Friday, December 27, 2013

December 2013 - Berlin's Letters 1960-1975

Sir Isaiah Berlin
By the metrics of American professors, Sir Isaiah Berlin did not publish much, but what he wrote was much cited and he himself was greatly revered. He created a new graduate institute, Wolfson College. He was the Ford Visiting Professor at Lowell House, Harvard during the fall of 1962 when I embarked on the PPE program. When he returned to Oxford in the spring, I sought out his lectures.

His lengthy Letters for the years 1960-1975 have been published in a 680-page volume under the title Building by Chatto and Windus at $60, the third volume of his correspondence, with one more anticipated. He writes about his American visit, mentioning his many American friends, like Arthur Schlesinger Jr., and Ambassador Chip Bohlen. One of his best friends was McGeorge Bundy, who went from Harvard to the Ford Foundation.

There are moments where Berlin was at the center of historical events. On October 16, 1962, Berlin met President Kennedy and his wife. In a letter to his wife Aline, Berlin describes the President as "rather tense". This was the first day of the Cuban missile crisis.

Born on June 6, 1909,  Berlin died on November 5, 1997.

The collection of letters was edited by Henry Hardy (who maintains a website about Berlin) and Mark Pottle. The editing process has apparently been costly. John Banville, in the New York Review of Books on December 19, 2013, writes:
That such a book could be assembled and thereafter handsomely produced by a commercial publisher, is a little light of hope in a dark cultural time.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dec 18 - Wesley, Oglethorpe (Superseded)

James Oglethorpe (1696-1785),
Corpus Christi, Oxford and
De Facto First Governor of Georgia 
On these days, December 18 and 22, were born two Oxonians who made a major contribution to the early days of Georgia, when it was created as a British Colony - James Oglethorpe and Charles Wesley.

The post that follows has been extended and edited and has been re-posted here:
This post is being maintained for those who have linked to it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

BOAT RACE: Bosbaan Course, Amsterdam

Amsterdam's Bosbaan boat race course, from the boathouse;
all photos by JT Marlin, from 2008.
Oct. 11, 2013–Amsterdam's Bosbaan is the world's oldest specially made rowing course, built in 1936 during the era of high unemployment era in the wake of the Great Depression.

The jobs project also reflected the frenzied sports competition surrounding the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

Today, it's a practical and comfortable venue for training and races.

What happened at the Bosbaan might help other communities seeking to build a boat-racing arena as a job-creator and a tourist attraction.

The bottom line is that you want to make it wide enough, from the gitgo! Retrofitting is costly.
  • It initially had five lanes for the Holland Beker of 1937. The European Rowing Championships of 1937, 1964 and 1965 were held here, as well as the 1977 World Championships.
  • The Bosbaan course was widened to six larger lanes in 1964 when Amsterdam hosted the European Championships. This was the first international event where women were allowed to participate in the top races. The Dutch rowing regatta has been held at the Bosbaan every year, with frequent improvements to the finish-line area for both rowers and spectators.
  • In 2001, the Bosbaan was widened to eight lanes to comply with standards of the international rowing federation, the FISA.
Bosbaan pioneered in women's rowing in 1964.
  • Other recent retrofitted improvements include dressing rooms, a new entrance area, a new restaurant (the "Grand Cafe") and visitors center, and a new finish-line tower. 
  • On the spot where the grandstand used to be is a new building with many multipurpose rooms. 
The location was well-selected. Bosbaan is ten minutes from both Amsterdam City Center and Schiphol Airport, served by rapid and frequent transportation. A taxi from the center of Amsterdam costs 10-15 euros. Nearby is available affordable and adequate hotel accommodation.
Training on the Bosbaan.

The Bosbaan is now the venue for world-class rowing at the Koninklijke-Holland Beker World Cup Regatta, which was in 2003 and 2004 the first of a series of international top rowing events that became the World Cup in 2007.

World Rowing "under 23" Championships in 2005 and World Junior Championships in 2006 took over the course.

The Bosbaan provides a compact, convenient and friendly venue. My photos here (from my visit in 2008) include crews that are training for international events.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

FEAST DAY: Oct. 9 - John Henry Newman

Blessed John Henry
Cardinal Newman
Today is the Feast Day of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890). Newman's birthday was February 21 and he died in August. October 9 was the date, after two years of instruction, when Newman was received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1845 by Dominic Barberi, an Italian Passionist, in Littlemore.

Oxonians brought many gifts to America, including independence, with Pitt the Elder kicking the French out of the colonies and Lord North trying to make the colonials pay for the cost of British troops, thereby precipitating the Revolution. Newman's gift was not just to Catholics in America, but to Christians everywhere, especially those speaking English.

He was born in London and at 16 years of age went up to Trinity College, Oxford. He then served as a tutor at Oriel College, which was a center of Oxford University's religious revival.

For 17 years from 1828, he was vicar of the Anglican St. Mary's (The University Church of St. Mary the Virgin) close to Oriel at the center of the University on High Street. Five years into Newman's vicarage, John Keble gave his famous sermon at St. Mary's that won over Newman to the Oxford Movement to regenerate Catholicism. The Movement went back to the early Church for inspiration.

In 1845,  based on his search for continuity in the history of Christianity and his belief in objective truth, Newman then became a Roman Catholic. He published eight volumes of Parochial and Plain Sermons as well as two novels. He is celebrated as both an Anglican and a Roman Catholic theologian. His poem, "Dream of Gerontius," was set to music by Sir Edward Elgar.

In 1847, Newman was ordained a Catholic priest in Rome and joined the Congregation of the Oratory, founded three centuries earlier by St. Philip Neri. Returning to England, Newman founded Oratory houses in Birmingham and London. In 1854 he went to Dublin to serve as rector of the Catholic University of Ireland, which he helped found. While in Dublin he wrote The Idea of a University, in which he sets out his ideas on the purpose of education. Newman promotes the idea that the lived experience of believers is a key part of formation of theology.

Newman accepted Vatican I's teaching on papal infallibility while noting its limits, which at that time few proponents of infallibility were eager to do.

Newman was named a cardinal in 1879, and he took as his cardinal's motto Cor ad cor loquitur ("Heart speaks to heart"), which he adapted from a 17th century dictum. His crest includes three hearts, which are interpreted as being the Trinity. Pope Benedict XVI used the Cor ad cor loquitur motto to headline Newman's long-awaited beatification.

Newman was buried near Birmingham but his grave was exhumed in 2008 and a new tomb was prepared at the Oratory church in Birmingham. Three years after Newman died, a Newman Club for Catholic students began at the University of Pittsburgh, and similar centers for students were set up in many universities. Newman Centers had been created earlier but until Newman himself was beatified they lacked ecclesiastical blessing.

