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.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Trinity College tours

For the second time in a week I have had the pleasure of showing people around Trinity College here in Oxford. In both cases this was in connection with John Henry Newman, who was, of course, and undergraduate at Trinity before being elected as a Fellow of Oriel. The first group, last Saturday, and whom I also took to Oriel, was from the Catholic Young Professionals Group. They were visiting as part of a Newman themed weekend. Today it was the staff of the Birmingham Oratory Junior School, who were having a study day on the Cardinal as part of their preparation for his forthcoming beatification.

I have always considered Trinity to be architecturally one of the most appealing of the colleges, partly because of its distinctive layout and extensive grounds, and the sense of continuity from the buildings of the pre-reformation Durham College, whose building these once were, and also because of the rather heterogeneous character of the buildings. So it was a pleasure on both occasions to show people the place where Newman spent some of his formative years.

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