Orator/Public Orator

The duties of the Orator are 'to write addresses for presentation to the Sovereign and formal letters for presentation to other universities and institutions. He shall present to the Chancellor and University persons on whom the titles of degrees are conferred honoris causa.' The office was founded by statute in (probably) 1521, but there are both earlier and later records of one-off payment for such compositions. The earliest, between 1483 and 1504, are to one 'Caius Auberinus', identified by Damian Leader as the English poet John Kay. There is an excellent account of the history of the office prefixed to James Diggle's Cambridge Orations 1982-1993 (Cambridge University Press, 1994). The title changed from 'Public Orator' to 'Orator' in 1926. Election is by the Regent House from between two members of the Senate nominated by the Council. Transcripts of letters written by Orators between 1506 and 1867 are to be found in the three volumes of Epistolae Academiae (Lett. 1-3).

1522            Croke, Richard
1528            Day, George
1537            Redman, John [1]
1538            Smith, Thomas [1], Sir
1542            Cheke, John, Sir
1546            Ascham, Roger
1554            Gardiner, Thomas [1]
1557            Stokes, John
1559            Ackworth, George
1560            Girlington, Anthony
1563            Masters, William
1565            Bynge, Thomas
1570            Lewin, William
1571            Becon, John
1573            Bridgewater, Richard
1580            Wingfield, Anthony
1589-94         Mowtlow, Henry
1594            Naunton, Robert, Sir
1611            Nethersole, Francis, Sir
1619            Herbert, George
1627            Creighton, Robert [1]
1639            Molle, Henry
1650            Widdrington, Ralph
1673-81         Paman, Henry
1681            Billers, John
1689-96         Felton, Henry
1696-1726       Ayloffe, William
1727            Castle, Edmund
1730-41         Williams, Philip
1741-46         Tunstall, James
1746-52         Yonge, Philip
1752            Skynner, John
1762-68         Barford, William
1768-78         Beadon, Richard
1778-88         Pearce, William
1788            Mansel, William Lort
1798            Outram, Edmund
1809-36         Tatham, Ralph
1836            Wordsworth, Christopher [2]
1848            Bateson, William Henry
1857            Clark, William George
1869            Jebb, Richard Claverhouse, Sir
1875            Sandys, John Edwin, Sir     (Emeritus in 1920)
1920            Glover, Terrot Reaveley
1939            Guthrie, William Keith Chambers
1958            Wilkinson, Lancelot Patrick
1974            Stubbings, Frank Henry
1982            Diggle, James
1993            Bowen, Anthony John