Pope Benedict beatified Newman in September 2010, at a ceremony outside of Birmingham. The pope noted Newman's balanced emphasis on both his religious beliefs as part of civilized society and on his pastoral energy to attend to the needs of the sick, poor, bereaved or incarcerated.

Newman's views were a key reference point for Vatican II under Pope John XXIII. He was called the "absent Father" of this conference of bishops 70 years after his death, especially on issues of conscience and religious liberty, the vocation of lay people, and relations between Church and State.

Monday, October 7, 2013

TRINITY: How 2 Alums Created the USA

Trinity College Dining Hall High Table, behind which is the portrait of
William Pitt the Elder (second from the right). Lord North is on a side
wall, where history would also put him. All photos by JT Marlin.
The following is edited from the article the originally appeared in The American Oxonian, 100:1 (Winter 2013), 37-40.

The portraits of two noted alumni of Trinity College, Oxford are on the walls of its Dining Hall.
  • One made possible the American Revolution.
  • The other made it inevitable.
The two men are judged very differently by history.

One resisted the Euro-centered vision of George II and created the British Empire through clever military strategy focused on the colonies. The other fed the petulance of George III and together they engineered the needless loss of what would be the most valuable part of the British Empire.

William Pitt the Elder

The first of these two noted Oxonians was William Pitt the Elder, the Great Commoner who late in life accepted a peerage and became the Earl of Chatham.

Pitt served as Whig Prime Minister, 1766-1768. He made possible the Revolution by sending the troops that drove the French out of North America and defeated the Indian tribes that were allied with the French.

So long as the French were in the colonies, the colonials had needed the British army for protection and revolution against the mother country was out of the question.

Closeup of William Pitt the Elder,
Lord Chatham. (Behind the
Trinity High Table.)
The great city of Pittsburgh, Penn., is named after Pitt (an Oxford twofer, since Pennsylvania is named after another Oxonian), and so is Pittsfield, Mass.

While a boy at Eton and a student at Trinity, William Pitt suffered from severe gout. Perhaps for that reason, in later years he did not look back with fondness on the time he spent at either Eton or Oxford.

Pitt was a passionate advocate for using expansion of British power in North America and India to balance retreat from costly wars in Europe during the period that was called the Seven Years War in Europe and was called the French and Indian War in the United States.

The British Army – following some early reverses – cleared out the French all the way up to Quebec, Pitt championed the cause of the colonies and sent over British forces despite George II’s wish that more of them be posted to protect his beloved Hanover.

The war in Europe went badly. George III sent his son the Duke of Cumberland to defend Hanover, but the duke - surrounded by the French at Hastenbeck in Germany - was forced to surrender Hanover to the French. Cumberland escaped with the help of Colonel Jeffrey Amherst, and on his return to Britain "resigned his military offices in disgrace". This story is told well in Walter Borneman's The French and Indian War (HarperCollins, 2006).

Pitt's campaign was immensely popular in the American colonies. But in a true Hegelian dialectic, the cost of the war created financial worries in Britain - and a consequent determination to make the colonies pay for the British troops stationed there - that hardened the attitude of the colonists to their mother country. Lord North became a passionate ally of George III in seeking to make the colonies recognize what they owed to their mother country - a debt both filial and financial.

Before the American Revolution, George III controlled virtually all of North America. After the Revolution, the British Crown retained only Canada as a colony, until Canada’s own independence was granted in spurts–and with a low profile–during the fitful 1919-1938 period.

Pitt was a fierce devotee of the colonies:
  • He vigorously opposed the Stamp Act in 1766 ("The Americans are the sons, not the bastards of England.”). 
  • He argued for removing British troops from Boston and deplored the punitive campaign of Lord North. 
  • Not long before his death, Pitt said that the colonies had given the most brilliant proofs of their independent spirit. 
But even he believed the colonies should defer to the Mother Country.

One thing that the mother country did not fully appreciate is that the French and Indian War taught the colonial militias how to organize themselves for battle. Some colonial officers, like George Washington himself, played significant parts in the war. The outcomes of many of the battles in North America hinged on the strategic sense of commanders in coping with the transportation, weather and supply issues in the wilds of the upper Hudson. Sometimes small numbers of frontier-savvy colonial soldiers overcame larger forces of poorly led French troops.

Sometimes British settlers in the colonies returned home to Britain. But that was not the rule. British  colonizers brought their families with them and built permanent homes. They increased and multiplied. The French more often came as traders and returned home. The resulting imbalance of population favored the British in North America.

The upshot of the Seven Years War was that Europe remained not much different from when the war started. But the upshot of its synchronized French and Indian War in North America was vastly different. Britain not only became lord over all of North America, it became master of the oceans. The British Navy truly ruled the waves. The War created bases for the British – for example, in India – that became the cornerstones of the British Empire under Victoria. Pitt, not George II, understood what was going to be important in the decades ahead.

The British public, however, was not so happy about the colonies having a free ride on the military front. The Stamp Act sought to collect duties (in the form of stamps on bills of lading) on imported goods. The colonial leadership reacted by making imported goods unfashionable. Benjamin Franklin suggested that the colonials "wear their old clothes over again." Pitt in 1766 succeeded in having the law repealed.

Frederick Lord North

Frederick Lord North (Trinity, Oxford
Dining Room, back wall.)
The other alumnus was Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford, who made the war of independence of the American colonies inevitable by trying to impose on the colonists the cost of the war and by making the payment of taxes a test of obedience to the Crown. He served as Tory Prime Minister, 1770-1782.

When the Quartering Act billeted British soldiers on the homes of American colonists and the New York legislature voted to nullify it, the British were "aghast". George III was "contemptuous" of the colonials. Pitt's chancellor of the exchequer, Charles Townsend, seeing Pitt ailing, moved ahead to do the king's bidding and imposed new taxes on imports into the colonies of glass, lead, paints, paper and... tea. Also, George III claimed the Virginia Territory as his own, thereby alienating many Virginians who had bought land there–Virginians like future linchpins of the new country, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

The “Boston Massacre”, which started the bitterness in Boston, was hooliganism. Some soldiers served as strike-breakers. On March 5, 1770, a mob of several hundred youths and men attacked them and one soldier lost his nerve and fired at the mob. Three men lay dead and two were mortally wounded. Pitt, now Lord Chatham, said:
I love the Americans because they love liberty, and I love them for the noble efforts they made in the last war [The French and Indian War]. … I think the idea of drawing money from them by taxes was ill-judged. Trade is your object with them… But … they must be subordinate… They must obey and we prescribe. [Cited in Samuel Eliot Morison, The Oxford History of the American People (NY: Oxford University Press, 1965), p. 200.] 
Lord North came in as Prime Minister in 1770, and for three years after the Boston Massacre, Britain traded peacefully with the colonies. There was a sense in Britain that their Seven Years War was expensive and they were looking for ways to off-load the costs of their military spending. Objectively, it might seem reasonable to ask the colonies to pay for their defense.

