The Old Vic
The Old Vic is a 1,000-seat, not-for-profit producing theatre, located just south-east of Waterloo station on the corner of the Cut and Waterloo Road in Lambeth, England. Established in 1818 as the Royal Coburg Theatre, renamed in 1833 the Royal Victoria Theatre, in 1871 it was rebuilt and reopened as the Royal Victoria Palace, it was taken over by Emma Cons in 1880 and formally named the Royal Victoria Hall, although by that time it was known as the "Old Vic". In 1898, a niece of Cons, Lilian Baylis, assumed management and began a series of Shakespeare productions in 1914; the building was damaged in 1940 during air raids and it became a Grade II* listed building in 1951 after it reopened. The Old Vic is the crucible of theatres in London today, it was the name of a repertory company, based at the theatre and formed the core of the National Theatre of Great Britain on its formation in 1963, under Laurence Olivier. The National Theatre remained at the Old Vic until new premises were constructed on the South Bank, opening in 1976.
The Old Vic became the home of Prospect Theatre Company, at that time a successful touring company which staged such acclaimed productions as Derek Jacobi's Hamlet. However, with the withdrawal of funding for the company by the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1980 for breaching its touring obligations, Prospect disbanded in 1981; the theatre underwent complete refurbishment in 1985. In 2003, Kevin Spacey was appointed artistic director. Spacey served as artistic director until 2015. In 2015, Matthew Warchus succeeded Spacey as artistic director; the theatre was founded in 1818 by James King and Daniel Dunn, John Thomas Serres the marine painter to the King. Serres managed to secure the formal patronage of Princess Charlotte and her husband Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, named the theatre the Royal Coburg Theatre; the theatre was thus technically forbidden to show serious drama. When the theatre passed to George Bolwell Davidge in 1824 he succeeded in bringing legendary actor Edmund Kean south of the river to play six Shakespeare plays in six nights.
The theatre's role in bringing high art to the masses was confirmed when Kean addressed the audience during his curtain call saying "I have never acted to such a set of ignorant, unmitigated brutes as I see before me." More popular staples in the repertoire were "sensational and violent" melodramas demonstrating the evils of drink, "churned out by the house dramatist", confirmed teetotaller Douglas Jerrold. When Davidge left to take over the Surrey Theatre in 1833, the theatre was bought by Daniel Egerton and William Abbot, who tried to capitalise on the abolition of the legal distinction between patent and minor theatres, enacted in Parliament earlier that year. On 1 July 1833, the theatre was renamed the Royal Victoria Theatre, under the "protection and patronage" of Victoria, Duchess of Kent, mother to Princess Victoria, the 14-year-old heir presumptive to the British throne; the duchess and the princess visited only once, on 28 November of that year, but enjoyed the performance, of light opera and dance, in the "pretty...clean and comfortable" theatre.
The single visit scarcely justified the "Old Vic" its billing as "Queen Victoria's Own Theayter". By 1835, the theatre was advertising itself as the Victoria Theatre. In 1841, David Osbaldiston took over as lessee, was succeeded on his death in 1850 by his lover and the theatre's leading lady, Eliza Vincent, until her death in 1856. Under their management, the theatre remained devoted to melodrama. In 1858, sixteen people were crushed to death inside the theatre after mass panic caused while an actor's clothing caught fire. In 1867, Joseph Arnold Cave took over as lessee. In 1871 he transferred the lease to Romaine Delatorre, who raised funds for the theatre to be rebuilt in the style of the Alhambra Music Hall. Jethro Thomas Robinson was engaged as the architect. In September 1871 the old theatre closed, the new building opened as the Royal Victoria Palace in December of the same year, with Cave staying on as manager. By 1873, Cave had left and Delatorre's venture failed. In 1880, under the ownership of Emma Cons it became the Royal Victoria Hall and Coffee Tavern and was run on "strict temperance lines".
