Image of Henry Arthur Morgan, Master 1885 - 1912 and his wife Charlotte

Masters of the College

The current Master of Ƭ is the 41st person to hold that post. All the former Masters are listed here.

The first two Masters - Chubbes and Eccleston - played an important part in the process of founding the College, which was not completed until 1516 when it received its first statutes and its first Fellows were appointed.


Before 1885 Masters were appointed by the Bishop of Ely. They almost invariably held the Mastership, which carried only a modest stipend, in conjunction with one or more other church offices. It wasn't necessarily always regarded as the most important of the holder's posts.

In each of these church posts, the duties were undertaken by a paid deputy in the office holder’s absence. In a parish, this was a curate; in the case of the Mastership, a Fellow - called the President - was nominated by the Master to act as deputy.

Since 1885, Masters have been elected by the Fellows. From 1986 they have each been elected to hold office for ten years. 

Chronological list of Masters

This list gives details of the offices held by a Master:

(a) Immediately prior to appointment or election, some or all of which may have continued to have been held while Master
(b) Other offices held while Master
(c) The reason (when not death) for ceasing to be Master.

The College possesses portraits of Dr Sterne, Dr Gower, Dr Ashton, and all succeeding Masters.

For further career details of those who predated 1900 see ACAD, the online version of J. and J.A. Venn's .

