Physwick Hostel, Cambridge

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Colleges of the University of Cambridge

Physwick Hostel

Founder William Fiswick
Established 1393
Undergraduates 30-40
Sister college Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
Location Trinity Lane

Physwick or Fishwick[1] Hostel is a former constituent of The University of Cambridge located on the south side of the present Trinity Great Court.[2] It was founded in 1393 when William Fiswick (also known as Fishwick or Physwick),[3] a bedel of the university, bequeathed his Trinity Lane hall to Gonville Hall[4] (later Gonville and Caius College).[1] Chambers and lodgings were added by William Revell, rector of Titchwell, in his own benefice. Members of the hostel and main hall were able to use these for pleasure or in sickness during recurrences of the Black Death plague.[3][5]

Physwick was far more populous than the main college Caius, usually between thirty and forty in number,[6] but at one point over 80 commoner members at once,[3] although it did not breed distinguished theologians, bishops and dignitaries.[7] Walter Hart, Bishop of Norwich (1446–1472), maintained 12 students at Physwick.[5] It did however maintain a reputation for many years, educating many eminent and learned men, some of whom were summoned to fill honorable positions in the parent college, others to hold offices of state.[6]

Physwick hostel features in several of Susanna Gregory's Matthew Bartholomew series books.

In 1467 Gonville Hall also acquired St Margaret's Hostel and then in 1481 rebuilt the two as a single, substantial complex with hall and gate tower.[1]

In 1546 Physwick and St Margaret's were merged into the new Trinity College by Henry VIII along with Michaelhouse College, King’s Hall and five other hostels: Gregory’s, Ovyng’s, Catherine’s, Garratt, and Tyler’s.

Principals of Physwick Hostel[edit]

It was administered by two Principals, one exterior, the other interior, who managed the finances, and directed the studies. The former was appointed by the Master of Caius College, the latter elected by the students themselves. That the selection of one of the Principals should be made by those whom he was to instruct is quite without parallel in early university institutions.[6]

Principal Number Date(s) of Appointment Principal
- 1519-21 John Skipp[8] MA D.D.
- 1521 Thomas Bacon[9] D.D.
16 12 November 1533 John Caius[10][11] MD
- undated, died 1551 William Filey[12] D.D.
- undated, MA 1523 Thomas Bonenfant[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Christopher Nugent Lawrence Brooke. History of Gonville and Caius College. pp. 24
  2. ^ 1959. The colleges and halls: Trinity College, A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 3, the City and University of Cambridge., Victoria County History
  3. ^ a b c Fuller, T., 2009. The history of the University of Cambridge from the conquest to the year 1634, Cambridge University Press, pages 110-112
  4. ^ Colleges. queens.cam.ac.uk
  5. ^ a b british borough charters, page 203
  6. ^ a b c Clark, J.W., 1890. Cambridge; brief historical and descriptive notes
  7. ^ COLLEGE RECORDS. NOTES ON SOURCES. http://www.rayment.info
  8. ^ Skipp, John. venn.lib.can.ac.uk
  9. ^ John Venn. Biographical History of Gonville and Caius College. pp. 28-29
  10. ^ Caius [Keys, Kees], John. The Galileo Project
  11. ^ Humphrey Davy Rolleston, 1932, 2009. IX - John Caius, The Cambridge Medical School, Cambridge University Press, pages 190-198
  12. ^ Trinity College. Memorials of Cambridge Vol 2, page 262
  13. ^ Alumni cantabrigienses; a biographical list of all known students, graduates and holders of office at the University of Cambridge (Volume pt 1 vol 1) online. Cambridge University Press, page 65