concerning this - the one most commonly cited by members of college is that the original builder of the bridge was not paid the full amount for his work and so removed the segment to balance the difference in payment. A more likely explanation is that a wedge of stone cemented into the ball as part of a repair job became loose and fell out, presumably still lying on the river bed. The repair work is necessary when a stone ball becomes worn around the metal rod on which it is secured to the bridge; a wedge of stone is removed from the base of the ball (around the rod) in order to free it, it is then turned sideways, a hole is drilled at the new base to receive the rod, and the wedge-shaped gap is filled with a new piece of stone. This can be observed on other balls on the same bridge, where the seam between the main ball and the replacement wedge is visible and tangible, though difficult to spot as a repaired ball is always aligned to have the new wedge facing outwards. The bridge is the oldest of Cambridge's current bridges.

College life

Clare is known as a liberal and progressive college. In 1972 it became one of the three Cambridge colleges that led the way in admitting female undergraduates. Clare continues in this tradition and has won praise for the transparency of its admissions process

Clare is known as one of the most musical colleges in Cambridge. Its choir is internationally recognised and has performed all over the world. Many Clare students play instruments, and the college orchestra (Clare College Music Society (CCMS)) is well known. Clare even allows students to have a piano in their college rooms. Clare holds popular jazz and drum'n'bass nights in its cellars.

Student paper

Clare's student paper, Clareification, published by the Union of Clare Students won "Best University College Paper" in "The Cambridge Student" in 2005 and is filled with satirical articles mocking Cambridge traditions, reports on silly student antics, and college gossip in the infamous "Clareifornication" column. It is often the subject of criticism by the staff for risqué and tasteless content, and was described by the Master, Professor Badger, as "an unholy cross between the Sun and Private Eye". On February 3 2007, the college cut its funding to the paper, causing publications to be suspended for a period of a few weeks. This occurred as a result of the outcry following the publication of the February 2 edition, a guest-edited edition which was retitled "Crucification". In addition to the paper's usual satirical attacks on Christianity, this edition also featured several articles which mocked Islam, including a reproduction of the cartoon illustration of the prophet Mohammed. This was the same cartoon which provoked international protest when it first appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005.

College grace

Oculi omnium in te sperant Domine:

Tu das iis escam eorum in tempore opportuno.
Aperis tu manum tuam:
Et imples omne animal benedictione tua.
Sanctifica nos, quaesumus, Domine, per verbum
et orationem, istisque tuis donis, quae de tua
bonitate sumus accepturi, benedicito
per Christum Dominum nostrum,

Translated into English, this reads:

The eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord,
And thou givest them their food in due season.
Thou openest thy hand,
And fillest every living thing with thy blessing.
Sanctify us, we beseech thee, O Lord, by thy
word and our petition; and bless these thy gifts which
of thy bounty we are about to receive,
through Christ our Lord.

Academic performance

The undergraduates of Clare College have usually performed very well based on the results published in the Tompkins Table, placing Clare within the top ten colleges from 2000 to 2005. The notable exceptions to this have been 2006 where Clare finished in 12th place and of 2007 where Clare slipped to 17th place Although not an official listing done by the University, the Tompkins Table does offer an unbiased account of how the undergraduates of individual colleges perform in their finals.

Entrance into Clare College is very competitive and can be best seen from the published list of offers given to students and the number of applicants broken down by subject. As an approximate indication, one out of every five applicants is offered a place in Clare, with that varying greatly between the different subjects offered.

College Coat of Arms

The Clare coat of arms is divided into two equal parts. On the left hand side there are the three chevrons of the de Clare family. On the other side of the shield is the Cross, the symbol of the Christian roots of the College since its foundation.

Famous or notable alumni

Masters of Clare College

List of Masters of Clare College: Walter de Thaxted - 1326 (year of installation) (still University Hall at this time)
Ralph Kerdington - 1342 (no longer University Hall; now Clare Hall)
Nicholas de Brunne - 1359
John de Donewich - 1371
John de Charteresse - 1392
William Radwinter - 1400
William Wymbyll - 1421
William Gull - 1440
William Wilflete - 1446
John Millington - 1455
Thomas Stoyll - 1466
Richard Stubbs - 1470
Gabriel Silvester - 1496
William Woodruff - 1506
Edmund Natures - 1514
John Crayford - 1530
Roland Swynbourne - 1539
John Madew - 1549
Roland Swynbourne - 1553
Thomas Bayly - 1557
Edward Leeds - 1560
Thomas Byng - 1571

William Smith - 1601
Robert Scott - 1612
Thomas Paske - 1620
Ralph Cudworth - 1645
Theophilus Gillingham - 1654
Thomas Paske - 1660
Theophilus Gillingham - 1661
Samuel Blythe - 1678
William Grigg - 1713
Charles Morgan - 1726
John Wilcox - 1736
Peter Godard - 1762
John Torkington - 1781
William Webb - 1815
Edward Atkinson - 1856 (now refounded as Clare College)
William Mollinson - 1915
Godfrey Wilson - 1929
Henry Thirkill - 1939
Eric Ashby - 1958
Robin Matthews - 1975
Bob Hepple - 1993
Anthony Badger - 2003

See also


External links

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