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.
Today has been my sixtieth birthday, which I am fortunate enough to be able to celebrate with friends in a series of lunches and dinners which are amounting to an octave, or indeed rather more than that. I am extremely grateful for their friendship and generosity, and it is always good to meet up with them and share thoughts and ideas, and, happily, humour.
I am tempted to say that I do not feel sixty, but then, as I have never been sixty before, I obviously don't know what it is to be sixty...
It has been a day to give thanks to God for my parents and all that has contributed positively to making me what I am, and seeking guidance as to what else I am called to do. Certainly the last twenty years have brought possibilities and rewards, friendships and experiences way beyond anything I could have imagined when I was forty. I look forward to seeing what is in store.