King's College, Cambridge

King's College, Cambridge

Discussion
Ask a question about 'King's College, Cambridge'
Start a new discussion about 'King's College, Cambridge'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
King's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. The college's full name is "The King's College of our Lady and Saint Nicholas in Cambridge", but it is usually referred to simply as "King's" within the University.

The college was founded in 1441 by King Henry VI
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

, soon after its sister college in Eton
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

. However, the King's plans for the college were disrupted by the civil war
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

 and resultant scarcity of funds, and his eventual deposition. Little progress was made on the project until in 1508 King Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

 began to take an interest in the college, most likely as a political move to legitimise his new position. The building of the college's chapel, begun in 1446, was finally finished in 1544 during the reign of King Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

.

King's College Chapel is regarded as one of the greatest examples of late Gothic English architecture. It has the world's largest fan-vault, and the chapel's stained-glass windows and wooden chancel screen are considered some of the finest from their era. The building is seen as emblematic of Cambridge. The chapel's choir, composed of male students at King's and choristers from the nearby King's College School, is one of the most accomplished and renowned in the world. Every year on Christmas Eve the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (a service created by a Dean of King's especially for the college) is broadcast from the chapel to millions of listeners worldwide.

History


King's was founded in 1441 by King Henry VI
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

. His first design was modest, but by 1445 was intended to be a magnificent display of royal patronage. There were to be a Provost and seventy scholars, occupying a substantial site in central Cambridge whose drastic clearance involved the closure of several streets. The college was granted a remarkable series of feudal privileges, and all of this was supported by a substantial series of endowments from the King.

King Henry VI
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

 had admired the achievements of William of Wykeham
William of Wykeham
William of Wykeham was Bishop of Winchester, Chancellor of England, founder of Winchester College, New College, Oxford, New College School, Oxford, and builder of a large part of Windsor Castle.-Life:...

, who had founded the twin colleges of New College, Oxford
New College, Oxford
New College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.- Overview :The College's official name, College of St Mary, is the same as that of the older Oriel College; hence, it has been referred to as the "New College of St Mary", and is now almost always...

 (King's College's Sister College) and Winchester College
Winchester College
Winchester College is an independent school for boys in the British public school tradition, situated in Winchester, Hampshire, the former capital of England. It has existed in its present location for over 600 years and claims the longest unbroken history of any school in England...

 in 1379. He subsequently modelled the establishment of King's and Eton College
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

 upon the successful formation of Wykeham's institutions. Indeed, the link that King's College and Eton College
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

 share is a direct copy of the link shared between New College
New College, Oxford
New College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.- Overview :The College's official name, College of St Mary, is the same as that of the older Oriel College; hence, it has been referred to as the "New College of St Mary", and is now almost always...

 and Winchester College
Winchester College
Winchester College is an independent school for boys in the British public school tradition, situated in Winchester, Hampshire, the former capital of England. It has existed in its present location for over 600 years and claims the longest unbroken history of any school in England...

. The four colleges continue to share formal ties to this day.

Originally, the college was to be specifically for boys from Eton College
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

. It was not until 1865 that the first non-Etonian undergraduates arrived to study at King's, and the first fellow to have not attended Eton was elected in 1873. The connection with Eton is now weak, but a scholarship to attend the college, exclusively available to students from Eton, is still awarded each year.
The very first buildings of the college, now part of the Old Schools
Old Schools
The Old Schools are part of the University of Cambridge, in the centre of Cambridge, England. The Old Schools house the Cambridge University Offices, which form the main administration for the University....

, were begun in 1441, but by 1443 the decision to build to a much grander plan had been taken. That plan survives in the 1448 Founders Will describing in detail a magnificent court with a chapel on one side. But within a decade, civil war (the Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

) meant that funds from the King began to dry up. By the time of his deposition in 1461, the chapel walls had been raised 60 ft high at the east end but only 8 ft at the west; a building line which can still be seen today as the boundary between the lighter stone below and the darker above. Work proceeded sporadically until a generation later in 1508 when the Founder's nephew King Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

 was prevailed upon to finish the shell of the building. The interior had to wait a further generation until completion by 1544 with the aid of King Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

.