But  Sam Adams and other radical leaders looked at it a different way. Why should they be paying taxes to Britain if the colonies were not represented in the British Parliament? It was the Roundhead argument with the additional complaint of foreign taxation. Looking for ways to foment rebellion, they cleverly conceived of the public dumping of tea–the Boston Tea Party being the best-publicized example–to goad the bull-headed George III and his testy Prime Minister into overreaction (Morison, p. 204).

The Crown's response was exactly as the radicals wished - i.e., what were called the Coercive or Intolerable Acts. Pitt had recommended conciliation - withdrawing British troops from Boston (Morison, p. 209). But Lord North supported George III's animosity toward the rebels.

The Acts of course inflamed Bostonians by enacting reprisals for the dumping of tea in Boston Harbor.

But the Quebec Act of 1774 may have been the most disastrous for Britain. It undermined the numerous royalists in the colonies south of New England. The Quebec Act essentially took territory north of the Ohio River away from Virginia (mostly) and the other 13 colonies and annexed them to Quebec, which was seen as more loyal to the Crown.

George Washington and other leading Virginians had already begin staking claims to these lands as early as 1753. Although they were in 1763 nominally marked as an Indian reserve, Virginia and other colonies had their eye on them for purposes of westward expansion. George Washington, a surveyor by profession before he became a soldier, would have been deeply aware of, and involved in, investments predicated on the Virginian colonial government or other colonies, allocating the lands in the territories that the Crown essentially now claimed for itself. Whereas New Englanders were looking for a fight, the other colonies were not as belligerent, and were not fully committed to rebellion – until now, confronted with loss of their assets.

George III said smugly to Lord North on February 4, 1774:
The die is now cast. The Colonies must either submit or triumph.
This test was petulant and unnecessary. Britain could have made so much money off their 13 American colonies if George III had shown the strategic good sense that Edward had demonstrated by accommodating to Scotland less than a century before.

The mistakes of the mother country came to a head on April 18, 1775, when the two lanterns ("two if by sea") were hung in the steeple of Boston's Old North Church, signaling riders including Paul Revere to gallop to Lexington and Concord with the news: "The British are coming." The minute men readied themselves for the redcoats and the Revolutionary War was on.

Lord North's tenure as Prime Minister ended in 1782 and he died ten years later. Lord North gives his family name to Guilford, Conn. and that is about it (North Dakota and North Carolina are not named after him).

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

BIRTH: Oct 2–Graham Greene

Graham Greene
Today is the birthday (in 1904) of novelist Graham Greene, in Berkhamsted, England. Berkhamsted Castle is where the Saxon nobles were summoned to pledge their allegiance to the Norman king, William the Conqueror, after the Battle of Hastings.

A conference is held in Berkhamsted every year to discuss the huge volume of Greene's novels and other writings and the many films based on them. Greene was born in a building of the Berkhamsted School, one of six children in a large, prosperous and intermarried family.

He boarded at the Berkhamsted School, where his father was made headmaster. He was bullied and unhappy, and frequently depressed. He was sent to London for psychoanalysis in 1920, which was unusual at the time. He tried to kill himself several times. Doubtless unconnected with his depression, he attended Balliol College, Oxford. Also, surely unconnected with his Balliol affiliation, he (briefly) joined the Communist Party.

He began his career as a reviewer and essayist. An avowed atheist, he had been questioning his faith since his days at boarding school. He wrote:
So faith came to one—shapelessly, without dogma, a presence above a croquet lawn, something associated with violence, cruelty, evil across the way. I began to believe in heaven because I believed in hell, but for a long while it was only hell I could picture with a certain intimacy.
Garrison Keillor describes Greene's marriage as follows:
When he was 21 years old, [Greene] wrote an essay referring to Catholics as people who "worship" the Virgin Mary. He received an indignant reply from a young woman named Vivien Dayrell-Browning, explaining that Catholics did not worship the Virgin Mary, they venerated her. He wrote her back, they met, and Greene was smitten. Unfortunately, Dayrell-Browning was a very devout Catholic, and she had several more eligible men courting her. But Greene was stubborn. He wrote her no less than 2,000 letters and postcards, sometimes three a day. And he converted to Catholicism. How much of his conversion was influenced by his future wife, and how much by other spiritual motives, no one knows for sure. But he became a Catholic, married Vivien, and went on to write novels about characters struggling to reconcile their faith with the rest of their lives. 
Greene's first novel, The Man Within (1929) was sufficiently successful that he was able to earn a living writing novels, all of which deal with questions of morality. About ten years into his marriage, Greene had an affair, the first of many. He and his wife separated, but never divorced.

The Power and the Glory (1940) is a novel about an old Mexican priest. He calls himself a "whisky priest" and looks back on a life of drinking and other misdeeds including fathering a child with one of his parishioners. At the end of his life, he is living on the run, practicing his faith despite the new revolutionary government's outlawing Catholic sacraments.

Keillor writes:
The Power and the Glory was so popular that it attracted the attention of the Vatican, which appointed two different people to review it and decide whether the Church should take an official position. The two readers had similar reactions to the novel. One wrote: "Odd and paradoxical, a true product of the disturbed, confused, and audacious character of today's civilization. For me, the book is sad." They thought it should never have been written, but they also knew it would look bad for the Church to officially condemn it, since Greene was the most famous Catholic writer in England. Instead, they recommended that Greene's bishop privately scold him for it and direct Greene "to write other books in a different tone, attempting to correct the defects of this one." Greene did nothing of the sort, and continued to write about characters struggling with their own moral failings and their Catholicism in novels like The Heart of the Matter (1948) and The End of the Affair (1951), which he dedicated to his mistress. 
Greene's other novels include Brighton Rock (1938), The Third Man (1949), The Quiet American (1955), The Comedians (1966), and The Honorary Consul (1973).

Saturday, September 7, 2013

OAKLEY: SunClock, First Precise Sun Dial

Brilliant Sun Clock In Use on Location. Invented by
Dr. C. G. Oakley.
Oxford D.Phil. alumnus Christopher G. Oakley has invented the #SunClock, which can be read with accuracy to within ten minutes.

The sun dial at left, installed in East Hampton, shows the pointer at 5:30 p.m., based on a sun tracker identified by weekly Saturday-Sunday readings.

Note how much more sun there is in August than in November (not to mention December).

The location for which the #SunClock reader is printed out is given at lower right.

Dr. Oakley has printed out the expected trajectory of the pointer for the second half of the year. He is able to do any six months for any year. It will vary year by year.

