Playwright protégés at St John’s College, Oxford: dramatic approaches to networking under Buckeridge, Laud, and Juxon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes


This study sheds new light on the strategies of patrons and protégés in the competitive environment of the seventeenth-century university, revealing how drama was used to further the interests of both. Oxford and Cambridge colleges were tight-knit, hierarchical communities where junior members needed the favour of seniors to succeed. Individual college traditions are, therefore, the key to understanding “university drama” as a whole. I present Laud’s Oxford college, St John’s, as a case study demonstrating how protégés were tested for loyalty and groomed for preferment using the dramatic form. Analysis of four plays dedicated to Buckeridge, Laud, and Juxon, gifted in conspicuously ornate presentation copies during the years when each served as College President, delivers insights into the relationship between drama and patronage in the college environment. Highlighting the playwrights’ use of religious and supplicatory language, I demonstrate the long-term effect that securing the Laudians’ favour had on these students’ careers.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalThe Seventeenth Century
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2019


  • Laud, Latin, Oxford, drama, university