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Trinity Hall
University of Cambridge
Trinity Hall, Cambridge's Front Court
Trinity Hall's front court
Trinity Hall Crest.png
Arms of Trinity Hall
Arms: Sable, a crescent ermine a bordure (engrailed) of the last[1]
Scarf colours: black, with two equally-spaced narrow white stripes
LocationTrinity Lane (map)
Coordinates52°12′21″N 0°06′57″E / 52.2057°N 0.1157°E / 52.2057; 0.1157 (Trinity Hall)
Full nameThe College or Hall of the Holy Trinity in the University of Cambridge
FounderWilliam Bateman, Bishop of Norwich
Established1350 (1350)
Named afterThe Holy Trinity
Sister colleges
MasterMary Hockaday
Trinity Hall, Cambridge is located in Central Cambridge
Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Location in Central Cambridge
Show map of Central Cambridge
Trinity Hall, Cambridge is located in Cambridge
Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Location in Cambridge
Show map of Cambridge

Trinity Hall (formally The College or Hall of the Holy Trinity in the University of Cambridge) is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge.[4]

It is the fifth-oldest surviving college of the university, having been founded in 1350 by William Bateman, Bishop of Norwich, to train clergymen in canon law following decimation of their numbers during the Black Death.

Historically, Trinity Hall taught law; today, it teaches the sciences, arts, and humanities.

Trinity Hall has two sister colleges at the University of Oxford, All Souls and University College.

Notable alumni include theoretical physicists Stephen Hawking and Nobel Prize winner David Thouless, Australian Prime Minister Stanley Bruce, Canadian Governor General David Johnston, philosophers Marshall McLuhan and Galen Strawson, Conservative cabinet minister Geoffrey Howe, Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham, writer J. B. Priestley, and Academy Award-winning actress Rachel Weisz.


The devastation caused by the Black Death in England of the 1340s included the loss of perhaps half of the population; Bishop Bateman himself lost nearly 700 of his parish priests, and so his decision to found a college was probably centred on a need to rebuild the priesthood. The site that Bateman chose was the original site of Gonville Hall, which had been founded three years earlier, but was financially struggling. Bateman's clerical aim for the Hall is reflected in the foundation of 1350, when he stated that the college's aim was "the promotion of divine worship and of canon and civil science and direction of the commonwealth and especially of our church and diocese of Norwich." This led the college to be particularly strong in legal studies, a tradition that has continued over the centuries.[5]

At first all colleges in Cambridge were known as "Halls" or "Houses" and then later changed their names from "Hall" to "College". However, when Henry VIII founded Trinity College next door, it became clear that Trinity Hall would continue being known as a Hall. The new foundation's name may have been a punishment for the college's master, Stephen Gardiner, who had opposed the king's remarriage and had endured much of the college's land being removed. It is incorrect to call it Trinity Hall College, although Trinity Hall college (lower case) is, strictly speaking, accurate. A similar situation had existed once before when Henry VI founded King's College (in 1441) despite the existence of King's Hall (founded in 1317). King's Hall was later incorporated in the foundation of Trinity College in 1546.

Trinity Hall, in addition to having a chapel, also had joint usage of the Church of St John Zacharias with Clare Hall, until the church was demolished to enable the construction of King's College in the 15th century. After this, the college was granted usage of the nearby Church of St Edward, King and Martyr on Peas Hill, a connection which remains to this day.

Allegations of misconduct

In 2019 and 2020, the College experienced unwelcome publicity due to sexual misconduct scandals involving Dr William O’Reilly, the former Acting Senior Tutor, and Dr Peter Hutchinson, a former fellow.

In 2015, 10 students submitted formal complaints of verbal sexual harassment by Hutchinson. Hutchinson was asked to withdraw permanently from further teaching and from attending social events at which students might be present.[6] However, due to an alleged error by the College in 2017, Hutchinson was invited to a college event, which was also open to students. His attendance was in breach of the prior agreement and resulted in an outcry among students and alumni.

