This is not only the earliest image that we have of Queens’ College, it is also the most accurate that we have until the advent of photography in the mid-19th century. It is justly famous for its meticulous attention to detail, not all of which can be appreciated in this low-resolution copy. One of the reasons that this view is such an accurate depiction of the current state of Old Court is that this view has been used as a guide for the restoration of Old Court in the late-19th and 20th centuries, so that the court, having looked very different in the mid-19th century, has slowly reverted to the form depicted here.
Some points of interest are:
- Pump Court is shown in the state it was before the erection of Essex Building in 1756. The buildings shown here date from 1564.
- The Long Gallery is even more decorative than it is now, with three octagonal turrets rising above the roof-top.
- Four dormers are shown over the Hall. This gave problems to those writing earlier histories, as they assumed that the flat ceiling had not been put in until the classical decoration of 1732, and therefore could not easily account for Loggan depicting dormer windows in 1685. But although the 1732 works certainly had a flat ceiling, I have not found anything in the literature to suggest that there was no ceiling with attics above before, and this print certainly suggests that there already were attics over Hall.
- Dormers are also shown over the Chapel, indicating attic rooms over a flat Chapel ceiling. Access to these attic rooms might have been by an external staircase, as a curious small roof can be seen rising above eaves level, visible between the roofs of Old Court and Walnut Tree building. A tall chimney can be seen above the north side of the Chapel: this would have served the vestry below, which was, until 1778, a projecting building north of the chapel.
- The east window of the Chapel is shown full length, before it was shortened by blocking the lower part in later changes.
- To the right of the Oriel Window is shown an extra Hall window, which would have looked over High Table. This was blocked when the classical panelling of 1732 was put up.
- The sun-dial is already present in Old Court, thus disproving the oft-quoted date of 1733 for its creation.
- A belfry is shown in Walnut-Tree Court beside the passage to Chapel. This became unsafe and was pulled down in 1804 to be replaced in 1805 by the present Library extension and staircase. The bell and clock were moved to the roof of the Library.
- Walnut-Tree Building is shown in the state it was before the fire of 1777 and subsequent rebuilding of the upper floors to a different design.
- The layout of the walls between the gardens was as made in 1543, much of which survives to this day. The bowling-green (now the lawn under Erasmus Building) is already in place. The wall on the extreme right is the boundary between Queens’ and King’s colleges.
- The wall alongside the River Cam is full-height all the way from the President's Lodge to the boundary with King's College, so that the college grounds are completely enclosed. A doorway in the wall can be seen leading from the bowling-green to a bridge, built 1555, across the river to the Grove.
Drawn and Engraved by David Loggan (born ca 1630 in Danzig (Gdansk), died ca 1693-1700 in London).
The Latin inscription underneath the print reads as follows:
MARGARETA ANDEGAVENSIS, Angliæ Regina, Christianißimi nempe Regis HENRICI VI Consors, Collegij Reginalis Stæ Margaretæ & Sti Bernardi Fundatrix prima extitit Ano Salutis 1448. idq, humili prece Mri Andreæ Docket qui jure merito primus ibi Præsidens renunciatus est. //
Ducebatur enim Spe quâdam Excellentißima Princeps aliquando fore ut curâ dicti Præsidentis & sub auspicijs Angliæ deinceps Reginarum, Collegium hoc Suum, etsi non usquequaq, par. Maritali tamen Illi alteri aliquatenus responderet.
Verum coactæ Fundatrici, non ita multo // post dignitati cedere, Succeßit, ELIZABETHA EDVARDI IV, animo utiq, & Illa in Margaretæ Collegium propensißimo: quod enim inchoatum tantùm invenerat, uti jure Succeßionis vera Fundatrix, feliciter absolvit, munivit Legibus, privilegijs auxit &c procurante // Semper negotia nostra dicto Mro Docket.
Post EDV. IV obitum rebus ELIZABTHÆ & proinde nostris, in deterius indies ruentibus, comparuit RICH III Serenißima Anna, ad cujus Singulares contemplationem & requisitionem (Sunt ea Diplomatis Regij verba) Rex iste innu://mera pene in nos contulit, adeo ut ante Benefactores omnes longe emicuißet, nisi quod ea omnia dies una Bosworthiana nobis statini ademißet, unà cum fundis quibus, cum Glocestriæ ißet Dux, Collegium dotarat.
ANNAM verò excepit HEN. VII ELIZABETHA Fundatricis // Secundæ filia, Cujus apud Regem rogatu, quæ Supererant prædia ad nosusq, intacta per venere
Ita ut ex proventibus Collegij aluntur unus Præsidens 19 Socij Linguæ Hebreæ, Græcæ, Rhetorices, Geometriæ, Arithmetices, Prælectores, 5, Censores 2, alter Theologicus, Philoso—;// alter, Catechista, 12 Bibliotistæ, 28 Scholares, 4 Exhibitionarij Demensa eham sua percipiunt 21 Sizatores, præter 8 Viditas indigentes
Viros Celebres hic enutritos satius visum est silentio premere quam plurimis in hac pagella neceßario prætereundis injuriam facere
Collegiu hodie floret Præs. Reudo viro HEN. IAMES S.T.P.
Margaret of Anjou, Queen of England, Consort of the most Christian King Henry VI, became the first Foundress of the Queens College of St Margaret and St Bernard in the year of salvation 1448, and that at the humble entreaty of Master Andrew Dockett, who was deservedly appointed the first President there.
For the most excellent Queen hoped that eventually under the care of the aforementioned President and under the auspices of successive Queens of England this her College, even if not in all respects its equal, might to some extent be the counterpart of her husband’s College.
But the Foundress was compelled to leave the throne not long after and was succeeded by Elizabeth wife of Edward IV, who at least shared Margaret’s great feeling for the College; for she found it merely inchoate, and, as a true Foundress by right of succession, she happily completed it, equipped it with Statutes and augmented it with privileges etc., under the care of the aforementioned Master Docket.
After the death of Edward IV, when the fortunes of Elizabeth and ourselves were going daily to the worse, there appeared the most serene Anne, wife of Richard III, at whose singular contemplation and requisition (those are the words that appear on the royal diploma) the King conferred on us almost innumerable benefactions, so that he would have been by far the most eminent of our benefactors, had not one day at Bosworth immediately taken them all from us, together with the lands with which, when he was Duke of Gloucester, he had endowed the College.
Anne was succeeded by the wife of Henry VII, Elizabeth, daughter of our second Foundress, through whose request to the King the lands which remained to us were left untouched.
So that from the College’s resources are maintained one President and 19 Fellows, 5 Lecturers in Hebrew, Greek, Rhetoric, Geometry, Arithmetic, 2 Censors, one in theology, the other in philosophy, a Catechist, 12 Bible-clerks, 28 Scholars, 4 Exhibitioners. There are also maintained 21 Sizars, beside 8 needy widows.
It has seemed better to pass over in silence the famous men educated here than to offend the very many who cannot be mentioned.
The College flourishes today under its President, the Reverend Henry James, Professor of Divinity.
1690: Cantabrigia Illustrata, by David Loggan. (OCLC 49269400)
1716: Reprint by Henry Overton. (OCLC 224010628) [with short printed descriptions of each plate]
1905: Edition by John Willis Clark. (OCLC 314540959) [with Life of Loggan, and long commentary on each plate]
1886: The Architectural History of the University of Cambridge, by Robert Willis and John Willis Clark, Volume 1, pp. cvii–cxiv;
1886: Volume 2, pp. 1–68.