History of Benefaction

From its foundation in 1350, Trinity Hall has benefited from the vision and generosity of benefactors, who have endowed property, gifts and collections to ensure a centre of excellence rich in intellectual, cultural and spiritual values.

Our founder was William Bateman, successively bishop of Westminster, Norwich and Ely. Of the many books, manuscripts, and vestments and vessels for the Chapel which we listed in the founding charter, only the charter and the Founder’s Cup remain.

We also owe much to the generosity of former Masters, Nathanael Lloyd in the 18th century and Henry Latham in the 19th century, whose legacies – and vision – created Trinity Hall as we know it today.

Virtually every major building and facility in this College, and many teaching posts and student support funds, owes something to a gift from Fellows, alumni, staff and friends of the College.

Support has come in a variety of ways, with donations large and small received from alumni, Fellows, staff and students of the College. Benefactions have also been received from friends of the College and from Trusts, Foundations and Corporations.

In 2016 we established Bateman Benefactors for those living donors who have donated over £500,000. These currently include three alumni and five foundations and their support has funded graduate students; building projects and Fellowships.

Some of the other key and interesting benefactions to Trinity Hall over the years include:

  • Thomas Thirlby, Anglican bishop of Westminster, Norwich and Ely, gave Trinity Hall the advowson of five parishes in Huntingdonshire in 1557.
  • Robert Hare, in 1604 gave Trinity Hall a collection of manuscripts and books, mostly on theology and history, which now forms the heart of the Old Library.
  • Nathanael Lloyd, Master from 1710-1735 gave £4,000 (£400,000 in today’s terms) for the redevelopment of Front Court, the Dining Hall and the Chapel. He wanted to extend the College down to the river in the same Palladian style but his bequest ran out.
  • The manuscript of the History of St Augustine’s monastery at Canterbury, given on the condition that if the monastery should ever be revived, the volume would be returned to it.
  • In 1962, G Boulton gave £92,000 or building Boulton House, or BoHo, as it is fondly called by students.
  • W G Christi donated £1million towards the Wychfield site in 1988.
  • In 1992, a donation of £365,000 from M J H Nightingale funded the Boat House, Old Library, postgraduate bursaries, and a research fellowship.
  • An unusual benefaction to Trinity Hall was the blindfold Terry Waite wore while he was a hostage in Beirut.

For some, public recognition is important, for others anonymity is essential. Trinity Hall honours the interests and requirements of all donors, and acknowledges the support of everyone.

The Development Office was established in the mid-1990s ready to mark the College’s 650th anniversary in 2000. Just over £13.5 million was raised. The Milestones to the Future Campaign was launched in June 2006 with the aim of regenerating the College’s buildings on the main College site and bolstering the endowment. Fundraising continues to be an everyday operational activity of the College.

Thank you for your support and interest in Trinity Hall and its future.

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