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.
One of my regular readers has drawn my attention to two post by other bloggers which make for interesting reading.
The first, from last November, on the Jacobite Intelligencer is an account of the oldest Catholic churches in London, and can be read here. Of these I have worshipped at St James Spanish Place, which is very splendid, and seen St Patrick Soho Square from the outside, and hear good things of its life as a parish. I knew of the former Sardinian chapel in Kingsway but have not so far seen it. The old Royal Bavarian Chapel in Warwick Street has, of course, been in the news and on the blogosphere recently, and not for its architecture but rather for hosting rather debatable activities.
In any case an inducement to do a church crawl in London sometime to view the architecture.
The other post is more recent and from Andrew Cusack with a "what might have been" - the design by Sir Ninian Comper for a new church at Clerkenwell for the Venerable Priory of St John of Jerusalem, that is the nineteenth centuryAnglican re-establishment of the English branch of the Order of Malta. The design looks very fine indeed, and an interesting, indeed exhilarating, combination of styles.
I suspect the central altar owes something to the Crusading knights chapel at Tomar in Portugal, about which there is an article here, and ultimately the Holy Sepulchre itself. As so often in these case of grand designs it is to be regretted that the scheme was not carried out. The article can be read here.