On the other side of the laminated #SunClock printout are the weekly trajectories for the rest of the year (January-July).

If you wish to obtain your own #SunClock, contact cgoakley at (Disclosure: The inventor is my nephew Chris.)

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 13 - On this day in 1940 Germany Bombed England and So Lost the War

Garrison Keillor, a popular U.S. writer, poetry collector and radio personality with a unique Scandinavian-American brand of understated irony, has a serious item today in his emailed daily commentary, The Writer's Almanac:
On this day in 1940 Germany began to bomb England, beginning the Battle of Britain. France had just been conquered, and Germany's plan was to destroy Great Britain's Royal Air Force before it began a land invasion of the country. The British had the most advanced radar systems in the world, which helped them shoot down many of the German bombers, but by the middle of August they had lost a quarter of their aircraft. Everything changed on August 24th, when a German bomber accidentally bombed London. Britain responded by bombing Berlin. Hitler was so angry that he ordered his air force to bomb London exclusively, turning his attention away from the Royal Air Force. If Hitler had focused on destroying the Royal Air Force, he probably would have won the Battle of Britain. Instead, the British weathered the bombing raids until the United States could join the war, and this led to Germany's ultimate defeat. 
Some background: On May 10, 1940 Prime Minister Chamberlain resigned, having lost a vote of no-confidence of the British House of Commons. His offenses:
  • He had signed the Munich Pact with Hitler, ignoring the invasion of Czechoslovakia in favor of a promise of "peace in our time." 
  • After September 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland, Chamberlain did declare war against Germany but did not sufficiently address the urgent task of militarization. 
  • In April 1940, Hitler occupied Norway.
  • On May 10, the last straw, Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium and quickly defeated them. Nothing but a narrow channel of water separated England from Hitler's fearsome Wehrmacht spread across the entire norther European coast. British and French troops faced German troops that appeared invulnerable.
Parliament replaced Chamberlain as Prime Minister with Winston Churchill. Within two weeks, the Wehrmacht had British and French troops trapped near Dunkirk. Churchill was considering a conditional surrender.

Fortunately, bad weather grounded the then-dominant Luftwaffe. During the next week, mainly May 26-29, 338,000 British and French troops were evacuated across the English Channel in small boats.

Some histories have described Hitler as giving the order to let the troops go, hoping for a public outcry in favor of a British surrender and maybe an alliance against Stalin. But Hitler himself was apparently not initially involved. The order to let the evacuation proceed came from Goering, who was not a military expert and was petrified that the Allies would strike back.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

OBITS: Three U.S. Oxonians - Prentice, Darrow, Woodfield

William C. H, Prentice
PRENTICE, William C. H., d. July 28, 2013. Rhodes Scholar and college president. Died in Schenectady, NY. Obituary notice in the NY Times of August 4, 2012, p. 21. He is a 1937 graduate of Swarthmore and presumably matriculated at Oxford that fall. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in psychology in1942.

He was recruited for the Clandestine National Defense Research Committee during WW2. He became chairman of the psychology dept at Swarthmore, then President of Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., 1962-1975.

Peter Darrow
DARROW, Peter V., d. May 19, 2013. Athlete and attorney, died in at NY Presbyterian Hospital New York City. He was a resident of NYC and Sag Harbor, NY. His obituary appears in the East Hampton Star of May 23, 2013 and notices were in the NY Times. He graduated from Columbia in 1972, attended Trinity College for the next two years, and then attended the University of Michigan Law School.

He was associated as an attorney with Mayer Brown and DLA Piper. Since 2008 he was married to Denise Seegal. With his first wife Leni he had two children, Meredith and Peter. He was President of the Trinity College, Oxford Society USA.

Denis B. Woodfield
WOODFIELD, Denis Buchanan, d. April 11, 2013. Formerly of Rye, N.Y., died in Princeton, New Jersey. He was born in New York City in 1933, the year that the New York City Oxford-Cambridge Dinner, which he chaired, started. His formative years were spent in Switzerland, where he attended The College de Vevey, and graduated from Harvard University, class of 1954, aged 20. Deferring his acceptance to Lincoln College, Oxford, he served in the U.S. military, attending the Army Language School in Monterey, California to learn Russian. 

He was then sent to the 513th Military Intelligence in Germany to be Chief US Army Interpreter, Armed Forces Central Europe for three years. Returning to civilian life, he attended Oxford, graduating with a D.Phil. in English bibliography. He was a life-long lover and buyer of rare books. His book Surreptitious Printing in England, 1550-1640, became a valuable commodity. Married in London, England, in 1963, to Rosemary Humphries, the couple moved to Rye. At this time, he was employed by the Chase Manhattan Bank. Three years later, he went to work for General Electric followed by six years with Pan American World Airways as director of Cash and Banking. 

Moving to Princeton, NJ, he joined Johnson & Johnson, where he spent 20 years in finance, including as Assistant Treasurer for Cash and Banking. He published four books and for many years was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the British Schools and Universities Foundation. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, in 2012. He was active in the Society of the Cincinnati of the State of New Jersey, the Society of Colonial Wars and the Mayflower Society, and the Baronial Order of the Magna Carta.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

HITLER: Why Didn't He Bomb Oxford? (25K Views, Mar 2017)

Felicity Tholstrup, our guide, tells Oxford alums in New College that Hitler gave orders
 not to bomb Oxford. (Alice Tepper Marlin is 4th from right.) Photo by JTMarlin, 2012.
June 8, 2013–As the anniversary of D-Day approaches, I have been thinking over a tour of New College that my wife Alice Tepper Marlin and I took during the Oxford Alumni Weekend last year.

Our knowledgable tour guide, Felicity Tholstrup, noted that not one Oxford building was damaged in World War II. Hitler did not bomb Oxford.

I have been wondering–why not? Why didn't Hitler bomb Oxford? Historians don't credit him with much empathy for British civilians or cultural centers.

For Eight Months Hitler Bombed British Cities, But Not Oxford

After Hitler won the Battle of France on June 17, 1940, he attempted to invade Britain on July 10, 1940. The effort was repelled during the next three months by the Royal Air Force, at great cost. Both the RAF and the Luftwaffe lost approximately one-fifth of their planes every month for three months. Hitler gave up the idea of an invasion. The "Battle of Britain" was won.

Instead, Hitler sought to break British morale by ordering the Luftwaffe to engage in savage bombing of British cities (the "Blitz"), starting on September 7, 1940. During the first ten weeks, attacks were directed at London. Only one night was free of bombing, with an average of 160 bombers flying over England each night.

Thereafter, London was attacked less intensely while the Luftwaffe spread out to other British cities. The bombing continued for eight months, until May 10, 1941, when planes were diverted to the European Continent for an attack on the Soviet Union.

