Papers of Richard Clayton (Master 1665-76)

Richard Clayton matriculated from University College in 1618, and was elected a Percy Fellow in 1629.

He resigned his Fellowship in 1639, but kept his name on the College books at least until 1643. In 1665, he returned to the College when he was elected Master, and remained in post until his death in 1676. More on Clayton’s Mastership can be found in Robin Darwall-Smith, A History of University College, Oxford (Oxford, 2008), pp. 187–93.
    All the following papers, except UC:MA29/W/1 were originally found with the papers of his successor as Master, Obadiah Walker (see UC:MA30). Presumably, as with the papers of Thomas Walker in UC:MA26, they were still in the Master's Lodgings when Walker moved in, and became mixed up with his own papers, which were left behind when he fled the College in 1688. Since these papers concern Clayton more than Walker, they are listed here.
    Note here UC:BU3/F1/4, Clayton's Bursar's Book from 1637/8, which he then used from 1647-1668 as his personal account book.

Catalogued in November 1994.


UC:MA29/L1/1                                                                                    20 Sep 1639
Original copy of the resignation of Richard Clayton as Fellow of University College.

UC:MA29/L1/2                                                                                    19 Dec 1665
Original election paper (signed by all the Fellows) for the election of Richard Clayton as Master of University College. The election was unanimous. The document is also signed by the Earl of Clarendon, as Chancellor of the University, the Vice-Chancellor, and other senior figures in the University.


Timothy Nourse matriculated from University College in 1655, and became a Fellow in 1658. At an unknown date, he converted to Roman Catholicism. The following letters concern the crisis in Nourse's life when he had to choose between his religion and his place as a Fellow. He decided to leave the College, and died in 1699.

UC:MA29/C1/1                                                                                    6 Sep 1672
Letter (written at Paris) from Timothy Nourse to Richard Clayton denying rumours (which were true) that Nourse has converted to Catholicism.

UC:MA29/C1/2                                                                                    18 Mar 1672/3
Letter from Timothy Nourse to Richard Clayton on the same topic.

UC:MA29/C1/3                                                                                    n.d. (c. Sep. 1673)
Draft letter to Timothy Nourse, probably from Richard Clayton, urging Nourse to come to Oxford to take the sacrament in St. Mary the Virgin to prove his Anglicanism.

UC:MA29/C1/4                                                                                    9 Sep 1673
Letter from Timothy Nourse to Richard Clayton prevaricating about his visit to Oxford.

UC:MA29/C1/5                                                                                    26 Dec 1673
Copy of a Citation from Richard Clayton to Timothy Nourse (in Latin) ordering him to come to University College on 3 Jan next to respond to the charges laid against him.


UC:MA29/C2/1                                                                                    28 Oct 1668
Letter signed by Charles II to the Master and Fellows of the College recommending John Saville to a vacant Fellowship there. Clayton’s own side of the correspondence is preserved in the Beinecke Library at Yale, although copies of them are in the archives of University College at UC:P112/C1/1-2. See further on this episode A. D. M. Cox ‘The John Savile Affair’, University College Record ,Vol. Vol. VI no. 3 (1973), pp. 262–70.

UC:MA29/C2/2                                                                                    10 Dec 1668
Letter from Lord Halifax to Richard Clayton concerning John Saville.

UC:MA29/C2/3                                                                                    12 Oct 1669
Letter from Joseph Williamson to Richard Clayton recommending one Thomson (first name not given) to a Fellowship. There is a note by Smith on the back of the letter.


UC:MA29/W/1                                                                                    n.d. (after 1676)
Undated copy (late 17th cent.) of the will of Richard Clayton. The will was dated 4 Jun 1676, and proved 28 Jul 1676.His wife Anne is made principal legatee.