Founded in 1846, Hatfield College is the second oldest College in Durham University. It is located between the World Heritage site of the Norman Cathedral and the banks of the River Wear, on one of the oldest streets in Durham. Hatfield has a very interesting history, and it continues to grow and change, building on its heritage and traditions to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
For a more detailed look at Hatfield College, two books are available by Arthur Moyes who was the College Archivist. They are Hatfield 1846 - 1996 and Be the Best You Can Be.
Images of the College crest have varied.
The original 1846 crest of Hatfield Hall (as it was called until 1919) consisted of the basic shield of Bishop Hatfield surrounded by a design converting the shield into a circular design and encircled by the Motto - Vel Primus Vel cum Primis. (The motto can be translated as The first or one of the first).
In 1954 it was pointed out that the use of unregistered Arms was illegal, and the use of Bishop Hatfield's Shield was inappropriate. The then Master said "Rightly or wrongly it has been used by Hatfield for more than a century. We ought to have no difficulty in obtaining the Heralds' permission to retain the shield which it has been flaunting de facto for such a long period." The shield was then described as per chevron argent and azure three lions rampant counter coloured. The College of Arms approved changes and the full College Crest from this point had a crown and plumes above the shield which was differentiated by an ermine border and a scrolled motto beneath. Though this looked very official, it was not easy to reproduce and not in keeping with the desire for cleaner lines and a more modern look.
A former student Rodney Lucas drew the third crest which became generally used for stationery etc. This proved to be very popular and has served us well for the last two decades.
In 2005 the University undertook a re-branding exercise to create a "house-style" for all its communications and to project a more modern image. This has resulted in the 4th version of the College crest which includes all the key features of the past whilst presenting a more modern face to the outside world and proclaiming its fitness to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Benedicte Deus, qui pascis nos a iuventute nostra et praebes cibum omni carni, reple gaudio et laetitia corda nostra, ut nos, quod satis est habentes, abundemus in omne opus bonum. Per Jesum Christum, Dominum Nostrum, cui tecum et Spiritu Sancto, sit omnis honos, laus et imperium in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Blessed God, who feeds us from our youth, and provided food for all flesh, fill our hearts with joy and gladness, that we, having enough to satisfy us, may abound in every good work, through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and praise and power for all ages. Amen.
The grace was widely used in the fourth century and is based on earlier Hebrew prayers. It was translated from the Greek and adopted by Oriel College, Oxford. Presumably influenced by the Reverend Dr Henry Jenkyns, who was a Fellow of Oriel, Hatfield adopted this grace practically verbatim.
Since 1846 the grace has been read at all Formal meals in College. Until 60 years ago the grace was read 6 times a week. Since then the frequency of Formal meals has gradually decreased to about once a week. It is popular at Hatfield Association Dinners where an attempt to read the grace in English was not popular.