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 Clever Boy being the sort of person who notices these things he felt rather like a bird-watcher
( aka a Twitcher) who had spotted a lesser-spotted blue hook-beaked dotteril or what have you when he noted the biretta worn by Bishop Robert Byrne at Vespers at the Oxford Oratory this evening. This was an episcopal biretta in Roman Purple, but fashioned according to the Oratorian model. That, if readers are not familiar with it, is with slightly shallower sides that other designs and having a cord stalk rather than a pom-pom at the summit.
Now given the rarity of Oratorian bishops, and there has not been one in England since 1917, this was a rare sighting indeed and one to put on record. I commented upon it to Bishop Robert, and I thought its existence should be bruited abroad.