Copernican heliocentrism is the name given to the astronomical model developed by Nicolaus Copernicus and published in 1543. It positioned the Sun near the center of the Universe, with Earth and the other planets orbiting around it in circular paths modified by epicycles and at uniform speeds; the Copernican model displaced the geocentric model of Ptolemy that had prevailed for centuries, placing Earth at the center of the Universe. It is regarded as the launching point to modern astronomy and the Scientific Revolution. Copernicus was aware that the ancient Greek Aristarchus had proposed a heliocentric theory, cited him as a proponent of it in a reference, deleted before publication, but there is no evidence that Copernicus had knowledge of, or access to, the specific details of Aristarchus' theory. Although he had circulated an outline of his own heliocentric theory to colleagues sometime before 1514, he did not decide to publish it until he was urged to do so late in his life by his pupil Rheticus.
Copernicus's challenge was to present a practical alternative to the Ptolemaic model by more elegantly and determining the length of a solar year while preserving the metaphysical implications of a mathematically ordered cosmos. Thus, his heliocentric model retained several of the Ptolemaic elements causing the inaccuracies, such as the planets' circular orbits and uniform speeds, while at the same time re-introducing such innovations as: Earth is one of several planets revolving around a stationary Sun in a determined order Earth has three motions: daily rotation, annual revolution, annual tilting of its axis Retrograde motion of the planets is explained by Earth's motion Distance from Earth to the Sun is small compared to the distance from the Sun to the stars. Philolaus was one of the first to hypothesize movement of the Earth inspired by Pythagoras' theories about a spherical, moving globe. Aristarchus of Samos in the 3rd century BCE had developed some theories of Heraclides Ponticus to propose what was, so far as is known, the first serious model of a heliocentric solar system.
Though his original text has been lost, a reference in Archimedes' book The Sand Reckoner describes a work by Aristarchus in which he advanced the heliocentric model. Archimedes wrote: You are aware the'universe' is the name given by most astronomers to the sphere the center of, the center of the Earth, while its radius is equal to the straight line between the center of the Sun and the center of the Earth; this is the common account. But Aristarchus has brought out a book consisting of certain hypotheses, wherein it appears, as a consequence of the assumptions made, that the universe is many times greater than the'universe' just mentioned, his hypotheses are that the fixed stars and the Sun remain unmoved, that the Earth revolves about the Sun on the circumference of a circle, the Sun lying in the middle of the Floor, that the sphere of the fixed stars, situated about the same center as the Sun, is so great that the circle in which he supposes the Earth to revolve bears such a proportion to the distance of the fixed stars as the center of the sphere bears to its surface.
It is a common idea. This is due to Gilles Ménage's translation of a passage from Plutarch's On the Apparent Face in the Orb of the Moon. Plutarch reported that Cleanthes as a worshipper of the Sun and opponent to the heliocentric model, was jokingly told by Aristarchus that he should be charged with impiety. Gilles Ménage, shortly after the trials of Galileo and Giordano Bruno, amended an accusative with a nominative, vice versa, so that the impiety accusation fell over the heliocentric sustainer; the resulting misconception of an isolated and persecuted Aristarchus is still transmitted today. Several Islamic astronomers questioned the Earth's apparent immobility, centrality within the universe; some accepted. Who invented an astrolabe based on a belief held by some of his contemporaries "that the motion we see is due to the Earth's movement and not to that of the sky." That others besides al-Sijzi held this view is further confirmed by a reference from an Arabic work in the 13th century which states: According to the geometers, the earth is in constant circular motion, what appears to be the motion of the heavens is due to the motion of the earth and not the stars.
