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.
Today is the eighth centenary of the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa when, on July 16th 1212, the coalition of the Iberian Christian Kings decisively defeated the Almohads and opened the south of the peninsula to the Reconquista. That process was to take another 280 years until 1492 and the conquest of Granada. There is an online account of this significant battle here .
The battle of Los Navas together with the battles of Muret on 12 Sept 1213 and Bouvines on 27 July 1214 and such contemporary events as Lateran IV and the issuing of Magna Carta in 1215 established in a short period the contours of thirteenth century, and indeed of subsequent developments in European history - so these events are not as remote and far away as modern people might be tempted to think. Through the wonders of the Internet I have found a video about the battle which I am including in this post: