Posts Tagged ‘Oxfordshire’


3 JULY 1437

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn    in Events in History

William de la Pole and Alice Chaucer, later duke and duchess of Suffolk, are licenced to found an almshouse at Ewelme for thirteen poor men and two chaplains.  The almshouse was called God’s House.  The statutes of 1448 show that by then a grammar school was added.  The almshouse as well as the school exist to this day.

Source:  ODNB on Alice Chaucer, duchess of Suffolk

Cloister of the almshouse at Ewelme (© Dorothea Preis)

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20 JUNE 1214

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn    in Events in History

Charter granted to the University of Oxford to appoint a chancellor by Nicholas de Romanis, the papal legate.

Though it is not known when exactly Oxford University was founded, there is evidence of teaching from as early as 1096.  The early structure of the university is impossible to ascertain.  In 1209 there is evidence that by 2 January 1201, a John Grim held the title magister scolorum Oxonie (master of schools of Oxford), which indicates that he was the head of all the schools of Oxford.

The papal legate enhanced the status of the office of the master of schools by his award of 1214, which was accepted and sanctioned by the Bishop of Lincoln, Hugh of Wells.


M.B. Hackett, ‘The University as a Corporate Body’, in: The Early Oxford Schools, Volume I, ed by J.I.Catto, Oxford University Press, 1984, pp.37-95.  ISBN 0-19-951011-3

The photograph shows the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford  (© Dorothea Preis)

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   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn    in Events in History

Death of Alice Chaucer, duchess of Suffolk. She is buried in St Mary’s Church Ewelme.  Her tomb (pictured left) shows her wearing the Garter insignia on her left forearm.  The tomb is remarkable:   Alice’s effigy rests on an alabaster tomb chest, with a cadaver effigy below.

Alice had been married as a child to Sir John Phelip, who died when she was only 11 years old.  After 1421 she married Thomas Montagu, earl of Salisbury.  After his death in 1438, she married in November 1430 William de la Pole, earl of Suffolk.

Source: ODNB on Alice Chaucer, duchess of Suffolk

Photograph of the tomb of Alice Chaucer by the present author.

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   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn    in Events in History


Statue of Edward IV on the gate of Magdalen College, Oxford (D. Preis)

Edward IV visits Oxford University and stays at Magdalen College on the invitation by the college’s founder, William Waynflete, bishop of Winchester.  The king arrived after sunset with a large company, innumerable torches burning before them. They spent the night and much of the next day at the College, where he listened to a brief speech congratulating him on his arrival and petitioning his support.  A statue of Edward on the gate commemorates his visit.


Robert C Hairsine, “Oxford University and the Life and Legend of Richard III”, in:  Richard III:  Crown and People, ed. by J Petre, Richard III Society, 1985, pp. 307-332


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11 AUGUST 1486

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn    in Events in History

Death of William Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester

Source: ODNB on William Waynflete


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   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News, Ricardian Places

The following information I heard on the highly informative ‘Ricardian grapevine’.  I  have not been able to find any press notices or similar about it, but thought it might be of interest to visitors of our page.

Should you be visiting the Henley-on-Thames area in Oxfordshire between Easter and December this year, you might be interested to know that there will be a small exhibition on Francis Lovell, who once owned the property.   Though from what we heard, it will just be information and image displays, a visit to a place which belonged to Richard’s loyal friend is always a treat.

And if you are also a Downton Abbey fan, you might already have caught a glimpse of Grey’s Court:   the picnic scene in series 3 was shot there.  As this series is at present screening in Australia, viewers here will have seen the family outing only a few weeks ago.

You can find out more on Grey’s Court here, though there is no mention of the exhibition, at least not yet.

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The April General Meeting

   Posted by: Julia Redlich    in Meetings

The speaker at our meeting on April 9 was Dorothea Preis, whose report on the “Blood and Roses” special interest weekend held at Christ Church College, Oxford, at the end of March features elsewhere on our website. Luckily for those many members attending we heard about the enlightening papers in much more detail and enjoyed the excellent choice of illustrations and photographs that brought the weekend to colourful life.  When it comes to colour, I suspect most of us were green with envy at what was obviously a time of special interest to Ricardians and Dorothea’s good fortune in participating and meeting other Ricardians from the USA, Canada and the UK. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Language of Maps

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

The Bodleian Library in Oxford is hosting a fascinating colloquium and exhibition called The Language of Maps:  Communicating through cartography during the middle ages and renaissance in June this year.

“Historic maps have broad appeal in contemporary cultures around the world. One reason for this – it might be thought – is because the ‘language of maps’ is universal and straightforward, but is it? How do maps communicate to us? How do they work?’  The colloquium tries to answer these questions and promises to “further our understanding and appreciation of the complexity of medieval and Renaissance maps and map‐making”.

This sounds fascinating to anyone with an interest in our period, and the beautiful setting will just add to it.

To find out more, click here.



Blood and Roses – Special Interest Weekend

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

Recently I had the pleasure to attend the Special Interest Weekend on ‘Blood and Roses:  England 1450 – 1485’, which took place at Christ Church College Oxford from 24 to 27 March 2011.  This is the eighth Special Interest Weekend Christ Church is hosting, past events included a variety of topics.

A group of overseas Ricardians – US, Canada and Australia – who had arrived early, met on the Wednesday evening prior to the official start for a highly enjoyable pub crawl and dinner at The Trout.  A big thank-you goes to Dave for organising this.  It was great that Christine, a Ricardian from Stroud in Gloucestershire, could join us for the evening.  Wherever Ricardians meet you can be sure they will have a lot to talk about and enjoy themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

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Blood and Roses – The Wars of the Roses, c.1450 – 1485

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

This is the title of a ‘Special Interest Weekend to re-evaluate an historically neglected but pivotal English conflict’ which will be held from 24 to 27 March 2011 at Christ Church in Oxford in association with Holts Battlefield Tours and The Richard III Society.  To a Ricardian the description of a “neglected” conflict is hardly appropriate, as it is essential to our period of interest.

Special Interest Weekends are offered every spring by Christ Church, offering sound scholarship by distinguished speakers to their visitors.  Participants will stay on campus and enjoy college life.  The social highlight of the weekend will be the Gala Banquet on Saturday night.

This weekend promises to take the participant through one of the most complex narratives of English History and to explore the debates surrounding the parts played, not just by the king but by the aristocracy.  The talks include:

•    The Origins of the Wars of the Roses
•    The Role of Margaret of Anjou
•    Edward IV and the Establishment of the House of York
•    Richard III:  Reputation and Reality
•    The Army of Richard III
•    Alice Duchess of Suffolk and the Wars of the Roses – this will take place at Ewelme Church, where she is buried
•    The Battle of Bosworth – Dr Glenn Foard, who led the team that discovered the real battle site, will talk about their research.

What a pity that we are so far away, the weekend does promise to be fascinating!  It would be good if we could find out whether the talks might be published in book format after the weekend.  This would allow people, who live too far away and haven’t got the means to just pop over to Oxford for weekend, can enjoy some of it.

For a copy of the programme and a booking form click here.

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