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Encyclopedia > All Souls College
All Souls College
Established 1438
Sister College Trinity Hall
Warden Dr John Davis
Graduates None
Undergraduates None

All Souls College (in full: The College of All Souls of the Faithful Departed, of Oxford) is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

All Souls is an oddity in that it has no students, consisting entirely of Fellows, i.e. academics who are full governing members of the College.

Every year, the top finalists of the University are invited to sit the examination for fellowship of the College. About two are elected to fellowship each year. Fellowship of All Souls is thus regarded as one of the highest academic honours in the United Kingdom.



The College was founded by Henry VI of England and Henry Chichele (fellow of New College and Archbishop of Canterbury), in 1438. The Statutes provided for the Warden and forty fellows - all to take Holy Orders; twenty-four to study arts, philosophy and theology; and sixteen to study civil or canon law. Today the College is primarily an academic research institution.



Every hundred years there is a commemorative feast after which the fellows parade around the College with flaming torches, singing the Mallard Song and led by a "Lord Mallard" who is carried in a chair, in search of a fictional giant mallard that supposedly flew out of the foundations of the college when it was being built. The last mallard ceremony was in 2001 and the next will be held in 2101.

Chorus: Hough the bloud of King Edward, By ye bloud of King Edward, It was a swapping, swapping mallard! (Compare with Terry Pratchett's cruel but accurate parody, the Hedgehog Song.)


Those Who Tried and Were Disappointed

External link

  • Official Website (http://www.all-souls.ox.ac.uk/)

Colleges of the University of Oxford

All Souls | Balliol | Brasenose | Christ Church | Corpus Christi | Exeter | Green | Harris Manchester | Hertford | Jesus | Keble | Kellogg | Lady Margaret Hall | Linacre | Lincoln | Magdalen | Mansfield | Merton | New College | Nuffield | Oriel | Pembroke | Queen's | St Anne's | St Antony's | St Catherine's | St Cross | St Edmund Hall | St Hilda's | St Hugh's | St John's | St Peter's | Somerville | Templeton | Trinity | University | Wadham | Wolfson | Worcester

Permanent Private Halls at the University of Oxford

Blackfriars | Campion Hall | Greyfriars | Regent's Park College | St Benet's Hall | St Stephen's House | Wycliffe Hall



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