In the 12th century, Nur ad-Din al-Bitruji proposed a complete alternative to the Ptolemaic system. He declared the Ptolemaic system as an imaginary model, successful at predicting planetary positions, but not real or physical. Al-Btiruji's alternative system spread through most of Europe during the 13th century. Copernicus cited Aristarchus and Philolaus in an early manuscript of his book which survives, stating: "Philolaus believed in the mobility of the earth, some say that Aristarchus of Samos was of that opinion." For reasons unknown, he did not include this passage in the publication of his book. Inspiration came to Copernicus not from reading two authors. In Cicero he found an account of the theory of Hicetas. Plutarch provided an account of the Pythagoreans Heraclides Ponticus and Ecphantes; these authors had proposed a moving Earth, which did not
New Latin was a revival in the use of Latin in original and scientific works between c. 1375 and c. 1900. Modern scholarly and technical nomenclature, such as in zoological and botanical taxonomy and international scientific vocabulary, draws extensively from New Latin vocabulary. In such use, New Latin is viewed as still existing and subject to new word formation; as a language for full expression in prose or poetry, however, it is distinguished from its successor, Contemporary Latin. Classicists use the term "Neo-Latin" to describe the Latin that developed in Renaissance Italy as a result of renewed interest in classical civilization in the 14th and 15th centuries. Neo-Latin describes the use of the Latin language for any purpose, scientific or literary and after the Renaissance; the beginning of the period cannot be identified. The end of the New Latin period is indeterminate, but Latin as a regular vehicle of communicating ideas became rare after the first few decades of the 19th century, by 1900 it survived in international scientific vocabulary and taxonomy.
The term "New Latin" came into widespread use towards the end of the 1890s among linguists and scientists. New Latin was, at least in its early days, an international language used throughout Catholic and Protestant Europe, as well as in the colonies of the major European powers; this area consisted including Central Europe and Scandinavia. Russia's acquisition of Kiev in the 17th century introduced the study of Latin to Russia; the use of Latin in Orthodox eastern Europe did not reach high levels due to their strong cultural links to the cultural heritage of Ancient Greece and Byzantium, as well as Greek and Old Church Slavonic languages. Though Latin and New Latin are considered extinct, large parts of their vocabulary have seeped into English and several Germanic languages. In the case of English, about 60% of the lexicon can trace its origin to Latin, thus many English speakers can recognize New Latin terms with relative ease as cognates are quite common. New Latin was inaugurated by the triumph of the humanist reform of Latin education, led by such writers as Erasmus and Colet.
Medieval Latin had been the practical working language of the Roman Catholic Church, taught throughout Europe to aspiring clerics and refined in the medieval universities. It was a flexible language, full of neologisms and composed without reference to the grammar or style of classical authors; the humanist reformers sought both to purify Latin grammar and style, to make Latin applicable to concerns beyond the ecclesiastical, creating a body of Latin literature outside the bounds of the Church. Attempts at reforming Latin use occurred sporadically throughout the period, becoming most successful in the mid-to-late 19th century; the Protestant Reformation, though it removed Latin from the liturgies of the churches of Northern Europe, may have advanced the cause of the new secular Latin. The period during and after the Reformation, coinciding with the growth of printed literature, saw the growth of an immense body of New Latin literature, on all kinds of secular as well as religious subjects; the heyday of New Latin was its first two centuries, when in the continuation of the Medieval Latin tradition, it served as the lingua franca of science, to some degree diplomacy in Europe.
Classic works such as Newton's Principia Mathematica were written in the language. Throughout this period, Latin was a universal school subject, indeed, the pre-eminent subject for elementary education in most of Europe and other places of the world that shared its culture. All universities required Latin proficiency to obtain admittance as a student. Latin was an official language of Poland—recognised and used between the 9th and 18th centuries used in foreign relations and popular as a second language among some of the nobility. Through most of the 17th century, Latin was supreme as an international language of diplomatic correspondence, used in negotiations between nations and the writing of treaties, e.g. the peace treaties of Osnabrück and Münster. As an auxiliary language to the local vernaculars, New Latin appeared in a wide variety of documents, legal, diplomatic and scientific. While a text written in English, French, or Spanish at this time might be understood by a significant cross section of the learned, only a Latin text could be certain of finding someone to interpret it anywhere between Lisbon and Helsinki.
