Peter Goldsmith Medd (Fellow 1852-77)

Peter Goldsmith Medd (1829–1908) matriculated at University College in 1848, and was elected a Fellow there in 1852.

As a young man, he followed the teachings of the Tractarian Movement in the Church of England: among his various publications was a translation of the 1662 Prayer Book into Latin, and he was involved in the creation of Keble College in the late 1860s. In 1870, on the death of Master Plumptre, Medd stood as a candidate to succeed him, but lost to G. G. Bradley by five votes to seven. In the same year, Medd was appointed rector of Barnes. In 1876 he was appointed to the College living at North Cerney. and also married, resigning his Fellowship the following year. Medd remained at North Certiny until his death. In 1882 he came back to Oxford to preach the Bampton Lectures. More information on Medd’s life can be found in J. Whale, ‘A Univ. Tractarian: Peter Goldsmith Medd’, in University College Record Vol. IX no. 4 (1983), 265–75.

These papers came to the College through the god-daughter of one of Medd’s granddaughters, along with some books which he owned, and which are now in the College library. UC:S22/P1/1 was found in Medd’s own The Priest to the Altar, UC:S22/C1/1–8, a collection of letters from William Bright, were found in B. J. Kidd (ed.), Selected Letters of William Bright, D.D. (London, 1903), for which Medd wrote an introductory memoir. William Bright matriculated at University College in 1843, and was a Fellow there in 1847–69.  In 1868 he became Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Christ Church. He died in 1901. Bright was a friend of Medd, and shared his Tractarian views, collaborating with him on the Latin Translation of the Prayer Book. It appears from C1/3 that the letters were given to Medd shortly after Bright’s death.

The papers were transferred to the archives in September 2004 as Accession No. 535.

Catalogued in September 2004.


UC:S22/C1/1    9 Sept [no year given; possibly. c. 1847]
Letter from William Bright (address, Manchester) to W. Foxley Norris (matr. Trinity 1843), giving an account of a journey with some Oxford friends to Scotland (including Iona).

UC:S22/C1/2    c. 1902
 Notes on the preceding letter, made by Norris.

UC:S22/C1/3    12 May 1902
Letter from E. C. Dermer to P. G. Medd, enclosing C1/1–2, and saying that Norris thought that C1/1 was written in 1847.

UC:S22/C1/4    20 May 1874
Letter (2 sheets) from William Bright (address, Christ Church) to “Cill” (identity uncertain) giving advice on how to give a lecture on the Epistle of James, and reflecting on planned legislation on ritual practice in the Church of England.

UC:S22/C1/5    2 Jun 1885
Letter from William Bright (address, Christ Church) to “Cill”, apologising for being unable to meet, and reporting that Medd is unhappy in his parish.

UC:S22/C1/6    St. Luke’s Day (year not given)
Letter from William Bright (address, Christ Church) to “Cill”, suggesting the names of clergymen he might want to meet to ask about their experiences of working in a city parish.

UC:S22/C1/7    n.d.
Letter from William Bright (address, Christ Church) to “Cill”, encouraging him in his new parish.

UC:S22/C1/8    18 Dec 1897
Letter from William Bright (address, Christ Church) to W. Foxley Norris, discussing the history of church vestments.



UC:S22/P1/1    n.d.
Photograph, in poor condition, showing coxed rowing four, and someone standing on the river bank. It is undated and uninscribed, but the subjects suggest a date of the late 19th or early 20th centuries. It probably belonged to one of Medd’s descendants, who put it in the book.