The "penny lectures" given in the hall led to the foundation of Morley College. An endowment from the estate of Samuel Morley led to the creation of the Morley Memorial College for Working Men and Women on the premises, which were shared; the adult education college moved to its own premises nearby in the 1920s. With Emma Cons's death in 1912 the theatre passed to her niece Lilian Baylis, who emphasised the Shakespearean repertoire; the Old Vic Company was established in 1929, led by Sir John Gielgud. Between 1925 and 1931, Lilian Baylis championed the re-building of the then-derelict Sadler's Wells Theatre, established a ballet company under the direction of Dame Ninette de Valois. For a few years the drama and ballet companies rotated between the two theatres, with the ballet becoming permanently based at Sadler's Wells in 1935; the Old Vic was damaged badly during the Blitz, the war-depleted company spent all its time touring, based in Burnley, Lancashire at the Victoria Theatre during the years 1940 to 1943.
William Shakespeare was an English poet and actor regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon", his extant works, including collaborations, consist of 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. Sometime between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men known as the King's Men. At age 49, he appears to have retired to Stratford. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive; such theories are criticised for failing to adequately note that few records survive of most commoners of the period.
Shakespeare produced most of his known works between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres; until about 1608, he wrote tragedies, among them Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, all considered to be among the finest works in the English language. In the last phase of his life, he collaborated with other playwrights. Many of Shakespeare's plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy in his lifetime. However, in 1623, two fellow actors and friends of Shakespeare's, John Heminges and Henry Condell, published a more definitive text known as the First Folio, a posthumous collected edition of Shakespeare's dramatic works that included all but two of his plays; the volume was prefaced with a poem by Ben Jonson, in which Jonson presciently hails Shakespeare in a now-famous quote as "not of an age, but for all time". Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, Shakespeare's works have been continually adapted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance.
His plays remain popular and are studied and reinterpreted through various cultural and political contexts around the world. William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare, an alderman and a successful glover from Snitterfield, Mary Arden, the daughter of an affluent landowning farmer, he was born in Stratford-upon-Avon and baptised there on 26 April 1564. His actual date of birth remains unknown, but is traditionally observed on 23 April, Saint George's Day; this date, which can be traced to a mistake made by an 18th-century scholar, has proved appealing to biographers because Shakespeare died on the same date in 1616. He was the third of eight children, the eldest surviving son. Although no attendance records for the period survive, most biographers agree that Shakespeare was educated at the King's New School in Stratford, a free school chartered in 1553, about a quarter-mile from his home. Grammar schools varied in quality during the Elizabethan era, but grammar school curricula were similar: the basic Latin text was standardised by royal decree, the school would have provided an intensive education in grammar based upon Latin classical authors.
At the age of 18, Shakespeare married 26-year-old Anne Hathaway. The consistory court of the Diocese of Worcester issued a marriage licence on 27 November 1582; the next day, two of Hathaway's neighbours posted bonds guaranteeing that no lawful claims impeded the marriage. The ceremony may have been arranged in some haste since the Worcester chancellor allowed the marriage banns to be read once instead of the usual three times, six months after the marriage Anne gave birth to a daughter, baptised 26 May 1583. Twins, son Hamnet and daughter Judith, followed two years and were baptised 2 February 1585. Hamnet died of unknown causes at the age of 11 and was buried 11 August 1596. After the birth of the twins, Shakespeare left few historical traces until he is mentioned as part of the London theatre scene in 1592; the exception is the appearance of his name in the "complaints bill" of a law case before the Queen's Bench court at Westminster dated Michaelmas Term 1588 and 9 October 1589. Scholars refer to the years between 1585 and 1592 as Shakespeare's "lost years".
Biographers attempting to account for this period have reported many apocryphal stories. Nicholas Rowe, Shakespeare's first biographer, recounted a Stratford legend that Shakespeare fled the town for London to escape prosecution for deer poaching in the estate of local squire Thomas Lucy. Shakespeare is supposed to have taken his revenge on Lucy by writing a scurrilous ballad about him. Another 18th-century story has Shakespeare starting his theatrical career minding the horses of theatre patrons in London. John Aubrey reported; some 20th-century scholars have suggested that Shakespeare may have been employed as a schoolmaster by Alexander Hoghton of Lancashire, a Catholic landowner who named a certain "William Shakeshafte" in his will. Little evidence substantiates such stories other than hearsay collected after his death, Shakeshafte was a common name in the Lancashire area, it is not known definitively when Shakespeare began writing, but contemporary allusions and records of performances show that several of
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC since 1963. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord called "the Doctor", an extraterrestrial being, to all appearances human, from the planet Gallifrey; the Doctor explores the universe in a time-travelling space ship called the TARDIS. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Accompanied by a number of companions, the Doctor combats a variety of foes while working to save civilisations and help people in need; the show is a significant part of British popular culture, elsewhere it has gained a cult following. It has influenced generations of British television professionals, many of whom grew up watching the series; the programme ran from 1963 to 1989. There was an unsuccessful attempt to revive regular production in 1996 with a backdoor pilot, in the form of a television film titled Doctor Who; the programme was relaunched in 2005, since has been produced in-house by BBC Wales in Cardiff.
