Hannibal Potter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Hannibal Potter (1592–1664) was an English clergyman and college head in Oxford during the First English Civil War. He was removed as President of Trinity College, Oxford in 1648 by the Parliamentary visitors, regaining the position in 1660.


He matriculated from Trinity College, Oxford, in 1607, was elected scholar in 1609, graduated B.A. in 1611, M.A. in 1614, B.D. in 1621, and D.D. in 1630; in 1613 he was elected Fellow of Trinity. He was presented to the livings of Over Worton, Oxfordshire, and Wootton, Northamptonshire, in 1620, and was preacher at Gray's Inn from 1635. He was tutor to Henry Gellibrand.[1][2]

On 8 August 1643 he was admitted president of Trinity by the visitor, Walter Curle as Bishop of Winchester, after a contested election, in which William Chillingworth is said to have had a majority of votes; Potter had been a chaplain to Curle.[3] During most of his tenure Oxford was the headquarters of the royalist forces; the college was almost empty and close to bankruptcy. College life was far from normal, with admissions of only a very few students, but the first child of Ann Fanshawe and Sir Richard Fanshawe was born there.[2][4]

Potter was pro-vice-chancellor during the parliamentary visitation of 1647, and showed some ingenuity in obstructing the visitors. On 13 April he was deprived of the office of president by the parliamentary chancellor of Oxford, Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke. At the same time he was deprived of Garsington, a benefice attached to the presidency, and subsequently endured financial hardship. He obtained the curacy of Broomfield, Somerset, but he was soon turned out, for reading The Book of Common Prayer.[5] He was restored to his offices in 1660, and died on 1 September 1664, being buried in the chapel of Trinity College.[2]


Francis Potter, an experimentalist as well as vicar of Mere, Wiltshire and numerologist, was his brother. During Hannibal's presidency, Francis was at work in his rooms in Trinity with William Harvey.[2][4]


  1. ^ "Aubrey's Brief Lives". Groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d  "Potter, Francis". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  3. ^ Herbert Edward Douglas Blakiston, Trinity College (1898), p. 132.
  4. ^ a b "Trinity College | A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3 (pp. 238-251)". British-history.ac.uk. 1948-12-31. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  5. ^ "Broomfield - Church | A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6 (pp. 14-17)". British-history.ac.uk. 1987-02-27. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 


Academic offices
Preceded by
Ralph Kettell
President of Trinity College, Oxford
Succeeded by
Robert Harris
Preceded by
Seth Ward
President of Trinity College, Oxford
Succeeded by
Ralph Bathurst