Aldergate before the charter Edit

To be completed

History of Aldergate University Edit

Founding and First Growth Edit

The precise date of Aldergate's establishment as a seat of learning is unknown, but certainly predates the Roman occupation of Britain. Aldergate University was properly chartered in 1141 by the Empress Matilda. That makes it the second-oldest university currently in operation, no matter what Oxford claims. Their argument is that Aldergate was disqualified in the early 1200’s when Pope Gregory IX refused to acknowledge it as a studium generale, but that’s just because Greg was sore at Fredrick II.

Anyhow, Empress M was in a bit of a precarious political position when she declared the University open for business, and she (correctly) suspected that the supposedly loyal English bishops were about to throw in their lots with her ambitious cousin, Stephen of Blois. Rather than risk handing Aldergate over to her foes, therefore, in 1142 she recruited a French monk named Petrus Abaelardus to be the University’s first and only Chancellor.

Unfortunately, Chancellor Pete died later that year. By that time Matty had been deposed and was laying low in Normandy, and nobody else could really claim the authority to appoint a new Chancellor. The whole situation remained in limbo as the political tides washed back and forth, until at last Matty - having repeatedly escaped capture (once by disguising herself as a corpse and getting carried to freedom right under Cousin Steve’s nose) managed to raise an army and launched an invasion to take back the throne.

At that point, Cousin Steve declared Aldergate null and void. He told the founding faculty to close up, sell out, and render the proceeds unto Caesar to help with the war effort. Much to the surprise of Stephanus Rex, however, Aldergate's bold band of bookworms responded to the kingly edict with a polite but terse letter. They pointed out that their charter made no accommodation for their dissolution, and that they were explicitly exempted from royal taxation.

Cousin Steve did what any king would have done under those circs - he sent chaps with swords to sort out these rebellious scholars and bring back the dosh. History is silent regarding the fate of those armed emissaries, but Aldergate’s assets remained unseized, and no second attempt was made.

Eventually things settled down. Matty bullied Cousin Steve into handing over the right of royal ascension to her son, and that son (who turned out to be Henry II) took quite a shine to the stalwart staff of Aldergate who had so staunchly defied his mother’s usurper. He initially expressed his appreciation by naming himself the new Chancellor ex canonum de ius rex, but after receiving a polite-but-terse letter of his own he graciously affirmed the University’s right of self-governance. In fact, he went so far as to accord Aldergate unconstrained ius non trahi extra, which essentially made it a sovereign authority unto itself.

Key dates:

  • 1141 – Chartered by Empress Matilda
  • 1141 – Curmantle College founded
  • 1141 – Empress College founded
  • 1142 – Death of Peter Abelard, first and only Chancellor of the University of Aldergate
  • 1158 – Construction begins on the Manse of the Vice-Chancellor
  • 1173 – Eldon House founded during revolt of the Young King. Margaret Eldon, a wealthy franklin, bequeaths her property (including most of the modern-day City of Aldergate), to the University
  • 1188 – King Henry II accords the right of Ius Non Trahi Extra to the University
  • 1188 – Chamber College founded
  • 1189 – Chamber College receives many Jews fleeing Richard I's Massacres at London and York
  • 1190 – The University sends a delegation to accompany Richard Lionheart to the Holy Land on a campaign of recruitment targeting exceptional scholars and talents
  • 1190 – Whipple College founded

Persecution and Persistence Edit

The infusion of foreign scholarship fueled the University's growth throughout the medieval period. During and after the Crusades, recruitment delegations of scholars and agents of the Office of Invitation travel throughout the accessible world.

Key dates:

  • 1233 – Following an outbreak of suspected Catharism attributed to Aldergatian influence, Pope Gregory IX grants Cambridge University the title of studium generale, leaving Aldergate the only one of the three major universities in England without that designation.
  • 1234 – Delora College founded, initially as a non-Anglo-Franco college. Considered at the time to be “The Last College.”
  • 1340 – After over a century of improving relations with the Crown, the costs associated with the Hundred Years War once again raises the question of levying taxes on the increasingly wealthy University
  • 1347 – Ockham College founded
  • 1347 – Queensmeade College founded
  • 1381 – “The Forsaking of Aldergate” – Richard II declares the University “outside the law, and outside the law’s protection” and foments clashes with civilians and attempted looting of university properties in revolt against privileges accorded to academic staff. In response, Vice-Chancellor Calpurnia Arkwell asserts unprecedented law-giving and enforcement powers under the INTE and begins to raise an armed body to defend and perhaps expand the borders of the City of Aldergate. The king relents, and an uneasy peace is restored.
  • 1399 – Salton House founded upon the day of coronation of Henry IV, a reassertion of the University's privilege of self-governance

An Independent Power Edit

The animosity between the University and Richard III, and the resulting benefits to the Tudor cause, resulted in the rapid rekindling of relations between the University and the Crown. No longer concerned primarily with self-defense, Aldergate grew rapidly, doubling in size over the following century.

Henry VII went so far as to attempt the endowment of a "school of statecraft" in mutual partnership between England and the University. This offer was rebuffed by Vice-Chancellor John La Poer, who declared that the University would found no new colleges while Harri Tudur lived. La Poer was himself rebuffed when the University Council approved the construction and franchise of Garton & Perse College in 1509.

Key dates:

  • 1509 – Garton & Perse College founded
  • 1536 – Ratigan College founded
  • 1536 – Ashcraft College founded
  • 1536 – Ratigan College receives many Catholics fleeing persecution
  • 1537 – Vail College founded
  • 1538 – Barrow Hall founded
  • 1540 – VC Cromwell’s perceived efforts to undermine both the nobility and the Catholic Church result in a strong political backlash, the University faces unprecedented crisis when his arrest is ordered. To avoid a legal (and potentially an armed) conflict between Aldergate and Henry VIII, Cromwell resigns and asks that the University not seek to prevent his execution. Rumors that Cromwell was permitted to escape in secret cite his longtime friendship with the King, and it is recorded that the supposed execution was performed “by a ragged and Boocherly miser, whiche very ungoodly perfourmed the Office" with the result that the head displayed on London Bridge “scarce appeared that of goodly Cromwelle.”
  • 1541 – Silvan College founded
  • 1546 – Wardon College founded
  • 1555 – Lady Jane Grey and her husband Guildford, both Aldergatians, are murdered, creating a deep rift between the University and the Crown.
  • 1555 – Following the death of Vice-Chancellor Elizabeth Brotherton, the University's leadership is taken over by Simon Erasmus Arkwell, friend and reputed lover of the late Guildford.
  • 1555 – Guildford College founded
  • 1559 – Bridge House founded
  • 1630 - An outbreak of bubonic plague results in the University of Cambridge shutting down various sites and barring those afflicted by the disease. Aldergate opens its doors to receive plague victims..
  • 1632 – Newgrave College founded

The School of Blood and Thunder Edit

To be completed

An Empire of Letters Edit

To be completed

The University today Edit

To be completed