As late as the 1720s, Latin was still used conversationally, was serviceable as an international auxiliary language between people of different countries who had no other language in common. For instance, the Hanoverian king George I of Great Britain, who had no command of spoken English, communicated in Latin with his Prime Minister Robert Walpole, who knew neither German nor French. By about 1700, the growing movement for the use of national languages had reached academia, an example of the transition is Newton's writing career, which began in New Latin and ended in Eng
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England. His works are credited with developing the scientific method and remained influential through the scientific revolution. Bacon has been called the father of empiricism, his works argued for the possibility of scientific knowledge based only upon inductive reasoning and careful observation of events in nature. Most he argued science could be achieved by use of a sceptical and methodical approach whereby scientists aim to avoid misleading themselves. Although his practical ideas about such a method, the Baconian method, did not have a long-lasting influence, the general idea of the importance and possibility of a sceptical methodology makes Bacon the father of the scientific method; this method was a new rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, the practical details of which are still central in debates about science and methodology. Bacon was a patron of libraries and developed a functional system for the cataloging of books by dividing them into three categories—history and philosophy—which could further be divided into more specific subjects and subheadings.
Bacon was educated at Trinity College, where he rigorously followed the medieval curriculum in Latin. Bacon was the first recipient of the Queen's counsel designation, conferred in 1597 when Queen Elizabeth reserved Bacon as her legal advisor. After the accession of King James I in 1603, Bacon was knighted, he was created Baron Verulam in 1618 and Viscount St. Alban in 1621; because he had no heirs, both titles became extinct upon his death at 65 years. Bacon died of pneumonia, with one account by John Aubrey stating that he had contracted the condition while studying the effects of freezing on the preservation of meat, he is buried at St Michael's Church, St Albans, Hertfordshire. Francis Bacon was born on 22 January 1561 at York House near the Strand in London, the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon by his second wife, Anne Bacon, the daughter of the noted humanist Anthony Cooke, his mother's sister was married to 1st Baron Burghley, making Burghley Bacon's uncle. Biographers believe that Bacon was educated at home in his early years owing to poor health, which would plague him throughout his life.
He received tuition from a graduate of Oxford with a strong leaning toward Puritanism. He went up to Trinity College at the University of Cambridge on 5 April 1573 at the age of 12, living for three years there, together with his older brother Anthony Bacon under the personal tutelage of Dr John Whitgift, future Archbishop of Canterbury. Bacon's education was conducted in Latin and followed the medieval curriculum, he was educated at the University of Poitiers. It was at Cambridge that Bacon first met Queen Elizabeth, impressed by his precocious intellect, was accustomed to calling him "The young lord keeper", his studies brought him to the belief that the methods and results of science as practised were erroneous. His reverence for Aristotle conflicted with his rejection of Aristotelian philosophy, which seemed to him barren and wrong in its objectives. On 27 June 1576, he and Anthony entered de societate magistrorum at Gray's Inn. A few months Francis went abroad with Sir Amias Paulet, the English ambassador at Paris, while Anthony continued his studies at home.
The state of government and society in France under Henry III afforded him valuable political instruction. For the next three years he visited Blois, Tours and Spain. During his travels, Bacon studied language and civil law while performing routine diplomatic tasks. On at least one occasion he delivered diplomatic letters to England for Walsingham and Leicester, as well as for the queen; the sudden death of his father in February 1579 prompted Bacon to return to England. Sir Nicholas had laid up a considerable sum of money to purchase an estate for his youngest son, but he died before doing so, Francis was left with only a fifth of that money. Having borrowed money, Bacon got into debt. To support himself, he took up his residence in law at Gray's Inn in 1579, his income being supplemented by a grant from his mother Lady Anne of the manor of Marks near Romford in Essex, which generated a rent of £46. Bacon stated that he had three goals: to uncover truth, to serve his country, to serve his church.
He sought to further these ends by seeking a prestigious post. In 1580, through his uncle, Lord Burghley, he applied for a post at court that might enable him to pursue a life of learning, but his application failed. For two years he worked at Gray's Inn, until he was admitted as an outer barrister in 1582, his parliamentary career began when he was elected MP for Bossiney, Cornwall, in a by-election in 1581. In 1584 he took his seat in parliament for Melcombe in Dorset, in 1586 for Taunton. At this time, he began to write on the condition of parties in the church, as well as on the topic of philosophical reform in the lost tract Temporis Partus Maximus, yet he failed to gain a position. He showed signs of sympathy to Puritanism, attending the sermons of the Puritan chaplain of Gray's Inn and accompanying his mother to the Temple Church to hear Walter Travers; this led to the publication of his earliest surviving tract, which criticised the English church's suppression of the Puritan clergy. In the Parliament of 1586, he urged execution for the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots.
