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.
After the Ordination three of us made our way to a long-established Hungarian restaurant round the corner in Greek Street - The Gay Hussar. Would, I idly wondered to
myself, you open a restaurant with such a name today without having
a rather specific niche market in mind? In fact the niche market there
tends to be particularly left-of-centre politicians - though both
principal cnadidates for the Mayorality of London had been in recently
we were assured. Thus a range of cartoons of luminaries of the Left
stared down at us - but I took comfort in the photographs of the
Empress-Queen Elizabeth which topped off the display.
This was the first time I had eaten in a Hungarian restaurant - despite
my interest in the history of the country - and without doing a Father Z
it is perhaps worth recording what we ate. All three of us enjoyed
chilled wild cherry soup - strikingly pink and complete with whole
cherries.Excellent. Two of us had the beef goulash - well what could be
more Hungarian? However a Hungarian in Oxford has since then assured me
this evening that back home goulash would count as soup. The third
member of our party had gpose, which looked very good, and is again a
speciality of the country - as in Lajos Zilahy's novel The Dukays - a novel to read if you have a few spare months!
That, with wine, more than filled us, and after coffee we moved on - two of us to
look again at St Patrick's and then went by tube to look at the new medieval galleres at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Yes, the labels are dumbed down, and often at the wrong height, but the
actual objects on show are wonderful. Well worth seeing. With a brief
visit to ther London Oratory this made a good end to an excellent day.