Doctor Who has spawned numerous spin-offs, including comic books, novels, audio dramas, the television series Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, K-9, Class, has been the subject of many parodies and references in popular culture. Thirteen actors have headlined the series as the Doctor; the transition from one actor to another is written into the plot of the show with the concept of regeneration into a new incarnation, a plot device in which a Time Lord "transforms" into a new body when the current one is too badly harmed to heal normally. Each actor's portrayal is unique. Together, they form a single lifetime with a single narrative; the time-travelling feature of the plot means that different incarnations of the Doctor meet. The Doctor is portrayed by Jodie Whittaker, who took on the role after Peter Capaldi's exit in the 2017 Christmas special "Twice Upon a Time". Doctor Who follows the adventures of the title character, a rogue Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who goes by the name "the Doctor".
The Doctor fled Gallifrey in a stolen TARDIS, a time machine that travels by materialising into and dematerialising out of the time vortex. The TARDIS has a vast interior but appears smaller on the outside, is equipped with a "chameleon circuit" intended to make the machine take on the appearance of local objects as a disguise. Across time and space, the Doctor's many incarnations find events that pique their curiosity and try to prevent evil forces from harming innocent people or changing history, using only ingenuity and minimal resources, such as the versatile sonic screwdriver; the Doctor travels alone and brings one or more companions to share these adventures. These companions are humans, owing to the Doctor's fascination with planet Earth, which leads to frequent collaborations with the international military task force UNIT when the Earth is threatened; the Doctor is centuries old and, as a Time Lord, has the ability to regenerate in case of mortal damage to the body, taking on a new appearance and personality.
The Doctor has gained numerous reoccurring enemies during their travels, including the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Master, another renegade Time Lord. Doctor Who first appeared on BBC TV at 17:16:20 GMT on Saturday, 23 November 1963, it was to be each episode 25 minutes of transmission length. Discussions and plans for the programme had been in progress for a year; the head of drama Sydney Newman was responsible for developing the programme, with the first format document for the series being written by Newman along with the head of the script department Donald Wilson and staff writer C. E. Webber. Writer Anthony Coburn, story editor David Whitaker and initial producer Verity Lambert heavily contributed to the development of the series; the programme was intended to appeal to a family audience as an educational programme using time travel as a means to explore scientific ideas and famous moments in history. On 31 July 1963, Whitaker commissioned Terry Nation to write a story under the title The Mutants.
As written, the Daleks and Thals were the victims of an alien neutron bomb attack but Nation dropped the aliens and made the Daleks the aggressors. When the script was presented to Newman and Wilson it was rejected as the programme was not permitted to contain any "bug-eyed monsters". According to producer Verity Lambert. We had a bit of a crisis of confidence. Had we had anything else ready we would have made that." Nation's script became the second Doctor. The serial introduced the eponymous aliens that would become the series' most popular monsters, was responsible for the BBC's first merchandising boom; the BBC drama department's serials division produced the programme for 26 seasons, broadcast on BBC 1. Falling viewing numbers, a decline in the public perception of the show and a less-prominent transmission slot saw production suspended in 1989 by Jonathan Powell, controller of BBC 1. Although it was cancelled with the decision not to commission a planned 27th season, which would have been broadcast in 1990, the BBC affirmed, over several ye
Macbeth is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. It dramatises the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake. Of all the plays that Shakespeare wrote during the reign of James I, patron of Shakespeare's acting company, Macbeth most reflects the playwright's relationship with his sovereign, it was first published in the Folio of 1623 from a prompt book, is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy. A brave Scottish general named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself, he is wracked with guilt and paranoia. Forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion, he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler; the bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of madness and death. Shakespeare's source for the story is the account of King of Scotland.
