Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6188

Wednesday 12 May 2010

Vol cxl No 29

pp. 813–844

Awards, etc.

Crane’s Charity for the relief of poor sick scholars: Notice by the Distributors

John Crane, an apothecary in the city of Cambridge in the early seventeenth century, made a number of bequests to the University of Cambridge (the Benefaction of John Crane, 1651; Endowments of the University of Cambridge (CUP, 1904), p. 565). A principal provision of the Benefaction was the establishment of a charity, now known as Crane’s Charity, ‘to be given to poore scholars for their Releife when they are sicke for paying for their Physick, dyet, or other things necessary for them in their sickness, knowing heretofore many have miscarried for want of meanes to releiue them’.

A body of Distributors of the Charity was established under Mr Crane’s Will and is now laid down in University Ordinances: the Vice-Chancellor, or a deputy; the Master of Gonville and Caius College; the Regius Professors of Physic, of Divinity, and of Civil Law. The Distributors are advised in their work by a Chief Apothecary.

The Distributors have determined a relatively wide interpretation of the purpose of the charity. In modern times the view has been taken that the proper scope of the Charity is to assist students who are ill, and who can demonstrate financial need. Financial assistance is offered to junior members in residence towards the cost of medical, surgical or psychiatric treatments (including associated costs of, for instance nursing home, convalescent accommodation, and travel expenses), or of treatment for injuries resulting from accidents – provided that the treatment cannot conveniently be obtained under the National Health Service. The Distributors do not normally make grants for ordinary dental treatment, or for spectacles or contact lenses.

The Distributors provide assistance to individual students on the basis of an application made on their behalf by their College Tutor. Colleges are normally also expected to make a contribution. Funding has also been provided for collective activity that the Distributors have determined falls within the stated purposes of the Charity; attention is drawn to the regular funding, averaging £6,000 a year, that has been made available to the University Counselling Service specifically for the provision of psychiatric advice for students. Recently, the Distributors have also agreed to support, for the initial three years, a post of Mental Health Advisor, based in the Counselling Service but working across the collegiate University; this represents a funding commitment from the Charity of around £40,000 for each of the three years.

The following table summarizes the expenditure from Crane’s Charity in recent years.

Number of grants

Colleges represented

Average grant to students

Expenditure: grants to students

Expenditure: collective activities

Total Expenditure






















Further financial information about Crane’s Charity can be found in the special numbers of the Cambridge University Reporter devoted to Financial Management Information; these are published annually, and that for the year ending 31 July 2009 was published on 12 January 2010.

Visiting Fellowships at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand

The University of Cambridge and the University of Canterbury have a reciprocal visitor exchange programme between the two universities entitled the Cambridge/Canterbury Exchange Programme.

Applications are invited for two visiting fellowships at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Academic staff members of any subject may apply. Further particulars may be obtained from the International Office.

Completed applications must be submitted to Mr Allen Swales, either by email to or by post to 9 Jesus Lane, Cambridge, CB5 8BA. Applications must be submitted no later than 20 June 2010.