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By 1270 the college itself had a corporate existence and used a seal depicting five souls held in a cloth in the bosom of Abraham. The 14th-century college seal depicting the Virgin and Christ Child seated on an elaborate throne below which a small…

In 1267 Walter de Merton was busy consolidating what was to become today’s college site. He acquired a house on Merton Street (now part of Front Quad) from a prominent member of Oxford’s Jewish community, Jacob, son of Master Moses of London. The…

Seal of Ela Longespee, Countess of Warwick from a document signing over the manor of Thorncroft in Surrey to Walter de Merton in 1266.

An account roll from Kibworth from 1335, including a rare example of a tally-stick—a slip of wood used as a receipt and notched to indicate a given number.

A charter from 1271 includes a Hebrew ‘starr’ or quitclaim sewn onto the Latin grant of property at Barkby in Leicestershire. The two documents together detail the grant of land by Robert de Percy to Walter de Merton, with the Hebrew…

The seal of Walter de Merton from the Founder's Statutes of Merton College, 1264. His motto reads Qui timet Deum faciet bona - 'He who fears God shall do good'.

The seal of King Henry III from the Founder's Statutes of Merton College, 1264. The royal approval of the foundation of Merton was reinforced by the enrollment of the charter on the royal charter rolls.

The earliest depiction of the buildings of Merton College, viewed from what is now Merton Street. The artist David Loggan lived in a house in Holywell Street, and was appointed engraver to the university in 1669. His detailed bird’s-eye views…


Aristotle’s works on animals formed part of the standard syllabus for the Arts degree in the Middle Ages. This luxury copy contains historiated initials at the beginning of every chapter. It was made in Northern France in the third quarter of the…
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