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A Royal Foundation

We were delighted this week to make a new home in the Robinson College Archive for the College's Foundation Charter (RCGR 1/1/1). This Royal Charter is the instrument of incorporation founding Robinson College as a formal legal entity. As per the custom, Royal Charters are sealed with the monarch's Great Seal - ours therefore bears a beautiful example of the Great Seal of Queen Elizabeth II. Seals have been used for centuries, and always take the same format - the front depicts the monarch on their throne, and on the reverse, seated on horseback.  The text is printed on 14 pages of vellum (a high-quality type of parchment) and includes the College's original statutes.

Royal Charter founding Robinson College, with Great Seal of Elizabeth II attached

As is customary with royal documents, it is dated using the regnal year system - it gives the year as the 33rd of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, dating the Charter as 20th December 1984.

Although 1984 is a few years after the College sprang to life (the first full cohort of students arrived in 1980), a wait of 4 years for a Royal Charter is relatively short - some other colleges had to wait for over a century!

The Foundation Charter has now been catalogued as part of the College Archive, and we hope to arrange for a bespoke box to be made for it to ensure its ongoing preservation.

Posted by Jude, 19th Jan 2022


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