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.
The release of details under the pernicious Freedom of Information Act - a veritable snoopers' charter - about the routine the sending of Cabinet papers to the Prince of Wales to that sad little organisation Republic and its subsequent publication in The Guardian is, of course, a non-story. This has been the practice since it was established by King Edward VII at the beginning of his reign for his heir apparent, the future King George V. It is an obvious and sensible thing for the government to do, and more suitable for it to be subject to criticism were it not done.
What is unpleasant about this is that it appears to be part of a nasty little campaign in recent years to denigrate the Prince and impugn his ability to be a future monarch. I do not believe this will be successful, but I do think attention should be drawn to this mind-set being fostered where they hope it may bear fruit by opponents of the Crown as an institution or to its functioning as aliving part of out constitution.