A Visit to Pembroke College

Religion in Family History

Today during lunch I visited Pembroke College at Cambridge University.

This has been on my list of things to see in England ever since I first found out that one of my ancestors went to college there.

Pembroke College, Cambridge University, Roger WilliamsHere is the gatehouse of Pembroke College. The gate house at Pembroke is the oldest in Cambridge and was built in the 14th century. The gatehouse was already old in 1623 when Roger Williams  was admitted as a student. See my post The American Soul to learn more about Roger Williams.

Pembroke College, Roger Williams, Cambridge UniversityHere is a view looking back through the gatehouse. I decided to check in with the gate keepers instead of just wandering the grounds. I am glad that I did as when I mentioned that Roger Williams was my 10th great grandfather they recognized the name. One of the men remembered that a recent Martlet, the college newsletter, had an article about Roger Williams. He made a phone call to see if he could get a copy for me and told me to stop by the gatehouse after walking around the grounds.

Pembroke College, Cambridge University, Library, Pembroke Library

Here is the Pembroke College library. The architecture of the building is really interesting. I could see through the windows and see the many shelves of books. Unfortunately I could not go in and have a closer look. Perhaps someday during a future visit to Cambridge I can arrange a visit.

I saw many other buildings and gardens and took a lot of pictures. I will probably post more of them in the future.

Martlet, Pembroke College, Roger Williams, Rhode IslandWhen I made it back to the gatehouse the development officer of the college was there waiting to talk to me. She had a copy of the newsletter for me and we talked for awhile about Roger Williams and his legacy. I now have a contact at Pembroke College, so may be able to arrange a personal tour the next time I am in Cambridge.

As I was leaving they suggested that I visit the college chapel.

Pembroke College Chapel, Christopher Wren, ArchitectureThe chapel was paid for by Matthew Wren who was president at Pembroke College at the time Roger Williams was admitted. The chapel was built by his nephew Christopher Wren in the 1660’s .

In researching for this post I found out that Matthew Wren married Elizabeth Cutler the daughter of Thomas Cutler of Ipswich. Elizabeth’s brother Robert immigrated to America and is one of my ancestors.

It was really interesting to visit Pembroke College and see where one of my ancestors studied.


Click on the link for more posts in this series: Religion in Family History

This entry was posted in Culture, Education, Family History, Genealogy, History and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to A Visit to Pembroke College

  1. Sherry Hamilton says:

    This is sooo cool Steve!! Great story!

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