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 news today that Theresa May is to become leader of the Conservative Party, and thereby the new Prime Minister, issomething about which I feel cautiously optimistic.
Mrs May has inherited a formidibly significant number of problems in the wake of the Europe Referendum but she is clearly vastly preferable to all the other contenders who put themselves forward for the post.
I could be wrong but I sense she is a more mainstream Conservative than her recent predecessors - not libertarian and not wet. She appears to be, in the proper sense a " One Nation Tory " - the closest to the Macmillan tradition since the 1960s.
Her background as the daughter of an Anglo-Catholic vicar from the Chichester and Oxford dioceses suggests a good formation - and she is still with her husband a regular, unshowy, churchgoer. She clearly has a pretty stiff moral backbone, and as Home Secretary unafraid of standing up to the Police Federation.
It looks hopeful, though , of course, as Enoch Powell famously ponted out, all political careers end in failure. For the moment however we can hope.