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.
In February when I wrote about St Cyril and St Methodius I said I hoped to post something about the Bulgarian monarchy's Order of Chivalry under their patronage. The following piece is largely based upon an online article in connection with the offer for sale of a set of the insignia of the Order.
Today is the anniversary of the foundation of that Order by King Ferdinand I in 1909, following his proclamation of the Kingdom or Tsardom of the Bulgarians the previous year. In February 1910 it was approved by a special act of the 14th Common National Assemby. It was the highest ranking Order of the Kingdom and was conferred on high-ranking Bulgarian statesmen who had already received decorations, and also on foreign Sovereigns or Christian statesmen for services to Bulgaria.
Under its statutes the number of living Bulgarian recipients was not to exceed 15 members. Early members were Ivan Geshov, Vassil Radolavov, Ivan Vasov and there were apparently some 52 foreign members, including Tsar Nicholas II.
The badge of the Order is a 75 mm cross with quatrefoil terminals, enamelled light blue with gold edges. Between the arms of the cross are red enamelled flames each charged with a silver Bourbon fleur-de-lys. The gold circle at the centre bears the motto in blue: Ex Oriente Lux. Beneath the motto is a five-pointed star and two stylised decorations. The two patrons SS Cyril and Methodius are depicted on the central medallion.
With the example illustrated is a photograph of King Boris III (1918-43), and this award of the Order dates from his reign. The insignia was designed by Heyer von Rosenfeld of Rhote and Neffe in Vienna, and was made by Tzermann in Germany.