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.
Christopher Howse's article in last Saturday's Daily Telegraph featured the sad story of Richard Atkins from Ross on Wye and his fairly single-minded determination to come to a sticky end for his heretical ideas in 1581. You can read the story at The man of Ross cheerful to burn.
It is interesting in that it shows the reluctance of the authorities to proceed against a man who appears to have been deranged, and that he was shown kindness by those whose ideas he so clearly rejected.
The author of the book which Christopher Howse is reviewing is Michael Tavinor, the Dean of Hereford, whom I knew slightly when he was Vicar of Tewkesbury. In both of those great churches he has done much to enhanc the appearance of the buildings and their worship, and to reconnect them with their Catholic origins and practices