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.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

St Oswald of Worcester

Today is the commemoration of one of the great figures of the tenth century English church, St Oswald, Benedictine monk, Bishop of Worcester, who in his later years held in addition the Archbishopric of York, and the founder of the great Benedictine abbey at Ramsey in Huntingdonshire as well as the cathedral priory at Worcester, who died 1020 years ago on February 29 992.

The biography of him by N. P. Brooks in the Oxford DNB can be read here and there is another, illustrated, account of his life here.

His main cult centres were at Worcester where his shrine and that of St Wul(f) stan flanked the high altar in the middle ages and at Ramsey. At York he was perhpas less venerated than other episcopal saints of the see, but he is depicted in the early fourteenth century glass of the great west window of the Minster:

York Minster, wI, 2e-4e, Archbishop, 2f-4f, St Oswald of Worcester

York Minster
Unidentified Archbishop to left, St Oswald of Worcester on right

Image: Gordon Plumb on Flickriver

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