German maps for the invasion of many British cities were recovered in Berlin after the war. The city maps included one of Oxford. 

Unlike the other maps, the Oxford map did not include any military targets other than bridges. Why not?

Little Damage to the City of Oxford

Oxfordshire was hit many times, but not the City of Oxford.
  • In Oxfordshire county, 3,831 German bombs were dropped, killing 20 people, injuring 60 others, and killing 65 head of cattle. The bombs also killed 65 head of cattle and damaged more than 300 houses as well as other buildings and utilities ( Witney was bombed early on, in November 1940, but it is 12 miles west of Oxford
  • One unexploded bomb was found in the Cowley area, on the outskirts of Oxford, where the important Morris Motors factory is located–a valid military target, but quite a distance from the university.
  • A six year-old boy who had been evacuated from London's East End was killed in bed when a dummy bomb fell from an RAF plane and crashed through the roof of his temporary home in Stanway Road, Oxford.
The Luftwaffe does appear to have been ordered to avoid the City of Oxford. Was this based on some agreement?

Did Hitler Agree to Avoid Oxford?

Could there have been an agreement—explicit or implied—that the Allies and Axis would not bomb some university towns with cultural treasures of international significance?

If so, the Allies did not honor it in the case of the ancient Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino in Italy, even though as we now know it was not being used at all as a military center when the Allies started bombing on January 17, 1944.

The German university city of Heidelberg was spared by the Allies; possibly this was part of an agreement, but more likely Heidelberg just did not have any military significance. Oxford did—starting in 1937, the Morris Motors factory produced the de Havilland Tiger Moth training airplane. The factory also repaired damaged aircraft, using salvage including the remains of crashed Luftwaffe planes.

There could not have been a general agreement to avoid university towns because the Nazis bombed many UK cities with major universities in them, including Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Hull, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Sheffield and Southampton.

The Allies, for their part, bombed Dresden, Hamburg, Berlin and other cities with universities.

So the exemption from Nazi bombing, if there was one, was restricted to Oxford and perhaps one or two other university towns. Oxford-born Cambridge don Stephen Hawking in Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays (New York: Bantam, 1993, 1-2) says that being a child in Oxford during World War II was to be in a safe place because:
The Germans had an agreement that they would not bomb Oxford and Cambridge, in return for the British not bombing Heidelberg and Göttingen.
Snopes finds no evidence for such an agreement and classifies Hawking's statement as an "urban legend". However, the legend has had a leg among the military. A 2015 commentator on this 2013 post (scroll down below), an American who was at a U.S. Army base in Germany in the 1960s, said his fellow soldiers believed Allied bombers avoided Heidelberg and Wiesbaden as a trade for the Nazis not bombing Oxford and Cambridge. Another former soldier has suggested it was Göttingen, as Hawking states, rather than Wiesbaden.

Was Hitler Planning to Make Oxford His British Capital?

However, no agreement was necessary for Hitler to decide to spare Oxford. He could well have decided to spare Oxford because he intended to use it for his own purposes after the war, assuming he was victorious:
  • The City of Oxford website lists as Fun Fact #4 that Hitler intended to use Oxford as the capital of a subjugated Britain. That would suffice as Hitler's reason for not bombing the city. The reference originally given by the City of Oxford (it has been removed since I first posted this) was James Morris, Oxford (London: Faber and Faber, 1965). When I looked for the book I found it under the same title with the author Jan Morris (Oxford University Press paperback, 1978). The OUP book (p. 7) cites the story prefaced by "It is said that...". The explanation of the name change is that James Morris pioneered in 1972 having surgery to enhance his feminine side.
  • The Bodleian possesses, and has published a translation of, Hitler's plans for the invasion of Britain. I have seen some of the original German maps, mostly showing targets of military significance. They include a map of Oxford, but it shows no military targets, only the location of bridges. The David Rumsey Map Collection at the Bodleian has now made the Oxford map available online (thanks to Nicola O'Toole at the Bodleian's Weston Library for this tip). This suggests (at least, to me) that Hitler planned to move troops into Oxford and that the purpose might have been as a seat of government in Britain, going back to the days when Charles I ruled from Christ Church, Oxford.
  • Another possibility is that Hitler thought of Oxford as a possible communications center for controlling a conquered Britain.
Why would Hitler want to use Oxford as his UK capital?

I claim no special insight into the mind of the mad Führer. However, I can think of three reasons for Hitler wanting to locate in the oxford area:

1. Hitler deeply admired England and especially Oxford.  Hitler's second book, written in 1928, was My New Order. According to his first wife Ivana, Donald Trump had a copy of this book by his bed, given to him by a friend. Chapter 3 includes this tribute by Hitler to England in the context of the need of Germany's Volk for military training to stiffen its spine:
[O]ur Folk ... in its racial fragmentation so very much lacks qualities which, for example, characterize the English–a determined sticking together in time of danger. 
Hitler was impressed with the British Empire and with the vision that Cecil Rhodes had of an Oxford as a school for world leaders. Rhodes included Germans in his design for the Rhodes Scholarships to Oxford. He envisioned Oxford as a world-wide educational center for future world leaders from the British Commonwealth, the United States and Germany. Hitler may have taken from this a special relationship between Oxford and the Third Reich. He took a personal interest in the Rhodes Scholarships.

At New College, Magdalen College and other colleges at Oxford, memorials to alumni and staff who died in World War I even-handedly include German alumni who fought for the Kaiser. Germans were included among the Rhodes Scholars:
  • Germans were included starting in 1903, until 1913, when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and therefore Britain. 
  • No Rhodes Scholarships were given to Germans during the years 1914-29.
  • During the years 1930-38, Germans were again awarded Rhodes Scholarships. 
  • In 1938, Hitler gave a personal order to Erich Vermehren, who had been selected for a Rhodes, not to accept it, on the grounds that Vermehren had refused to join Hitler Youth. This might have been sufficient reason to end the Rhodes Scholarships to Germans in 1939. An even stronger reason for ending them was that meanwhile Hitler had invaded Poland. 
  • It would be another 31 years before Rhodes Scholars again included Germans. As of 2014, 180 Rhodes Scholarships have been awarded to German students.
2. Hitler took heart from the Oxford Oath, the Union's "King and Country" vote. The Oxford Union in 1933 passed the motion that "This House would not in any circumstances fight for King and Country". Winston Churchill, an alumnus of the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, dissed the vote, calling it "abject, squalid, shameless" and "nauseating". Joseph Alsop, in a syndicated column, "Blundering in to War–By Being Anti-War," St. Petersburg Times (May 11, 1970), said that Hitler referred often to the Oxford Oath and Union vote. Hitler may have been forgiven for concluding that Britain's young men had no stomach for another war. When Hitler spoke of "wringing the neck of the English chicken" in May 1941, he may have been thinking of the outcome of the 1933 debate. The Oxford Oath was imitated in thousands of American colleges.

