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.
I heard over the weekend of the death of Fr Hugh Thwaites S.J. As my informant said it is the end of an era. Fr Thwaites achievements are well known, not least establishing the annual Rosary Crusade of Reparation from Westminster Cathedral to the Brompton Oratory.
I only met Fr Thwaites once, when he came to Oxford to celebrate Mass for the Newman Society in Trinity Term 2006 at the chapel of Pembroke College. It was the first time I had served the Traditional Rite of Mass and he was most gracious in not noting the occasional accidental omissions on my part. Talking to him when we were getting ready for the Mass and afterwards at the Society Dinner in a nearby restaurant I was struck by his gentleness and kindness.
I aslo recall how as a group we were also struck by his strong resemblance to John Henry Newman at a similarly advanced age - which seemed very appropriate indeed for the Society.