Balliol College was established in 1263, and not only is it one of the oldest colleges of the University of Oxford It's also one of the largest. A very reputable and respectable establishment, Balliol is famed for educating and producing Prime Ministers including Herbert Asquith (who has been quoted as saying that Balliol men 'possess the tranquil consciousness of an effortless superiority.'), Harold Macmillan, and Edward Heath, as well as the popular literary figures Gerard Manley Hopkins, Anthony Powell and Graham Greene. That's not to mention the four Nobel-prize winning scientists that studied there: Oliver Smithies, C.N. Hinshelwood, Baruch Blumberg, and Anthony Leggett.
Though perhaps the most well known Balliol College student was a very intelligent, Welsh man by the name of Howard Marks, who studied Physics, History and Philosophy of Science at Balliol from 1964-1967. Howard Marks is one of the worlds most famous and successful cannabis dealers and smugglers, who later became an author, and had a movie called 'Mr Nice' made about his colourful and interesting life.
Recent famous Balliol graduates have included Richard Dawkins,Christopher Hitchens, Boris Johnson and Yvette Cooper.
Since the 1890's, there has been a fierce rivalry between Balliol and Trinity College - it's neighbour to the east. Over the years this rivalry has become a kind of tradition, displaying itself on the sports field, the river, and in songs and banter. It is said this rivalry began when Ralph Bathurst, President of Trinity, was seen throwing stones at Balliol's windows. The songs and rivalry continues to this day, the last incident involving the vandalisation of Trinity's pond, which sadly killed all but one of the fish who lived in it.