R.W. Johnson

Magdalen College was founded in 1458 by William Waynflete, a farmer’s son who became the bishop of Winchester and chancellor of England, and so endowed the college as to make it the richest in Oxford or Cambridge until the foundation of Cardinal College (renamed Christ Church after Wolsey’s fall). It did no harm to Magdalen that Wolsey, who was one of its fellows, himself became Henry VIII’s chancellor. When I was senior bursar of the college in the early 1980s I had the pleasure of presiding over the topping out ceremony when we completed the restoration of Magdalen’s Great Tower, sharing that distinction only with Wolsey, my bursarial predecessor.

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[*] The book, which costs £95, is published by the college.