It has been speculated that the choice of the college as a beneficiary by the two later Henrys was a political one, with Henry VII in particular concerned to legitimate a new, post-civil war Tudor regime by demonstrating patronage of what was by definition the King's College. Later building work is marked by an uninhibited branding with the Tudor rose and other symbols of the new establishment, quite against the precise instructions of the Founders Will. Henry VI is not completely forgotten at the College, however, the Saturday after the end of Michaelmas term each year is Founder's Day which begins with a Founder's Eucharist in the chapel, followed by a Founder's Breakfast with ale and culminating in a sumptuous dinner in his memory called "Founder's Feast" to which all members of College in their last year of studies are invited.

King's College Chapel


The College Chapel, an example of late Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

, was built over a period of a hundred years (1446–1531) in three stages. The Chapel features the world's largest fan vault
Fan vault
thumb|right|250px|Fan vaulting over the nave at Bath Abbey, Bath, England. Made from local Bath stone, this is a [[Victorian restoration]] of the original roof of 1608....

, stained glass windows, and the painting "The Adoration of the Magi" by Rubens.

The Chapel is actively used as a place of worship and also for some concerts and college events. The world-famous Chapel choir
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
The Choir of King's College, Cambridge is one of today's most accomplished and renowned representatives of the great British choral tradition. It was created by King Henry VI, who founded King's College, Cambridge in 1441, to provide daily singing in his Chapel, which remains the main task of the...

 consists of choral scholars (male students from the college) and choristers (boys educated at the nearby King's College School
King's College School Cambridge
King's College School is a mixed private preparatory school in Cambridge, England, situated on West Road off Grange Road, west of the city centre. It is an integral part of and receives some funding and its name from King's College, a college of the University of Cambridge as it was founded to...

). The choir sings services on most days in term-time, and also performs concerts and makes recordings and broadcasts. In particular, it has broadcast its Nine Lessons and Carols
Nine Lessons and Carols
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a format for a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus that is traditionally followed at Christmas...

 on the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 from the Chapel on Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve refers to the evening or entire day preceding Christmas Day, a widely celebrated festival commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth that takes place on December 25...

 for many decades. Additionally, there is a mixed-voice Chapel choir of male and female students, King's Voices
King's Voices
King's Voices is the mixed-voice chapel choir of King's College, Cambridge.It was founded in 1997 primarily to give female students of the college the opportunity to sing in the chapel, because the main chapel choir is all-male...

, which sings evensong on Mondays during term-time.

The Chapel is widely seen as a symbol of Cambridge, as seen in the logo of the city council.

Education at King's


The unofficial Tompkins Table
Tompkins Table
The Tompkins Table is an annual ranking that lists the Colleges of the University of Cambridge in order of their undergraduate students' performances in that year's examinations...

 comparing academic performance ranked King's nineteenth out of a total of twenty-nine rated colleges at the University of Cambridge in 2008; the college's position has fluctuated between tenth and twenty-first over the years 2000–2008.

King's offers all undergraduate courses available at the University, except for education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, Land Economy and veterinary medicine
Veterinary medicine
Veterinary Medicine is the branch of science that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, disorder and injury in non-human animals...

, although Directors of Studies for Anglo-Saxon Norse & Celtic, Geography, and Management Studies all visit from other colleges.

Since its foundation, the college has housed a library, providing books for all students, covering all the subjects offered by King's. Around 130,000 books are held: some available for teaching and for reference, others being rare books and manuscripts.

Intake and access profile


The college has gradually broadened its intake to include many students from state schools, often having the highest proportion of maintained school acceptances of the undergraduate colleges. Inevitably this has led to accusations of reactionary bias against public school
Public School (UK)
A public school, in common British usage, is a school that is neither administered nor financed by the state or from taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of endowments, tuition fees and charitable contributions, usually existing as a non profit-making charitable trust...

 pupils and of affirmative action (positive discrimination), although the relatively high proportion of state-school students reflects the far greater number of applications from pupils at maintained schools in comparison to other Cambridge colleges. King's has established a Schools Liaison Officer post in order to provide support to students, whatever their background, and schools and colleges of any type to find out more about the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

 and the college.

In general, the atmosphere at King's is considered to be a little easier than that of other colleges to integrate into if you come from a working class or minority background. Having said this, a survey conducted by Varsity Newspaper in January 2009 revealed that the average parental income of students at King's is slightly higher than that of most other Cambridge students.

Student life



As with all Cambridge colleges King's has its own student unions both for undergraduates (King's College Student Union or KCSU) and for graduates (King's College Graduate Society or KCGS). Having a reputation for being more politically active than other colleges, students at King's have used both organisations to assist in the decision-making processes in the College itself and the University.