Thereafter, in 2019, a formal agreement as to what events Hutchinson could attend was approved by the Governing Body. He remained an Emeritus Fellow of the College. This resulted in further protest from students and alumni as well as more widespread coverage.[7] The Guardian called it "a gross betrayal to (sic)the students" and "a dangerous environment for women students to study".[8] It was reported in November 2019 that Hutchinson had resigned.[9]

In February 2020, a Tortoise Media investigation alleged that O’Reilly seriously mishandled a disciplinary process involving three women’s experience of sexual assault by a student he had a "close relationship" with.[10] The article said that amongst other things, O’Reilly himself had given witness testimony on behalf of the student at the disciplinary hearings into the assaults. The investigation also claimed that a fourth student had complained to the Master, Jeremy Morris, that they had been sexually assaulted by O’Reilly, an allegation O’Reilly denied.[10] The article reported that Morris allowed O’Reilly to continue teaching un-investigated for a further five months until complaints were investigated by police, during which time he was permitted to continue overseeing the disciplinary process involving the student with whom he was close. Tortoise alleged that as of the date of publication, no formal investigation had been made into this complaint, and no safeguarding measures had been put in place.

In February 2020, Morris and O’Reilly agreed to "step back" from their roles in college pending investigation.[11] In March 2020, the Governing Body authorised an immediate external inquiry into the College’s handling of all allegations raised and matters referred to in the Tortoise article, to be led by Gemma White QC.[12] The independent inquiry recommended Trinity Hall consider disciplinary action against Morris in relation to his handling of one allegation. Morris resigned as Master in August 2021.[13]

In September 2022 the College published White's Report for Publication[14] and a Response Document that indicated the actions it had taken to make improvements to the structures and culture of the institution.


Front court
The Jerwood Library in Latham Court backs on to the River Cam next to Garret Hostel Bridge

The College site on the Cam was originally obtained from Bateman's purchase of a house from John de Crauden, Prior of Ely, to house the monks during their study, with Front Court being built within the college's first few decades. The medieval structures remain unaltered, but with their façade altered to a more baroque style during the Mastership of Sir Nathaniel Lloyd in 1710-45.[15]


The Chapel was licensed in 1352 and was built by August 1366, when Pope Urban V granted the College permission to celebrate eucharist there. Its present decor stems from its 1729-1730 renovation; Lloyd had pre-existing graves removed to the Ante-Chapel, and the walls decorated with wainscoting and the ceiling with past Masters' crests. The Chapel was extended east in 1864, during which the original piscina was discovered and hidden behind a secret door. The painting behind the communion-table is Maso da San Friano's Salutation, loaned from the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1957, replacing an earlier painting by Stella.

Dining Hall

The Dining Hall was rebuilt under Lloyd along similar lines to the Chapel, with rendered walls replaced by wainscoting and medieval beams by baroque carvings. A large portrait of Lloyd dominates the wall behind High Table; Lloyd supposedly made it irremovable from its wainscot surroundings, such his representation can never be erased from the College.


The college library was built in the late 16th century, with the permission of Elizabeth I and probably during the mastership of Thomas Preston, and is now principally used for the storage of the college's manuscripts and rare books; it is one of the few remaining chained libraries left in the country. The new Jerwood Library overlooking the river was opened by Lord Howe in 1999, and stores the college's modern book collection.


The college owns properties in the centre of Cambridge, on Bateman Street and Thompson's Lane, and on its Wychfield site next to Fitzwilliam College, where most of the college's sporting activity takes place. Mary Hockaday was appointed Master in May 2022 and took up the post in September that year.[16]

Student life

Combination Rooms

Trinity Hall has active Junior, Middle and Senior Combination Rooms for undergraduate, postgraduate and senior members of the college community respectively. The Middle Combination Room is located in Front Court, while the Junior Combination Room is adjacent to the college bar in North Court. Both the MCR and JCR have highly active committees and organize popular socials for their members across the term.


Trinity Hall Boat Club

Trinity Hall's oldest and largest society, the Boat Club was founded in 1827, and has had a long and distinguished history; notably from 1890 until 1898, when the college stayed Head of the Mays for 33 consecutive days of rowing, which remains to this day the longest continuous defence by a single club of the bumps headship. The college won all but one of the events in the 1887 Henley Royal Regatta, making it the most successful Cambridge college in Henley's history. The current boathouse, built in 1905 in memory of Henry Latham, is on the River Cam, a short walk from the college.

Trinity Hall Christian Union

Trinity Hall's Christian Union was founded in 1877, making it the second oldest JCR-listed society. It is part of the broader Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union.[17]


Trinity Hall's literary society, the Hesperides, was founded in 1923 by Neil McLeod Innes with the intention of discussing literary and artistic subjects. Named after the seminal work of the 17th-century poet Robert Herrick, in its early years the society hosted T. S. Eliot, J. B. Priestley and Nikolaus Pevsner at its various dinners and functions. Old Hesperideans have gone on to some notoriety, none more so than Donald Maclean, a spy and member of the Cambridge Five. The Hesperides disbanded in 1976, but was re-founded in 2020 to encourage literary activity after the COVID-19 pandemic; speakers have included Trinity Hall alumni Nicholas Hytner and Sophie Winkleman.