The events of the tragedy are associated with the execution of Henry Garnet for complicity in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. In the backstage world of theatre, some believe that the play is cursed, will not mention its title aloud, referring to it instead as "The Scottish Play". Over the course of many centuries, the play has attracted some of the most renowned actors to the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, it has been adapted to film, opera, novels and other media. The play opens amid thunder and lightning, the Three Witches decide that their next meeting will be with Macbeth. In the following scene, a wounded sergeant reports to King Duncan of Scotland that his generals Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, Banquo have just defeated the allied forces of Norway and Ireland, who were led by the traitorous Macdonwald, the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth, the King's kinsman, is praised for his fighting prowess. In the following scene and Banquo discuss the weather and their victory; as they wander onto a heath, the Three Witches greet them with prophecies.
Though Banquo challenges them first, they address Macbeth, hailing him as "Thane of Glamis," "Thane of Cawdor," and that he will "be King hereafter." Macbeth appears to be stunned to silence. When Banquo asks of his own fortunes, the witches respond paradoxically, saying that he will be less than Macbeth, yet happier, less successful, yet more, he will father a line of kings, though he himself will not be one. While the two men wonder at these pronouncements, the witches vanish, another thane, Ross and informs Macbeth of his newly bestowed title: Thane of Cawdor; the first prophecy is thus fulfilled, Macbeth sceptical begins to harbour ambitions of becoming king. King Duncan welcomes and praises Macbeth and Banquo, declares that he will spend the night at Macbeth's castle at Inverness. Macbeth sends a message ahead to Lady Macbeth, telling her about the witches' prophecies. Lady Macbeth suffers none of her husband's uncertainty and wishes him to murder Duncan in order to obtain kingship; when Macbeth arrives at Inverness, she overrides all of her husband's objections by challenging his manhood and persuades him to kill the king that night.
He and Lady Macbeth plan to get Duncan's two chamberlains. They will be defenceless. While Duncan is asleep, Macbeth stabs him, despite his doubts and a number of supernatural portents, including a hallucination of a bloody dagger, he is so shaken. In accordance with her plan, she frames Duncan's sleeping servants for the murder by placing bloody daggers on them. Early the next morning, Lennox, a Scottish nobleman, Macduff, the loyal Thane of Fife, arrive. A porter opens the gate and Macbeth leads them to the king's chamber, where Macduff discovers Duncan's body. Macbeth murders the guards to prevent them from professing their innocence, but claims he did so in a fit of anger over their misdeeds. Duncan's sons Malcolm and Donalbain flee to England and Ireland fearing that whoever killed Duncan desires their demise as well; the rightful heirs' flight makes them suspects and Macbeth assumes the throne as the new King of Scotland as a kinsman of the dead king. Banquo reveals this to the audience, while sceptical of the new King Macbeth, he remembers the witches' prophecy about how his own descendants would inherit the throne.
Despite his success, Macbeth aware of this part of the prophecy, remains uneasy. Macbeth invites Banquo to a royal banquet, where he discovers that Banquo and his young son, will be riding out that night. Fearing Banquo's suspicions, Macbeth arranges to have him murdered, by hiring two men to kill them sending a Third Murderer; the assassins succeed in killing Banquo. Macbeth becomes furious: he fears that his power remains insecure as long as an heir of Banquo remains alive. At a banquet, Macbeth invites Lady Macbeth to a night of drinking and merriment. Banquo's ghost sits in Macbeth's place. Macbeth raves fearfully, as the ghost is only visible to him; the others panic at the sight of Macbeth ragi
The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses
The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses is an 1888 novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. It is both a romance novel, it first appeared as a serial in 1883 with the subtitle "A Tale of Tunstall Forest" beginning in Young Folks. XXII, no. 656 and ending in the issue for Saturday, 20 October 1883—Stevenson had finished writing it by the end of summer. It was printed under the pseudonym Captain George North, he alludes to the time gap between the serialisation and the publication as one volume in 1888 in his preface "Critic on the Hearth": "The tale was written years ago for a particular audience..." The Paston Letters were Stevenson's main literary source for The Black Arrow. The Black Arrow tells the story of Richard Shelton during the Wars of the Roses: how he becomes a knight, rescues his lady Joanna Sedley, obtains justice for the murder of his father, Sir Harry Shelton. Outlaws in Tunstall Forest organised by Ellis Duckworth, whose weapon and calling card is a black arrow, cause Dick to suspect that his guardian Sir Daniel Brackley and his retainers are responsible for his father's murder.