3. He imagined parading into Oxford like William the Conqueror to spite Churchill. Hitler might have looked forward to riding into Oxford to rule Britain, just as William the Conqueror in 1066 rode to Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire to accept the fealty of Saxon nobles. There is not much left today of Berkhamsted Castle, viewable from trains on the Euston lines to Tring and Northampton–not because it was bombed, but because it crumbled from age and is being restored at a snail's pace. Hitler would doubtless have relished moving his Reichskommissar for Britain into a Nazi HQ in Blenheim Palace, a 30-minute ride from Oxford, throwing out Malvern College boys that first used the building, or the War Office, which then took it over. That would have been a poke in the eye to Hitler's arch-enemy Winston Churchill, who was born in Blenheim.

How Did Hitler Get It Wrong? Count the Ways 

Hitler's faith that he would be riding into Oxford victorious was based on at least three misconceptions about Oxford (as well as failing to understand the vulnerability of the German military's supply chain and the impact of U.S. entry into the war):

1. The Oxford Union vote misled Hitler.  On the "King and Country" debate, a writer for Churchill College, Cambridge notes that the thinking of Oxford undergraduates would hardly be representative of the nation.
The debate cannot be taken as evidence of what people of all classes were thinking. Oxford undergraduates were hardly typical... They came largely from wealthy upper- or middle-class families; they were highly literate and well-read ... and young people often like to take stand or an extreme position precisely because they know it will provoke a strong reaction... 
The Trinity College war memorial. Each 
Oxford college lost dozens or even hundreds of 
alumni to the wars. Photo by JTMarlin.
The Oxford Union vote is based on both the content of the motion and  the quality of the arguments. The vote therefore may reflect less the views of the audience and more  their appreciation of the debaters. In fact, from the moment war broke out, Britain's youth turned out in force. As Winston Churchill said in Ottawa in 1942:  "Some chicken. Some neck." Again, a generation of young men,  including many Oxford alumni,  died in battle.

2. Hitler didn't understand how little support the Nazis would get globally.  The extent of Hitler's evil was not widely understood in 1933. Although Hitler had published his views in Mein Kampf, his book was not immediately translated into English. Whatever public opinion in Britain was in 1933, it was radically changed when Hitler started invading other European countries and the extent of the Holocaust began to be revealed. He did not expect the Dutch to be so opposed to German rule; he had little resistance from the Austrians.

With the possible exception of senior officers thought to be hostile to Hitler, like "Desert Fox" Erwin Rommel, Hitler's Wehrmacht did not get the same respect after  World War II that the Kaiser's Army did in the Great War. Whereas German alumni are listed in Memorials to Oxford dead in the Great War, I could find only one German alumnus listed for World War II, on a Magdalen College board, identified as "W'cht" [Wehrmacht]. It took another 25 years after World War II for Rhodes Scholarships to be resumed for German students.

3. Several prominent Rhodes Scholars sought to overthrow Hitler. Hitler's overthrow was sought by at least three aristocratic Germans named as Rhodes Scholars. An alumnus of Trinity, Oxford was one. He selected another German who attended Balliol. Both gave their lives to resisting Hitler.

Albrecht von Bernstorff,
Germany and Trinity, 1909.
Count Albrecht von Bernstorff (Germany and Trinity, 1909) was the nephew of Count Johann Heinrich von Bernstorff, who served as German Ambassador to the United States during the First World War. He was a close friend of Otto Kiep and Hannah Solf, who were at the center of a German conspiracy to overthrow Hitler. Unfortunately, a member of the circle was a Gestapo informer. Albrecht von Bernstorff was arrested and imprisoned in Ravensbrück together with Frau Solf. They were tortured and shot in April 1945 on orders of Nazi Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop.
    Adam von Trott zu Solz,
    Germany and Balliol, 1931.
    Adam von Trott zu Solz (Germany and Balliol, 1931) was picked by a Rhodes selection committee that included Albrecht von Bernstorff, and the two remained friends for their brief lives. At Balliol, von Trott was a close friend of David Astor and visited the United States, where he had a connection as the great-great-grandson of John Jay, the first U.S. Chief Justice. He became a member of the Kreisau Circle and was a leader of the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler. Trott was hanged a month later. His wife Clarita lived on, dying in Berlin at 95 in 2013. The story of von Trott (or perhaps a composite of him and the other two German Rhodes Scholars) is told fictionally in a highly praised novel that I have been reading, The Song Before It Is Sung, by Justin Cartwright (Bloomsbury, 2007).

    Dr Erich Vermehren de Saventhem and his wife,
    Elisabeth, Countess v
    on Plettenburg, in the 1940s
    Erich Vermehren (Germany, 1938) was a Hamburg lawyer, elected to a Rhodes Scholarship in 1938. He received a personal order from Hitler not to accept the scholarship because Vermehren had refused to join Hitler Youth, and was therefore never assigned a college at Oxford. Rejected for military service because of an injury from his childhood, he was sent to the Istanbul branch of the Abwehr (military intelligence), where he became a part of a wide network of anti-Nazi dissidents that included his cousin Adam von Trott. When Otto Kiep was arrested, the Vermehrens were ordered to Berlin for interrogation by the Gestapo. Despite dogged pursuit, they escaped to England in February 1944 with British help. In England, they stayed, ironically, with the mother of double-agent Kim Philby, who would later defect to the Soviet Union. Vermehren's cousin, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, was dismissed by Hitler, and the Abwehr was placed under Himmler and the SS, who were apparently less effective than Canaris at using military intelligence right before D-Day. Vermehren, who after the war was known as Erich Vermehren de Saventhem, died in 2005.


    My take on the story is that Hitler spared Oxford because in his mind he believed that Britain would fall as easily as other countries had before and that he would set up his government there like Charles I, probably in Blenheim Palace to spite Churchill. He overestimated the reluctance of British young men to fight. He underestimated the ability of the British to sustain the bombs of the Luftwaffe on the ground and oppose it in the air. The stories of the attempts of Oxford-educated Germans to resist Hitler are worth revisiting in the context of new demagogues seeking political dominance.

    Personal Note

    I have a personal interest in D-Day. In the early morning of June 10, 1944 my bomber-pilot uncle Willem van Stockum was shot down over Laval, France on his sixth mission from the RAF 10th Squadron base at Melbourne, Yorks. during the 10-day period around D-Day. The town of Laval has honored both the graves and crash sites of the 7-man crews on the two planes downed that cloudy moonlit night. The French noted gratefully that both pilots steered their plunging planes away from the farmers' houses, toward the fields. My uncle's flaming Handley Halifax crashed in a pear orchard. Robert Wack has written a gripping book about him. I have met the relatives of some of the crews on the two planes–including two sons of airmen and a great-niece of another who is now with the Canadian Air Force–as well as elderly French farmers who were children at the time.

