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Hoods of the Month

BD, Lampeter

This hood came into being in 1852, when St David’s College was granted the right to award the BD. It has not been possible to find out why a violet lining was used, when all the other BD hoods at that date (Oxford, Cambridge, Dublin, Durham) used a black hood lined with black, nor why it has the white binding – the first hood to have such a feature. It was also permitted to have it made in either Oxford or Cambridge shape, though the latter was prescribed by about 1880. The hood went into abeyance in 1971 when the College suspended its degree-awarding powers on joining the federal University of Wales, but it was revived for a short time for the College diploma of LTh.

1st February 2021

BD, University of Hull

This hood is an increasing rarity. The hood is an original Charles Franklyn design from 1954 which was used for the Bachelor of Divinity until 1978, at which point the Master of Theology was created but appears to have never been awarded. The hood was used briefly for the B.A. (Ed) from 1989 and for the B.Phil from 1995. Although the Master of Theology is still mentioned in regulations, there is no longer a Theology or Divinity Department. However, occasionally the D.D. is still awarded as an honorary degree. The hood is a black superfine cloth of the Oxford full shape [f5], fully lined with the University silk of turquoise blue. This hood should not be confused with the Hull Masters’ hood which is black ribbed rayon, in the [f3] shape, and the cape is edged with 3/8” of the University silk, visually useful against a black gown. Such edging was not added to the Bachelor of Divinity hood which often would be worn over a surplice.

1st January 2021

DD, James Martin Theological Seminary and College, Kowloon

It has not been possible to discover much about this institution, save that it is listed in the 1972 edition of Degrees and Hoods (‘Haycraft’; p102). It has no web presence, and therefore presumably no longer operates. In Degrees and Hood, it states that the doctoral hoods are of faculty colour, with a lining dived horizontally of old-gold over white. The colour for Divinity is purple. This hood is in the Society’s collection, and belonged to the late Dr Paul Faunch.

1st December 2020

St Aidan’s College, Birkenhead

St Aidan’s was founded in 1846, and at some point adopted a hood of black, lined and bound with silver-grey, and as was usual with theological college hoods at that date could be made in either full [f1] or simple [s1] shape. In 1882 the lining was reduced to a 2” border in keeping with the decree of Convocation. By this time, the full shape had become the specified one. This particular hood is also lined with black stuff, though other examples are not: this was never set down, and the same variety occurs with other college hoods.

1st November 2020

MSc (Tech), Manchester Victoria University

Although the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) had achieved university status in 1955, it continued to award Victoria degrees until 1993, when it became independent. It formed the Faculty of Technology of the VUM, and awarded the degrees in technology, designated BSc(Tech) and MSc(Tech). The colour of the faculty was terra-cotta, the BSc(Tech) being black, bound 1” terra-cotta and bordered 1” fur, and the MSc(Tech) being black lined and bound terra-cotta.

1st October 2020

BD, University of Durham

One of the original degrees awarded by Durham once it gained degree-awarding powers in 1837, the BD has a hood modelled on that of Oxford, being of black silk lined black silk, but cut in the doctors’ pattern [f4] – at Oxford, the BD is cut in the doctors’ shape. The other universities operational at that date which used hoods, Cambridge and Dublin, also have black and black BD hoods. The degree has been in suspension for some years.

1st September 2020

Graduate, Northern School of Music

The NSM was founded in 1920, and merged with the Royal Manchester College in 1972 to form the Royal Northern College, and its striking hoods then became obsolete. It had just two, both of grass green and old gold. Holders of the Graduate diploma (GNSM), the equivalent of a pass degree, wore a green hood with a border of gold (a similar design to the GRSM hood, of scarlet bordered blue), and Fellows (FNSM) wore the same hood, but with a white lining also. It is unclear if there were any other diplomas (ANSM, LNSM), but if, so they had no robes.

1st August 2020

DipMusEd, Tonic Sol-fa College

The Tonic Sol-fa College, founded in 1863 by John Curwen, awarded a number of diplomas, for which the hoods were of light blue and dark pink (‘crushed strawberry’). The Diploma in Music Education, of postgraduate level, was added at some point in the 1960s, and was given the basic blue hood, but lined with red shot blue taffeta (Wales Divinity), bound on all edges with half an inch of pink, and further bordered on the outside with an inch of dark blue velvet. Until this picture emerged, it was not known that the velvet was set light of the pink, nor that it ran down the sides, but not across the base, of the cape: an unusual feature. The TSC morphed into the Curwen College of Music in 1972, and the hoods were redesigned in brown watered silk and gold. Those currently in use have revived the blue and pink scheme.

1st July 2020

Edinburgh Theological College

The hood of this college is noted as being fully lined with silk of thistle green. In 1882, the Church of England’s Convocation laid down that theological college hoods were to be black stuff, with a border of up to two inches of coloured silk, but as the Scottish Episcopal Church did not come under its remit, it retains its full lining – and the shell is of black silk, also. ‘Thistle green’ refers to the green used by the Order of the Thistle for its insignia.

1st June 2020

MBA, University of Aberdeen

Other than the MA, masters’ degrees were a late addition to Aberdeen. The MA wears a black hood lined white, and bachelors, black hoods lined with the faculty colour. It was decided to mark the postgraduate masters by giving them white hoods lined with faculty colour. The MBA is lined with lilac.

1st May 2020

BSc, University of Surrey

All Surrey hoods are all lined with blue damask, the first university to do this, though of course Doctors of Music had been using cream or white damask robes and hoods for many years. The bachelors’ hoods are of a special simple shape, shared by Aston, which has no liripipe [s10]. Originally, there were just two bachelors’ degrees, BSc and BMus. The BSc had the black and blue hood, and the BMus was differentiated by adding a border of white damask. When other degrees were added (BA, BEd, LL.B, etc), they were given coloured borders also, though of plain taffeta, leaving the BSc with the basic hood. This carries right through the masters’ and doctors’ hoods.

1st April 2020

Associate, College of Preceptors/Teachers

The College of Preceptors, renamed the College of Teachers in 1998, has had several sets of robes since its foundation in 1849; they were last changed in 1989. All have used the same colours: black and violet. The current one gives the Associates (ACP/ACoT) a hood of CNAA shape [a1] in dark violet lined with mid-violet.

1st March 2020

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