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Who was actually at Brazen College, Oxford?

In the various pedigrees from the late 18th century several of our Hallifax ancestors and relations are said to have been to Brazen, these days Brasenose (and usually BNC for short), College, Oxford. I have not been able to corroborate this from Foster's Amumni Oxoniensis but this is known not to be wholly reliable so I left it. However I have now (April 2008) acquired a copy of a Brasenose College Register from 1509-1909 published by Blackwells in 1909 and am using this to compare with these pedigrees.

The index to Foster's Alumni Oxoniensis lists the following Hallifaxes and Waterhouses:

Hallifax, Benjamin 1748/9
Hallifax, Thomas, 1679
Hallifax, William, 1670/1

Waterhouse, Joseph, 1750
Waterhouse, Thomas, 1564
Waterhouse, Thomas, 1578

The 18th century pedigrees give the following:
College of Arms pedigree: Thomas Hallifax of Springthorpe, b. 1621, MA of BNC in 1645
Suffolk R O pedigree: William Hallifax of Springthorpe, b. 1655, MA 1678, BD 1687, DD 1695
Suffolk R O pedigree: Thomas Hallifax of Springthorpe, b. 1656, BA 1682, MA 1686
Here's what's on the BNC register:
Year Name Other college Details in BNC Register
1564 Waterhouse, Thomas Waterhouse (Watterhouse), Thomas (Yorks). Gen. žl. 1564.
1578 Waterhouse, Thomas Waterhouse, Thomas (Bucks). Matr. gen. 20 July 1578, aged 16.
1670/1 Hallifax, William Corpus Christi Hallifax, William (Lincs). Batt. c. 10 Mar 1670/1; matr. cler. 7 Apr. 1671, aged 15; rem. 27 Mar 1673; Sch. Corpus 1674; B.A. 26 Oct. 1675; M.A. 22 Feb 1678/9; Fellow 1682; B.D. 24 Nov 1687; D.D. by diploma 2 July 1695.
Translation of Millet de Chules Euclide, 1685
Account of a Visit to Palmyra, 1691
Sermon preached 30 Jan 1701.
Ath iv; Fasti II; D.N.B.
1679 Hallifax, Thomas Hallifax, Thomas (Lincs). Batt. c. and matric. p.p. 12 Apr., aged 18; Claymond Sch. 17 Jul 1679; B.A. 13 Oct 1682; M.A. 7 July; rem. 29 Aug. 1686.
1748/9 Hallifax, Benjamin Lincoln Hallifax, Benjamin (Yorks). Batt. b. 17 Mar.; c. and matr. pleb. 18 Mar. 1748/9, aged 17; Som. Th. Manor Sch. 9 Apr. 1749; B.A. 25 Oct. 1752; rem. 15 Dec.; Fellow of Lincoln 1753; M.A. 28 May 1755; B.D. 21 Mar. 1764; D.D. 20 Feb. 1768; Greenham Professor of Theology; died 1798.
Manch. Reg i.
1759 Waterhouse, Joseph Waterhouse, Joseph (Derbs). Batt. c. and matr. pleb. 13 June 1759, aged 20; rem. 22 Apr. 1761.

There is a list of all the abbreviations in Vol 2 of the register, pp. xv-xvii.


The College of Arms pedigree has its facts wrong. The longer pedigree in the Suffolk Record Office has the academic careers of the brothers William and Thomas very close to the Register's information, much as their ancestry is not confirmed in public records.

However there is nothing in the Register to justify the rather crucial assertion in the College of Arms pedigree that any Hallifax or Waterhouse was MA Brasenose in 1645.

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