  1. 1497-1506  (a) Rector of Stapleford, Cambs. 
  2. 1507-1516 John Eccleston (a) Rector of Great Shelford, Cambs. and Chancellor of the diocese of Ely.
  3. 1516 (February to July) Thomas Alcock (a) Archdeacon of Ely and Rector of Bluntisham, Hunts. (c) Resigned.
  4. 1516-1546  (a) Vicar of Great Shelford, Cambs. Rector of St Mary Woolchurch, London. Chaplain to and (b) Almoner of Cardinal Wolsey. Dean of Cardinal College, Ipswich. Dean of Tettenhall, Staffs. (c) Resigned.
  5. 1546-1551 John Reston (a) Rector of Sible Hedingham, Essex. Prebendary of St Paul’s. Rector of St Augustine by St Paul’s, London.
  6. 1551-1557 Edmund Pierpoint (a) Fellow of Christs’. Vicar of Rattlesden, Suffolk. (b) Prebendary of Lincoln. Rector of Fen Ditton, Cambs.
  7. 1557-1558  (a) Chancellor and Canon of Ely. Prebendary of St Paul’s. Rector of Fen Ditton, and of Hildersham, Cambs. 
  8. 1559-1560 Thomas Redman (a) Chaplain to Bishop of Ely and Rector of Barley, Herts. (c) Deprived.
  9. 1560-1562 Edward Gascoyne (a) Canon of Ely. Vicar-general of the diocese of Ely. (c) Resigned.
  10. 1562-1563 John Lakyn (a) Fellow of St John’s. Vicar of Impington, and Duxford St Peter, Cambs. (c) Deprived.
  11. 1563-1579 Thomas Ithell (a) Chancellor of the diocese of Ely, Canon of Ely. (b) Rector of Elm and Emneth, Cambs.
  12. 1579-1590 John Bell (a) Rector of Fen Ditton, Cambs. (b) Canon of Ely. (c) Resigned on becoming Dean of Ely.
  13. 1590-1617  (a) Son in law of a Bishop of Ely. Rector of Harlton, Cambs. and Fulham, Middlesex, and Precentor of St Paul’s Cathedral, London. (b) Prebendary of Ely. 
  14. 1618-1632 Roger Andrewes (a) Brother of a Bishop of Ely. Archdeacon of Chichester, Rector of Elm and Emneth, Cambs. (b) Prebendary of Southwell, Ely, and Winchester. Rector of Cheriton, Hants. (c) Resigned, under royal pressure.
  15. 1632-1634  (a) Archdeacon of Carmarthen and Rector of Aberdaron. (c) resigned on becoming Master of St John’s College, Cambridge. 
  16. 1634-1644 and 1660  (a) Fellow of Corpus Christi, Chaplain to Archbishop Laud and Rector of Harlton, Cambs. (c) Ejected 1644, restored 1660, resigned on becoming Bishop of Carlisle. 
  17. 1644-1650  (a) Vicar of Stowmarket, Suffolk, Preacher at St James, Duke Place, London, and member of the Westminster Assembly (c) ejected 1650. 
  18. 1650-1660  (a) Fellow of Emmanuel (b) Rector of Graveley, Hunts. and Vicar of Fen Ditton, Cambs. (c) Deprived 1660. 
  19. 1660-1662  (a) Archdeacon of Surrey, Prebendary of Ely and Chaplain to the King (b) Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity (c) Resigned on becoming Master of Trinity. 
  20. 1662-1663  (a) Son in law of the Bishop of Ely, his Chaplain and Rector of Elm and Emneth, Cambs. (c) Resigned on becoming Master of Peterhouse. 
  21. 1663-1679  (a) Chaplain to Bishop of Ely and Rector of Glemsford and Harkstead, Suffolk (b) Rector of Snailwell, Cambs. 
  22. 1679 July to December  (a) Rector of Newton, Isle of Ely and of Fen Ditton, Cambs. (c) Resigned on becoming Master of St John’s. 
  23. 1679-1701  (a) Chancellor of the diocese of Chichester (b) Prebendary and Archdeacon of Ely, and Rector of Willingham, Cambs. 
  24. 1701-1752 (a) Chaplain to Bishop of Ely and Vicar of Rattenden, Essex (b) Prebendary of Ely. 
  25. 1752-1758  (a) Fellow of Trinity, Public Orator, Prebendary of Westminster and Vicar of Over, Cambs. (b) Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, and Rector of Therfield, Herts. (c) Resigned on becoming Bishop of Bristol.
  26. 1758-1781 Lynford Caryl (a) Prebendary of Southwell, Vicar of All Saints’, Cambridge, and Registrary of the University of Cambridge (b) Vicar of Barnburgh, Yorks. and Prebendary of Lincoln and of Canterbury.
  27. 1781-1789  (a) Prebendary of St Paul’s and Archdeacon of London. Rector of Stanford Rivers and Orsett, Essex. (c) Resigned on becoming Bishop of Gloucester.
  28. 1789-1820 William Pearce (a) Master of the Temple, London. Public Orator. Rector of Houghton Conquest, Beds. (b) Dean of Ely.
  29. 1820-1849  (a) Fellow and Tutor of Pembroke College. Vicar of Cretingham, Suffolk, Rector of Moor Monkton, Yorks., and Canon of Ely. 
  30. 1849-1885  (a) Fellow and Tutor of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, Norrisian Professor of Divinity, and Chaplain to the Bishop of Ely (b) Rector of Newton-in-the-Isle, Cambs. 
  31. 1885-1912 Henry Arthur Morgan (a) Fellow and Senior Tutor of Ƭ.
  32. 1912-1940 Arthur Gray (a) Fellow, Senior Tutor and Vice Master of Ƭ.
  33. 1940-1945  (a) Fellow of Ƭ, Cambridge, and Emeritus Reader in Anatomy (b) Bursar and Steward of the College (because of the War) (c) Retired. 
  34. 1945-1959 Eustace Mandeville Wetenhall Tillyard (a) Fellow of Ƭ and a Cambridge University Lecturer in English (c) Retired.
  35. 1959-1973  (a) Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Regius Professor of Greek (c) Retired. 
  36. 1974-1986  (a) Chief Scientific Adviser, H.M. Government. Formerly Goldsmith’s Professor of Metallurgy (c) Retired. 
  37. 1986-1997 Andrew Colin Renfrew (a) Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge, and Disney Professor of Archaeology (c) Retired on expiry of tenure.
  38. 1997-2000  (a) Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge, and Professor of Applied Mathematics.
  39. 2001-2011 Robert James Mair (a) Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge, and Professor of Geotechnical Engineering (c) Retired on expiry of tenure.
  40. 2011- 2019 Ian Hugh White (a) Fellow of Ƭ and Van Eck Professor of Engineering (b) Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge (c) Left to become Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath.
  41. 2019 - Present. Sonita Alleyne (a) Business woman and board level executive in both the private and public sector 

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