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William of Durham

William of Durham

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William of Durham who is said to have founded University College, Oxford
University College, Oxford
.University College , is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. As of 2009 the college had an estimated financial endowment of £110m...

, 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...

. He probably came from Sedgefield
Sedgefield
Sedgefield is a small town and civil parish in County Durham, England. It has a population of 4,534.Sedgefield has attracted particular attention as the Member of Parliament for the wider Sedgefield constituency was the former Prime Minister Tony Blair; he was the area's MP from 1983 to 2008,...

, County Durham
County Durham
County Durham is a ceremonial county and unitary district in north east England. The county town is Durham. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county is the town of Darlington...

 and was educated at Wearmouth monastery and in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

.

William of Durham was archdeacon of Caux
Pays de Caux
The Pays de Caux is an area in Normandy occupying the greater part of the French département of Seine Maritime in Haute-Normandie. It is a chalk plateau to the north of the Seine Estuary and extending to the cliffs on the English Channel coast - its coastline is known as the Côte d'Albâtre...

 and (in 1235, for a few months) archbishop-elect of Rouen
Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

 in Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

, France.

When, in 1229, riots broke out in Paris, he may have been the leader of a group of students who migrated from that city to Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

, but this tradition is not attested to by contemporary sources. What is more certain is that he held several rich benefices in 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...

 and died in Rouen, in 1249.

He left 310 marks, a large amount of money, in his will to be invested in rents that would support scholars in Oxford. This benefaction resulted in the first of the Oxford halls or colleges. Subsequently this foundation took the name of University College, the oldest college at Oxford University, founded on William of Durham's death and legacy in 1249.