University of St Andrews

University Library Special Collections


St Leonard's College

Images related to the St Leonard's College collection

St Leonard's College was founded in 1512 by Alexander Stewart, Archbishop of St Andrews and John Hepburn, Prior of the Augustinian Priory attached to the Cathedral Church of St Andrews. Its original name was 'the college of poor clerks of the Church of St Andrew' and it was set up to train novices of the Augustinian monastic order in Arts and Theology. It took over the site and much of the land of the older Hospital of St Leonard, whose title deeds go back to 1215. This is where the oldest muniments are to be found. One of the masters of the College was also responsible for the church and parish of St Leonard, reinforcing the close link between the town and the University. St Leonard's Chapel remains in the possession of the University today, although the rest of the site is now occupied by St Leonard's School.

The surviving records include charters and deeds as well as a fine series of pittance writs relating to small properties in and around St Andrews whose rents were paid to the college. These bear a particularly good collection of seals. The registers of the College include 16th century statutes, an orator's book, inventories and material relating to visitations. College minutes start in 1710 but the accounts date from 1549 and there are diet books from 1586-1743. Much of the character of the surviving records is domestic in nature. There is material on the buildings of the college but only a small amount on individual teachers and students.

Manuscript or muniment?

Not quite sure what the difference is? Learn about how to distinguish between our different archival collections.

Collection development policy

Discover how the Special Collections Division makes decisions on the development of its manuscript and muniment collections.

Current projects

Read about the exciting projects the Archive team is currently working on, and those that have been completed recently.