    This post, like others on this blog site, is © 2013-2017 by John Tepper Marlin. Permission to reprint? Send to jtmarlin@post.harvard.eduThe above post has been viewed 24,000 times as of Sept. 2017. Thank you for reading!


    Cartwright, Justin, The Song Before It Is Sung (Bloomsbury, 2007).

    Graham, Malcolm, Oxfordshire at War 1939-1945 (Sutton, 1994).

    Hawking, Stephen. Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays (New York: Bantam, 1993).

    Library of Congress, World War II Military Intelligence Maps—American, British and German.

    Oxfordshire County, Bomb Totals, 1940-45.

    Rumsey, David, Map Collection at the Bodleian: City of Oxford. Original copies of the German invasion maps are available in Oxford at the Bodleian, and at the New York Public Library (since 1951). Nicola O'Toole was extremely helpful at the Weston Library of the Bodleian.

    Wack, Robert, Time Bomber (New York: Boissevain Books, 2014).

    Also See My Posts on the Arms of Oxford Colleges & PPHs: Original Article in Oxford Today . Heraldry as Branding . Heraldry as Fun .  Coat of Arms vs. Crest . Sinister Questions . Visit to the College of Arms . Windsor Herald Talks to New Yorkers . Shaming of Harvard Law Crest . Coats of Arms in the Oxford Shop :: Rapid Expansion of Oxford's Colleges and Halls . Oxford Stars . Links to Heraldry, Oxford, GW :: Harris Manchester College . Linacre College . St Catherine's . St Cross College . St Edmund Hall . St Peter's College . Trinity College :: Regent's Park College . St Benet's Hall.  

    Related Posts: Oxford Birthdays . Baedeker Bombing of Britain . Election of Nazi Party . Woodstock, Home of Blenheim Palace . Why Didn't Hitler Invade Britain after Dunkirk? .

    CAMBRIDGE: John Wheelwright, founder, Exeter, N.H.

    Rev. John Wheelwright,  alum
    of Sidney Sussex, Cam.,
    founded Exeter, NH.
    I have been hard at work looking for and seeking to aggregate the contributions of Oxford and Cambridge alumni to the pre-Revolutionary (colonial) era in the United States.

    So far I have much information on Oxonians from the states between Florida and New York, and little on the Cambridge contingent. But the Cambridge alums, thin on the ground, mostly settled in the New England area, which helps fill in the lack of data on the contributions of Oxonians to the New England colonies.

     Please consider this a crowd-sourcing request to provide names of Cambridge men (as there were likely no women) who made their mark in pre-Revolutionary America!

    John  Harvard, of course, gave his library to help start the college after which he is named. My general observation is that the Cambridge colonists tended to be more disputatious, and had a difficult time of it. They say that Cambridge tended to grow martyrs and Oxford did them in. Certainly Rev. John Wheelwright was an outspoken person of the kind (Socrates, Jesus, the Apostles) whose lives are ended by the people in charge. I say that in admiration.

    (Oxford men, and before the American Revolution they were of course all men, tend to live and die -- whether or not they visit their properties in North America -- comfortably. The Oxonians who played a part in the formation of the United States tended to be concentrated in the eight colonies between New York and Florida, and in many cases they started by owning the whole colony or a big piece of it.)

    John Wheelwright (c.1592–1679) was an alumnus of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. He helped found Exeter, NH and Wells, Maine, thereby covering two more colonies/states. He was also a figure of note in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

    As a controversial Puritan clergyman, Wheelwright helped establish religious liberty in all the colonies by bravely asserting his dissent from conventional doctrines of the day. He was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony over the issue of faith vs. good works, during the era that includes the "Antinomian Controversy".  The minority view, espoused by John Wheelwright and his brother-in-law's wife Anne Hutchinson, following Reverend John Cotton, was that one can be saved only by grace (not solely by one's own effort but through the grace of God). They believed that the "covenant of grace" means that common rules of morality are not binding. In simplest terms -- someone with faith will not go to hell for something he/she does or fails to do. Faith prevails over good works. The contrary view is that deeds matter, that faith is not enough and that one must earn one's place in heaven by good works.

    Wheelwright's bravery helped make the colonies a place where dissent was permitted.

    Born in Lincolnshire, England, to a well-off family, Wheelwright earned the B.A. (and after some years, the M.A.) degree at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge where he excelled in sports. Oliver Cromwell was a college contemporary, something that proved useful for a few years many years later when Wheelwright returned to England for a visit.

    After being ordained in 1619, Wheelwright became vicar of the parish in Bilsby, Lincolnshire until 1629, when he was removed for the sin of “simony” (after Simon Magus, who was accused of this during the time of the Apostles), i.e., selling sacred things such as church positions.

    So in 1636, the same year another Cambridge man was helping to start up Harvard College, Wheelwright left New England for friendlier faces in Boston, where his brother-in-law's wife, Anne Hutchinson, was getting noticed. He joined Hutchinson as a follower of Rev. John Cotton and his "covenant of grace" theology, by which one is saved by grace alone. Under attack by other Puritans, they charged that the colony's clergy and government officials were guilty of espousing a "covenant of works", i.e., a belief that people can be saved by good works alone, without faith.

    Since Hutchinson and Wheelwright were in a minority, it will be no surprise that they were banished from the Massachusetts Bay colony by the religious and civil authorities they attacked. Anne Hutchinson went to Rhode Island, where she founded the town of Portsmouth, where I went to school in 1955-1958. Wheelwright and some followers voyaged north with their possessions during the winter of 1637–1638. In April 1638 they established the town of Exeter in what was then the Province of New Hampshire. However, Massachusetts authorities kept hounding him, and activated a claim on the lands where his group had established their community. Wheelwright had to move on to Wells, Maine.

    Wheelwright's order of banishment was eventually retracted. He moved his community to Hampton, then part of Massachusetts and later part of New Hampshire. In 1654 his followers helped him get the complete vindication from the Massachusetts Court.

    Monday, June 3, 2013

    OXFORD: Alumni in the American Colonies (Chart)

    Oxford Alumni Who Shaped the USA and Canada, 1585-1797
    1. Oxonians made it both possible and inevitable for the American colonies to become independent.
    2. All of the eight colonies between New York and Florida were founded or once owned in whole or part by an Oxonian. (Cambridge played a bigger role in New England.) 

