The Colleges of Cambridge.
St. Johns College comes next to Trinity, and is more famous for its modern improvements than its old buildings. The old portion of the college extends to the banks of the Cam, while the new portion stretches away on the other side. Its New Court is justly celebrated. The Countess of Richmond, mother of Henry VII, was the patroness of this college. St. Peters, or Peterhouse as it is generally called, is the oldest of the Cambridge colleges, as it was founded in 1257 by one Hugh de Balsham, and boasts a long list of celebrated graduates. It is to this college that the famous deer park is attached. Kings College, the gift of Henry VI, is connected with the great school of Eton, and boasts the tiniest chapel among the colleges of Cambridge. The stained glass of this chapel is remarkably fine, and has been renowned for its beauty ever since the days of Henry VII. Caius College (pronounced Keys), is third in size and may be called a Medical College, since a court physician to William and Mary founded it. The alterations in this college are many, but it still retains three old gateways called respectively those of Humility, of Virtue, and of Honor. Trinity Hall is the legal college, and is more celebrated for its gardens than its buildings. While the partisans of the red and the white roses, or rather of Lancaster and York, were busily engaged in the conflict that eventually put Lancaster upon the throne, they did not forget to found Queen's College as a monument for future generations. E Asmus was a fellow of this college. A peculiar bridge, the mathematical bridge, leads the writer at Queens College to the other side of the Cam.
The library of Corpus Christi College was acquired under rather strange conditions. Archbishop Parker lent his library to the college on the condition that if ever 25 books should be missed from its shelves, all the collection should go to Caius College.
Catherine Hall College is the only hall in all Cambridge, and has produced a large number of theological writers. Who does not know the college of Chaucer, called by him "Soler Hall at Cambridge," but now named Clare. This small college, which can boast of but one beautiful court, was once one of the largest in the town. Emanuel was built upon the site of a Dominican monastery, and in the strife between the King and the people became known and marked as a Puritan college. It is of this college, and its companion in the Puritan faith, Sidney Sussex, that Charles I said "They are the nurseries of Puritans." Oliver Cromwell graduated from Sydney Sussex, and the cast of his features taken after his death, of which our own Gore Hall possesses a copy, is kept here.
The college of Milton, called Christ's, is of small extent and possesses few objects of interest save the celebrated mulberry tree that belonged to John Milton. Sir Christopher Wren built the library of Pembroke College. Spencer, Gray, and Wm. Pitt are among its alumni. Jesus, now called Magdalen College, possesses three entire libraries, and treasures among its relics, the original Mss of Pepy's. Diary.
Downing College was founded last of all, in 1800, but presses hard upon its famous predecessors, as far as fine buildings and a thorough course of instruction goes.