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.
I voted twice in the European Referendum today. Lest anyone thinks I did something illegal I should immediately add that it was all perfectly legal as I exercised the second vote as proxy on behalf of a friend who is away and was too late to register for a postal vote.
The first time was on my own behalf and at my newly constituted local Polling Station, very close to where I live. There were few people about when I went in about 9.30, although I was slightly surprised to find a teller outside enquiring how one had voted. This I understood was on behalf of a money trader who was hoping to make money on the rise or fall of the pound. The majority - and there were not that many on the talley - were for Remain.
In the city there were a few enthusiasts for Remain to be seen about the place but people seemed generally concerned with their day to day affairs.
Mid-afternoon I journeyed up to Cutteslowe to vote for my friend at the Community Centre - a voyage of discovery in itself to a suburb I had not hitherto visited. The air was damp and rain appeared to be in the offing, and the Polling Station almost deserted apart from the staff. I produced my power of proxy, voted and made my way back to the bus stop for the return to the city centre. Although I gather that turnout is up I got the impression of little excitement or interest. A few houses had Remain posters, one was impressively decked out in ones for UKIP and Brexit.
I came back to the city centre, went to Mass and have now had supper. The mood seems quiet and lacklustre, but I went home a little earlier than usual to follow the results. We shall, inevitably, see what the results bring...