The first recorded headmaster after the foundation of the college, John Melton, had been presented by Wykeham to the mastership of this hospital in 1393 shortly before his retirement.
A great disappointment, his repulse for the mastership of Balliol, also in 1854, appears to have roused him into the completion of his book on The Epistles of St Paul.
In 1870, by an arrangement which he attributed to his friend Robert Lowe, afterwards Lord Sherbrooke (at that time a member of Gladstone's ministry), Scott was promoted to the deanery of Rochester and Jowett was elected to the vacant mastership by the fellows of Balliol.
We will not open to churchmen a door for a new mastership over government and subjects, wife and child."From 1618 a modified Presbyterian polity predominated.
Owing to failing health he gave up his lectures in 1904, and in May 1906 resigned his mastership, in which he was succeeded by James Leigh Strachan-Davidson, who had previously for some time, as senior tutor and fellow, borne the chief burden of college administration.