Dean of Christ Church

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Christ Church Cathedral

The Dean of Christ Church is the dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and head of the governing body of Christ Church, a constituent college of the University of Oxford. The cathedral is the mother church of the Church of England Diocese of Oxford and seat of the Bishop of Oxford. The chapter of canons of the cathedral has formed the governing body of the college since its foundation, with the dean as ex officio head of the chapter and ipso facto head of the college. Since 4 October 2014, the dean has been Martyn Percy.[1]

List of deans[edit]

From the diocese's foundation in 1542 until 1545, the cathedral was at Osney. There, the cathedral deans were:

The academic deans of Christ Church's predecessor Oxford colleges were:

  • John Hygdon (Dean of Cardinal College, 1525–1531; Dean of King Henry VIII's College, 1532–1533)
  • John Oliver (Dean of King Henry VIII's College, 1533–1545)

Both the college and the see at Osney surrendered to the crown on 20 May 1545. Christ Church, the double establishment of cathedral and college was founded by letters patent on 4 November 1546.[2]

Name Portrait Term of office
Richard Cox Bp Richard Cox.jpg 1546 1553
Richard Marshall No image.svg 1553 1559
George Carew No image.svg 1559 1561
Thomas Sampson No image.svg 1561 1565
Thomas Godwin Bp Thomas Godwin.jpg 1565 1567
Thomas Cooper No image.svg 1567 1571
John Piers Abp John Piers.jpg 1571 1576
Tobias Matthew Tobie (or Tobias) Matthew from NPG.jpg 1577 1583
William James Bp William James.jpg 1584 1596
Thomas Ravis Thomas Ravis portrait.jpg 1596 1605
John King John King by Nicholas Lockey.jpg 1605 1611
William Goodwin No image.svg 1611 1620
Richard Corbet Portrait of Richard Corbet Bishop of Norwich by Sylvester Harding.jpg 1620 1628
Brian Duppa BrianDuppa.jpg 1628 1638
Samuel Fell Samuel Fell, Christ Church.jpg 1638 1648
Edward Reynolds Edward Reynolds crop.jpg 1648 1651
John Owen John Owen by John Greenhill.jpg 1651 1660
Edward Reynolds Edward Reynolds crop.jpg March–July 1660
George Morley GeorgeMorley.jpg July–October 1660
John Fell
(in commendam as Bishop of Oxford from 1676)
John Fell by Peter Lely.jpg 1660 1686[†]
John Massey No image.svg 1686 1688
Henry Aldrich Henry Aldrich after Kneller.jpg 1689 1710[†]
Francis Atterbury Francis Atterbury by Godfrey Kneller.jpg 1711 1713
George Smalridge
(in commendam as Bishop of Bristol from 1714)
George Smalridge.jpg 1713 1719[†]
Hugh Boulter
(in commendam as Bishop of Bristol)
Bp Hugh Boulter.jpg 1719 1724
William Bradshaw
(in commendam as Bishop of Bristol)
William Bradshaw by Enoch Seeman.jpg 1724 1732[†]
John Conybeare
(in commendam as Bishop of Bristol from 1750)
Bp John Conybeare.jpg 1733 1755[†]
David Gregory No image.svg 1756 1767[†]
William Markham
(in commendam as Bishop of Chester from 1771)
William Markham by Benjamin West.jpg 1767 1777
Lewis Bagot
(in commendam as Bishop of Bristol from 1782)
Bp Lewis Bagot by John Hoppner.jpg 1777 1783
Cyril Jackson Cyril Jackson (1746-1819), by Studio of William Owen.jpg 1783 1809
Charles Henry Hall Charles Henry Hall, Christ Church.jpg 1809 1824
Samuel Smith Samuel Smith, Christ Church.jpg 1824 1831
Thomas Gaisford Thomas Gaisford, Christ Church.jpg 1831 1855[†]
Henry Liddell HenryLiddell.jpg 1855 1891
Francis Paget Francis Paget.jpg 1892 1901
Thomas Strong[3] Bp Thomas Banks Strong.jpg 1901 1920
Henry Julian White H Julian White,Christ Church.jpg 1920 1934
Alwyn Williams No image.svg 1934 1939
John Lowe No image.svg 1939 1959
Cuthbert Simpson No image.svg 1959 1969
Henry Chadwick No image.svg 1969 1979
Eric Heaton No image.svg 1979 1991
John Drury No image.svg 1991 2003
Christopher Lewis[4] No image.svg 2003 2014[5]
Martyn Percy[1] The Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy.jpg 2014 Incumbent


  • Died in office


  1. ^ a b Christ Church, Oxford – The Dean of Christ Church (Accessed 7 May 2014)
  2. ^ Horn, Joyce M. (ed.). "Oxford: Introduction". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541-1857. 8. pp. 69–72. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  3. ^ "No. 27329". The London Gazette. 2 July 1901. p. 4399.
  4. ^ "Christ Church, Oxford – Dean, Cathedral Chapter and Staff". Archived from the original on 2012-02-24. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
  5. ^ Oxford Mail – Dean of Christ Church preparing to retire and start new life in Suffolk (Accessed 7 May 2014)

Horn, Joyce M. (ed.). "Deans of Christ Church, Oxford". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541-1857. 8. pp. 80–83. Retrieved 12 September 2019.