About this time, he again approached his powerful uncle for help. He became a bencher in 1586 and was elected a
Electrical engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the study and application of electricity and electromagnetism. This field first became an identifiable occupation in the half of the 19th century after commercialization of the electric telegraph, the telephone, electric power distribution and use. Subsequently and recording media made electronics part of daily life; the invention of the transistor, the integrated circuit, brought down the cost of electronics to the point they can be used in any household object. Electrical engineering has now divided into a wide range of fields including electronics, digital computers, computer engineering, power engineering, telecommunications, control systems, radio-frequency engineering, signal processing and microelectronics. Many of these disciplines overlap with other engineering branches, spanning a huge number of specializations such as hardware engineering, power electronics and waves, microwave engineering, electrochemistry, renewable energies, electrical materials science, much more.
See glossary of electrical and electronics engineering. Electrical engineers hold a degree in electrical engineering or electronic engineering. Practising engineers may be members of a professional body; such bodies include the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Electrical engineers work in a wide range of industries and the skills required are variable; these range from basic circuit theory to the management skills required of a project manager. The tools and equipment that an individual engineer may need are variable, ranging from a simple voltmeter to a top end analyzer to sophisticated design and manufacturing software. Electricity has been a subject of scientific interest since at least the early 17th century. William Gilbert was a prominent early electrical scientist, was the first to draw a clear distinction between magnetism and static electricity, he is credited with establishing the term "electricity". He designed the versorium: a device that detects the presence of statically charged objects.
In 1762 Swedish professor Johan Carl Wilcke invented a device named electrophorus that produced a static electric charge. By 1800 Alessandro Volta had developed the voltaic pile, a forerunner of the electric battery In the 19th century, research into the subject started to intensify. Notable developments in this century include the work of Hans Christian Ørsted who discovered in 1820 that an electric current produces a magnetic field that will deflect a compass needle, of William Sturgeon who, in 1825 invented the electromagnet, of Joseph Henry and Edward Davy who invented the electrical relay in 1835, of Georg Ohm, who in 1827 quantified the relationship between the electric current and potential difference in a conductor, of Michael Faraday, of James Clerk Maxwell, who in 1873 published a unified theory of electricity and magnetism in his treatise Electricity and Magnetism. In 1782 Georges-Louis Le Sage developed and presented in Berlin the world's first form of electric telegraphy, using 24 different wires, one for each letter of the alphabet.
This telegraph connected two rooms. It was an electrostatic telegraph. In 1795, Francisco Salva Campillo proposed an electrostatic telegraph system. Between 1803-1804, he worked on electrical telegraphy and in 1804, he presented his report at the Royal Academy of Natural Sciences and Arts of Barcelona. Salva’s electrolyte telegraph system was innovative though it was influenced by and based upon two new discoveries made in Europe in 1800 – Alessandro Volta’s electric battery for generating an electric current and William Nicholson and Anthony Carlyle’s electrolysis of water. Electrical telegraphy may be considered the first example of electrical engineering. Electrical engineering became a profession in the 19th century. Practitioners had created a global electric telegraph network and the first professional electrical engineering institutions were founded in the UK and USA to support the new discipline. Francis Ronalds created an electric telegraph system in 1816 and documented his vision of how the world could be transformed by electricity.
Over 50 years he joined the new Society of Telegraph Engineers where he was regarded by other members as the first of their cohort. By the end of the 19th century, the world had been forever changed by the rapid communication made possible by the engineering development of land-lines, submarine cables, from about 1890, wireless telegraphy. Practical applications and advances in such fields created an increasing need for standardised units of measure, they led to the international standardization of the units volt, coulomb, ohm and henry. This was achieved at an international conference in Chicago in 1893; the publication of these standards formed the basis of future advances in standardisation in various industries, in many countries, the definitions were recognized in relevant legislation. During these years, the study of electricity was considered to be a subfield of physics since the early electrical technology was considered electromechanical in nature; the Technische Universität Darmstadt founded the world's first department of electrical engineering in 1882.
