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.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Pontifical Requiem Mass at Eynsham next Saturday

Next Saturday morning, June 23, at 11, a Requiem  Mass will be celebrated by the Archbishop of Birmingham in St Peter's Church at Eynsham in Oxfordshire. The Mass is being celebrated to mark the re-interment of nine sets of bones found in excavations on the site of Eynsham Abbey during excavations in the period 1989-92. Six are thought to be those of  Benedictine monks, and three to be those of Catholics who as recusants chose to be buried on the site in the later sixteenth or seventeenth centuries. Following the Mass there will be a lunch for those attending.

There is an introduction to the history of the abbey here with links to other sites. The 1907 VCH Oxfordshire vol II account of the history of the abbey is here  and there is a description of the site from VCH Oxfordshire  vol XII here.

We are fortunate to possess a drawing of 1687 showing the west front of the church, taken from inside the remains of the church:


This was the source for a print of the ruins produced by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck early in the eighteenth century:


 Using this visual evidence and the archaeological evidence  this reconstruction of the abbey has been produced:


There is a plan of the site and its evolution superimposed on an aerial photograph:


I am not sure if I can attend the Mass, but it seems to be not only a sacramental act but also a suitable historic commemoration of the abbey and its occupants.


crematory said...

Definitely. It's important to attend the mass hearing.

Joan Stonham said...

Do come! Events like this don't happen very often :)