Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding.
I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... It was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.
Thinking of visiting Oxford?
Allow me to be your guide... and discover the history of Oxford with an Oxford historian.
I offer a wide range of guided walks around the city and university. These can be a general introduction to the history and architecture or looking at specific themes and subjects.
I am a Catholic and a historian based in Oxford, where I am a member of Oriel College. My research, for a long delayed D.Phil., is a study of Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln in the second decade of the fifteenth century. I also work as a freelance tutor in History and as an independent tour guide.
I was received into the Church in 2005 and am a Brother of the External Oratory of St Philip Neri at the Oxford Oratory.
Last night was the farewell debate of the Oxford Union and the retiring President gave it a Falklands theme, having been spent part of her upbringing in the islands. Nonetheless it was something of a surprise to see Lady Thatcher in the Union bar, resplendent in blue and pearls as in those heady days of 1982. the distinctive husky voice, the authoritative manner and the handbag were all in evidence.
Now I do not want to mislead you too far, this was not actually the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, but a former President of OUCA attired in the persona - and I must add that the young man concerned made a very good effort in the part. Almost worryingly so, considering how well he managed to walk in high heels, though he did admit to having bought them and then dashed from the shop concerned. So last night the unwary could have seem the Lady herself in the Oxford Union bar, pint of ale in hand, or standing with said pint smoking a cheroot in the gardens. The Oxford Union, where else?
Photographs were being taken - I will track one down, dear readers.