Every President to govern Magdalen since its foundation is listed below. Some colourful names appear: Owen Oglethorpe, in office 1554-55, was a moderate who struggled to control Puritan students, while Accepted Frewen (1626-44) received his unusual name from the practice common in the seventeenth century of selecting a word in the Bible at random. Magdalen’s longest-serving President is Martin Routh, who began in 1791 aged 36 and died in office in his hundredth year. Unsurprisingly, he had a reputation for taking things slowly. Some Presidents, in contrast, had very short tenures. Samuel Parker (1687-88) and Bonaventure Giffard (1688) were appointed directly by James II. When the Fellows refused to support these Catholic Presidents the Crown expelled them, only for a restoration to happen the following year, an event still celebrated by the College. Our current President, Professor David Clary, has been in the post since 2005.


1457-1480 William Tybard
1480-1507 Richard Mayew
1507-1516 John Claymond
1516-1525 John Higdon
1525-1528 Laurence Stubbs
1528-1536 Thomas Knollys
1536-1552 Owen Oglethorpe
1552-1554 Walter Haddon
1554-1555 Owen Oglethorpe
1555-1558 Arthur Cole
1558-1561 Thomas Coveney
1561-1589 Laurence Humfrey
1589-1608 Nicolas Bond
1608-1610 John Harding
1610-1626 William Langton
1626-1644 Accepted Frewen
1644-1647 John Oliver
1648-1650 John Wilkinson
1650-1660 Thomas Goodwin
1660-1661 John Oliver
1661-1672 Thomas Pierce
1672-1687 Henry Clerke
1687 John Hough
1687-1688 Samuel Parker
1688 Bonaventure Giffard
1689-1701 John Hough
1701-1703 John Rogers
1703-1706 Thomas Bayley
1706-1722 Joseph Harwar
1722-1745 Edward Butler
1745-1768 Thomas Jenner
1768-1791 George Horne
1791-1854 Martin Routh
1855-1885 Frederick Bulley
1885-1928 Sir Herbert Warren
1928-1942 George Gordon
1942-1946 Sir Henry Tizard
1947-1968 Thomas Boase
1968-1979 James Griffiths
1979-1988 Keith Griffin
1988-2005 Anthony Smith
2005- David Clary