1640 – 1641
A Fellow of University College, Oxford, Richard Washington was appointed Provost in August 1640 but his tenure was brief.1 He took up office on the eve of a major shift in political power that resulted in the downfall and execution of the Lord Deputy, Thomas Wentworth, the following May. In England, tension between the Crown and Parliament grew towards breaking point; in Ireland a resurgent House of Commons began to reassert its authority over the College. The House’s main objective was to halt and reverse the anglicisation of the College that had been steadily pursued during Chappell’s provostship. During previous years fellowship elections had been manipulated in the English interest and by now all Fellows except Thomas Seele (later to become Provost) were English by birth. The Irish rebellion broke out in Ulster on the night of 22 October 1641 and a week later Provost Washington and most of the Fellows fled to England.