The Cambridge College of Saint John the Evangelist
- a brief history
Some Famous Past Johnians
Cecil, William, (1520-98), Lord Burghley, chief secretary of state and principal
adviser to Queen Elizabeth I, a master diplomat and politician.
Edward de Vere, 17th
Earl of Oxford, (1550-1604), English lyric poet, patron of writers; married Anne Cecil, daughter
of Lord Burghley; was proposed in the 20th century as a strong candidate
for the actual authorship of Shakespeare's plays.
Cecil, Robert, (1563-1612), son to William, 1st Earl of Salisbury, succeeded his father as
the chief secretary in 1598 and
skillfully directed the government during the first nine
years of the reign of King James I, gave continuity to
the change from Tudor to Stuart rule in England.
Purchas, Samuel, (1577-1626), compiler of travel and discovery writings who continued the
encyclopaedic collections begun by the British geographer Richard
Hakluyt in Purchas his Pilgrimes.
Wentworth, Sir Thomas, 1st Earl of Strafford, (1593-1641), leading adviser of England's King Charles I; his attempt
to consolidate the sovereign power of the king led to his
impeachment and execution by Parliament.
Cavendish, William, 1st Duke of Newcastle(-upon-Tyne), Royalist commander during the
English Civil Wars and the patron of the likes of Ben Jonson, John Dryden and RenÚ
Bentley, Richard, (1662-1742), British clergyman and classical scholar, master (1700-1742) of
Trinity College, Cambridge; gifted with a powerful and logical
mind, he was able to do much to restore ancient texts and to point
the way to new developments in textual criticism and scholarship.
Wilberforce, William, (1759-1833), politician and philanthropist,
fought for the abolition of slavery.
Castlereagh, Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry, (1769-1822), British
foreign secretary (1812-22), who helped guide the Grand Alliance
against Napoleon and was a major participant in the Congress of
Vienna, which redrew the map of Europe in 1815.
Wordsworth, William, (1770-1850), poet, co-authored Lyrical Ballards
with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic period in English Literature;
some his works are Poems, in Two Volumes (1807), The Excursion (1814), The Prelude (1850).
Palmerston, Henry John Temple, (1784-1865), British foreign secretary
(1830-34, 1835-41, 1846-51) and prime minister
Law, Edward, Earl of Ellenborough, (1790-1871), British governor-general of India
(1842-44), who also served four times as president of the board of
control for India and was first lord of the British Admiralty. He
was recalled from India for being out of control and later resigned
another office under pressure.
Henslow, John Stevens, (1796-1861), botanist, clergyman and geologist,
made botany one of the more
popular subjects at the university,
teacher and friend of Charles Darwin,
the Cambridge Philosophical Society in 1821 with Adam Sedgwick.
Butler, Samuel, (1835-1902), writer, major works include the satire Erewhon and The Way of All Flesh,
the autobiographical novel that is generally considered his masterpiece. See Butlers and Shrewsbury.
Stout, George Frederick, (1860-1940), psychologist and philosopher who
advanced a system of psychology emphasizing mental acts.
Squire, Sir John Collings, (1882-1958), journalist, playwright, a leading
poet of the Georgian school, and an influential critic and editor.
Jeffreys, Sir Harold, (1891-1989), astronomer and geophysicist, work on planets
and earthquakes earned him the Gold Medal of the Royal Society (1937) and the Royal Medal of the Royal
Society of London (1948).
Appleton, Sir Edward Victor, (1892-1965), physicist, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1947
discovery of the so-called Appleton layer of the ionosphere, which
is a dependable reflector of radio waves and as such is useful in
Cockcroft, Sir John Douglas, (1897-1967), physicist, joint
winner with Ernest T.S. Walton of the 1951 Nobel
Prize for pioneering the use of particle
accelerators in studying the atomic nucleus.
Dirac, Paul Adrien Maurice, (1902-84), physicist, shared Nobel Prize with Erwin Schr÷dinger
in 1933 for their discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory.
Salam, Abdus, (1926-1996), physicist, shared 1979 Nobel Prize with S. Glashow and S. Weinberg for
the construction of a unified theory for electro-magnetic force and weak nuclear force. The first Muslim
to win Nobel Prize.
Some Present Johnians
Coggan, (Frederick) Donald, Baron, (1909- ), Anglican archbishop of Canterbury from
1974 to 1980, theologian, educator, and the first Evangelical
Anglican to become spiritual leader of the church in more than a
Sanger, Frederick, (1918- ), biochemist, won Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1958 for determining the structure of the
shared (with Paul Berg and Walter Gilbert) a second Nobel Prize
for Chemistry in 1980 for his work on nucleotides in molecules of DNA and RNA.
Wilkins, Maurice, (1916- ), New Zealand-born British biophysicist
whose X-ray diffraction studies of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
proved crucial to the determination of DNA's molecular structure
by James Watson and Sir Francis Crick. For this work the three
scientists were jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for
Physiology or Medicine.