A panoramic view of Latham Lawn and the adjacent buildings

People associated with Trinity Hall


On 31 May 2022, Mary Hockaday was announced as the next Master.[18]


The current Dean is the Revd Dr Stephen Plant. The role of Dean incorporates that of Chaplain in other colleges.


Notable alumni

See also


  1. ^ a b During the 2017–18 academic year.[3]
  2. ^ As at 30 June 2018.[3]


  1. ^ Arms of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, being the arms of Bateman, as used by William Bateman (d. 1355), Bishop of Norwich 1344–55, founder of Trinity Hall: as seen (with bordure engrailed) at Trinity Hall, Cambridge (over B staircase), impaled by the arms of the See of Norwich.
  2. ^ University of Cambridge (6 March 2019). "Notice by the Editor". Cambridge University Reporter. 149 (Special No 5): 1. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b Trinity Hall, Cambridge. "Accounts for the Year Ended 30 June 2018" (PDF). Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  4. ^ Walker, Timea (2 February 2022). "Trinity Hall". Retrieved 2 November 2022.
  5. ^ "Trinity Hall -".
  6. ^ "Statement of clarification". Trinity Hall. 24 October 2019. Archived from the original on 19 December 2019.
  7. ^ "Cambridge harassment row fuels calls to reform college system". The Guardian. 24 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Cambridge isn't the only university to fail at handling sexual misconduct complaints". The Guardian. 24 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Cambridge University academic resigns after Trinity Hall row". BBC News. 6 November 2019.
  10. ^ a b "A college with secrets". Tortoise. 18 February 2020.
  11. ^ Chae, Howard (22 February 2020). "Trinity Hall Master and accused Fellow to stand down pending investigation". Varsity. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  12. ^ "Statement from Trinity Hall". Trinity Hall. 12 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Cambridge University college master resigns over handling of sex complaints". BBC News. 31 August 2021. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  14. ^ "College Statement on Gemma White QC's Report for Publication".
  15. ^ The Philips Nichols Scandal of 1731
  16. ^ "Mary Hockaday takes up post as Master".
  17. ^ THCU CICCU Page
  18. ^ "Trinity Hall Elects New Master".


  • The Hidden Hall: Portrait of a Cambridge College, Peter Pagnamenta, ISBN 1-903942-31-4
  • Trinity Hall: The History of a Cambridge College, 1350-1975, Charles Crawley, ISBN 0-9505122-0-6
  • Warren's Book (Ed. 1911 by A.W.W.Dale)
  • Trinity Hall or, The college of scholars of the Holy Trinity of Norwich, in the University of Cambridge, Henry Elliot Malden. (1902). London: F.E. Robinson.

External links

1 Annotation

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Cosmo, the future Grand Duke of Turin, visited Trinity College, Cambridge on May 1/11, 1669.
I've standardized names, scanning errors I could figure out, and increased the number of paragraphs:

Nor was the next college which his highness visited less considerable, called Trinity, which in the year 1546, by the union of the Hall of King Edward III, of the house of St. Michael, of that of Henry Stanton, Chancellor of the Exchequer to King Edward II, and of that of William Pishwick, was founded and enriched with an annual revenue of 1,640/.s; it was further augmented by the liberality of King Edward VI, of the Queens Mary and Elizabeth, and of King James, who twice resided there with his court for the space of three months, causing Prince Charles, his son, to be enrolled in the number of the collegians; and by the munificence of John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury, of Thomas Allen, of Doctors Bell, Beaumont, Stanhope, Barron, and others, who at a great expense rendered the building more magnificent, the library more extensive, and the revenue more flourishing, by large legacies, so that it now supports 468 persons.


His highness surveyed everything most remarkable in the college, to the magnificence of which nothing contributes more than the grand square, which takes its name from Thomas Nevill, formerly Dean of Canterbury, and master of the college, who erected and completed it at an expense of 7,000/.s.



His highness, Cosmo, must be considered only as a traveler. Under his direction, the narrator of the records was Count Lorenzo Magalotti, afterwards Secretary to the Academy del Cimento, and one of the most learned and eminent characters of the court of Ferdinand II.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Aug