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.
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.
It was on April 1st 1922 that the Emperor Charles of Austria - now venerated as the Bl. Emperor Charles - died in exile in Madeira.
A memorial card for the Emperor from 1922
The website of the Emperor Charles League of Prayer has a detailed account of the Emperor-King's last months and of how, as a devout Catholic with a deep sense of obligation to and for the people over whom he was called to rule, he prepared himself and his family for his early death - he was only 34. It can be read on the site or here.
His death was a personal tragedy, a loss to his immediate family and to his wider dynasty and encapsulates the disastrous consequences of the break up of the Habsburg monarchy in 1918. His beatification in 2004 recognised not only his own personal holiness of life but also his attempts to end the war in 1917. Had that been possible the positive benefits that would doubtless have ensued are incalulable.
May the Bl. Emperor Charles pray for the lands and peoples of the Habsburg empire, for the restoration of the Christian ordering of European society and for the peace of the world.