St Leonard's College, St Andrews

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St Leonard's College
St.leonards college crest.jpeg
Coat of arms of St Leonard's College
Former names
The College of Poor Clerks of the Church of St Andrews
Type Postgraduate College
Established 1512
1747 - merged into United College
1972 - reconstituted as a postgraduate college
Provost Andy Murphy
Students 1,606
Location St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

St Leonard’s College

Affiliations University of St Andrews
Website St Leonard's College

St Leonard's College is a postgraduate institute at the University of St Andrews in St Andrews, Scotland. Founded in 1512 as an autonomous theological college of the University of St Andrews, it merged with St Salvator's College in 1747 to form the United College. In 1972 it was re-instituted as a postgraduate institute.


St Leonard's College of the University of St Andrews was founded as 'The College of Poor Clerks of the Church of St Andrews' in 1512 by Alexander Stewart, Archbishop of St Andrews and John Hepburn, Prior of St Andrews (receiving Papal recognition by proxy in 1545), on the site of St Leonard's Hospital and Church. Its creation was a result of the poverty and declining status of St John's College/Pedagogy and Arts Faculty of St Andrews.

The first Provost was the Dominican, John Annand (a pupil of Jan Standonck) and a determined reformer of the clergy. St Leonard's was consequently extremely monastic in nature, with members of the college being subjected to a far more rigorous and formal code of conduct than was in practice at St Salvator's.

Because of financial considerations and the general decline of the university, St Salvator's and St Leonard's Colleges were amalgamated to form the United College of St Salvator and St Leonard in 1747. The buildings of St Leonard's College on South Street were sold and teaching limited to the St Salvator's College site on North Street.

The old college site was visited by Samuel Johnston and James Boswell in August 1773.[1] The old college site has, since the late 19th century, been occupied by St Leonards School.[2] The college chapel remains the property of the university.[3]

Famous alumni of St Leonard's College include Alexander Ales (Alesius), John Knox, George Buchanan,[4] Patrick Adamson and James Melville.


St Leonard's College was re-established in 1972 as a non-statutory college exclusively for postgraduates, postdoctoral fellows and research staff.[5] After matriculation such students are de facto members of St Leonard’s College. St Leonard's College does not own any property - its function is to act as a central point of administration for postgraduate and postdoctoral students; as such it organises postgraduate events.[6] The head of the college retains the medieval title of the older St Leonard's College, Provost. Previous Provosts of St Leonard's College include Prof. Malcolm MacLeod, Prof. Martin Kemp,[7] Dr. Frank Riddell [8], Prof. Peter Clark, [9] and Prof. Derek Woollins.

The current Provost of St Leonard's College is Prof. Andy Murphy.


  1. ^ "Samuel Johnson visit". Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  2. ^ "St leonards school". Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  3. ^ "College Chapel". Archived from the original on 2007-08-11.
  4. ^ "Buchanan alumni". Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  5. ^ "College re-established" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Post grad events". Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Martin Kemp". Archived from the original on 28 August 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  8. ^ "Frank Ridell" (PDF). Archived from the original on June 12, 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  9. ^ "Peter Clark". Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2013.


  • R.G. Cant The University of St Andrews, A Short History (Oliver and Boyd Ltd. 1946)

External links[edit]