Notable Chapel Figures

Oriel College Chapel has a rich history as a community from which students, fellows and chaplains have gone on to make significant contributions to the wider church and society:

William Allen

(1532-94) Undergraduate 1547-50, Fellow 1550-6: Cardinal and counter-reformer; founder of English seminaries at Douai, Rome and Valladolid; responsible for the Douai version of the Bible.
 (pictured left)

William Prynne

(1600-69) Undergraduate 1618-21: Puritan pamphleteer and politician; opponent of Charles I and Archbishop Laud. Supported the Restoration.

Joseph Butler

(1692-1752) Undergraduate 1715-18: Bishop of Bristol, then Bishop of Durham; author of Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed (1736).

Richard Whatley

(1787-1863) Undergraduate 1805-08, Fellow 1811-21: professor of political economy at Oxford, then Archbishop of Dublin. Mentor and later opponent of John Henry Newman. (pictured left)

Thomas Arnold

(1795-1842) Fellow 1815-27: Headmaster of Rugby School, then Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford. Supporter of the Broad Church Movement.

John Keble

(1792-1866) Fellow 1811-35, Chaplain 1817-23: Poet, priest and leader of the Oxford Movement. Author of The Christian Year (1827) and Professor of Poetry. (pictured left)

Edward Bouverie Pusey

(1800-82) Fellow 1823-28: Regius Professor of Hebrew and Canon of Christ Church; a leader of the Oxford Movement. Renowned as a spiritual advisor and guide.

John Henry Newman

(1801-90) Fellow 1822-45, Chaplain 1826-31 & 1833-35: Leader of the Oxford Movement and later Cardinal. Read more about John Henry Newman.

Samuel Wilberforce

(1805-73) Undergraduate 1823-26: Bishop of Oxford, then Winchester. Founder of Cuddesdon Theological College (1854).

Thomas Hughes

(1822-96) Undergraduate 1841-45: Lawyer, politician and author of Tom Brown’s Schooldays (1857); a follower of F.D. Maurice and a leading figure in the Christian Socialist Movement.


Matthew Arnold

(1822-88) Fellow 1845-52: Poet and literary critic; author of Culture and Anarchy (1869). An exponent of liberal theology in the Church of England.

Edward King

(1829-1910) Undergraduate 1848-51: Regius Professor of Pastoral Theology, then Bishop of Lincoln; a High Churchman prosecuted for alleged liturgical innovations. Founder of St. Stephen’s House Oxford (1876). (pictured left)

James Hannington

(1847-85) Undergraduate (St Mary Hall) 1868-73: Missionary Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa; martyred with others in Uganda in 1885.

George, Lord Macleod of Fuinary

(1895-1991) Undergraduate 1913-19: Church of Scotland minister and social activist; founder of the Iona Community.

John Collins

(1905-82) Chaplain 1937-48: Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral; founder of Christian Action and leading figure in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. (pictured left)

Ian Ramsey

(1915-72) Fellow 1951-66: Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion at Oxford, then Bishop of Durham. Advocated interdisciplinary approaches to the relationship between theology and science.  

John Hick

(1922-2012) Postgraduate 1948-50: Theologian and philosopher of religion; editor of the controversial The Myth of God Incarnate (1977). An apologist for religious pluralism.

John Baker

(1928-2014) Undergraduate 1948-52, Postgraduate 1952-55: Bishop of Salisbury; Chairman of the Doctrine Commission of the Church of England and responsible for the report The Church and the Bomb (1983).

Frank Griswold

(b.1937) Undergraduate 1960-62: Bishop of Chicago, then twenty-fifth Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church USA from 1997-2006. (pictured left)

Picture of John Keble courtesy of the Warden and Fellows of Keble College Oxford.