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14th January 2022 Costi Levy (2019, Philosophy and Spanish)

Emeritus fellow Dr John Maddicott publishes book about former Rector of Exeter College

Dr John Maddicott’s new book, Between Scholarship and Church Politics: The Lives of John Prideaux, 1578-1650, provides a biography of John Prideaux, who was Rector of Exeter College from 1612 to 1642. It deals extensively with his career at Exeter, including his relations with fellows and undergraduates, his rebuilding of the College on a grand scale, and his contribution to the growth of Exeter as one of the most distinguished colleges in the University. But it is mainly concerned with his role in church politics, the ways in which this was shaped by his theological views, and how his activities contributed to the coming of the Civil War.

‘Prideaux was a fascinating character,’ says Dr Maddicott. ‘Coming up to Oxford from a small farm in Devon, he paid his way as an undergraduate by working in the College kitchen before becoming a fellow, tutor, rector, five times vice-chancellor of the University, and then Regius Professor of Divinity: a living example of social mobility.’

The book is the second in which Dr Maddicott, who is an Emeritus Fellow in Medieval History, explores history in relation to Exeter College. His 2014 book, Founders and Fellowship: The Early History of Exeter College, Oxford, 1314-1592, is a definitive discussion of the College’s early history.

Between Scholarship and Church Politics: The Lives of John Prideaux, 1578-1650 was published by Oxford University Press (OUP) in December 2021. The normal price is £75, but it can be ordered online at with promo code AAFLYG6 for £52.50: a 30% discount.



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