The first electrical engineering degree program was started at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the physics department
James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell was a Scottish scientist in the field of mathematical physics. His most notable achievement was to formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, bringing together for the first time electricity and light as different manifestations of the same phenomenon. Maxwell's equations for electromagnetism have been called the "second great unification in physics" after the first one realised by Isaac Newton. With the publication of "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" in 1865, Maxwell demonstrated that electric and magnetic fields travel through space as waves moving at the speed of light. Maxwell proposed that light is an undulation in the same medium, the cause of electric and magnetic phenomena; the unification of light and electrical phenomena led to the prediction of the existence of radio waves. Maxwell helped develop the Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution, a statistical means of describing aspects of the kinetic theory of gases, he is known for presenting the first durable colour photograph in 1861 and for his foundational work on analysing the rigidity of rod-and-joint frameworks like those in many bridges.
His discoveries helped usher in the era of modern physics, laying the foundation for such fields as special relativity and quantum mechanics. Many physicists regard Maxwell as the 19th-century scientist having the greatest influence on 20th-century physics, his contributions to the science are considered by many to be of the same magnitude as those of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. In the millennium poll—a survey of the 100 most prominent physicists—Maxwell was voted the third greatest physicist of all time, behind only Newton and Einstein. On the centenary of Maxwell's birthday, Einstein described Maxwell's work as the "most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton". James Clerk Maxwell was born on 13 June 1831 at 14 India Street, Edinburgh, to John Clerk Maxwell of Middlebie, an advocate, Frances Cay daughter of Robert Hodshon Cay and sister of John Cay, his father was a man of comfortable means of the Clerk family of Penicuik, holders of the baronetcy of Clerk of Penicuik.
His father's brother was the 6th Baronet. He had been born "John Clerk", adding Maxwell to his own after he inherited the Middlebie estate, a Maxwell property in Dumfriesshire. James was a first cousin of both the artist Jemima Blackburn and the civil engineer William Dyce Cay. Cay and Maxwell were close friends and Cay acted as his best man when Maxwell married. Maxwell's parents married when they were well into their thirties, they had had one earlier child, a daughter named Elizabeth. When Maxwell was young his family moved to Glenlair, in Kirkcudbrightshire which his parents had built on the estate which comprised 1,500 acres. All indications suggest. By the age of three, everything that moved, shone, or made a noise drew the question: "what's the go o' that?" In a passage added to a letter from his father to his sister-in-law Jane Cay in 1834, his mother described this innate sense of inquisitiveness: He is a happy man, has improved much since the weather got moderate. He investigates the hidden course of streams and bell-wires, the way the water gets from the pond through the wall....
Recognising the potential of the young boy, Maxwell's mother Frances took responsibility for James's early education, which in the Victorian era was the job of the woman of the house. At eight he could recite the whole of the 119th psalm. Indeed, his knowledge of scripture was detailed, his mother was taken ill with abdominal cancer and, after an unsuccessful operation, died in December 1839 when he was eight years old. His education was overseen by his father and his father's sister-in-law Jane, both of whom played pivotal roles in his life, his formal schooling began unsuccessfully under the guidance of a 16 year old hired tutor. Little is known about the young man hired to instruct Maxwell, except that he treated the younger boy harshly, chiding him for being slow and wayward; the tutor was dismissed in November 1841 and, after considerable thought, Maxwell was sent to the prestigious Edinburgh Academy. He lodged during term times at the house of his aunt Isabella. During this time his passion for drawing was encouraged by his older cousin Jemima.
