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.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

The History of Gin and Tonic

Those who know me at all well can testify to my fondness for a “g and t”, or two or more. In the current ‘lockdown’ securing a reserve supply to have at home was a serious consideration, and happily facilitated by friends. Indeed I have been known to opine that gin and tonic is an argument for the existence of the Deity, It was not one of the proofs ( pun partly intended ) known to St Thomas Aquinas in that matter, but then that was the thirteenth century and gin and tonic did not appear until the nineteenth century. Much more than that I did not know of its history other than it being a legacy of Empire and a means of making quinine palatable in India. However everything you ever wanted to know or were afraid to ask about the history of gin and tonic is answered in an article in the latest copy of that splendid journal “Country Life”. It can be read at 

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