    Oxford Alum
    US Connection
    Sir Walter Raleigh
    Oriel, Oxford – but didn’t take up residence
    Explorer, founded Roanoke for the glory of the Queen
    In 1585, Sir Walter Raleigh founded the first English colony at Roanoke in North America. He named the colony as Virginia after Queen Elizabeth I. However, the expedition being funded by himself, the Roanoke colony couldn't generate a stable revenue and was abandoned. The Carolina Province was later split off from Virginia and  its capital - Raleigh, NC - was named after Sir Walter. Read more at
    Rev. Lawrence Washing-ton, 
    of Brasenose
    (his two sons emigrated to Va.)
    was GW's
    (same college as current PM Cameron)
    A Laurence Wasshington [sic] was registered at Oxford University in 1567 (at birth?).  Another Laurence Washington, likely his son, registered at Oxford University in 1594, from Northamptonshire. The Lawrences of Ashton Hall, Lancs., were intermarried with the de Lancasters and the Washingtons. (
     George Washington (1732-99), first U.S. President (1789-1797), was born at Bridges Creek, Virginia. His great-grandfather John Washington and his brother Lawrence settled there in 1658 from Dillicar in Co. Westmorland. The background of the flag of Westmorland, just west of Durham County and Yorkshire, is the red-and-white stripes of the de Lancaster family, one form of whose crest has a single star in the canton.  The multiple Washington stars are a family addition.
    Many believe the U.S. stars and stripes are derived at least indirectly from GW’s family coat of arms, which feature red (Gules) stars (Mullets) and stripes (Bars). (The District of Columbia flag is a direct copy of the Washington family red-and-white stars and stripes.) The Washington, Md., flag has blue stars.
    GW’s earliest recorded ancestor was Patric FitzDolfin de Offerton, whose son William de Hertburn served the bishop of Durham, and who in 1185 was granted the manor of Washington in return for the service of attending the episcopal hunt with four greyhounds. The family lived on the estate for 400 years, but in 1613 it was sold back to the church. Ancestry of George Washington (the use of the de Lancaster stripes suggests the family is related) : #Patric FitzDolfin de Offerton, c. 1145-1182 #William FitzPatric de Hertburn, c. 1165-1194 #William de Washington, c. 1180-1239  #Walter de Washington, c. 1212-1264 #William de Washington, c. 1240-1288
    #Robert de Washington, 1265-1324 #Robert de Washington, c. 1296-1348 #John de Washington, c. 1346-1408 #John de Washington, c. 1380-1423
    #Robert Washington, 1404-1483 #Robert Washington, 1455-1528 #John Washington, 1478-1528 #Lawrence Washington, 1500-1583 
    #Robert Washington, c. 1544-1623 
    #Lawrence Washington, c. 1567-1616 
    #Rev. Lawrence Washington, 1602-1653 Brasenose College gggfather
     #John Washington, c. 1631-1677 migrated to USA ggfather
    #Lawrence Washington, 1659-1698 gfather
    #Augustine Washington, 1694-1743 father
    #George Washington, 1732-1799, first President
    James Oglethorpe
    Corpus Christi, Oxford
    Reformer, exposed terrible conditions in debtor prisons. Saw Georgia as haven for refugees from Britain’s prisons. In fact, the actual immigrants were skilled people.
    Landed 1732, settled near present Savannah, GA, in 1733. Negotiated with Indians for land, created forts. Georgia established as a buffer between Spanish Florida and South Carolina. Abolished slavery. Tolerant of all religions except Roman Catholicism. Named Governor of Georgia.
    Adam Smith
    Balliol, Ox
    Led opposition to tariffs on trade. The Wealth of Nations was published in 1776.
    Founder of free-trade classical economics, originator of the concept of the invisible hand operating in markets. Opposed mercantilist ideas in “The Wealth of Nations.”
    Calvert, 1st and 2nd Barons Baltimore and brother
    Trinity, Ox
    Founder. Roman Catholic, sought a place where Catholics could find refuge, bc they were not allowed to colonize Virginia, Georgia and other colonies. Pioneer in religious tolerance. 1st Baron Calvert got the land in Md. carved out of Virginia for Catholics. One son went to America and the other stayed behind to take the title and work in government.
    George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore, secured rights to Maryland as a Catholic haven in the way of expansion of anti-Catholic Virginia. Cecilius Calvert continued this interest as 2nd Lord Baltimore and his brother became the first governor. They worked both sides of the Atlantic as Virginians tried to fight back against the loss of some of their land.
    c. 1710
    John 2nd Baron Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville
    Christ Church, Oxford
    Founder, Carolinas. Inherited from his ggfather Sir George Carteret one-eighth of Province of Carolina along the Virginia border. Unlike other owners, he refused to sell back to the Crown. Granville County named after him. Oxford, NC named for his alma mater (
    Was the real power in the government when Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington (Trinity, Oxford graduate) was Britain's 2nd PM, after Walpole, for two years.
    NC, SC
    Descendant was grandmother of Diana, Princess of Wales. Jonathan Swift said of him: “He carried away [from Oxford] more Greek, Latin and Philosophy than properly became a person of his rank.” Migration tended to be southward, with Virginians coming down to the Carolina for cheaper land. South Carolina split away (as Delaware did from Pennsylvania) in 1719-1729.  
    William Pitt the Elder (1st Earl of Chatham)
    Trinity, Ox
    Pitt had the imperial vision that supported British soldiers going to the colonies and chasing French forces to Canada (and eventually out of North America).
    Frederick Lord North
    Trinity, Oxford
    Pitt was greatly opposed to making the colonies pay.
    Oxford Pilgrims
    Various pilgrims landing at Plymouth etc. attended Oxford
    William Penn
    Christ Church, Oxford
    Founded Pennsylvania as an extension of New Jersey, which had been purchased as a Quaker haven. Like the Calverts, he was a pioneer of religious tolerance. Founded Philadelphia, whose charter became a basis of the U.S. Constitution. Became close to the founder of the Quakers, George Fox. Persecuted for his views, a jury’s refusal to convict him resulted in a breakthrough in the law of jury nullification.
    PA, DE, NJ
    Son of a supporter of the King of England, who was knighted and made an admiral, Penn – although he broke with his father on religious and peace issues - was given the land that is now known as Pennsylvania and Delaware as settlement of a debt owed by King Charles. A visionary, he created a colony committed to peace and envisioned a union of all the colonies, as well as a similar union in Europe. Charles II named Pennsylvania after William Penn’s father. Delaware split off bc the leaders of this area did not like being under a Quaker government.
    US Connection
    John Harvard
    Donated his library to Harvard, thereby gave the College his name. Among the influential colonists were a number of Cambridge (hence Harvard's city name)  graduates.