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.
This morning I had the enjoyable task of showing a group of pilgrims around Oxford. They are a group based in the diocese of Arundel and Brighton. Information on their history and on this year's walk is on their website.
The group started in 1975 when a couple of priests in Arundel & Brighton decided that it would be a good way to mark the tenth anniversary of the formation of the diocese by organising a walk to "beat the bounds" of its territorial area. The participants enjoyed the experience and an annual walk was born. They became Ecumenical in the early 1980's and have gone on from there.
This year their walk is one linking Westminster to Birmingham via Oxford and concentrating in particular on the life of Bl.John Henry Newman. I met them after the 10 am Mass at the Oxford Oratory and provided a tour of Trinity and Oriel colleges and some of the sites associated with Newman, the other members of the Oxford Movement and their friends and opponents.
They were a varied group of nationalities and ages, and were very interested in the various places I was able to show them. I wish them well for the next stage of the pilgrimage.