The 10 year old Maxwell, having been raised in isolation on his father's countryside estate, did not fit in well at school. The first year had been full, obliging him to join the second year with classmates a year his senior, his mannerisms and Galloway accent struck the other boys as rustic. Having arrived on his first day of school wearing a pair of homemade shoes and a tunic, he earned the unkind nickname of "Daftie", he never seemed bearing it without complaint for many years. Social isolation at the Academy ended when he met Lewis Campbell and Peter Guthrie Tait, two boys of a similar age who were to become notable scholars in life, they remained lifelong friends. Maxwell was fascinated by geometry at an early age, rediscovering the regular polyhedra before he received any formal instruction. Despite winning the school's scripture biography prize in his second year, his academic work remained unnoticed until, at the
Magnetism is a class of physical phenomena that are mediated by magnetic fields. Electric currents and the magnetic moments of elementary particles give rise to a magnetic field, which acts on other currents and magnetic moments; the most familiar effects occur in ferromagnetic materials, which are attracted by magnetic fields and can be magnetized to become permanent magnets, producing magnetic fields themselves. Only a few substances are ferromagnetic; the prefix ferro- refers to iron, because permanent magnetism was first observed in lodestone, a form of natural iron ore called magnetite, Fe3O4. Although ferromagnetism is responsible for most of the effects of magnetism encountered in everyday life, all other materials are influenced to some extent by a magnetic field, by several other types of magnetism. Paramagnetic substances such as aluminum and oxygen are weakly attracted to an applied magnetic field; the force of a magnet on paramagnetic and antiferromagnetic materials is too weak to be felt, can be detected only by laboratory instruments, so in everyday life these substances are described as non-magnetic.
The magnetic state of a material depends on temperature and other variables such as pressure and the applied magnetic field. A material may exhibit more than one form of magnetism as these variables change; as with magnetising a magnet, demagnetising a magnet is possible. "Passing an alternate current, or hitting a heated magnet in an east west direction are ways of demagnetising a magnet", quotes Sreekethav. Magnetism was first discovered in the ancient world, when people noticed that lodestones magnetized pieces of the mineral magnetite, could attract iron; the word magnet comes from the Greek term μαγνῆτις λίθος magnētis lithos, "the Magnesian stone, lodestone." In ancient Greece, Aristotle attributed the first of what could be called a scientific discussion of magnetism to the philosopher Thales of Miletus, who lived from about 625 BC to about 545 BC. The ancient Indian medical text Sushruta Samhita describes using magnetite to remove arrows embedded in a person's body. In ancient China, the earliest literary reference to magnetism lies in a 4th-century BC book named after its author, The Sage of Ghost Valley.
The 2nd-century BC annals, Lüshi Chunqiu notes: "The lodestone makes iron approach, or it attracts it." The earliest mention of the attraction of a needle is in a 1st-century work Lunheng: "A lodestone attracts a needle." The 11th-century Chinese scientist Shen Kuo was the first person to write—in the Dream Pool Essays—of the magnetic needle compass and that it improved the accuracy of navigation by employing the astronomical concept of true north. By the 12th century the Chinese were known to use the lodestone compass for navigation, they sculpted a directional spoon from lodestone in such a way that the handle of the spoon always pointed south. Alexander Neckam, by 1187, was the first in Europe to describe the compass and its use for navigation. In 1269, Peter Peregrinus de Maricourt wrote the Epistola de magnete, the first extant treatise describing the properties of magnets. In 1282, the properties of magnets and the dry compasses were discussed by Al-Ashraf, a Yemeni physicist and geographer.
In 1600, William Gilbert published his De Magnete, Magneticisque Corporibus, et de Magno Magnete Tellure. In this work he describes many of his experiments with his model earth called the terrella. From his experiments, he concluded that the Earth was itself magnetic and that this was the reason compasses pointed north. An understanding of the relationship between electricity and magnetism began in 1819 with work by Hans Christian Ørsted, a professor at the University of Copenhagen, who discovered by the accidental twitching of a compass needle near a wire that an electric current could create a magnetic field; this landmark experiment is known as Ørsted's Experiment. Several other experiments followed, with André-Marie Ampère, who in 1820 discovered that the magnetic field circulating in a closed-path was related to the current flowing through the perimeter of the path. James Clerk Maxwell synthesized and expanded these insights into Maxwell's equations, unifying electricity and optics into the field of electromagnetism.
