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Magdalene College, Cambridge

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  • Lewis H. Lapham
    H. Lapham ( /ˈluːɪs ˈlæpəm/; born January 8, 1935) is an American writer. He was the editor of the American monthly Harper's Magazine from 1976 until 1981, and from 1983 until 2006. He is the founder o...
  • John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry (1844 - 1900)
    was born in Florence, Italy, the eldest son of Archibald, Viscount Drumlanrig, who was the heir of the 7th Marquess of Queensberry. He was briefly styled Viscount Drumlanrig following his father's succ...
  • Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild (1868 - 1937)
    "Lionel Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild, Baron de Rothschild FRS[1] (8 February 1868 – 27 August 1937), a scion of the Rothschild family, was a British banker, politician, and zoologist."======...
  • Dennis William Babbage (1909 - 1991)
    Dennis William Babbage (26 April 1909 – 9 June 1991) was an English mathematician associated with Magdalene College, Cambridge, and with codebreaking at Bletchley Park during World War II.In 1980 Babba...
  • Rev. William Ashbold (b. - 1622)
    Matric. sizar from MAGDALENE, Easter, 1562; B.A. 1564-5; M.A. 1568. Fellow of Peterhouse, 1566. Proctor, 1571. D.D. from Peterhouse, 1594. Ord. deacon (Ely) Mar. 23, 1566-7; priest, Sept. 27, 1567. V. ...


Magdalene College (/ˈmɔːdlɪn/ mawd-lin) is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England. The college was founded in 1428 as a Benedictine hostel, in time coming to be known as Buckingham College, before being refounded in 1542 as the College of St Mary Magdalene. Magdalene College has some of the grandest benefactors including Britain's premier noble the Duke of Norfolk, the Duke of Buckingham and Lord Chief Justice Christopher Wray. However the refoundation was largely the work of Thomas Audley, Lord Chancellor under Henry VIII. Audley also gave the college its motto—garde ta foy (Old French: "keep your faith"). Audley's successors in the Mastership and as benefactors of the College were, however, prone to dire ends; several benefactors were arraigned at various stages on charges of high treason and executed.

The college's most famous alumnus is Samuel Pepys, whose papers and books were donated to the college upon his death, and are now housed in the Pepys Building. The college boasts a portrait of the famous diarist by Peter Lely, which hangs in the Hall.

Magdalene is noted for its 'traditional' style: it boasts a well-regarded candlelit formal hall (held every evening) and was the last all-male college in Oxford or Cambridge to admit women in 1988 (Oriel College was the last in Oxford, admitting women in 1985). This change resulted in protests by some male undergraduates, including the wearing of black armbands and flying the college flag at half-mast.

Magdalene's old buildings are representative of the college's ramshackle growth from a monks' foundation into a centre of education. It is also distinctive in that most of the old buildings are in brick rather than stone (save for the frontage of the Pepys Building). Magdalene Street divides the most ancient courts from more recent developments. One of the accommodation blocks in the newer part of the college was built by Edwin Lutyens in the early 1930s. Opened in 2005, Cripps Court, on Chesterton Road, features new undergraduate rooms and conference facilities.

Magdalene remains, despite this 20th-century expansion, one of the smaller colleges within the University, numbering some 300 undergraduates and an expanding postgraduate community.