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.
Van Dyck painted the self-portrait shortly before his death in 1641
I was very pleased to read on the BBC News website today that the self-portrait by Sir Antony van Dyke that was at risk of leaving the country has been saved for the National Portrait Gallery. It is one of only three self-portaits by the artist ,and the last he produced, only a few months before his death in 1641, when the world of the court of King Charles I, which he had immortalised, and maybe idealised, crumbled at the outbreak of the Civil War.
Quite apart from its historic interest it is a lovely painting, and rather haunting in its quality.