Founded in 1624, informality and distinction have always rubbed shoulders at Pembroke. This was Samuel Johnson’s college, as well as J. R. R. Tolkien’s and Senator J. William Fulbright’s. The College counts Lord (Michael) Heseltine and US Senator Richard Lugar among its alumni, together with more than one recent Permanent Secretary of the British Foreign Office. A string of remarkable scientists studied and taught here in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, among them chemist Thomas Beddoes and astronomer Nathaniel Bliss, sharing life in the College with outstanding theologians and lawyers, including John Moore who became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1783 and the celebrated jurist Sir William Blackstone. James Smithson, whose testamentary wishes led to the founding of the institution which bears his name in Washington, also studied here. Recent Masters include the neurologist and record-breaking runner, Sir Roger Bannister, senior Middle Eastern diplomat Sir Geoffrey Arthur and Professor of Law, Robert Stevens. In addition to a Governing Body of 38 Fellows and four Advisory Fellows (alumni who lend their professional experience to Pembroke as Trustees or non-executive members of the Governing Body), it has just under 400 undergraduates, as well as around 30 visiting students from the USA and about 100 graduate students.
It is stressed that the paintings at Pembroke College are not in public ownership. In accordance with the charitable objectives of the College, which is a private institution, we are including our paintings on this website to widen public knowledge and for the benefit of scholarship. The paintings are hung in various locations throughout the College which are used in normal College life and are therefore not available to the public. Requests for access should be addressed to The Archivist, Pembroke College, Oxford OX1 1DW.