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.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Emperor Francis Joseph I

Today is the 180th anniversary of the birth of the Emperor Francis Joseph I, which seems as good an excuse as I can find to post this portrait of him as a young man - I think the portrait would be from about 1855. I had not seen this portrait before, and it is a reminder of the younger man before the venerable balding be-whiskered image became more or less definitive.


He is wearing the Order of the Golden Fleece, the star of the Order of Maria Theresa and the Fourth Class of the Russian Order of St George, which he was awarded in 1849 by Emperor Nicholas I for bravery under fire in the fighting in Hungary in the months following Francis Joseph's accession.

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