The student union has a long record of left wing activism. In the eighties a long rent strike
Rent strike
A rent strike is a method of protest commonly employed against large landlords. In a rent strike, a group of tenants come together and agree to refuse to pay their rent en masse until a specific list of demands is met by the landlord...

 against the college's investment in apartheid South Africa was organised. King's has also been known informally as 'Red King's' especially by the media and members of other Cambridge colleges. As recent as 2011, republican students influenced the burning of a large Union flag, part of the KCSU's decorations to celebrate the royal wedding
Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton
The wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine Middleton took place on 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey in London. Prince William, the eldest son of Charles, Prince of Wales, first met Catherine Middleton in 2001, when both were studying at the University of St Andrews. Their...

. KCSU condemned this action as an un-constructive way of dealing with a contentious issue, and other King's students went on to prominently display Union Jacks from their rooms in retaliation.

King's students successfully established a university-wide rent strike, through the formation of the King's Access Alliance, during the 1999–2000 academic year in response to increased living costs (which, they believed, would deter potential applicants and thus affect the college's access profile); a second rent-strike in 2003 was, however, much less successful, due partly to a failure to secure support outside of the college and the hard line taken by the then Provost.

King's has a venue known as the Cellar Bar, a small room in the basement of the college, which regularly acts as a music venue. The main bar at King's is far older, and is the site of more informal meetings between students. The bar has been traditionally painted a socialist red, including a depiction of a hammer and sickle
Hammer and sickle
The hammer and sickle is a part of communist symbolism and its usage indicates an association with Communism, a Communist party, or a Communist state. It features a hammer and a sickle overlapping each other. The two tools are symbols of the industrial proletariat and the peasantry; placing them...

. In 2004 it was redecorated, with the walls painted yellow and the overall décor lightened. A hammer and sickle survives in a frame on the wall, a source of some controversy. King's also has a dedicated Coffee Shop adjacent to the bar. A Vacation Bar, or "vac bar", also sometimes operates during the summer vacation, run by (and mainly for) the graduate students who remain in College throughout the year.

Whereas most Cambridge colleges celebrate May Week
May Week
May Week is the name used within the University of Cambridge to refer to a period of time at the end of the academic year. Originally May Week took place in the week during May before year-end exams began. Today, May Week takes place in June. The end of exams is a cause for heavy celebration...

 with a May Ball
May Ball
A May Ball is a ball at the end of the academic year that happens at any one of the colleges of the University of Cambridge. They are formal affairs, requiring evening dress, with ticket prices of around £65 to £200 , with some colleges selling tickets only in pairs...

 (which actually falls in June), since the early 1980s King's has instead held a June Event
June Event
June Events are alternatives to May Balls held by some Cambridge colleges.The necessarily high price of May Ball tickets motivates some colleges to host Events instead...

 (a more informal version of a May Ball) known as King's Affair. The down-scaling followed a huge invasion of crashers over the backs when the Stranglers played at the last King's ball. The annual budget is around £85,000 and the event has always sold out. The enduring popularity of the June Event is due largely to its affordability; a ticket generally costs around £60 rather than the £90–200 which is common for the May Balls of other colleges.

While not enjoying a reputation for sport, much sporting activity occurs at King's. Most intercollegiate sports events are entered and most people will be able to find something to participate in at a suitable level. The largest sports club in the college is the King's Mountaineering and Kayaking Association, running weekly rock climbing and kayaking sessions during the term along with outdoor pursuits trips during the holidays. The second largest is the King's College Boat Club
King's College Boat Club
King's College Boat Club is the rowing club for members of King's College, Cambridge.-Men's results:The King's 1st men's VIII have spent most of their history in the second division of the Lent and May Bumps. In 1897, King's reached 4th in the Lent Bumps, but subsided back into the 2nd division...

, which has recently enjoyed a run of success.

Alumni






Time Magazine published, in 2000, a list of what it considered the most 'influential and important' people of the twentieth century. In a list of one hundred names, King's claimed two: Alan Turing
Alan Turing
Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS , was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which played a...

 and John Maynard Keynes
John Maynard Keynes
John Maynard Keynes, Baron Keynes of Tilton, CB FBA , was a British economist whose ideas have profoundly affected the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics, as well as the economic policies of governments...

 who had been both students and fellows at the college. Other alumni of King's College have included prime ministers, archbishops, presidents and the novelist E.M. Forster. More recently they have included authors Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith is a British novelist. To date she has written three novels. In 2003, she was included on Granta's list of 20 best young authors...

 and Salman Rushdie, politician Charles Clarke
Charles Clarke
Charles Rodway Clarke is a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament for Norwich South from 1997 until 2010, and served as Home Secretary from December 2004 until May 2006.-Early life:...