In 1905, Einstein used these laws in motivating his theory of special relativity, requiring that the laws held true in all inertial reference frames. Electromagnetism has continued to develop into the 21st century, being incorporated into the more fundamental theories of gauge theory, quantum electrodynamics, electroweak theory, the standard model. Magnetism, at its root, arises from two sources: Electric current. Spin magnetic moments of elementary particles; the magnetic properties of materials are due to the magnetic moments of their atoms' orbiting electrons. The magnetic moments of the nuclei of atoms are thousands of times smaller than the electro
St John's College, Cambridge
St John's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. The college was founded by Lady Margaret Beaufort. In constitutional terms, the college is a charitable corporation established by a charter dated 9 April 1511; the aims of the college, as specified by its statutes, are the promotion of education, religion and research. The college's alumni include the winners of ten Nobel Prizes, seven prime ministers and twelve archbishops of various countries, at least two princes and three Saints; the Romantic poet William Wordsworth studied at the college, as did William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson, the two abolitionists who led the movement that brought slavery to an end in the British Empire. Prince William was affiliated with St John's while undertaking a university-run course in estate management in 2014. St John's College is well known for its choir, its members' success in a wide variety of inter-collegiate sporting competitions and its annual May Ball. In 2011, the college celebrated its quincentenary, an event marked by a visit of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
The site was occupied by the Hospital of St John the Evangelist founded around 1200. By 1470 Thomas Rotherham Chancellor of the university, extended to it the privileges of membership of the university; this led to St. John's House, as it was known, being conferred the status of a college. By the early 16th century the hospital was suffering from a lack of funds. Lady Margaret Beaufort, having endowed Christ's College sought to found a new college, chose the hospital site at the suggestion of John Fisher, her chaplain and Bishop of Rochester. However, Lady Margaret died without having mentioned the foundation of St John's in her will, it was the work of Fisher that ensured that the college was founded, he had to obtain the approval of King Henry VIII of England, the Pope through the intermediary Polydore Vergil, the Bishop of Ely to suppress the religious hospital, by which time held only a Master and three Augustinian brethren, convert it to a college. The college received its charter on 9 April 1511.
Further complications arose in obtaining money from the estate of Lady Margaret to pay for the foundation and it was not until 22 October 1512 that a codicil was obtained in the court of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In November 1512 the Court of Chancery allowed Lady Margaret's executors to pay for the foundation of the college from her estates; when Lady Margaret's executors took over they found most of the old Hospital buildings beyond repair, but repaired and incorporated the Chapel into the new college. A kitchen and hall were added, an imposing gate tower was constructed for the College Treasury; the doors were to be closed each day at dusk. Over the course of the following five hundred years, the college expanded westwards towards the River Cam, now has twelve courts, the most of any Oxford or Cambridge College; the first three courts are arranged in enfilade. The college has retained its relationship with Shrewsbury School since 1578, when the headmaster Thomas Ashton assisted in drawing up ordinances to govern the school.
Under these rulings, the borough bailiffs had power to appoint masters, along with Ashton's old college, St John's, having an academic veto. Since the appointment of Johnian academics to the Governing Body, the historic awarding of'closed' Shrewsbury Exhibitions, has continued; the current Master of St. John’s, Chris Dobson, has remained an ex officio Governor of Shrewsbury since 2007. St John's College first admitted women in October 1981, when K. M. Wheeler was admitted to the fellowship, along with nine female graduate students; the first women undergraduates arrived a year later. St John's distinctive Great Gate follows the standard contemporary pattern employed at Christ's College and Queens' College; the gatehouse is adorned with the arms of the foundress Lady Margaret Beaufort. Above these are displayed her ensigns, the Red Rose of Lancaster and Portcullis; the college arms are flanked by curious creatures known as yales, mythical beasts with elephants' tails, antelopes' bodies, goats' heads, swivelling horns.
Above them is a tabernacle containing a socle figure of St John the Evangelist, an Eagle at his feet and symbolic, poisoned chalice in his hands. The fan vaulting above is contemporary with tower, may have been designed by William Swayne, a master mason of King's College Chapel. First Court is entered via the Great Gate, is architecturally varied. First Court was converted from the hospital on the foundation of the college, constructed between 1511 and 1520. Though it has since been changed, the front range is still much as it appeared when first erected in the 16th century; the south range was refaced between 1772–6 in the Georgian style by the local architect, James Essex, as part of an abortive attempt to modernise the entire court in the same fashion. The most dramatic alteration to the original, Tudor court, remains the Victorian amendment of the north range, which involved the demolition of the original mediaeval chapel and the construction of a new, far larger set of buildings in the 1860s.
These included the Chapel, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, which includes in its interior some pieces saved from the original chapel. It is the tallest building in Cambridge; the alteration of the north range necessitated the restructuring of the connective sections of First Court.