Dick's suspicions are enough to turn Sir Daniel against him, so he has no recourse but to escape from Sir Daniel and join the outlaws of the Black Arrow against him. This struggle sweeps him up into the greater conflict surrounding them all; the novel is set during the Wars of the Roses. The story begins with the Tunstall Moat House alarm bell, rung to summon recruits for its absent lord Sir Daniel Brackley, to join the Battle of Risingham; the rhyme posted in explanation of this attack, makes the protagonist Richard Shelton, ward of Sir Daniel, curious about the death of his father Sir Harry Shelton. Having been dispatched to Kettley, where Sir Daniel was quartered, sent to Tunstall Moat House by return dispatch, he falls in with a fugitive, Joanna Sedley, disguised as a boy with the alias of John Matcham: an heiress kidnapped by Sir Daniel to obtain guardianship over her and to retain his control over Richard by marrying her to him; as they travel through Tunstall Forest, Joanna tries to persuade Dick to turn against Sir Daniel in sympathy with the Black Arrow outlaws, whose camp they discover near the ruins of Grimstone manor.
The next day they are met in the forest by Sir Daniel himself, disguised as a leper and returning to the Moat House after his side was defeated at Risingham. Dick and Joanna follow Sir Daniel to the Moat House. Here Dick confirms that Sir Daniel is the murderer of his father, escapes injured from the Moat House, he is rescued by the outlaws of the Black Arrow. The second half of the novel, Books 3–5, tells how Dick rescues Joanna from Sir Daniel with the help of both the Black Arrow fellowship and the Yorkist army led by Richard Crookback, the future Richard III of England, it centres on Shoreby. Robert Louis Stevenson inserts seafaring adventure in chapters 4–6 of Book 3, wherein Dick and the outlaws steal a ship and attempt a seaside rescue of Joanna, they are unsuccessful, after Joanna is moved to Sir Daniel's main quarters in Shoreby, Dick visits her in the guise of a Franciscan friar. Stevenson, the populariser of the tales of the Arabian nights, has Dick tell the tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves in Book 4, chapter 6 to help him escape from the ruined sea captain Arblaster, whose ship Dick and the outlaws had stolen.
While shadowing Sir Daniel and the outlaws encounter another group of spies interested in Joanna. After a skirmish in which the outlaws prevail, Dick finds that he has conquered Joanna's lawful guardian, Lord Foxham, who promises to give Joanna to Dick in marriage after a contemplated seaside rescue. There is irony in Foxham scolding Dick, nobly born, for consorting with outlaws when the outlaws are recruited in Dick and Foxham's plans to rescue Joanna. Wounded in the failed seaside rescue, Foxham writes letters of recommendation for Dick to Richard Crookback, whom Dick must find on the outskirts of Shoreby. Richard Crookback, Duke of Gloucester, makes his appearance in Book 5; as Dick is leaving Shoreby he sees Crookback holding his own against seven or eight Lancastrian assailants, assists his victory. Dick's accurate knowledge of the Lancastrian forces in Shoreby aid Crookback in winning the battle that he wages that day. Dick is successful as one of Crookback's commanders. Crookback knights Dick on the field of battle and, following their victory, gives him fifty horsemen to pursue Sir Daniel, who has escaped Shoreby with Joanna.
Dick loses his men in the process. He, Alicia Risingham travel to Holywood where he and Joanna are married. In this way he keeps his initial pledge to Joanna to convey her safely to Holywood. In the early morning of his wedding day Dick encounters a fugitive Sir Daniel trying to enter Holywood seaport to escape to France or Burgundy; because it is his wedding day, Dick does not want to soil his hands with Sir Daniel's blood, so he bars his way by challenging him either to hand-to-hand combat or alerting a Yorkist perimeter patrol. Sir Daniel is shot by Ellis Duckworth with the last black arrow. Thereafter Sir Richard and Lady Shelton live in Tunstall Moat House untroubled by the rest of the Wars of the Roses, they provide for both Captain Arblaster and the o
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.
