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What is the history of Cambridge University?

Cambridge University, founded in 1209, is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world.

Cambridge University was established by a group of scholars who left the University of Oxford due to disputes with the townsfolk. The University of Cambridge was officially granted a royal charter by King Henry III in 1231, which allowed it to confer degrees. The university initially focused on teaching canon law and theology, reflecting its clerical origins. However, by the 19th century, the curriculum had expanded to include a wide range of subjects.

The university is made up of 31 autonomous colleges, each with its own property and income. The first college, Peterhouse, was founded in 1284 by Hugh de Balsham, Bishop of Ely. Many other colleges were established in the centuries that followed, with the most recent, Robinson College, being founded in 1977.

Cambridge University has a rich history of scientific achievement. The Cambridge University Library, which has been in existence since the 14th century, houses the papers of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin among its eight million volumes. The university has been associated with 121 Nobel laureates, more than any other institution.

The university also has a long history of rowing. The first Cambridge University Boat Club was formed in 1828, and the annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge began in 1829. This tradition continues today, with the boat race being one of the most watched sporting events in the UK.

Throughout its history, Cambridge University has been a centre for debate and intellectual pursuit. It has produced many notable alumni, including scientists, politicians, and writers. Despite its age, the university continues to be a leading global institution in both teaching and research.

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