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, 19 October 2011

Autograph material

I spent part of this afternoon assisting in moving part of the library at the Oxford Oratory. One of the items we had to move was a case containing sliding draws which contain a collection of archive letters which are part of the patrimony of the church.These have been part of its collection for many years and items are sometimes on display.

It is nonetheless remarkable to be handling framed letters from a selection of saints and beati, including St Charles Borromeo and St Joseph of Cupertino (whose ability to levitate would have helped when we were emptying bookshelves come to think of it), and the only autograph letter from St Ignatius Loyola in this country. The Oxford Oratory is rich in such treasures and we are extremely lucky to have a community like the Oratory to safeguard them.

No comments: