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Durham College Oxford Accounts

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Jurisdiction 1: MonasticDocument category 1: Priors' or abbots' accounts
Jurisdiction 2: SchoolDocument category 2: Accounts
From region: County DurhamFrom place: Durham Priory
Relevant material from 1399 to 1402
Durham Priory began to send monks to study at Oxford in the late thirteenth century, but did not found its own college there until 1381, when the initiators of the foundation were Prior Robert Walworth and the dying Bishop Thomas Hatfield. Durham College prospered both academically and financially and became the forerunner of the present Trinity College; Dobson estimates that nearly half of all Durham monks studied there in the last 150 years of the priory’s history, and while this is an exaggeration, its educational importance to the Priory was clearly very great (Dobson, Durham Priory: 1400-1450 [London: Cambridge University Press, 1973], 343-359). We are grateful to Alan Piper for access to his unpublished detailed figures for each decade, which show that between 22 and 34 percent of all Durham monks who were alive at any one time had studied or were studying at Durham College).

Because Durham College had no land, derived its income only from appropriated churches and was expected to maintain eight monks and eight secular scholars, together with all the buildings, books etc. that they needed, it was usual to keep the mother-house’s financial demands on it to a minimum. It is therefore surprising that its only two contributions to the Almonry Bishop of Durham date from the brief period when it was in financial difficulty.