Before you read this post, you need to know that I have no idea what these pictures are of… only that they are a from a tour around Oxford University on my beloved’s last day of the academy he attended there.
If you are at all like me, you don’t necessarily care about that because the architecture and history are fascinating enough.
So here is what I do know about Oxford University.
1. There is no clear date on when the University started, but they do know that there was teaching going on in some form by 1096. Oxford University is the oldest University in the English speaking world.
2. Teaching developed rapidly when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris in 1167.
3. In 1190, Emo of Friesland became the first known overseas student.
4. By 1201, the University was headed by a magister scolarum Oxonie. He was given the title of Chancellor in 1214. In 1231 the masters were recognized as a universitas or corporation.
5. Due to rioting between town and gown (townspeople and students) in the 13th century, building halls of residence was difficult to establish. These halls began as medieval ‘halls of residence’ or endowed houses under the supervision of a Master. University, Balliol and Merton Colleges, were established between 1249 and 1264, and are the oldest.
6. Edward III paid tribute to the University for its invaluable contribution to learning in 1355.
7. Henry VIII forced the University to accept his divorce from Catherine of Aragon in 1530.
8. Three men, the Anglican churchmen Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley, were tried for heresy and burnt at the stake during the Reformation in the 16th century at Oxford.
9. Academic halls weren’t established for women until 1878, and they were admitted to full membership of the University in 1920. Women were admitted to five all-male colleges in 1974 and since then, all colleges have changed their statutes to admit both women and men.
10. There are many notable Oxonians (alumni) including 26 British Prime Ministers, 30 International Leaders (including a former US President), 12 Saints, 50 Olympic medal winners, numerous Writers (including C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien), Economists, Scientists, Composers, and Actors.
Up next : One last tour in England before my Beloved begins his journey home. Join me for a tour of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill’s birthplace, Blenheim Palace.