, journalist Johann Hari
Johann Hari
Johann Hari is an award winning British journalist who has been a columnist at The Independent, the The Huffington Post, and contributed to several other publications. In 2011, Hari was accused of plagiarism; he subsequently was suspended from The Independent and surrendered his 2008 Orwell Prize...

, folk musician John Spiers
Spiers and Boden
Spiers and Boden are an English folk duo. John Spiers plays melodeon and concertina, while Jon Boden sings and plays fiddle and guitar while stamping the rhythm on a stomp box.-Biography:...

 and comedian David Baddiel
David Baddiel
David Lionel Baddiel is an English comedian, novelist and television presenter.-Early life:Baddiel was born in New York, and moved to England when he was four months old. His father, Colin Brian Baddiel, was a Welsh research chemist with Unilever before being made redundant in the 1980s, after...

.

Montague Rhodes James, celebrated ghost story writer and mediaevalist, spent much of his life at King's as student, don and Provost. Many of his finest stories were read at Christmas to friends in his rooms in the College.

Once someone has been admitted to the College, they become a member for life. For this reason, King's alumni are referred to as 'Non Resident Members'.

See also: :Category: Alumni of King's College, Cambridge and :Category: Fellows of King's College, Cambridge

In popular culture


King's College features in the Yes Minister
Yes Minister
Yes Minister is a satirical British sitcom written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn that was first transmitted by BBC Television between 1980–1982 and 1984, split over three seven-episode series. The sequel, Yes, Prime Minister, ran from 1986 to 1988. In total there were 38 episodes—of which all but...

episode "The Greasy Pole
The Greasy Pole
"The Greasy Pole" is the eleventh episode of the BBC comedy series Yes Minister and was first broadcast 16 March 1981. In this episode, the final ' Yes Minister ' is uttered by Bernard Woolley. The episode's title is an allusion to a famous quotation by Benjamin Disraeli: "I have climbed to the top...

" as the setting for the 'coincident[al]' meeting between Jim Hacker and Professor Henderson, a Chemistry Don
University don
A don is a fellow or tutor of a college or university, especially traditional collegiate universities such as Oxford and Cambridge in England.The term — similar to the title still used for Catholic priests — is a historical remnant of Oxford and Cambridge having started as ecclesiastical...

. In this exchange, Jim Hacker attempts to persuade Henderson to soften the phrasing of his governmental report, to allow Hacker the political flexibility to bow to public demand.

The 1987 film Maurice
Maurice (film)
Maurice is a 1987 British film based on the novel of the same title by E. M. Forster. It is a tale of homosexual love in early 20th century England, following its main character Maurice Hall from his school days through university until he is united with his life partner.It was produced by Ismail...

, based on the novel by E. M. Forster
E. M. Forster
Edward Morgan Forster OM, CH was an English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society...

, himself a student and fellow at King's, was filmed in the college.

In 1930, a Cambridgeshire Constabulary
Cambridgeshire Constabulary
Cambridgeshire Constabulary is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement within the ceremonial county of Cambridgeshire in the United Kingdom. In addition to the non-metropolitan county, the Police area includes the city of Peterborough, which became a unitary authority area in...

 Detective
Detective
A detective is an investigator, either a member of a police agency or a private person. The latter may be known as private investigators or "private eyes"...

 Sergeant
Sergeant
Sergeant is a rank used in some form by most militaries, police forces, and other uniformed organizations around the world. Its origins are the Latin serviens, "one who serves", through the French term Sergent....

 was shot dead by an estranged pupil who also shot his tutor, on the first door on the left of the dorm houses.

The 2010 film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a 2010 3D fantasy-adventure film based on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third novel in C. S. Lewis's epic fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia . It is the third installment in The Chronicles of Narnia film series from Walden Media...

 opens with a panorama of the Gatehouse of King's College.

Panorama



See also


:Category:Alumni of King's College, Cambridge
:Category:Fellows of King's College, Cambridge

External links