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St John's Top 5

From College balls, bills and bridges each month St John's Top 5 spotlights the very best from the Archive's collections.

Porters' Instructions
June 2013

The Archives hold two instruction manuals for the Porters. They include information on College dress; gate rules and other aspects of social conduct. 

The eight seals of the Lady Margaret Beaufort's executors.
May 2013

The Foundation Charter was drawn up by the executors of Lady Margaret Beaufort (1443-1509), the College's foundress. The charter lays down the legal steps taken to fulfill Lady Margaret's intentions to found the College before her death on 29 June 1509.

It is signed and sealed by the eight executors of Lady Margaret: Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester; John Fisher Bishop of Rochester; Charles Somerset, Lord Herbert Chamberlain to the King; Sir Thomas Lovell, Treasurer of the Royal Household; Sir Henry Marney, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; Sir John St. John, Chamberlain to Lady Margaret; Henry Hornby, her Chancellor; Hugh Ashton, Controller of her household.

The photographs were taken by Paul Everest in 2011.

Bull of Nicholas IV 1829
April 2013

For April we have a selection of papal bulls (or papal charters) and church documents from the 13th to 16th centuries. (Bull or bulla is the name of the seal affixed to papal letters and charters to authenticate them. The term comes from the Latin bullire , "to boil" because whether made of wax, lead or gold, the material for the seal had to be melted to soften it and take on an impression. The seals on the College's papal bulls were made of lead and have the images of St Peter and St Paul on one side with the pope's signature on the reverse.

Dog featured in ornamental carvings on Shrewsbury Tower.
March 2013

This month we look at drawings of the stone carvings on the Shrewsbury Tower. The tower was restored in 1959-1960.  The original carved motifs were severely eroded and it required great skill to provide new figures similar to the old.  J Ison of Girton completed the stonework from designs by Mrs DF Kramer. Alec Crook in his book 'From Penrose to Cripps' claims that the two stone faces in the string course north of the tower are meant to represent the Bursar for Buildings and the Architect in charge. Can you put a name to the face?

Farm yard and livestock, Skeffling, Humber bank (East Yorkshire)
February 2013

This month we’re taking a look at some views of the College's northern estates, taken by Mr Udny Yule, fellow, during inspection in 1933.

Map of St John's College lands in Kent (1736)
January 2013

This month we’re taking a look at some examples of fine map cartouches from the College's estates.

Seal of John Le Moyne of Shelford (1250) [D25/39]
December 2012

This month we’re taking a look at some of the College’s oldest seals!