The Snell Exhibitions were endowed by John Snell (c1628-1679) to assist former students from the University to pursue post-graduate studies at Balliol College.
In his will, Snell provided for the "maintenance and education in some Colledge or Hall" at Oxford of at least five Scots who had studied for at least a year at the University of Glasgow. Balliol College was subsequently selected as the one to receive the "Snell exhibitioners", and the first four were admitted to the college in 1699. Adam Smith, James Stirling and Edward Caird are among the most famous Snell Exhibitioners. .