John Milton was an English poet, man of letters, civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under its Council of State and under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost, written in blank verse. Writing in English, Latin and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime, his celebrated Areopagitica, written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship, is among history's most influential and impassioned defences of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, his desire for freedom extended into his style: he introduced new words to the English language, was the first modern writer to employ non-rhymed verse outside of the theatre or translations. William Hayley's 1796 biography called him the "greatest English author", he remains regarded "as one of the preeminent writers in the English language", though critical reception has oscillated in the centuries since his death. Samuel Johnson praised Paradise Lost as "a poem which...with respect to design may claim the first place, with respect to performance, the second, among the productions of the human mind", though he described Milton's politics as those of an "acrimonious and surly republican".
Poets such as William Blake, William Wordsworth and Thomas Hardy revered him. The phases of Milton's life parallel the major political divisions in Stuart Britain. Milton studied, wrote poetry for private circulation, launched a career as pamphleteer and publicist under the personal rule of Charles I and its breakdown into constitutional confusion and war; the shift in accepted attitudes in government placed him in public office under the Commonwealth of England, from being thought dangerously radical and heretical, he acted as an official spokesman in certain of his publications. The Restoration of 1660 deprived Milton, now blind, of his public platform, but this period saw him complete most of his major works of poetry. Milton's views developed from his extensive reading, as well as travel and experience, from his student days of the 1620s to the English Civil War. By the time of his death in 1674, Milton was impoverished and on the margins of English intellectual life, yet famous throughout Europe and unrepentant for his political choices.
John Milton was born in Bread Street, London on 9 December 1608, the son of composer John Milton and his wife Sarah Jeffrey. The senior John Milton moved to London around 1583 after being disinherited by his devout Catholic father Richard "the Ranger" Milton for embracing Protestantism. In London, the senior John Milton married Sarah Jeffrey and found lasting financial success as a scrivener, he lived in and worked from a house on Bread Street, where the Mermaid Tavern was located in Cheapside. The elder Milton was noted for his skill as a musical composer, this talent left his son with a lifelong appreciation for music and friendships with musicians such as Henry Lawes. Milton's father's prosperity provided his eldest son with a private tutor, Thomas Young, a Scottish Presbyterian with an M. A. from the University of St. Andrews. Research suggests. After Young's tutorship, Milton attended St Paul's School in London. There he began the study of Latin and Greek, the classical languages left an imprint on both his poetry and prose in English.
Milton's first datable compositions are two psalms done at age 15 at Long Bennington. One contemporary source is the Brief Lives of John Aubrey, an uneven compilation including first-hand reports. In the work, Aubrey quotes Christopher, Milton's younger brother: "When he was young, he studied hard and sat up late till twelve or one o'clock at night". Aubrey adds, ""His complexion exceeding faire—he was so faire that they called him the Lady of Christ's College."In 1625, Milton began attending Christ's College, Cambridge. He graduated with a B. A. in 1629, ranking fourth of 24 honours graduates that year in the University of Cambridge. Preparing to become an Anglican priest, Milton stayed on and obtained his Master of Arts degree on 3 July 1632. Milton may have been rusticated in his first year for quarrelling with his tutor, Bishop William Chappell, he was at home in London in the Lent Term 1626. Based on remarks of John Aubrey, Chappell "whipt" Milton; this story is now disputed, though Milton disliked Chappell.
Historian Christopher Hill cautiously notes that Milton was "apparently" rusticated, that the differences between Chappell and Milton may have been either religious or personal. It is possible that, like Isaac Newton four decades Milton was sent home because of the plague, by which Cambridge was badly affected in 1625. In 1626, Milton's tutor was Nathaniel Tovey. At Cambridge, Milton was on good terms with Edward King, for whom he wrote "Lycidas", he befriended Anglo-American dissident and theologian Roger Williams. Milton tutored Williams in Hebrew in exchange for lessons in Dutch. Despite developing a reputation for poetic skill and general erudition, Milton experienced alienation from his peers and university life as a whole. Having once watched his fellow students attempting comedy upon the college stage, he observed'they thought themselves gallant men, I thought them fools'. Milton was disdainful of the university curriculum, which consisted of